Questions To Ask Your Contractor

January 19, 2024

We want you to make the most informed decision when selecting a contractor for your project. To help you navigate this process, consider asking the following questions:

Are you licensed?

Why: Work performed by an unlicensed contractor can be a huge liability for homeowners. If you hire an unlicensed contractors who finishes half a project, or does one poorly, and then disappears you are left picking up the pieces. If you hire a contractor licensed by the state, you have backup when fighting this type of battle!

Are your employees paid hourly or by piece work?

Why: Piece work is notorious for poor workmanship. Paying by the piece encourages (or even forces) employees to concentrate on speed rather than on quality. Paying employees hourly enforces a concentration on quality.

How long will I have to wait between the roof being torn off and the new roof being installed?

Why: You should not have to wait more than a few days with an open roof. Watch out for companies that cannot give you this promise! An exposed roof leaves you susceptible to leaks and damage.

Do you have a showroom?

Why: Proof of a well-established company can be found with those that have an office location / showroom outside of their truck.

Are you insured?

Why: If a roofer falls off your roof and breaks his legs and your contractor does not carry workers compensation insurance, you may be liable for his injuries! If your contractor accidentally breaks something, you do not want to be held financially responsible for the repairs. Make sure your contractor holds liability insurance for this purpose.

Can I speak with the owner?

Why: This is a matter of preference. If you’re okay with working with a large corporation, this one doesn’t matter, (and there is nothing wrong with that). But, if working with a true family run business is valuable, ask to speak with the owner. There are a lot of companies out there claiming to be “family owned and operated” as a marketing tactic, but the owner is so removed from the business operations, that you’ll almost never get an opportunity to speak with them.

Other things to consider:

  • Do they value your time?
  • How long does an estimate take?
  • Some contractors will require appointments up to 3-4 hours just to provide an estimate and ask that both homeowners be available during that time. Do not be fooled by this sales tactic, a roofing estimate should not take too much of your valuable time.
  • Alternatively, your contractor should be available to thoroughly answer your questions and discuss your concerns.
  • How long before you get your estimate?
  • Hours? Days? Weeks?
  • Do they value your opinion?
  • Is your contractor trying to educate you or sell to you?
  • Know the difference between a friendly face and a salesman. Be wary of heavy sales tactics.
  • Don’t pay for a brand.
  • While there is value to using a recognizable company, don’t pay extraordinary amounts for a brand that delivers the same experience and warranties as many other contractors for a much higher cost.