Get Local Referrals
A roofing contractor from your community will be more familiar with local rules and code regulations and have a relationship with area crews and suppliers. Take recommendations from family members, neighbors, friends, and members on Angie’s List. Be sure to get a minimum of three references from each roofing company before you hire.
Getting at least three different estimates will help ensure that you find the best price and company. When comparing roofers, make sure you consider the suppliers they work with, the amount of time they’ve been in business, what their customers say, whether they’re properly licensed and insured, and whether they have a physical location.
Know What the Roofing Contractor Is Looking For
Your roofer will inspect the roof before providing an estimate, but you should know what they will be looking for to get a good idea of what to expect in the estimate. In addition to roof pitch and size, the following factors will affect the final estimate: layers of shingles that need removal and replacement, damage to the decking, and water damage to the roof and nearby structures.
Call Roofing Suppliers to Determine Material Costs
Part of the roofing contractor’s estimate will involve the cost of roofing materials, but most contractors will include a markup. To make sure that the markup is reasonable, call the suppliers to determine how much materials actually cost.
Ask About the Materials Each Roofer Will Use
If your estimate doesn’t go into detail about the materials involved in a project, ask about it. Pay attention to the types of sheeting and underlayments each roofer will use and the types of insulation and sealants that the roofer budgeted.
Pay Attention to Labor and Incidental Costs
In addition to including all material costs, an estimate should also cover all labor and incidental costs like transporting supplies and materials, cleaning up the site after the job is complete, disposing of the waste safely and promptly, and covering costs for permits.
Pay Attention to the Warranty
The right warranty goes a long way. In comparing estimates, make sure you look carefully at both the workmanship warranty, which is offered by the roofer, and material warranties from suppliers. If a roofing contractor installs the roof incorrectly, it may take months or years for the damage to show up—and insurance won’t pay for it. If the contractor won’t fix it (or worse, has gone out of business), your only recourse is to pay for their mistake yourself.
Check for Proper Licensing and Insurance
The roofing contractor should have insurance for all employees and subcontractors and be able to provide a copy of their insurance certificate for validation. Not having adequate insurance could lead to litigation between a contractor and homeowner if a roofing employee injures themselves at the home.
Pay Your Deductible
Any roofing contractor who claims they can handle the repair without having the homeowner pay their insurance deductible is committing insurance fraud and endangering the homeowner. The insurance deductible is the responsibility of the insured, and the contractor should reflect that in the quote without inflating the estimate to cover all or part of the deductible.
Don’t Give into Pressure
Don’t let the roofing contractor pressure you into signing a contract before the insurance company has estimated the damage. The contractor should thoroughly examine the home after the insurance company has done their estimate and check that their insurance adjuster didn’t miss any damages.
Consider the Time Taken to Deliver Roofing Estimates
If a contractor is late on their delivery of the estimate this will likely be reflected in the work they do. Make sure they do everything they said they would regarding the estimate. This is a good way to evaluate the future of your project and prevent any possible setbacks due to bad work ethic.
Know Your Material Choices
A roofing contractor who does not offer you different shingle options is not looking out for your best interest. The style and color of the shingles you install can affect the resale value of your home. A roof replacement could be a good opportunity to upgrade to a more unique style that suits your taste.