Getting a roof repaired or replaced is a BIG job. If you’ve had roofing work done before, you know this. And if you haven’t you might know from driving past a house in the middle of a roofing job – the mess and number of workers milling around the house are not an indication of a small job or an afternoon’s worth of work. Roofs are vital – what is a house without a roof?! – as well as dangerous and difficult. Roof work is definitely not something you can watch a YouTube video on and try yourself. And hiring a roofer isn’t an easy task, either. When you hire your Rochester roofer, make sure to ask these questions.
1. Will You Provide Me With a Written Estimate?
You’re not just going to pick any random phone number out of the yellow pages when choosing a Rochester roofer. You will most likely get multiple bids and go with the estimate that you think is the best quality for the best price. Make sure your estimates are written out, itemized, and signed to prevent any discrepancies when the job is complete.
2. Can I Check Your References as Well as Call Your Last Five Clients?
Instead of asking only for referrals, ask for a list of their last five clients. If you ask for referrals, of course you are going to get the names of customers who were highly satisfied. Ask for referrals as well as a list of their last five clients so that you can form an honest opinion of their work by yourself.
3. Are Both You and Your Subcontractors Licensed, Bonded, and Insured?
Most states require a roofer to be licensed in order to work; Rochester roofers follow this New York policy. In addition to licensing, you need to check on bonding and insurance. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between those two? Bonding means that if you take a company to court over damages, they definitely have money to pay you should they lose. Insurance ensures that if a contractor is injured on the job, his company will pay for his medical care and he cannot hold you responsible. Both the roofing company and their subcontractors need to be covered in all of these areas. If they are not, it could end up costing you thousands.
4. How Are Your Workers Trained?
You need to make sure that your Rochester roofing company trains their employees thoroughly, both on the quality of work as well as on safety procedures. Make sure they are familiar with OSHA standards. What is their probationary period like? Make sure a new roofer has a mentor and a probationary process to ensure that they are trained adequately.
5. How Do You Ensure the Safety of Your Workers?
Safety is important for the well-being of the employee, but also for you. The safer the worker, the less of a chance there is of time-consuming legal procedures were he to get injured on your property. When you ask this question, listen for them to discuss harnesses, heavy equipment, and safety training.
6. Will You Have the Correct Permits?
Most cities require permits before roofing work is started. Make sure your roofer is familiar with all these necessary procedures.
7. How Long Have You Been in Business in Rochester?
A new company does not necessarily signal bad work, but in the roofing industry, as well as many others, longevity is a good thing. A company that has been in business 10 or more years is always a safe bet. It is also important to make sure that the business is local. Any time there is a storm or natural disaster you will see floods of desperate contractors preying on people who have just been through something horrendous. You want to make sure that if something goes wrong down the road, you can call someone who will be able to show up quickly to fix it.
8. What Are You Doing With Old Material?
Old shingles, pieces of wood, nails, and other debris can fall from a roof during a repair or replacement. Make sure your roofer has a plan to keep all discarded material organized and out of your way. It is common for falling shingles to damage landscaping, so make sure your Rochester roofer has a plan to compensate you in the event that this occurs.
9. What Will You Do About Rain?
If it rains while your roof is being worked on there is an obvious problem. You cannot have rain pouring through the top of your house! Make sure your roofing company has a plan to protect your home in the event of rain – most roofers use a tarp.
10. What Will My Warranty Be?
A roof should be guaranteed for a very long time; 25 years is a good number to use as a gauge.
11. What Will You Charge for Wood That Needs Replacing?
Make sure that you discuss this when reviewing your estimate. An honest roofer will give you a small dollar amount per plywood sheet. A shady roofer might use this as a way to inflate cost and charge you with a bill that was very different than the estimate he gave you.
12. Will There Be Project Manager on Site That I Can Communicate With?
You might have questions during the time of your project. Make sure there will be someone available each day that can discuss any questions and concerns that you have.