Your roof is one of the most important components to keep your home safe and secure. A new roof is a big investment, and one most people tackle begrudgingly. It’s not as exciting as something like new siding or a remodeled deck – most people don’t compliment you on what a great looking roof you have! However, not many projects have a bigger impact on your homes long-term livability and energy-efficiency, as well as your peace of mind.
Because it is such an important part of your home, you need to make sure you have a professional install, replace or repair it correctly.
The average cost to install a roof is just over $7,500. Often, the total is the first thing a homeowner asks about, but that is only one part of the overall hiring process. All pricing should be in writing, not simply a verbal quote, and date. The following questions and considerations can help you save money and frustration when it’s time to tackle a new roofing project:
- Which areas of my home do you need to access to provide an estimate?
- Will you provide a detailed breakdown of each expense?
- Are there different installation costs depending on the materials used?
- Can you provide an estimate for potential repairs associated with roof installation or replacement?
- How much does roof removal cost?
- Are material price increases factored into this estimate?
Additional Questions to Ask a Roofer Before Hiring
In order to offer services, roofing contractors must follow state guidelines. You will want to verify that they not only follow the law but will work to ensure your project is completed correctly. The following questions should be asked and followed up on if full answers are not provided:
- Please provide your legal business name and address.
- Is your license as a roofing contractor current?
- How much insurance coverage do you carry and what type do you have?
- Are you a bonded roofing contractor?
- Can you provide at least three references?
- Do your preferred manufacturers have warranties and what are they?
- When filing a warranty claim, what is the process?
- Is your work guaranteed? *
- Do you perform future roofing repair and/or maintenance?
- How is your workers’ safety protected while on my property?
- What process do you follow to avoid damaging my home or property during the installation?
- How steps do you take to ensure the project is completed on time?
*Depending on the contractor, they may not offer a guarantee. That doesn’t mean they are automatically a bad choice, but you want to learn as much as possible about how they work before hiring them.
Questions to Ask a Roofing Company
Working with a roofing company isn’t the same as hiring an independent contractor is not the same as working with a roofing company. The following questions will help you get a sense for how the company will work on your project:
- Are company employees or subcontractors completing the work?
- If you hire subcontractors, please provide their contact information.
- Please provide the qualifications of the workers coming to my home.
- Am I able to speak to the roofer in charge before starting the project?
- If I have questions or need updates, who do I contact?
Roofing Options Research
When hiring a roofer, a good place to start is researching various materials and systems before talking to contractors. It’s important to note that many roofs aren’t installed according to the manufacturer guidelines.; this is helpful to know before asking pros for recommendations.
You do not need to be a roofing expert, nor do you have to know exactly what style you want. You will need to ask the right questions to determine which contractor is right for you. It is best to contact multiple contractors and request an on-site estimate. If you are able to, call them in the off-season, typically late fall and winter. They will likely have more time to go over your project and questions in depth.
You should ask to see projects they have completed in your area and if it is at all possible, talk to the homeowners. It is important to consider skill and experience over a cheaper hourly rate. An inexperienced, cheaper roofer who doesn’t complete your project correctly will just cause you to hire someone else to fix the mistakes and cost you more in the long run.
Questions to Ask Yourself: Balancing Costs and Value
It can very helpful to approach your roofing project like a scenario where you to balance your budget against what you want. Start by asking yourself these questions:
While still having an aesthetically pleasing roof, what’s the least you want to spend over the next 215-25 years.
If you have high summer cooling expenses is it worth it to buy that premium metal roofing to minimize those costs.
If you choose basic asphalt, how costly are repairs?
How much will you save over other high-end materials If you choose the more sophisticated laminate asphalt for your roof, what are the savings compared to other high-end materials?
Once you have complied roofing ideas and have your budget in mind, review the numbers with your roofer.
It is crucial to establish expectations about project length and what materials are best for your home. If possible, secure a warranty on the work and separate manufacturer and contractor guarantees. In most cases, the manufacturer only covers defects/failures in the roofing products, and they do not offer a guarantee on bad installation.
The actual roof installation should be a stress-free process on your part if you’ve done your homework choosing the right materials and an experienced roofer. You should plan to inspect the work being done on your home every day, even if you’re not able to be present during the work. Keep in touch with the contractor or project manager so you’ll know how things are going and you have the peace of mind the project is moving along as anticipated