April 24, 2020
The roofing industry in Canada and the United States is largely unregulated.
Each year, the Better Business Bureau and other consumer agencies receive thousands of complaints about roofing contractors. This creates a huge "buyer beware" situation when it comes to choosing a contractor.
Installing a roof is a complex project and without an experienced, reputable roofing company that knows what they're doing, it’s practically impossible.
So, you need to be vigilant when choosing a company for your project or you can end up getting your fingers badly burnt.
But what exactly do you need to check? What questions should you be asking?
Follow these four simple steps to ask the right questions, evaluate your roofing contractor, and protect yourself from a bad installation that could end up costing you much more than you planned…
Before you even consider the costs involved in hiring a roofer, make sure they're credible. Most credible contractors will actually appreciate you doing your due diligence and they have nothing to hide.
Here are 3 questions you should ask any contractor before you consider hiring them.
You can read about trade names and legal names in Canada here.
The difficulty lies in verifying and clarifying the details, which you as the homeowner will have to do. Insurance rules and requirements vary by province/state so check with your local authorities on the code requirements in your area. Then, ensure the proper permits are up to date and in place for the contractor to conduct the work.
It’s important not to just take their word for it. Ask for the paperwork to be emailed to you for verification purposes. Be sure to ask about the workman's compensation and general liability insurance as well.
Make sure you have a few methods to contact your onsite representative and ensure that you are given a scheduled start date, estimated end date, and a plan to protect your property during the different phases of the project.
Now we start getting a little technical – but these are simple questions that any homeowner can ask to screen a contractor’s approach to the work.
The required number of nails needed for each type of shingle is available from the manufacturer and should be clarified before your roof installation.
Most likely you're replacing the roof in the first place because there's something wrong.
In this case, covering it up with a layover will do more damage than good and is considered an unscrupulous practice in the industry.
An ethical roofer will advise you to strip the shingles first so that your roof isn't at greater risk.
Do not use a company that cannot confirm who will be doing the work or that doesn’t meet the exact criteria and expectations you have verified the parent company.
A one- or two-year warranty is standard among professional roofing companies. Be sure to get this in writing.
Roofing systems that appear to be okay from the outside could be riddled with interior damage upon further inspection. A trained inspector/estimator can quickly spot the hazard signs associated with potential roof failures by looking inside the home.
For many homeowners, this brings the peace of mind that they're hiring a professional who is considering the project from all angles.
A reputable company will, at a minimum, want to check your attic for adequate insulation and ventilation. They will also want to see that the bathroom fans are hooked up and venting properly.
Also, the job site should not look like an eyesore at the end of each day. Untidy sites can create unnecessary safety hazards.
Decisions on where to place, secure, and leave equipment can impact your day-to-day lives during the work. Verify that the contractor will keep access points clear, dispose of trash, place bins appropriately, and remove unwanted materials.
If you’ve got this far with your potential contractor, things are looking positive. However, there are four final questions you need to ask before hiring.
The costs associated with running a reputable business are significant (e.g., taxes, licensing, insurance, and training) and contractors need to factor those into the quote. Bear in mind that the number one reason that roofing contractors go out of business is the failure to factor all the variables into the price.
This means that they are unable to cover their costs, which can put you at risk of a poor install or (even worse) an unfinished project.
It is highly recommended to get at least three estimates from reputable companies so that you are able to compare them. Be sure to ask questions that check the value associated with the cost so that you compare like for like.
This is a good place to start as it adds an immediate “filter”, helping you avoid the risk of hiring an unethical roofing contractor.
All of Euroshield’s verified installers are listed on our site.
By following the steps and the questions above, you will select the right roofing contractor to carry out your installation ethically, cost-effectively, and with the necessary quality to last the distance.
Looking to find a Euroshield installer?
The Euroshield products and contractors are industry-leading. Feel free to ask all the questions you need to qualify your contractors as the professionals you require.
If you are ever in doubt, we’re a phone call away and are happy to assist in any way we can!