Do you need to repair or replace your roof soon? Are you unsure how to choose exactly which company will be taking care of this for you? If you've never had to deal with repairing or replacing a roof before, the whole process can seem bewildering simply due to unfamiliarity with what's going on. Fortunately, asking the right questions will help to ensure that you've chosen the right professional for the job. Some of the more important things to ask before you agree to hire anyone include the following:
Does your estimate include everything? Not every roofing contractor writes out an estimate in the same way, something that can be confusing when you're trying to compare multiple estimates. For instance, some contractors may leave the cost of replacing your roof's metal flashing off of the estimate on the assumption that you'd rather reuse the flashing that's already up there. However, reusing the flashing has the potential to quickly be even more expensive than installing new flashing after the reused flashing becomes the reason why your new roof leaks. Another difference between estimates can arise when one contractor puts down an hourly labor cost for the job in question while another contractor puts in the total estimated labor cost of the project as a whole.
Are you insured and bonded? Always make sure that the professionals you hire to work on your home are insured and bonded but this is especially true of a roofing contractor. Without insurance, if any of the roofers falls or is otherwise injured while on the job, it could be you and your homeowner's insurance that will be liable for the hospital bills. Or if one of them accidentally puts a ladder through one of your windows, it could again be something that you have to pay for. A properly insured and bonded contractor would be able to make a claim on their policy so that you won't have to worry about costs.
When can you get started? As frustrating as it may be, an experienced roofing contractor typically has a waiting list for his or her services. Depending on the time of year, this list could be as short as a week or it could be as long as several months out. If your roof is actively leaking, they may be able to fit you in a little sooner if you agree to pay additional fees. But you may have to be satisfied with allowing them to secure a tarp over the leaking area and waiting until they are able to start the job.