Top 10 Thinks to Ask Before Choosing a Roofer

  1. Contractor's License
    Contact state and local licensing boards to ensure a roofing contractor has all the appropriate licenses for your area.  If you use an unlicensed contractor, the state will not be able to help you when or if something goes wrong.

  2. Insurance
    Require potential contractor to show proof of insurance - for both worker's compensation and general liability insurance.

  3. Permits
    Any work over $750 requires a city permit and should be issued by the contractor.  Be careful if a contractor tells you to get the permit, because now you, the homeowner, agrees to be the responsible party for insurance and liability with the city.

  4. References
    Ask the contractor for references of past customers who have the same type of roofing system being installed for you.  Contact the references to see if the contractor completed the job satisfactorily.

  5. Deposits
    In California, by law a contractor is only allowed to ask for a 10% deposit before starting the work.  If he asks for anything more, then he may be using your money to pay for past bills.  A company that is financially secure and trusted by material suppliers does not need to ask for a deposit unless the job is using custom material or is an extremely large project.

  6. Material and Labor Releases
    Request that the contractor issue these releases upon completion for any new construction as it releases you from financial liability if the contractor does not pay his material or labor bills for work at your property.

  7. Safety Program
    Require the contractor to have a written safety program.  An emphasis on safety ultimately lowers the cost of doing business and further assures that your job will go smoothly.

  8. Knowledge of Industry
    Roofing contractors should be knowledgeable about the latest developments in the industry.  Ask if the contractor is a member of a local, regional or national association.

  9. Place of Business
    Make sure the roofing contractor has a permanent and identifiable place of business, complete with phone number and physical address.

  10. Your Comfort Level
    Most of all, make sure you feel comfortable that the company has the experience and expertise to handle your roof installation.