As one of the most important structures your home, the roof protects your family and possessions from the elements. Depending on the materials used, it should last anywhere from 10 to 25 years. Completing regular maintenance and minor repairs may help extend its lifespan, but after a certain point, all roofs must be replaced. With that in mind, here are five questions you should always ask when hiring a contractor.
1. Are You Licensed In This State?
Most states require roofers to be licensed in order to ply their trade. But because these skilled professionals often go where housing markets are hot, they may not be licensed in all of the states they work in. This is important because different states have different building codes that must be adhered to. Failure to follow these rules could result in a fine, work stoppage, or even foreclosure. That is why it is strongly recommended that you ask each and every applicant if they are licensed to work in your state.
2. Will You Completely Remove My Old Roof?
Even experienced roofers occasionally save time and cash by shingling over an old structure that needs to be replaced. Because shingles must often be removed to check for rotted wood and soft spots that may cause problems in the future, it is important to insure that the contractor you hire remove the old shingles before he or or starts re-shingling.
3. Will You Bring A Dumpster Or Container For Cleanup?
Removing and replacing a roof is a big job that will produce a lot of waste. Although the contractor is customarily responsible for supplying the dumpster or containers required for cleanup, some unscrupulous types try to get homeowners to cover these costs. That type of underhanded behavior is an instant deal-breaker.
4. Do You Carry Workers' Comp Insurance?
If they have more than three employees on the job, and most roofing companies do, they are required by law to carry workers' compensation insurance. Because this coverage can be expensive, some contractors skimp on this necessity and potentially leave the homeowner to pick up the bill. If someone is hurt on your property, there's a chance you will be on the hook for his or her medical bills. To protect yourself, make absolutely certain that any contractor your hire to work on your home carries workers' compensation insurance.
5. Do You Have General Liability Coverage?
Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming that their homeowners insurance will cover any damage that is done to their property. But if a contractor burns down your house, for example, you could be liable for some of the costs. Professional contractors that work on your property are expected to carry liability insurance. If they do not, however, your insurance carrier may refuse to pay for repairs by claiming that you made an irresponsible choice when you hired an uninsured contractor.
Although there are other, more technical questions you may also which ask, these five questions should help you locate qualified roofers in your area.
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