If you’ve ever played endless phone tag or been ghosted on your scheduled service day by a roofer in the past, it may be stressful to think about trusting someone else with your home.

Thankfully, there are plenty of reputable, highly-rated roofing companies who will go above and beyond for you— you just have to find them! Before trusting someone with your home and money, you can vet them with these 11 questions to ask a contractor before hiring them.

list of questions to ask a contractor before hiring

1) Are You Fully Licensed?

Most states require roofing companies to be licensed in that specific state. You want to hear that your roofing contractor is fully licensed in your state and that their license is up to date. If you live in Indiana but the contractor is licensed in Tennessee, that won’t cut it.

A reputable contractor will have no issue sharing their licensure with you. Don’t entertain hiring unlicensed contractors, so move on if you encounter someone who deflects this question.

2) What Insurance Do You Have?

Accidents happen, so you want to ensure the roofing company you work with protects its employees and your property. A contractor should have worker’s compensation insurance (protecting their employees from injuries) and general liability insurance (protecting your property from damage on their part).

Keep in mind that while at one point, companies with 3 or fewer employees didn’t need to have workman’s comp insurance, the law now requires that they do. So, no matter the size of the roofing company, they need to be fully insured.

3) What Is Your Company’s Address and Service Area?

This is one of the most important, yet commonly neglected question to ask a contractor. Some roofing companies may have multiple branches in your state or even in multiple states. However, what you’re trying to avoid with this question is out-of-state storm chasers looking to take advantage of your situation.

Ask for the company’s physical address and see if they have a local area code. If they aren’t from the area, and if they demand you pay cash upfront for a too-good-to-be-true offer, then alarm bells should go off that you’re dealing with a storm chaser. 🚨

roofing contractors installing a new roof

4) Do You Offer Any Warranties?

You want to find a potential contractor who wants you to be just as confident in their work as they are. If you can find a contractor who backs up their work with warranties, that’s ideal. Most roofing companies offer manufacturer’s warranties on the materials they use, but very professional companies offer workmanship warranties that cover any errors caused by the installation. The peace of mind is worth it when making a significant financial investment.

5) How Long Have You Been in Business?

It’s definitely possible for a newer roofing company to offer far better service than one that’s been in business for many years, but it can still be comforting to know that a potential contractor has had experience in your area.

Ask your contractor how much experience they have, but also check out their online reviews to see what past customers have said.

6) Do You Provide Free Written Estimates?

If every roofing company made you pay for cost estimates, hiring a contractor would get real expensive, real fast. Most contractors will thankfully offer free estimates. Make sure they’ll offer you the estimate in writing so that you don’t run into any surprise expenses.

This is also a great time to discuss payment terms and the expected payment schedule. Ideally, the roofer will provide financing options to help you pay for your roof in an accessible way. Remember, a credible contractor will never demand a huge cash down payment upfront.

questions to ask a contractor

7) How Will You Protect My Lawn and Home During Service?

Your lawn should look exactly the same after the roofing service is completed. The right contractor will be able to clearly outline how they will protect your home and yard during the job. Some contractors will use mandatory foot traffic patterns so the crew doesn’t step on your bushes or flowers. Others ensure heavy equipment never gets placed on the grass.

8) Do You Have Testimonials From Past Customers?

Past customers can be the biggest asset when you narrow down your search for a roofing company. If they have customer testimonials and good online reviews, that’s a pretty good sign that you can trust their work. It’s also a good sign if they’re accredited with an organization like the Better Business Bureau or have awards for their work.

9) Which Manufacturer Do You Use?

You want to feel confident that the shingles on your roof are high-quality and long-lasting. If a contractor uses a super cheap brand, they just want to get away with pocketing more money at your expense.

At The Heartland Builders, we are GAF certified, and we’re proud to use GAF shingles as they’re the best in the business. Other reputable shingle manufacturers include:

  • Owens Corning
  • IKO
  • Certainteed
  • Malarkey
  • Atlas
  • TAMKO
roofers removing old roof materials

10) What’s Your Clean-Up Process?

You certainly don’t want to find loose nails and debris in your yard after a roof replacement, especially if you have kids or pets. An experienced contractor will be able to outline the steps they take for clean-up, which can include tarping, renting dumpsters, and using a magnet roller to pick up nails.

11) How Do You Handle Inclement Weather During the Job?

Roofing work simply isn’t safe in rainy conditions or extreme temperatures. If rain is forecasted during your scheduled service date, or if it starts raining halfway through the project, ask your contractor how they would handle that.

The answer you want to hear is that they would tarp your roof to prevent leaks and reschedule service as soon as possible on a day with ideal weather.

Hiring the Best Contractor for Your Home

At The Heartland Builders, we understand that making home improvements comes with trusting someone with your property and money. We acknowledge the faith you’re placing in our team, so we strive to go above and beyond to produce results you love.

Don’t be afraid to ask us any of these questions and more! Our friendly team wants to ensure you feel comfortable and confident before, during, and after roofing service.

Reach out today with any questions and to receive a free quote!