The Importance of Interviewing a Roofing Contractor

Why You Need to Interview Roofing Contractors

Nightmare stories of incompetent, ill-mannered and unreliable roofing contractors are well-known, so before you start a home roofing project, understand that you have many choices. While it may be the easiest choice to go with the “friend of a friend,” or even the first roofing company that appears on an internet search, it may not be the wisest. As with other professionals who provide services to homeowners, like architects, realtors, and landscapers, roofing contractors vary widely and should not be chosen lightly.  Here are 4 key reasons to interview roofers:

One size does NOT fit all.

Referrals from people you know and trust are usually important when you need work done on your home. Just because your next-door neighbors used a particular roofing contractor for their project and everything went well doesn’t mean that you should hire their contractor for your job without interviewing anyone else.  Your roofing needs, scale, materials, etc. may very different from your neighbor’s so the cost, quality of work and the end result may also differ considerably.  Certainly, include your neighbor’s contractor in your interview schedule if you like, but keep an open mind to make the best choice for your specific needs.

There’s safety in numbers.

Just as with hiring a good realtor or landscaper, searching for a home roofing contractor requires some time and effort to pick the right one.  Interview several contractors in your area using a set list of interview questions. Discovering as much as you can about each contractor’s experience, reputation, cost estimates, projected timeline, and dependability will help you reach a decision that gives you peace of mind, and, hopefully, a positive outcome.

Buyer beware.

Not all roofing contractors are created equal and may not be licensed, bonded and insured.  Before you begin interviewing roofers, consult Pennsylvania or Maryland building departments or state Web sites about what, if any, contractor licenses are required in your area.  Ask each candidate for proof of licenses and insurance and also if they offer a warranty on workmanship.   Make sure you get copies of all insurance documentation with each bid. The roofers must have general liability and workman’s compensation insurance. Professional contractors will readily supply you with a certificate of insurance showing that the premiums have been paid in advance.

Face-to-face communication sets the stage.

Getting a feel for a person—his/her character, honesty and communication style—is one of the most important reasons to interview roofers.   A face-to-face interview gives you a sense of how the person communicates, prepares for conducting business, and whether he/she really wants your business.  After interviewing multiple roofing contractors, you should have a good idea of who not only has the knowledge and experience to get the job done right, but who makes you feel the most confident and comfortable with entrusting your hard-earned money and your family’s home into their hands.