Hiring a Commercial Roofer – What you Need to Know

Replacing your roof on your business is a major investment for your company. It’s important to know who you’re hiring and to know the money is being wisely spent and that the job will be done correctly. Here are some things to ask before you hire a contractor.

What Kind of References Can Be Provided?

Don’t underestimate the importance of references. Some contractors may try to select which customers’ names to provide to you. Ask for references from their last couple businesses of which they’re provided service.

If they’ve been in business for a few years, ask them to also provide you with a couple names of companies they’ve provided services to three to five years ago. This will give you an idea of their long-term quality, how the company handles callbacks, and how likely the clients are to hire them again.

How Long Have They Been in Business?

Knowing how long a company has been in business is not always a guarantee that they’re good, but it’s a good indicator. This is not to say that a company just starting out is not good. Your business may get a better deal from a company that’s new in the business. However, you also will have no references from which to fall back on with a new company.

Generally, the longer they’ve been in business the better. If a contractor has been in business 15-20 years, it’s usually safe to assume they’re good at what they do or they wouldn’t still be in business.

Does the Contractor Carry Insurance?

It’s very important that the roofing contractor you hire carry both comprehensive liability and workers’ compensation insurance. If one of the workers fell off your roof and was seriously hurt, your business could be held liable because it’s on your property. Large medical and hospital bills can really make a dent in a business if there were no workers’ compensation insurance.

Even if they say that they do carry insurance, ask that their insurance carrier send you a current certificate of coverage before you even consider hiring them. Some contractors may also have other types of insurance, like life, health or car so make sure the policies they provide you are for liability insurance and workers’ compensation.

Is the Contractor Licensed?

You want your roofing contractor to be licensed in your state. Not all states require licensure of roofing contractors. The fact that the contractor is not licensed in your state is not necessarily a bad thing, but if the contractor is licensed, it can be a good thing because it’s a sign of knowledge, professionalism and commitment to the field. Make sure the contractor actually show you a roofers license and not a employee id number, which is just used for income tax purposes.

What Type of Warranty Do They Offer?

Always ask what type of warranty the contractor can and will provide. Sometimes the best of contractors make a mistake that they’re unaware of at the time. It’s not about who does or doesn’t make mistakes but how they’re willing to handle their mistakes. Roofing warranties are generally divided into two separate warranties. The manufacturer of the roofing materials usually provides the warranty of the roofing materials, generally from 10-30 years.

The contractor has nothing to do with the materials warranty. What the contractor warranties is their workmanship. This may be anywhere from one to five years. Ask what type of warranty they provide. Is it just for a certain time or does it have a max dollar amount attached to it as well. Ask to see it in writing.