Questions to ask your roofing contractor


1. What is the full name and address of the company?

Having a company that is nearby increases the likelihood of better and fast service. If you are provided a PO Box ask for a street address also.


2. Does the company carry insurance?

Worker's compensation and liability insurance are specific forms of insurance every roofing company must have. If a worker is hurt and the roofing contractor does not have insurance the home owner is liable. Ask to have current certificates sent to you - it might seem quite extreme but they will be used to this request and a good company will be able to fax them or send copies quickly. Do not accept the roofing contractor at their word. They may carry health, life, and auto insurance. Bland assurances of insurance coverage may refer to these. 


3. Does the company have any licenses or credentials to back it up?

The truly professional roofing contractors will most likely have proof of license or credential from third parties. Like a manufacturers' installation training certificate. 


4. How long has the company been in business?

Longer is usually better. More than three years, but everybody had to start somewhere. A new business should not be disqualified from your decision making process, but if everything else is equal. Longer is usually better.


5. Will the company provide referrals or references from previous jobs?

Ask for a list of ten names and phone numbers of recent customers, within the last twelve months. It is not necessary to call all ten, but choose two or three randomly and call. Ask the referrals a minimum of four questions. First, did he perform his work on a timely basis? Second, was he responsive when asked for information and changes? Third, did he act as if he cared about the customers interests? Finally, would you call the roofing contractor trustworthy? 


6. What is the company's workmanship warranty?

Some warranties are for one year, some are longer. The length of a roofing contractor's warranty is not really as important as customer referrals. Most workmanship errors will be found within the first year, probably during the first good storm. The reason this question is important is that most roofing contractors will warranty the workmanship, and the manufacturer will warranty the product as long as it is installed correctly. Make sure you understand both warranties and ask for a copy of each.


7. What is the company's track record for solving customer complaints?

Try to find out how your roofing contractor handles problems when they do arise. Request a referral from a job that involved a complaint. Ask the contractor if he has ever lost a job-related court case. Ask if his contractor's license has ever been suspended and why. Also, in talking to the appropriate authorities, such as the Better Business Bureau and licensing departments, find out if any complaints have been filed against the contractors whom you have interviewed. Many contractors in business for any length of time have been involved in a dispute. Ask how the dispute was resolved, to test your roofing contractor's reputation.
Contact The NFRC
The National Federation of Roofing Contractors Ltd,
Roofing House,
31 Worship Street,
Tel: 020 7638 7663 
Fax: 020 7256 2125
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