How to Find a Trusted Roofing Contractor

Employment for roofers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is way faster than the standard 6.5 percent growth rate for most other occupations. However, this number doesn’t necessarily mean more qualified roofers on the job.

To find a qualified roofer, check with your friends, family, and neighbors. Neighborhood groups ofter have useful referral lists. Search online. But above all, ask the following questions:

Is the contractor…

  1. Patient? Make sure he’s not in a hurry and that he answers any and all questions you have. If he doesn’t have answers at your initial meeting, make sure he gets you answers and follows up soon after.
  2. Comprehensive? Your contractor should fully review all agreements, work schedules, supplier options, material purchases, and labor requirements.
  3. Organized and clean? A good contractor cares about his personal appearance and the appearance of his company. Ask around about his organization and clean up habits during and after a project. You can even request that these areas are covered in the contractor’s agreement. A good contractor won’t mind you doing some digging to make sure you feel secure because he has nothing to hide!
  4. Reliable and prompt? Did the contractor show up at the time he agreed to? Did he bring the appropriate documents and materials to your meeting? The first meeting says a lot about how the rest of the project will go.
  5. Experienced and reputable? Is the contractor in good standing with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB)? Is he eager to supply a list of local customer references for you to follow up with? He should provide a minimum of three (3) local references per your request. Call them!
  6. Insured? Your contractor should provide you with proof of two types of insurance: General Liability and Worker’s Compensation. These policies release you from any financial liability. A General Liability policy covers any potential damage incurred during the repair process. A Worker’s Compensation policy covers costs if a worker is injured during the project. Each policy should provide a minimum of $1 Million in coverage. Above and beyond these essential policies, an excellent candidate will have a $2 Million Umbrella Liability Insurance policy.
  7. Respectful? At the initial meeting he should show respect for you and your property and shouldn’t park in your driveway or walk on your lawn if other options exist.
  8. Warrantied? He should provide a 6+ year structural and workmanship warranty. He should have been in business at least as many years as his warranty covers.
  9. Experienced? He should have been in business at least as many years as his warranty covers. A roofer who has been in business a few years or more will have established his business practices and a reputation. Look for someone who has displayed staying power in the industry.
  10. Licensed? He should hold a license to operate his business in your state. If you own a home in a state that does not have licensing requirements, be absolutely sure the roofer meets all of the other criteria on this list.
  11. Eager to earn your business? A contractor who wants to serve you will usually be willing to defer the bulk of the payment until they have finished the job. (However, it’s reasonable to require your deductible as a deposit.) Be warned: A contractor who wants a large lump sum up front, may not have your best interest at heart.
  12. Above suspicion? Last, but certainly not least, you need to trust the contractor you choose. Don’t be afraid to go with your gut if something doesn’t feel quite right. Your instincts may be telling you something…even if everything else checks out.

Want someone else to find the right contractor for you? Hail Hero will identify qualified contractors and evaluate any who may already be on your list. Find out more about our hail restoration concierge service.

Nathan Lucy

I love using service design, strategy, and storytelling to help businesses attract more of their most enjoyable, profitable customers. I teach Design Thinking at Washington University in St. Louis and serve on the board of the St. Louis chapter of the Service Design Network. My approach to business, informed by human-centered design and organizational development, is all about re-connecting people.