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Hiring a Roofing Repair Contractor: A Homeowner’s Guide

Updated: Jan 29


how to hire roofing repair contractor

Selecting a roofing contractor is a crucial decision, given the vital role your roof plays in maintaining your home's comfort and protection. It's essential to ensure that any roofing work, be it repairs or a new installation, is performed flawlessly.


To mitigate risks and prevent falling prey to substandard work or scams, it's advisable to engage in thorough research and inquiry prior to finalizing a contract with a roofing professional. We have prepared a checklist to help you guide through the process, ensuring that you choose a skilled and reliable roofing contractor. 


How To Find a Roofing Contractor?

Finding a reliable local roofing contractor can be simplified by employing two effective methods: seeking referrals and conducting online searches. To aid in your search for a reputable roofing professional for your home project, consider the following approach:


1. Consult Friends, Family, and Neighbors

Personal recommendations are a powerful tool in evaluating a contractor's credibility. One of the most reliable methods to identify a proficient roofing expert is through referrals from acquaintances who have recently undertaken similar roofing projects. 


If you see that your neighbors have completed roofing work, it's worthwhile to inquire about their experience and ask for their contractor's contact details. Additionally, leveraging your social media network to request roofer suggestions can broaden your search and provide more options.


2. Online Research

The internet is a valuable resource for discovering local roofing contractors. Utilizing Google or home service platforms enables you to access customer reviews and feedback about various roofers in your area. These platforms also offer the convenience of comparing quotes from different companies. Additionally, you can investigate the longevity and geographical base of each company.


Roofing contractors often have a range of expertise, which may include:


Moreover, some roofing contractors specialize in particular types of roofing, focusing on specific materials (like metal roofing) or styles (such as rolled roofing). This specialization can be a crucial factor in selecting a contractor who best fits the specific needs of your roofing project.

3. Verify Contractor Legitimacy, Licensing, and Insurance

After shortlisting potential roofing contractors, it is crucial to confirm their legitimacy. This process includes checking their licensing and insurance status.


To verify a contractor's license, you can use resources like the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA). This organization maintains a database of licensed contractors. Additionally, contact your local city building department to ensure the contractor is licensed to operate in your area. The details provided by the contractor, such as their name, address, and phone number, should correspond with the information on the NRCA’s website.


In cases where there are discrepancies, or for further reassurance, consult the local Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). These organizations can provide additional information and any records of complaints or reviews, helping you make a well-informed decision.


Things To Consider Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor

When selecting a roofing contractor, it's essential to engage in thorough conversations with multiple candidates. Given the high-risk nature of roofing work, which often results in higher insurance premiums, it's crucial to ensure that the contractor you choose possesses the necessary insurance or certifications, along with adequate coverage to safeguard against potential issues.


Key topics to discuss with potential contractors include:

  • Their experience and tenure in the roofing industry.

  • Specific areas of expertise or specialization they may have.

  • Details of their pricing model, if applicable.

  • Information about the warranties they provide, including any brand affiliations.

  • Access to references you can contact, and their approach to resolving customer complaints.

  • Their capacity to address time-sensitive projects, particularly if your roof requires urgent attention or exhibits warning signs.


For projects involving new roof installations, it's beneficial to explore your neighborhood or conduct online research to gain insights into various roofing styles. This will help you determine your preferences and understand the potential costs before signing an agreement. 


Hiring a Roofing Contractor

When you have made your decision to hire a roofing contractor, let them know. This communication should prompt the contractor to prepare a formal contract. It is imperative to thoroughly review this contract before signing it to ensure all critical details are correctly documented.


Ensure that the contract includes the following key elements in written form:

  • The initial quote: Confirm this amount over the phone when you finalize the hiring process.

  • The payment plan or structure that you have agreed upon with the contractor.

  • Documentation of insurance coverage, which should encompass both liability and worker's compensation, along with any relevant licenses and bonds, if they are required in your case.


After both parties have signed the contract, store it in a secure location. This document may need to be referred to or consulted throughout the duration of the roofing project, serving as a reference point for agreed terms and conditions.


Maintaining Comprehensive Documentation for Your Roofing Project

Finalizing a contract and establishing a payment plan are just initial steps in your roofing project. Continuous documentation of the project's progression and retaining all financial records are crucial aspects of effective project management.


To ensure thorough record-keeping, you should include:

  • Detailed logs of the project's timeline, particularly noting the completion dates of specific milestones.

  • All bills and receipts related to material purchases.

  • Records of any additional expenses or amendments to the original contract terms, which necessitate the drafting and signing of updated agreements.


Additionally, it is advisable to take photographs documenting the project's progress. This practice is particularly useful if there are deviations from the initial timeline, whether in construction or repair phases. These visual records can provide valuable reference points for assessing progress and addressing any potential issues that may arise during the course of the project.


Understanding Your Rights and Recognizing Roofing Contractor Scams

As a homeowner, being aware of your rights when entering into a contract with a roofing contractor is crucial. Your ability to terminate an agreement may be contingent on the terms outlined in the contract, particularly if the contractor fails to adhere to deadlines or performs substandard work. 


However, it's important to note that canceling a contract or withholding payment might lead to arbitration or litigation in small-claims court, underscoring the importance of a well-drafted contract.


Identifying Common Roofing Scams:

Be vigilant of typical roofing scams, such as:

  • Unusually low initial bids, which may significantly increase once the work commences due to "undocumented" damages or additional costs.

  • The "Storm Chaser" scam: These individuals often appear after storms, going door-to-door to persuade homeowners to file insurance claims for extensive roof repairs or replacements. These repairs are often of poor quality and carried out en masse. 


A critical warning sign of storm chasers is their request for the initial insurance payout as a down payment, after which they may vanish without completing the work. This scam usually targets older individuals. Being aware of these tactics can help you protect yourself and ensure you engage with legitimate, reputable roofing professionals.


Post-Completion Steps for Your Roofing Project

Once your roofing contractor has successfully completed the work to your satisfaction and within the agreed timeframe, the final step involves settling the payment for their services. If you opted for financing options for your roofing project, be mindful that you may have ongoing payments due over the coming months or years.


Reflecting on the quality of work provided by the contractor, consider leaving an online review. Your insights and feedback can be invaluable for future homeowners who are embarking on similar roofing projects. 


By sharing your experience, you not only acknowledge the contractor's work but also assist others in making informed decisions when selecting a skilled and reliable roofing professional.

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