The decision has been made – the time has come to replace your home’s roof, you’ve done your research and have collected a list of various roofing contractors, and now you’re seemingly left with more questions than answers.
What’s the next step? What sets these roofing companies apart from each other, and how do I make a choice that’s going to benefit both my wallet and my home’s integrity in the long run?
The easiest way to lean into the process of choosing a contractor for your residential roofing replacement is to remind yourself that you are not the professional in this situation – they are! Whenever renovations are done to our homes, things can certainly feel unfamiliar and daunting. It’s important to remember that you are allowed to ask as many questions as needed.
Becoming confident in the roof replacement process and in the contractor you choose to work with will help assure that your hard-earned money is wisely invested, and that you are ultimately getting both quality and protection for your home for many years to come.
So, how can you choose a roofing contractor with peace of mind? Well, being armed with the right set of questions to ask is a great place to start. Not only will you get a feel for their customer service, but you’ll really get to know how they operate, how they will take care of your home, their experience level, and the options they will be able to provide you with.
Choosing experienced installers is just as important (if not more) than choosing quality materials – so let’s go over some key questions you should be asking any residential roofing installation crew, and the types of answers you should keep your eye out for.
1) Will you be removing my old roofing shingles?
We are including this question first, because if the answer is “no”, you should likely walk away from the contractor in question. Laying new shingles on top of old shingles is the number one way that inexperienced contractors look to cut corners and save time. If your current shingles are not removed, this leaves no opportunity to examine the sheathing area underneath your roof, leaving it potentially vulnerable to problems.
Not inspecting what’s happening underneath your roof can cost you thousands in repairs down the road – always remember that a reputable roofer will remove all current shingles before laying down any new ones.
2) What is your company’s full legal name, physical address, and do you have a license?
Knowing this information is a good place to start in determining the legitimacy of the roofing contractor you are considering. If they do not have a physical address or are hesitating to give out this basic information, you may want to consider steering clear of them. It may also be worth it to take a look into their license to ensure it is up to date and does not contain any violations.
3) What material are your shingles made from?
Although there are a number of different shingle materials on the market, we recommend leaning towards contractors that install asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are among the most common, and they provide a number of benefits to your home.
Aside from coming in a number of colour options to match your home’s exterior, asphalt shingles are wind resistant, affordable, algae-prohibiting, and offer sound mitigation to ensure that your home stays as comfortable and cozy as possible.
4) How many nails do you use per shingle?
In order to ensure that your new shingles will stay properly intact for the duration of their lifetime, a roofer should be utilizing a minimum of four nails per shingle for a standard roofing job. There are circumstances when six or more nails should be used, including for steep-sloped roofs, but as a general rule of thumb anything above four is a good indication.
5) How will the shingles be cut?
If the answer to this question is something along the lines of “we eyeball our cuts” you may want to consider walking away. Shingles should never be cut using the eyeballing method. The answer you should be looking for here is that your shingles will be cut on a straight edge using a hook or straight blade. This not only protects the integrity of your new shingles, but ensures that there are no aesthetics or other visual issues.
6) What can I expect from the roof replacement process?
It is important to know what you are getting into when it comes to your roof replacement project, as all contractors will have processes that slightly vary. From start to finish, a roof replacement project should not take longer than a few days (weather permitting). It is important to ask about scheduling and flexibility in order to ensure that the timing involved works for all parties.
When asking a contractor for their installation process, you are provided with a key opportunity to pay attention to things like whether or not they will remove your old shingles and do a thorough inspection, whether or not they will dispose of garbage, and what advice they can provide you for preparing your home for the installation.
It’s important to choose someone who will ensure that your property is kept clean and protected. We have created a guide that outlines what you can generally expect from a roofing replacement process, but ensure you ask for details.
7) Are you insured?
Reputable roofing contractors should always be working with insurance in order to protect both themselves and you as the homeowner should any type of accident occur. Something to look out for here is a seemingly low project quote. Contractors who work without insurance can offer you a lower cost, but the risk to you is much higher.
Keep in mind that if you choose to hire an uninsured contractor, any costs associated with potential injury may fall on you. Our advice? Steer clear of any contractors that are not insured. At T. Simpson Roofing, all of our employees are both certified and fully insured to give you peace of mind.
8) Do you perform the work yourselves or do you employ subcontractors?
This is an important question to ask as well in order to get a clear picture of who exactly will be performing work on your home. Does the contractor use their own in-house employees, or do they use subcontractors? If subcontractors are being used – ensure you ask about their insurance coverage as well.
9) Do you have any references or reviews?
Don’t be afraid to ask for references from previous homeowners who have worked with the contractor in the past. Sometimes they may not be able to provide you with personal references due to homeowner privacy but asking for where their reviews are housed online is a good place to start.
10) Do you offer a warranty, and what kind of warranty do you offer?
Good roofing companies should be offering warranties on any completed roofing projects, but keep in mind that warranties can differ vastly from contractor to contractor. Ensuring that the company has a warranty that fits your needs is just as important as ensuring their roofing materials fit your needs.
Ensure that you are asking what exactly is included in a company’s warranty – is it material or labour only? Does it include both? T. Simpson Roofing works with GAF-certified warranties, and we have created a guide to help you further determine what you should be looking for in a roofing warranty.
Have More Questions? We’ve Got the Answers!
T. Simpson Roofing is a team of qualified, licensed and experienced roofers who are equipped to handle all aspects of a roof replacement with integrity and skill. We’re here to ensure you’re keeping your home protected- offering you peace of mind for years to come. If you have questions or are ready to start your residential roof replacement, please call 1-800-925-3044 or contact us here for more information.