Top Factors to Consider When You Hire Roofer: Your Foolproof Guide

Need to hire a roofer but unsure where to start? Avoid the risks of a poorly chosen contractor with our essential guide on how to hire a roofer. We cut through the confusion, outlining what to look for in a professional roofer, from verifying licenses and insurance to understanding warranties and estimates. Learn how to navigate the hiring process confidently and find a roofer who will do the job right.

Key Takeaways

  • Professional roofers provide expert installation, safety compliance and warranties, vastly outweighing the significant risks and costs associated with DIY roofing that lacks these assurances.
  • A meticulous approach to selecting a roofing contractor is crucial, involving online research, word-of-mouth referrals, and verifying contractors’ experience, licenses, insurance, and customer reviews.
  • Before hiring a roofer, compare estimates and assess the quality and value offered, ensuring that the chosen contractor matches specific needs and budget while considering the long-term benefits of quality materials and workmanship.

Why Hiring a Professional Roofer is Essential

Professional roofer inspecting a damaged roof
The roof over your head is more than just shelter—it’s your home’s first line of defense against the elements. Your home obtains the best defense possible when you engage a professional roofer. A qualified roofing repair contractor offers a manufacturer’s warranty, ensuring the quality and longevity of the roofing materials. Not only that, but they also adhere to safety procedures, like wearing appropriate protective gear and conducting thorough roof inspections, ensuring safety during the roofing project. On the other hand, DIY roofing may seem like a cost-effective choice, but it poses significant risks. Errors could lead to higher expenses in the long run. Moreover, engaging a skilled roofer generally incurs higher costs due to labor and material expenses. However, professional roofers often benefit from bulk discounts on materials, contributing to cost reduction.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Roofer

Engaging a professional roofer is an investment in their expert knowledge and skills. These professionals offer top-notch craftsmanship, adherence to local building codes, and efficient handling of complex roofing repairs, all of which enhance roof durability and ensure quality workmanship. In addition, professional local roofing contractors ensure safety during roofing projects by adhering to roofer safety procedures, including wearing protective gear, securing ladders, and using guard rails or harnesses. They also follow guidelines and regulations provided by organizations like OSHA, ensuring your home and everyone involved in the roofing job are safe.

Risks of DIY Roofing

While DIY roofing might appear cost-effective and satisfying, it harbors considerable risks. The safety hazards involved in DIY roofing repair encompass a range of potential risks, including falls from heights and various injuries. More so, improper installation of a roof can result in various issues, such as moisture intrusion, water damage, and structural problems, among others. Long-term consequences of DIY roofing may include water damage resulting from misdiagnosis and improper repair of roof components. These potential risks make it imperative to consider hiring independent roofing contractors or even multiple roofing contractors to ensure the best quality work and avoid these consequences.

Finding the Right Roofing Contractor

Roofing contractor checking customer reviews online
The success of your roofing project heavily relies on finding the right contractor. Commencing the search for a reputable roofer with online research is vital due to its role in identifying top-rated contractors and enabling the gathering of information about their reputation and services. Word-of-mouth referrals hold significance as they originate from trusted sources, such as friends and family, who possess firsthand knowledge of the roofing contractor. These referrals can guide you towards local contractors renowned for their positive reputation and dependable services within your community.

Online Research

In the current digital age, the vital role of online research in locating top-rated roofing contractors cannot be overstated. You can conduct a Google search for potential contractors and examine reviews from past clients on their Google Business Profile. Furthermore, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website offers access to the contractor’s BBB rating, consumer reviews, and records of any complaints, enabling you to make a more informed decision. Also, exploring local listings of accredited roofing companies can provide more tailored options.

Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

Though online research gives a detailed overview, nothing beats the authenticity and personal touch of word-of-mouth recommendations. Recommendations from partners, such as homebuilders and real estate agents, as well as contented customers, can facilitate the creation of new leads and foster confidence in the roofing company. Word-of-mouth referrals can serve as a potent marketing tool for roofing contractors. The digital manifestation of this marketing occurs when online users express confidence in your roofing company by recommending it to other prospective customers.

Evaluating Potential Roofing Contractors

Customer reading testimonials of a roofing contractor
Once potential roofing contractors are identified, the subsequent step involves evaluating them on factors such as:
  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Licensing
  • Insurance
  • Customer reviews
It’s essential to verify a roofing contractor’s licenses and insurance to guarantee adherence to legal requirements and to secure financial protection in case of accidents or property damage while the roofing project is underway. Moreover, customer reviews play a crucial role in assessing a roofing contractor. They offer valuable insights into the contractor’s:
  • Reputation
  • Professionalism
  • Work quality
  • Customer satisfaction derived from previous clients’ experiences.

Experience and Expertise

A roofing contractor’s services are greatly influenced by their experience and expertise. A professional roofer should have the following certifications:
  • NRCA PROCertification®
  • OSHA Safety Certificate
  • Forklift Safety and Inspector
  • EPA Amusement Operators Safety Certification (EPA)
These certifications demonstrate their knowledge and commitment to safety and industry standards. Specialized expertise is essential for certain roofing materials like metal and tile due to the specific installation techniques and knowledge needed to handle these materials effectively. Therefore, it’s important to assess the contractor’s experience and expertise in your chosen roofing material.

Licensing and Insurance

It is of utmost importance that your local roofing contractor is fully licensed and insured. A professional roofing contractor should possess General Liability Insurance and Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Additionally, they should have specific licenses for residential or commercial work, which necessitate passing a trade exam and providing financial information. Homeowners can confirm the licensing and insurance of a roofing contractor by:
  1. Conducting a search on the state’s online database of licensed contractors
  2. Cross-referencing the contractor’s details with the database
  3. Visiting the website of the Contractors State License Board to ensure legitimacy
  4. Reviewing the contractor’s website for up-to-date licensing and insurance information.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Customer reviews and testimonials offer valuable insights into a roofing contractor’s standing, conduct, and the contentment of previous clients. These reviews can be accessed on review platforms such as BBB and Yelp, as well as on the contractor’s own website. A reputable roofing contractor should promptly and professionally address negative feedback and customer complaints, showcasing their dedication to customer service and the excellence of their work. Accolades such as an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List Super Service Award, and industry certifications are indicative of high levels of customer satisfaction and quality service for a roofing contractor.

Questions to Ask Your Prospective Roofer

Roofing contractor discussing project details with a client
After identifying potential roofing contractors, the next stage involves asking vital questions. These questions should cover:
  • The services they offer
  • The materials they use
  • Their warranties
  • Their timeline and project management approach
These inquiries are a crucial part of the decision-making process that ensures you’re fully informed before hiring a roofing contractor. The answers to these questions will provide valuable insights into the contractor’s capabilities, professionalism, and reliability, helping you make an informed decision.

Services Offered

Understanding the range of services offered by a potential roofing contractor is important. Professional roofing contractors commonly provide services including:
  • Replacement
  • Repair
  • Maintenance
  • Installation
  • Inspection
  • Roof repairs
  • Roof restoration
  • Roof replacement
  • Roof installation
  • Roof and gutter cleaning services
  • Consultation
  • Project assessment
  • Project management
  • Permitting and inspections
Furthermore, professional roofers have the capability to install supplementary features including:
  • Skylights
  • Gutters
  • Solar shingles
  • Dormers
  • Various roofing technologies
This broad range of roofing services ensures that all your roofing needs are comprehensively addressed.

Materials and Warranties

The type of roofing materials used by the contractor plays a significant role in the quality and longevity of your roof. Professional contractors often utilize high-quality roofing materials such as:
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Metal
  • Clay or concrete tile
  • Slate
  • Wood shakes
  • Solar
In addition to the quality of materials, it’s important to inquire about the warranty coverage for workmanship and the specifics of the materials used. This ensures protection against defects and failures, and includes provisions for repairs or replacements, subject to the terms and conditions of the warranty.

Timeline and Project Management

Understanding the contractor’s timeline and project management approach is a crucial aspect of a roofing project. Most residential roof replacements take an average of 3 to 7 days, influenced by factors including:
  • Weather conditions
  • Material delivery challenges
  • Underlying structural issues
  • Unexpected complications
  • Required permits
  • Contractor availability
Professional roofers ensure their availability, utilize construction scheduling software, and enlist professional assistance to efficiently manage the scheduling of roofing projects. Thus, inquiring about this aspect provides insights into the contractor’s project management skills and efficiency.

Comparing Estimates and Making a Decision

The selection of a roofing contractor extends beyond finding someone capable of doing the job; it involves finding the best match for your specific needs and budget. Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information, it’s time to compare estimates from different contractors and make a decision. The decision between a low-cost roofer and a high-value roofer involves evaluating the underlying reasons for the price disparity. A low-cost roofer may compromise on quality or utilize inferior materials, whereas a high-value roofer is inclined to deliver superior quality materials, craftsmanship, and customer support.

Analyzing Cost Breakdowns

Every detail of a roofing estimate should be scrutinized meticulously. A comprehensive roofing cost estimate typically includes:
  • The projected timeline
  • The roofing company’s basic information
  • Proof of licenses and insurance
  • An itemized list of all costs
  • A detailed materials list
  • Costs for cleanup and waste removal
  • Permits
  • Other additional project details
Being aware of common hidden costs when it comes to roofing projects is important. Some of these costs include:
  • Permits
  • Tear-off charges
  • Roof deck inspections
  • Ice protection
By understanding these potential expenses, you can better prepare and budget for your roofing project. Additionally, having a detailed breakdown that encompasses all labor charges, material options, and any supplementary expenses allows for a thorough analysis of the project breakdown.

Assessing Quality and Value

The cost of a roofing project is important, but it’s equally crucial to consider the quality and value of the services offered by the contractor. The experience of a roofing contractor has a significant impact on the quality of their services, enhancing effectiveness, improving results, and instilling confidence in clients. Furthermore, the selection of roofing materials can impact the standard and value of the service in various ways. High-quality materials are often more resilient and can endure severe weather conditions, reducing the necessity for frequent repairs or replacements and resulting in long-term cost savings.

Preparing for Your Roofing Project

Contractor obtaining roofing project permits from local authorities
After selecting a roofing contractor, the next step is to get ready for your roofing project. This involves:
  1. Setting expectations with your contractor
  2. Ensuring you have all necessary permits
  3. Being prepared for any unforeseen problems or delays that might arise during the project.
The process of obtaining permits for a roofing project can range from a few weeks to months, depending on the complexity of the project. However, permits for minor repairs generally receive quicker approval compared to those for larger constructions.

Setting Expectations

Setting clear expectations with your contractor at the outset of the project is key. This involves communicating your budget, desired outcome, and any specific requirements you might have for the project. Having regular inspections and maintaining open communication with the contractor allows you to stay informed about the progress of the project and manage any unforeseen problems or delays effectively. This ensures a smooth and successful roofing project.

Obtaining Permits

Obtaining a roofing permit is mandatory before starting any work on a new roof or repairing an existing one exceeding 500 square feet in area. In Michigan, for example, this rule applies, and non-compliance can result in a range of issues, such as:
  • liabilities for damages
  • construction delays
  • penalties
  • legal action
Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that you have all the required permits before the project begins.


To sum up, hiring a professional roofer is not only a crucial step in ensuring a safe, high-quality, and guaranteed job but also protects you from the risks and potential costly mistakes of DIY roofing. From finding the right contractor, assessing their experience, expertise, licensing, and insurance, to understanding their project management approach and analyzing cost estimates, every step is crucial in ensuring a successful roofing project. Don’t just consider the cost; assess the quality, value, and long-term benefits of their services. After all, your roof is more than just shelter—it’s your home’s first line of defense against the elements.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find a good local roofer?

To find a good local roofer, ask for recommendations from trusted sources, read online reviews, and confirm the company’s local presence and certifications. It’s also helpful to get referrals from friends, family, and neighbors, and to check the Better Business Bureau ratings.

Why hire a local roofer?

Hiring a local roofer is beneficial because they understand the local climate and common roofing issues in the area, allowing them to tailor their work to meet the specific needs of your project. This can lead to better and more effective results for your roofing project.

What is the difference between a roofer and a carpenter?

While roofers and carpenters are both skilled tradespeople, their areas of expertise are quite distinct. Roofers specialize in the construction, repair, and maintenance of roofs, often braving the heights and the elements with a steadfastness that would make even a mountain goat proud. Equipped with their trusty hard hats and harnesses, they navigate the aerial aspects of a home with ease. Carpenters, on the other hand, have a broader scope of work that can include framing houses, building staircases, and crafting fine furniture, often under the shelter of a roof installed by their high-flying counterparts.

Why is it important to hire a professional roofer?

It is important to hire a professional roofer because they ensure a safe, high-quality, and guaranteed job, offering a manufacturer’s warranty, adhering to safety procedures, and having the necessary expertise to handle complex roofing repairs.

How can I find a reputable roofing contractor?

To find a reputable roofing contractor, conduct online research, check reviews, and seek word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. This can help you gather reliable information and make an informed decision.