How to Make Sure a Roofing Specialist is Legitimate

 Jake Parker
How to Make Sure a Roofing Specialist is Legitimate
There are a number of reasons you may be looking for a roofer. Maybe you’re replacing the roof on an old fixer-upper, perhaps you need someone you can trust on your new build, or maybe your roof just needs some professional TLC.

While roofing may seem simple, the cost of hiring an inexperienced or corner-cutting roofer can be, well, through the roof. Some consequences of a bad roofing job include:

  • Stains from leakage

  • Structural water damage

  • Loose and missing shingles

  • Uneven roofs

  • Bad edges and joining spots

Issues like the above can cost you a fortune as they can easily lead on to timber rot or damage to your home’s interior and structural parts of your roof. Here, we will go over everything you need to do to find a specialist you can trust not to cause any problems during your roof replacement, install or repair.

Look for Licensing and Experience

A simple way to make sure your roofer is qualified is to check their state roofing or contractor license. Many US states require workers to pass an exam and hold workman’s compensation or general liability insurance in order to be a licensed roofer. Others have more relaxed licensing requirements, so be sure to check what the rules are in your state.

However, one rather tricky thing about finding a roofer is that some states don’t require any specific licensure. This means you’ll need to vet roofers on your own. Here is a list of US states that don’t have any official licensing boards:

  • Colorado

  • Connecticut

  • Idaho

  • Maine

  • Indiana

  • Missouri

  • Montana

  • Nebraska

  • New York

  • New Jersey

  • New Hampshire

  • Ohio

  • Pennsylvania

  • South Dakota

  • Vermont

  • Washington

  • Wisconsin

  • Wyoming

Even if you live in one of the states above where a license isn’t required, make sure any roofing contractor you consider working with has up-to-date liability and workman’s comp insurance. You should also ask for their basic work history, experience, and roofing training. Any good roofer will be glad to give you these details.

Check What Materials they Use and Have Experience With

Another important factor to consider is the type of roof you have or are looking to install. While many roofing companies or contractors will be trained to do all types of roofing, this is not the case universally. In the US and Canada, most roofers are accustomed to installing shingles and sometimes nailed-in tiles. If you are looking for something like clay roofing, only hire someone who is familiar with specialty roof-types.

Some types of specialty roofing contractors include those trained in metal sheet roofing, solar panel roofers, and hot-roofers who are trained to work with tar. It is important you chose someone who is ready to work with your specific roof type since installation methods vary widely between materials.

Check References

Once you find a roofer that appears qualified, be sure to check out any online reviews they might have. Although internet reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, consumer feedback will alert you to the presence of any red flags. In addition, ask the roofer for past customer references and be sure to follow up using the information they provide.

Whatever you do, don’t hire a roofer simply on the basis of a couple of testimonials they have given because these will be heavily biased. Do your own research into who you’re working with and exercise careful judgment while making your decision.

Ask for a Consultation

At some point during the vetting process, a good roofer will offer you a consultation at a small fee or for free. At this point, they will come to your house and assess the time and materials needed for your project.

Note that if the roofer fails to mention skylights, chimneys, or other large fixtures on your property, this may be a warning sign. A good roofer will point out potential problem areas such as these when proposing a project timeline and giving an itemized cost list.

Shop Around for Multiple Roofers

To make sure you wind up with the best deal and service, you should vet several different roofers or roofing companies and get quotes from all of them. That way you can make sure you’re making a good decision in terms of quality of service and price.

In addition, if you’re building a home or doing a big renovation project, you could consider looking for a contractor that bundles roofing with other services. Some contractors will have several different specialties in addition to roofing and offer discounts if you pick them for other elements of your project. At the same time, a roofing-only specialist is recommended if you prefer to keep things simple.

The Importance of a Project Manager and Oversight

While basic roofing is fairly straightforward, good project oversight is of utmost importance. This is particularly true if you are doing more than just installing shingles. A trained project manager can oversee the work being done on the roof and on any other projects or renovations taking place at your home or business.

If a project manager is not in the budget, be sure to keep checking in on your roof regularly to make sure everything is going as planned. This ensures that nothing has to be redone or corrected later. While this may seem intrusive, know that it’s your property and that doing this will save you and the contractors a headache later on.

Finding the Right Roofer

Given the consequences of a bad roofer, the task of finding a good roofing contractor can seem a bit overwhelming. Just remember that by doing your due diligence and following this guide, you can save thousands while also making sure your roof gets done quickly and without any hiccups. Thankfully, there are many good roofers with specialized skills, so you are sure to find the right contractor to work with eventually.

 Jake Parker
Jake is a freelance writer from Britain. After studying climate science, he began writing full time in 2018 and his favorite topics include sustainability and technology. When not travelling and writing, he can be found editing videos or trying to fix some mechanical problem, normally on his latest cheap vehicle.