5 Tips When Hiring a Roofer

Take the Time to Find and Hire a Qualified Roofing Contractor

Tucson roofing company installing a tile roof

Repairing or replacing your roof is an important investment. This is why you should insist on working with a professional roofing contractor who has the knowledge and attention to detail necessary to ensure a successful project. It's important to recognize that your project success is not simply measured in terms of shingles, labor and the price you pay. Your project success is a function of the entire experience, before, during and after the project. Remember, you're not simply buying shingles and labor - you're entrusting your home to a contractor who in some cases, is literally tearing the roof off your home.

Each year the Better Business Bureau publishes complaint statistics on their website. While it's not surprising to find that roofing contractors do have their share of complaints, it can be shocking to see how many of those complaints go unresolved. In a sample from a few years ago for example, more than 30 percent of the complaints were not satisfied, and almost 7 percent of the cases they couldn't find the contractor to resolve them. This is why it's incumbent upon the homeowner to do their homework, and not allow themselves to be swayed by low-cost providers who over promise and under deliver.

Tucson roofer laying asphalt shingles down

Before you spend your money, it's our very strong recommendation that you include the following guidelines into your contractor selection process.

#1 - License, Bonded, Insured

Insist on seeing the contractors proof of liability and workers compensation insurance, and please make sure the coverage is in effect for the duration of your project. Your contractors should be willing and able to provide specifics; detailed information of their insurance coverage, including the name and telephone number of their insurance agent, so that you can verify the information. This is the second most important question a homeowner should ask because many homeowners have been financially harmed by uninsured or inadequately insured contractors. As a rule, homeowners should reject any contractor without proper and adequate insurance.

#2 - Better Business Bureau

Call the Better Business Bureau. Look, even the industry's best contractors find themselves in a dispute for one reason or another. The question you want to ask is, what was done about the dispute after it occurred? The better business bureau will be able to tell you if the contractors had complaints, and more importantly, if the contractor worked with the homeowner to rectify the situation.

#3 - Written Bid Proposal 

Insist on a detailed, written proposal and not a price written on the back of their business card. The contractor should be able to clearly explain how they plan to perform the work, and what materials they will use. The proposal provided should offer complete descriptions of the job specifications, and the products and colors selected. The proposal should also communicate the approximate start and completion date and the payment terms.

In addition the homeowner should be prepared to ask about local building code requirements, and verify the contractors intention to follow those requirements. This is particularly important when it comes to installing products such as ice and water protectors, for example. Some contractors may try to skimp on this product in an effort to save money, which will put the home at risk in the event of wind driven rain or ice dam.

#4 - Warranty on Workmanship

Ask the contractor about their workmanship warranty. This is very important because the leading cause of roof problems and leaks is the result of installation errors made by the contractor. Don't be swayed by long-term warranties provided by the manufacturer - these are limited product warranties with coverage predicated on the contractor installing the product correctly. In other words, if the product isn't installed according to the manufacturer's specifications, the warranty may be void. This is as true of the roof that is six months old as it is for a roof that is 50 years old, regardless of the warranty.

#5 - References

Look for a contractor with a proven track record that offers a list of client references. Some contractors will provide testimonials from satisfied clients which is good, but if you really want to get a sense of the quality of the experience, you're going to want to call a few of the contractors references.

But when you call, don't simply ask the reference if they were satisfied - think about and ask questions specific to your perceptions and concerns, and the factors that may be causing you some anxiety about the project. Here are some examples...

Ask the reference if the workers were as professional and nice as the salesperson who sold you the project.

Ask the references if the contractor made efforts to protect their landscaping and the facade of their home during the shingle removal process, and ask him how it went.

Ask about the quality of the cleanup after the project was completed. Did the contractor leave the home as clean as it was when they found it, or were there nails and cigarette butts left in the yard or driveway for example?

Another very important question to ask is is the project's final price was it higher than the price they were originally quoted? And if so why?

In the end the homeowners ability to have a positive hassle-free roofing experience is predicated on their willingness to do the necessary homework, and ask plenty of questions. Professional roofing contractors who act in the best interest of their customers will not be put off by you wanting to verify this criteria. The professional roofer is proud to tell you the efforts that they've made to be the contractor of choice for so many customers, and the steps they take to ensure a successful project for everyone involved.

Roofing Warranties Explained by Roofing Contractor


a Merritt Island man blames defective shingles for leaks in his new roof and says the company will not honor its warranty he's one of several owners who contacted Action 9 about bad shingles from the same manufacturer daddy you're a crook hello and welcome everyone to roofing insights today we're talking about roofing warranties couple weeks ago we published video best and worst roofing manufacturers roofing shingles and today kind of continuing that topic continuing to talk about initial quality in a paper work that comes with it if you're in the market for a new roof you must watch this video to the end thank you so much for coming in this video I'm not going to review all the words I'm gonna kind of review them in bulk for several reasons one of them is legal reason I'm not a lawyer I actually discuss roofing warranties with my lawyer I read a fine print almost and every single one of them and I'm here to tell you you do want to read the fine print experts told Steve the new shingles have blistered and failed but now Steve says the company refused to replace them what's been a nightmare I mean it's going on five years now this video is designed to help you understand the roofing warranty in general whether installer or homeowner who is about to hire contractor hire a company because the roofing warranty are very very misleading listen you a little wiseacre I'm smart you're dumb I'm big you're little I'm right you're wrong and there's nothing you could do about it I'm gonna answer questions like can your roof real the last 50 years and where 50 years they've been coming from so let's get started with a little history here so back in the day I would say 10 20 30 years ago most roofs looked like this asphalt shingles architectural shingles were selling in the United States as a 25 or 30 years shingle five six years ago one of the biggest players in industry came in and introduced 50 year warranty they also call it lifetime few other big players follow up with it and they in order to compete so we'll shingle reasonably last that long did any manufacturer really improve the process and make products so different that doubled their lifetime no changes were made obviously but not major as a matter of fact most installers are reporting that in the last five six years quality of the shingles are going down that's why here at roofing insights I keep telling people that look at the initial quality don't believe the marketing don't believe what you see don't believe the promises don't believe the paperwork don't believe them even warranty promises see this junker I paid $100 for her she's got 120,000 miles on it transmission shot bumpers have fallen off what do I do with her hmm I sell it go with your gut if product is not good and warranty is good and some manufacturers even told me dimension we know our product is not the best out there but our warranty is what does it even mean so I'm gonna compare roofing warranty to car warranty just for the sake of comparison and so it's easily for you to understand and relate as far as life expectancy and what you can expect from roofing shingles for example in Minneapolis in northern climate Department of Labor actually came out with a few article and said roof expectancy in Minneapolis is about 18 years so how do manufacturers get away offering 50 year warranty I'm gonna explain it on a simple chart here so in a car industry you've seen this war engines - so Carl I've two directions drill you run it backwards the numbers go down watch you speed if you buy a brand-new car it's it has to last at least hundred thousand an engine and transmission right and when you buy that car and you buy that warranty you know it's gonna exceed that so lifetime probably going to be northern of two hundred fifty thousand now it doesn't mean that it's a bad product it just means that it's extended warranty now in the world roofing world it's completely different so life expectancy on average asphalt shingle roof it's about twenty I would say on the high end on a good good product thirty years very close to what it used to be five ten years ago that twenty five thirty I firmly believe that's very close to 100,000 miles from the car today that's reasonable expectation of good quality shingle now unfortunately a lot of roofs do fail right around that eighteen twenty again it depends where you live so if you live and wear a lot of snow a lot of hail happens a lot of you know winds your roof will age much faster as a matter of fact a lot of times even different slope in the same house gonna age differently sometimes we come in and in a sunny side that's on this side is getting too much Sun gets baked all the time it's gonna be you know way older or look older than other so reasonable expectations is eighteen twenty if you leave you know in the climates where nothing really happening you don't have extreme heat so you don't have extreme colds you can expect 2530 years can your roof last fifty years I mean in the perfect scenario it can we roofers rarely see asshole shingle past at thirty years usually shingle losses all of these features have become super super dry at the end of the day it's gonna lose most of it granules and you'll see the mat and the water gonna start saturating unlike metal as a matter of fact one of the reasons I think shingle manufactures came up with a fifty year warranty to begin with because they have to compete with the better products they have to compete with the metal roofs with the clay roofs we tiler roofs and those roofs will last 50 years so asphalt shingle manufacturers they were competing against 50 years and there is nothing they could do asphalt roofs not gonna last 50 years so asphalt shingles instead of developing something new they pretty much developed new warranty that's all it is the biggest change was done on paper not actually in the process warranties are only as good as the company behind them these homeowners thought the shingle warranty would cover defects they had no idea how limited that coverage really is now a lot of manufacturing I give them tons of credit guys like malarkey guys like Atlas even being in competition game with the biggest players out there they still say well we don't believe it our warranty is twenty years and it's legit we're gonna cover it bumper-to-bumper so pretty much it would be your hundred K on the car they say yeah we know our roof can last thirty years but we're gonna cover it for 20 years and no matter what gonna happen after 20 years it's kind of you but you get everything out of it if something happens we're going to cover it all so few things that I have to tell you about the warranties in itself because it is a little bit different than buying your car so you usually have three kind of coverages it doesn't matter what manufacturer almost you choose you you have your out-of-the-box coverage which usually 1 to 5 years you don't hire contractor you do it yourself you follow instructions this was you're gonna get you're not gonna register it what the manufacturer is pretty much getting coverage on a shingle so long now if you use a contractor and who is certified with that brand who's gonna register it for you you you should expect at least 10 years out of the roof if you hire professional contractor who has a good relationship with the manufacturer who's gonna use their accessories and so on and then you have in Haynes warranty or extra coverage so those coverages is where you probably have to pay a little bit more for the warranty a lot of manufacturers they figure out just like when you go to McDonald's McDonald's makes more money selling sodas and fries and just you know pretty much on extras this with the roofing manufacturers roofing manufacturers wants you to buy a warranty but to do to buy a warranty you have to buy more components besides shingles you have four other components it's your starter strip it's your ice and water barrier it's your felt paper and it's your hip and reaching goes now even when you do that you have to be really careful and read the fine print because even installers I'm blown away how many how many installers do not read the warranties and still defend the product when we publish best and worst roofing shingle manufactures a lot of people started defining ico dynasty and for that because there's so many people defending in so many installers I decided to include few pieces from their warranty in this video and that's the only warranty I'm gonna talk about so this is directly from their website limited warranty information table and you can see on the left name of the shingle and they have all their products dynasty that most installers defining is a good product and I believe it could be good product but their warranty is not as good it says right here maximum liability dollar limit per square it's only $40.00 I want you to think about it golden rate for something like dynasty it's anywhere from 350 to 400 dollars depends where you in the country right now that's what you're gonna pay it's not gonna even cover it's pretty much half of the material cost alone so your biggest cost and the roofing in style is labor to remove labor to in style permit dumpster stuff like that it's not even the product product it's only 30 percent of your job and would I like your brand you're only getting 40 dollars of it this example came comes from IKEA warranty manufacturing defect resulting in leaks is found in January two thousand thirty four in shingles purchased with a twenty five year limited warranty the shingle were purchased in January 2016 18 years or a total of 260 month have elapsed since purchase IQs warranty obligation will be reduced by there's a formula so IQ maximum obligation would be 14% how would you feel if you buying 25 year warranty you're thinking you're here your roof is failing here and the only getting 14 percent as a matter of fact most roofs do fail in my experience or start major problems from here to here 5 to 10 years 1 to 5 years you you rarely see major problems you will have problems with the sealants if it's not ceiling you have a blow offs so here's a few things that you must look if your warrant and I don't care what manufacturer it is but there's a three things every warranty has and you have to be very very careful first thing is wind warranty and blah so your sales guy will tell you that your roof has pounded and 30 miles per hour wind warranty well doesn't mean anything that's like hurricane but then lower the warrant you will say well yeah that's the wind warranty but I first five years and for sealants so if you have blow ups after that it's on you Wallace runs a roofing inspection company and has to tell homeowners warranty fine print doesn't pay labor usually two-thirds of a new roof cost well I've got a warranty and that's when you find out your warranty doesn't cover very much when there's a beeper you have to call a roofing company nobody gonna come nobody gonna repair it for free it's out of your pocket so look for exclusions for women blow offs another one this one is really big and it's becoming bigger algae so if you if your house have a lot of trees around it even the best roof out there it's not going to look like this after a couple years it's gonna look very bad horrible horrible algae strikes will start growing on it one of the reasons for it because a lot of manufacturers you a limestone so limestone pretty much feeds algae change materials because they were cheaper would get it but now you literally start feeling the El Djem so good manufacturers will give you I would say 15 20 year warranty for LG and the last one is prorated versus not priority you need to understand the payout by the company don't just buy 50 year warranty and pay for it let's say twenty five hundred dollars thinking that you cover it for life now you have to understand what's per rate is sometimes it will be like this sometimes it'll be prorated appear at ten and the rest of it you know like if you have a claim on fifteen years this fifty year warranty that you think you got after fifteen years only pays you let's say you got $10,000 after fifteen years you're only getting three thousand dollars I want to close this video with the following statement roofing warranty are important they are super important as important as a product but I would highly highly recommend choose the best product first in my previous video link in below you can find what we recommend top three brands certainteed Atlas and Owens Corning and we have reason to recommend them we don't install two of them we install one of them but we believe that those products stand behind their warranties now if somebody comes to me and say well what about this product they have good warranty for me I would rather choose a shingle that I know and see the better initial quality then believe in the paper work at a competitor that just means I hope I help somebody to choose new product again you have to do your research on your own if you're looking for the contractor we would like to connect you here at the roofing insights we don't charge contractors and homeowners for connection we do it for free we do it just because we're trying to help as many people as possible we have a big big network of roofing contractors all over the country so if you the homeowner and looking for good reputable contractor in your area and we cannot help you in we only serve Minneapolis and Florida Orlando market but if you have let's say Texas or Colorado or Chicago we don't care where you're from send us a message go to our website roofing in size com submit the form say hey dementia I'm looking for contractor in this area and I'll do my best to connect you with somebody that I can put my name on for recommendation thank you so much guys for coming we'll see you in the next video thanks for watching another one of my videos don't forget 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