One of the biggest concerns most homeowners have prior to a roof construction or replacement job is what all the project will entail. The average person probably doesn’t know the finer details of roofing, which can leave them dissatisfied when the finished project doesn’t match the one they envisioned.
For this reason, it pays to find out the entire scope of the project well before any papers are signed. You don’t want to leave anything out. After all, no matter how great the contractor, he or she is only responsible for the work lined out in the contract. Don’t set yourself up for failure by neglecting to go over exactly what your project will entail.
Here are some good questions to ask your prospective contractor before beginning your next project.
What tools and materials will you be using?
Ultimately, a roof can only be as good as the sum of its parts. While a great roofer may be able to salvage poor-quality materials to create a basic roof that gets the job done, it will never be as safe, as effective, or as cost-efficient as one built with modern, top-of-the-line equipment.
What materials will go into your new roof? What equipment does the team have at their disposal, and are they qualified to use it? Will they have access to industry-leading technology, such as the Owens Corning Total Protection roofing system?
Will you remove my existing roof?
Among the most important aspects of getting a new roof is making sure the old one is removed first. While tearing the old roof off may be slightly more expensive up-front, it will allow for a better, more thorough inspection of any damaged or rotten sections along valleys, eaves, rakes, sidewalls, and chimneys, and allows for new flashing to be installed.
Removing the existing roof also comes with other benefits. Excessive layers build up heat, which will eventually curl and damage the singles on the roof, so fewer layers generally equates to a longer-lasting roof. Likewise, extra layers will also decrease the resale value of the home, so getting the original roof removed is always a better deal in the long-run.
If damage is found, how will you repair it?
Ask the contractor if their team will take care of repairing any damaged or defective decking after the original roof has been removed. How will they handle water damage? What about damage from insects or pests?
How will you protect my home?
Repairing existing damage is a vital part of the roof replacement process, but so is preventing damage in the future. The project itself is expensive enough; the last thing you need is extra expense of replacing anything that gets broken.
What protective measures will the company take? How will the team protect your garden, garage, attic, and deck from damage? What about vegetation and lawn ornaments? What specific tools will the team use to ensure that falling debris doesn’t land on anything? After the job is done, will the team pick up and safely dispose of all trash and debris present?
What are your exclusions?
In other words, what won’t your company do? In some ways, knowing what a contractor won’t do can be just as helpful as knowing what they will. For instance, if a contractor says they aren’t responsible for property damage, you may want to seek a safer option.
What is the project timeframe and estimated time of completion?
Your contractor should be able to give you an accurate schedule for every stage of the project. While unexpected complications can always arise, you should never be in the dark about what deadlines are in place and what measures will be taken if something doesn’t go according to schedule.
When will your team show up? How long is everything going to take? What happens in the event of rain, snow, or other inclement weather? If the project goes too long past the scheduled date of completion, will a liquidated damages clause come into effect?
What if something goes wrong?
Finally, what steps will the company take in the event that something goes wrong? Accidents happen after all, and even the most cautious contractor can’t prepare for everything. For this reason, it’s just as important to know how the team will repair any damage they cause as it is to know how they’ll try to prevent it from happening in the first place.
What kind of insurance does the contractor have? Do they offer general liability insurance, protecting you in the case of property damage? What about workers’ compensation, in the event that an employee gets injured on the job?
For more information about what to look for in a great contractor for your next roofing project, download our free informative guide, Questions to Ask Any Roofing Contractor, and find out everything you need to know to build a safe, effective, and long-lasting roof.