A strong roof protects your home from hot summer days, downpours, strong winds, and much more, so finding out that your roof is missing shingles, leaking, or damaged after a storm can be devastating. If you’re wondering how to find a roofing contractor in your area with the applicable skill set and experience, this guide can help you do so in five easy steps.
From vetting to comparing estimates to getting your roofing project started, here’s how to find the right roofing contractor for your needs.
- Finding a reputable roofing contractor is equally as critical for minor roof repairs as it is for an entire roof replacement.
- Steps to find a quality contractor include researching, vetting, getting estimates, comparing quotes and finalizing documents.
- While some DIY roofing projects are possible we recommend hiring professionals that are used to the risk involved and possess the skills needed to do the job well.
5 Steps for Researching and Finding a Roofer
Finding a reputable roofing contractor is equally as critical for minor roof repairs as it is for an entire roof replacement. And it may take some time to find one that checks all the boxes — knowledgeable, experienced, prompt — for the right price. Following this five-step process will ensure you’ll find just the right roofer to efficiently tackle your roofing needs.
1. Search for Local Roofing Contractors Near You
The first step in your rooftop contractor search is to make a list of around five local roofing contractors and companies in your area that perform the type of roofing job you need.
Make sure your list reflects your preferences when it comes to choosing an independent contractor or a roofing company. An independent contractor is often ideal for quick repairs because they work independently or with other subcontractors, but they may be slower for larger projects like roof replacement. A roofing company may change your point of contact throughout the process, but it often has more resources available for larger projects and may be able to get the job done sooner. A company might offer discounts or have the work covered by manufacturer warranties.
Here are a few of the best ways to find reputable roofing contractors:
- Ask local friends and family for a referral. One of the best ways of finding a roofer is to ask your friends and family about their experiences with local roofing companies. Both positive and negative reviews of local companies can help you compile a list of which contractors to avoid, and which come recommended.
- Perform a Google search. Complete an online search for local roofers in your area and research what kind of services they offer.
- Use our Zip Entry Tool to find local roofers. We’ll automatically connect you to top roofers near you, saving you time researching and combing through providers online.
2. Vet the Roofers You Find
Once you have your list of roofers, it’s time to dig in. You’ll want to take the following steps to vet them and weed out contractors with red flags. Likewise, you’ll find out which contractors have the best ratings and reviews.
Don’t forget that you can always ask a roofer for references or swing by their office to check things out.
Here are some of the best ways to vet possible roofing contractors:
- Look up each roofing company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. The Better Business Bureau is a reputable organization that rates businesses based on reviews and complaints. Some businesses are Better Business Bureau accredited, which can provide you with even more peace of mind.
- Search online for reviews of the business on Google. Both happy and unhappy customers can leave reviews of the contractor on Google. Check the company’s star rating and read through reviews. That said, we recommend taking these reviews with a grain of salt, as unhappy customers are more likely to leave a rating than happy customers, which can skew the overall rating. And you can never be sure that whoever left the review actually used the company’s services.
- Ask for a free consultation. Talking to the contractor can help clear up any doubts, questions, and concerns. Think about these questions when verbally vetting contractors:
- Are they thorough and happy to discuss different roofing solutions with you?
- Do they conduct themselves in a professional manner?
- What level of experience does the contractor have?
- Did they take you seriously and treat you respectfully?
- Is this someone you feel comfortable working with?
- Check the contractor’s license and general liability insurance. A good contractor will be more than happy to provide you with this information. If a contractor isn’t willing to provide you with their certifications and any other requested licensing accreditation or documentation, eliminate them from your list of candidates.
3. Get Estimates
After consulting with each potential roof contractor, gather the provided estimates to make your final decision. Ensure that each contractor gives you a written estimate that includes the entire scope of the project, materials, workers’ compensation, and cleanup process. A written quote is crucial — this way, both parties stay on the same page regarding the agreed-upon cost and timeline.
Ask each professional roofing contractor how they handle payment, what you owe upfront, and how they’ll stay within budget. If you’re not hiring a contractor for a roof replacement, ask them how much it will cost to replace the entire roof if they discover further roof damage on your old roof that could warrant a complete replacement.
4. Compare Quotes and Choose the Best
Remember, you get what you pay for (in most cases). While this doesn’t mean that the most expensive contractor is automatically the best choice, this does mean that you shouldn’t pick the cheapest contractor just to save money.
Saving money now could mean the job won’t be done right or your contractor won’t use quality roofing materials, which could leave you with more expensive repairs in the future. You should plan to ask if they have a manufacturer’s warranty for their product.
5. Finalize Documents and Prepare for Your Roofing Project
After selecting a contractor, arrange a final meeting with them to review the project. This meeting allows you to confirm the initial quote, decide on the payment plan, and create a paper trail, including project plans, bills and invoices, order changes, the contract, proof of insurance, and more.
Next, you’ll need to prepare your home for the roofing project. In addition to any specific instructions the contractor gives you, move your cars and other items away from the sides of the house to prevent falling roofing materials from hitting them.
Arrange for kids and pets to be inside or away from home during the hours your contractor works so they’ll stay safe.
Typical Roofing Services and Projects
Some of the most common roofing services and projects include:
- Roof replacement
- Shingle replacement
- Roof inspections for leaks and damage
- Shoveling snow or ice dams
- Roof cleaning
- Debris removing
- Sealing, painting, or treating (typically on wood or metal roofs)
Common Questions To Ask a Roofing Contractor
Before making your final decision, ask your roofing contractor the following questions:
- Do you offer a free estimate and on-site inspection?
- What types of roofs do you install?
- Do you have a current license and insurance?
- Does a manufacturer warranty back your work?
- How do you bill and invoice? Do you offer financing?
- What’s your inclement weather policy?
- How do you keep roofing projects on schedule?
- Can you provide references?
- Do you work with homeowners’ insurance to file claims?
Final Thoughts About Choosing a Roofing Contractor
Installing a new roof or making roof repairs is not a DIY project suitable for most homeowners. Roofing repairs should be handled by a reputable roofing contractor after a thorough roof inspection. This professional experience is critical when it comes to finding vulnerabilities in your roofing, suggesting proper roofing solutions, and executing the appropriate repairs safely and effectively.
We recommend homeowners get at least two to three quotes from roofing contractors to assess the differences between roofing companies, what they offer, and their pricing.
Use our Zip Entry tool to find local roofing contractors near you, and reach out to them today to start the process.
FAQs About Hiring a Roofing Contractor
How Do You Know if a Roofer Is Reliable?
Start by vetting the roofer by looking up the company’s Better Business Bureau rating and online reviews on Yelp or Google. Does it have a good rating? Do reviews reflect that its team finished the project on time and completed the agreed-upon work? Remember to listen to your gut when talking on the phone or meeting them for an initial consultation. If you get a bad feeling, move on to the next contractor until you feel at ease.
Do Roofers Offer Free Quotes?
Most roofers offer free quotes, especially when dealing with a larger roofing company. A free quote is typically included with the initial consult and assessment of your roof.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Quote From a Roofing Contractor?
You can usually expect a quote from a roofing contractor within ten days. However, some contractors may provide quotes as quickly as 48 hours. If a contractor offers you a quote on the spot during the consultation, this is a red flag. A reputable contractor needs time to review the project, calculate project material and installation costs, and much more, which can’t be done on the spot during a consultation.
How Much Do Roofing Contractors Cost?
According to our research, the average roof replacement costs around $11,000 in the U.S., but prices can range anywhere from $8,000 to $16,000+, depending on the size of your roof, the materials used, and where you live. Roof repair is much less expensive. Replacing asphalt shingles or making minor repairs is typically around $1,000 but can easily cost more depending on the severity of the repairs.