Skip to content
Home > Blog > What To Ask a Roofer Before Hiring: A Guide

What To Ask a Roofer Before Hiring: A Guide

roofer on top of roof already hired

Fixing or replacing a roof is a major home improvement project, and requires careful consideration before signing on with a contractor. Even the most well-researched homeowner might find they have lots of questions about the process. Wondering what to ask a roofer before hiring them? Here, we’ve put together 10 questions that you can ask in order to get all the information you need to make the right decision for your home and budget. Need a roofer? Use Instant Roofer’s handy find a roofer tool to get started today. 

1. Are you licensed and insured?

When it comes to finding a roofing professional, the old adage, you get what you pay for, is often very applicable. That’s why this question is a good place to start if you’re wondering what to ask a roofer before hiring them. Sure, you can hire your neighbor or the person down the street to fix your roof, but you’re not likely to have high-quality results. Unless, of course, they happen to be a professional roofer! 

One of the best ways to find a qualified roofing professional is to ensure they’re both licensed and bonded, and that they have insurance. These are often signs you’ve found a professional who cares about the work they do, and are willing to back up their results. 

2. Can you provide references and/or a portfolio from past clients?

Looking at some of the work your chosen professional has done is a great way to get a sense of the quality of their craftsmanship. If their portfolio of previous jobs is full of roofs that look sloppy and unprofessional or they aren’t reaching their expected lifespans, you may want to steer clear of that contractor and choose someone whose work you can depend on. 

3. What is the estimated cost of the project?

This is a great question to ask once you’ve narrowed your search down to just a few contractors. You’ll likely find that each quote will be slightly different in price, and they may even vary on what they include or don’t include in the price they quote you. When you receive several quotes from different contractors, it’s important to take the time to sit down and look over them thoroughly so you have a good understanding of the scope of your roofing project, along with what’s included and what’s not. It’s also helpful to take a look at a roof replacement cost calculator before signing on the dotted line, just to make sure the price you’ve been quoted is fair. 

4. What is the expected timeline for the project?

This is something that will likely be covered in the price quote your contractor will hand you before you sign off on the project. With a large project like a roof replacement, you will likely want it done as expediently as possible, since there will be a lot of noise, and your home’s roofing structure will be exposed to the elements during the job. 

It’s normal to wonder how long does it take to replace a roof, so don’t be afraid to speak up and ask the question! Of course, the answer will vary based on lots of factors, like the size of your roof, the roofing material to be used, the size of the construction crew and others. So be sure to prompt your potential roofing professional to give you a solid timeline for the project. That way, you’ll know what to expect when your roof is replaced.  

5. Will you handle the necessary permits for the project?

For many homeowners, permits are a necessary evil when it comes to major home renovation projects. Especially if you live in a town or suburb, your county likely requires you to obtain the proper work permits prior to starting your project. And that often includes roofing. While you can obtain these permits on your own, a qualified roofing professional should be familiar with which permits you need, and can even obtain them for you. Knowing this information upfront can help avoid unnecessary project delays. 

6. What warranties do you offer for materials and labor?

Any qualified roofing professional should readily offer a warranty for their work. That’s why this question makes our list of what to ask a roofer before hiring them. Not sure whether the warranty is good? Do your research by calling several contractors and comparing the terms of their warranties. It’s also helpful to know how long a roof lasts (in your chosen roofing material) in order to have an understanding of how much of your roof’s useful life will be covered by the warranty you’re being offered. 

7. How do you handle cleanup and disposal of old materials?

If you’ve ever had a roof replaced, you know that putting down that nice, new roof is only half the battle. Replacing a roof is a messy job! You’ll likely have shingles and all sorts of leftover roofing materials to dispose of, so you want to make sure your roofing contractor will handle removal of those materials rather than leaving them strewn around your yard. 

8. Will you provide a detailed contract outlining the scope of work?

There’s no comfort like having a detailed, step-by-step roadmap of how your roofing project will go. That’s why you should ask your contractor if they’ll provide this before they start working. Alternatively, simply ask what will be included in the contract, and of course, read it very carefully, before signing. 

roofer standing in front of detailed historical roof

9. How do you handle unforeseen issues or changes during the project?

In any home improvement project, but particularly when it comes to roofing, things come up. Even a shift in the weather can throw your roofing project off track, as can things like a delay in materials arriving, worker illness or scope changes. While these things are unavoidable, it’s helpful to have an understanding of how your roofing professional and their team will handle them. 

10. What payment schedule do you require?

Rounding out our list of what to ask a roofer before hiring them is the ever-important question about payment. It’s no secret that replacing the roof on your home is a hugely expensive endeavor. As such, it’s unlikely that you’ll be paying for the project upfront with a lump sum payment (though if you are, kudos to you!). Be sure you and your contractor arrive at – and sign on – a payment schedule before the work on your roof begins. 

Fact Checked by Christin Perry 4/19/2024