When you need roofing services, it can be overwhelming to know where to start! If you live in a big city, choosing a local roofer to get the job done can be quite daunting. You may hit Google and find pages upon pages of results for “the best local roofer in town,” but how do you actually find a trustworthy roofer? We’re going to help you.
Whether you need someone specializing in commercial jobs or residential homes, our guide will help steer you in the right direction and ensure that you end up with high-quality results that protect your big investment.
What You Want in a Roofer
Everyone has their own opinions or even some deal-breakers, but there are some definite must-haves to look for when hiring a roofer.
The best roofers will:
- Be well-trained and highly experienced
- Licensed in your area
- Insured and bonded
- Offer FREE estimates or consultations
Services You Should Look For
In addition to qualities in a good roofer, you should also look for a roofer who supplies the following services (at least):
- Roof inspections
- Roof repair
- Roof replacement
- Storm damage restoration
- Roof maintenance or cleaning
- Insulating and ventilating
Tips for Vetting Local Roofers
When it comes time to find a local roofer, you’re going to want to consider a few things that can help vet them and help you find the best of the best. When you’re getting work done on your home, you don’t want to hire just anyone. You want (and need) your roofer to be reliable, trustworthy, hardworking, and come with beneficial warranties and other features that make them stand out among the crowd.
Here are some tips for vetting local contractors so you can find the best one that suits your needs (and budget).
Read Through Reviews—Good and Bad
Just like when you make an online purchase or a big purchase, you will want to read through reviews to find out if the thing you want is indeed a good choice. When you first head to your search engine to look up local roofers, look at the reviews.
Make sure you look at both the star rating, but also the number of reviews. For example, if a roofer has a 5-star rating but only two reviews, that’s not exactly reputable. But if they have four stars out of 100 reviews, that’s almost more intriguing because of how many people were willing to leave reviews. So they’re more worth looking into.
Make sure to read the top reviews, of course, but also anything three and under. Those reviews can be very telling of a roofer, especially if you see recurring issues. For example, maybe people had consistent issues with reliability and the roofers not having a quick response time to calls and emails. This can be a deal-breaker for many, so be mindful and diligent as you go through their reviews.
Look for Certifications and Licenses
Particularly when hiring roofers, you want to make sure they are actually certified and licensed. There’s nothing worse than thinking that someone has your back (literally) but having them not be vetted within their own industry.
Certifications come directly from manufacturers as proof that this contractor has done the education and training to properly install their shingles.
And licenses and insurance indicate that these local roofers take the time to protect their business through industry standard practices with licensure and insurance.
Check Their Location vs. Service Areas
Contractors may claim they are local but actually provide service to a large state-wide area. If they can pull it off and maintain both quality and efficiency, that’s amazing.
But local roofers with massive service areas can sometimes be a red flag and is something to be mindful of. It may affect their ability to be readily available with questions or concerns. It’s also a good sign they don’t have an office and instead work remotely from vehicles across the state.
Review Their Website—Does it Look Professional?
A bad website can be a major turnoff for anyone, especially in today’s digital age. A professional roofer should have a website that is not only helpful for you to get your questions answered but also looks clean and well-designed.
Look for Testimonials on Their Website
Testimonials are an added bonus, and another sign that this contractor can be trusted and reliable—and their customers were so happy they provided real testimonials about a job well done. Some roofers will even provide video testimonials from satisfied clients. To us, that shows dedication, honor, and a commitment to their customers.
Check Which Services They Offer
Offering too many services can be an excellent way to pull your company in way too many directions. Meanwhile, offering too little can mean you don’t have good processes in place to provide well-rounded, complete services to customers.
Be mindful of any local roofer who is too far one way or the other. A nice balance of roofing service that includes gutters, maintenance, and repair is vital to finding a good roofer dedicated to mastering one particular set of skills—providing you with the best service possible.
Do They Offer Warranties?
Warranties are a lifesaver when it comes to roofing. Roofing manufacturers will offer certain warranties on product defects that can make a huge difference when repairs come along too soon. Also, a roofer who offers a workmanship warranty is one that you can rely on. They stand by their work so much that they’re willing to guarantee it for 10+ years.
Red Flags to Look for When Hiring a Roofing Contractor
There are big red flags to watch for when you’re on the hunt for a local roofer. The tips above can help guide you in the right direction, but some things should stop you in your tracks before going further with a potential roofer.
Also known as storm chasers, these contractors flock to an area recently hit with storm damage to make some quick cash. They are often from out of state, and they’ll go to an area, knocking on doors, telling people they have damage that needs to be repaired. They’ll take payment, do a quick job, and take off like they were never there. Watch out for these guys!!
Unwilling to Give References
Any roofer who doesn’t have good customer or contractor references might be hiding something. References are a great way to see if the contractor is reliable, does quality work, and follows through on their promises.
Exaggerating Storm Damage
A trustworthy roofer will do an inspection of your roof and take photos of any damage they find, plus give you a thorough review plus their recommendations of repair needed (or not). If you ever get a gut feeling that the roofers are exaggerating their findings, and won’t show you what they found, maybe get another opinion before signing any paperwork.
Unreasonably Low Estimates
If you’re getting an estimate that seems too good to be true, it probably is. There should always be a range of prices for the same project and if they give one price right off the bat with no explanation or other options—watch out!
Don’t Have a Portfolio (or a Website)
A great roofer will have a portfolio of their work available to show you. If they don’t, then that’s another red flag and reason enough to back away from them before doing business together. Sometimes they don’t keep their portfolio on their website, but you can ask for pictures of past projects, and if they don’t have any or won’t send them, maybe try somewhere else.
Asking for Money Upfront
Ideally, a contractor should not ask for any money upfront. There may be some cases where a deposit is required (like if they need to order materials), but the final payment shouldn’t be due until the job is completed to your satisfaction.
Any roofer who is coming at you with high-pressure sales tactics might have dollar signs in their eyes. They don’t care about the customer or the job as long as they get paid. Or, they are pressuring you to close because they’re desperate and need your business to stay afloat.
A truly trustworthy and reliable contractor puts the customer first and won’t try to over-sell you in any capacity. It’s up to you to follow your gut and hire the right contractor.
If you’re still unsure about whether or not a roofer is trustworthy, keep in mind that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a great resource to check. They have ratings and reviews for businesses, so you can know if any complaints have been filed against them in the past.
Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractor
Finally, there are some vital questions you can answer when you’ve narrowed down your options to one or a few local roofers. This is your opportunity to ask them precise, granular questions about how they run their business, how long it will take them, what kind of values they have, etc. So go ahead and dig deep—this is a big investment after all!
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you use subcontractors?
- How long will it take to replace/repair my roof?
- What warranties do you offer (if any)?
- What safety measures do you take to keep your team safe?
- How will you make sure my landscaping and siding is protected?
- How do you dispose of debris? Will there be a giant dumpster in my driveway?
- How will you access my roof?
- Do I need to be present while you work?
- Who’s my point of contact?
- Do you offer financing options?
- What brands/styles of roofs do you install?
- Do you have any design software to see what my new roof will look like?
- Can I see samples of shingles?
- How do you conduct inspections?
- Do you offer attic insulation?
- Do you provide maintenance of my roof throughout its lifespan?
- Can I see your license and insurance before we begin?
- Do you offer 24/7 emergency repairs?
- What if I’m not happy with the final result?
This is just a small example of questions you can and should ask before officially hiring your local roofer to work on your home. Check out even more hard-hitting questions to ask your contractor here.
If this all sounds way too daunting to handle, then we can help! Apple Roofing not only has great reviews from our wonderful customers but has a thriving culture that ensures our team is solid and happy, which carries over into every job we do.
Apple Roofing was founded by two Midwesterners with the mission of giving everyone an excellent roofing experience, from start to finish—and that’s what you’ll get when you work with us. To schedule your FREE estimate, contact us today!