Roofing projects can become very expensive and stressful to deal with. Especially if you need a big project such as a new roof replacement. More yet, if you think that you need a quick fix and the roofing company tells you that you need much more than that. The bigger the project the more you want to make sure you understand what the solution is, the materials they are going to use, and that the price is reasonable.

Are you a licensed roofing contractor?

The great majority of states require roofers to have a roofing contractor licensed in their state of practice. Knowing that this a regulated profession already helps to build trust between the homeowner and the roofer. That helps to ensure that the professional is competent and follows rules and regulations by a third-party organization. In Hawaii, this profession falls under the “C” specialty contractor license according to the Department of Commerce and Consumer AffairsDCCA Hawaii. This is similar for electrical contractors, drywallers, painters, landscapers, and general contractors.

Making sure the worker is licensed is the first step when looking to hire a roofing contractor. This type of bond adds protection should any problem occur with the work.

Do you have workman’s comp insurance and liability insurance?

Workman’s comp is a must. It ensures protection to the workers on your roof in case of a work injury or accident. Liability will protect you a roofing company about any damage to the property.

What is your experience and your team?

Not all licensed roofers have the same experience. In this type of job having a license is not enough. In fact, most may start as carpenters or handyman and as they get exposed to roofing workers they start to learn. Others are born in the roofing as a family business as just learn all along. We suggest that you verify if the owners of the company are roofers themselves or if they just subcontract. Chances are that their standards are much higher if they are on the job too along with the team.

Get all contact details of the company. Are they local?

You should know exactly the name of the contractor who inspects your roof and gives you the recommendations and quote, the name of the company, where they operate from, and their phone number. Not having access to any of these details is a red flag. Besides knowing the name of the company you should also know who will, be the contractor in charge of the project – basically who do you call or talk to should you have questions during the project? It will provide you peace of mind just to know

In the past couple of years we all have been aware of the importance to support local. Not only that, but a lot can go wrong with a roof. You want to hire someone local to make sure they have a reputation to defend, and also that you can access them easily should you have any problems after the work is done.

For a new roof installation, will you remove my roof?

Some roofers may suggest to shingle over your roof, called re-roofing. This option will certainly be attractive to you because the price is much lower. However, you should be aware that this is not the best bank for your buck. Some shingle may be rotten or soft, and shingling over it will add significant weight to the entire roof. We have been called to some houses due to a collapsed portion of a roof or mold creation in the ceiling after homeowners decided to have it re-roofed. Most professionals will remove you roof, but to be sure, you need to ask.

Do you use a container for refuse?

As the workers remove the old roof, they will need to put it somewhere. You certainly don’t want a mess in your yard. Let alone, to deal with it and worry about where to take it. It is the responsibility of the company to ensure proper disposal of the roofing material, and you should not be asked to do so.

What is a good roofing warranty?

There are two types of warranty. Materials and workmanship warranty. For materials, depending on the type and manufacturer, you should be looking at a minimum 25 years for any defects on materials. Some go up to lifetime warranty. This is one of the reasons why we love to work with GAF and CertainTeed. Their materials are such good quality that they have some of the best warranties in the marketplace. A good roofer will explore the different materials with and the pros and cons including the warranty.

Workmanship warranty is a standard for all good Oahu roofing companies. It basically tells you the company will go back to fix anything that may have gone wrong with their work. We do not recommend that you choose a roofer who can’t provide you both these warranties.

Do you provide written estimates?

When the cost is high you should be able to see a breakdown of the components to understand why is high. A written estimate shows clearly what is included and what is not. It is the only way to avoid surprised, and trust that what you are paying is right. A written estimate also protects the roofing company and therefore there is no reason for a serious roofing company to not do it.

What will you do if there is a inclement weather?

Everyone always hope for good weather on each project. As you can imagine, that is not what happens a lot of the times, and they have to be prepared to secure their work in any event. Basically, just ask them how thy secure their work in the event of rain or strong wind during the project.

What space do you need from my yard and driveway?

Roofers need a lot of space to store their equipment. They will have trucks, ladders, benches, tables, tools, dumpsters. Be sure to ask how they will organize everything and work it out for the best of both parties. Do they have ladders with stabilizers? If you have a beautiful yard with flowers and trees you want to make sure that is left intact. You want to avoid weight from the ladders on your gutters. You may or may not need your driveway free for your own car, that is why these details should be discussed, instead of waking up in the morning and finding your driveway full of trucks blocking your car.