The 11 Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractor

Apr 11, 2017

The 11 Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractor

Not all roofers fully disclose the kind of practices they’re willing to undertake to finish your project and what the rights of each party involved are. You need to be on top of it. And we’ve gathered eleven questions you need to ask your contractor for you to be just that.

1. Who Oversees the Hiring of a Roofing Inspector?

Depending on the extent of your home’s structural issues, your inspector can pay you one or a multiple of visits to foresee any imminent complications that could arise mid-project and if a building permit will need to be obtained for your roofing project to be legal.

2. Do I Need a Building Permit?

Permits are only necessary in cases where structural changes are part of the project, this includes altering living space size, wall removal, new openings for doors and windows, and so on. Projects that are meant to replace an already existent structural component will most likely not need a permit, as is the case with replacing a siding, roof, floor, window, or door. But do consult with your contractor and inform yourself of any possible structural changes set to take place.

If your inspector finds that your home’s electrical system will need to be altered in some way to accommodate your new roof, you’ll need to obtain an electrical permit before work begins. The same goes for plumbing, gas, and occupancy permits, all of which need to be acquired separately for your project to be up to par with your area’s structural standards.

3. How Long Will the Project Take to Be Completed?

Once your contractor approximates a possible start and end date for the entire breadth of your project, the daily routine needed to complete daily tasks in a timely manner can then be clearly defined. Get a full and detailed schedule from your contractor

4. Will You Provide the Supplies Needed for the Job?

Who’s responsible for what supplies rests on the terms of the contract. The terms should clearly state who’s in charge of paying for what, and if there’s ambiguous language being used in this clause, ask your contractor for clarification. If you don’t do this, you might sign on paying for supplies that ought to be provided by them.

5. What Roofing Material Works Best for My Home?

Which roofing material to go for ultimately depends on what you want out of your new roof. Do you live in a warm or chilly climate? Do you have a sloped or flat roof? Is your attic properly insulated? Many questions should come to mind when choosing between the different roofing materials.

Insulation, energy-efficiency, appearance, strength, affordability, longevity and many more qualities characterize a roofing material. If you in a Southwestern state where hot weather is consistent, metallic, slate, or ceramic tiles are ideal as they work best under heat stress and keep the living quarters of your home cool, and last 50 – 100 years. Not to mention their affinity to bringing those cooling costs down to a minimum.

For something a bit more antiquated with excellent indoor insulation, wood shingles or shakes are first on the list. Nothing comes close in terms of aesthetic appeal for your wood windows better than those beautiful wood roofs.

For a detailed rundown of each material’s benefits and approximate labor prices, read What You Need to Know About the Five Roofing Materials.

6. What Are the Steps Involved with Completing the Project?

Each stage of advancing the project to be completed should be presented to you prior to the work with all the players, from the property manager to the construction manager, made to know about each step needed to finish the project on time. And if your roofing is part of a major transformation of your house, a landscape designer and architect will also join the team for a piece of the pie.

7. What Are the Terms of Payment?

The terms of payment can vary greatly from project to project. Some people argue that the ideal money down percentage is 10% – 15% while others deem it to be 25% – 50%. No matter the case, understand that the main advantage your contractor has when given a big down payment is leverage. Down payment money is leveraging money. When things aren’t going as planned, the contractor has most of the money for the project in hand.

Don’t ever pay the full amount from the start, level the playing field for your budget and make sure every successive stage is followed by a percentage of what you owe to create an incentive and to keep the project moving. If, on the other hand, you’re funding the project with a home improvement loan, make sure your contractor knows how their payment is going to be subsidized with your lender’s consultation.

8. Is a “Mechanic’s Lien” Put Against My Property?

A “mechanic’s lien” is held against a property in case a subcontractor or supplier for a project hasn’t been paid or hasn’t been paid in full. Just like when you create an incentive for the contractor to work on your project by withholding incremental payments until a later stage, the contractor, subcontractor, or supplier use a lien to create an incentive for you to pay it on time because if you don’t, they could foreclose on your property. Therefore, you should always pay them in joint checks and not in cash.

9. How Much Time Do I Have Before I Can’t Cancel the Contract?

Don’t settle for a no cancellation policy, every reasonable contract includes a period (3 days usually) after a signature in which a homeowner can cancel the deal altogether.

10. What Safety Precautions Will You Take Mid-Project?

Remember, you can add a clause of your own to the contract regarding anything to do with the job. If you have children and you’re worried about all those tools, ladders, and sharp objects lying around, include a clause defining the safety violations that must be adhered to on your property and that you reserve the right to cancel the contract mid-project if necessary with no obligations left on you.

11. What Warranty Terms Will You Grant Me?

For the most part, warranties on the roofing material, finished product, and labor vary, so ask your contractor about what each of them entails and how you can protect your roof in case things go bad.

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