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If the roofer isn’t insured, you could be held liable for medical expenses from injuries that may occur to the workers on your property. The contractor’s license should also be in good standing for your municipality.
The contractor should not only give you a timeline for the project’s completion, but also outline his policy for weather-related delays. Also, find out if the contractor will start on any other jobs before your roofing project is completed.
Listen for specific measures that are taken to ensure worker safety (harnesses, heavy equipment, etc.). Don’t settle for a vague statement like, “Well, they try not to fall off the roof!”
Make sure the roofer agrees to clean up all shingle pieces, wood remnants, and other assorted debris before he departs. That’s part of what you’re paying them for.
Roofing materials will come with product warranties. But you should also inquire about whether the contractor guarantees the labor and installation itself. Reputable roofers will stand behind their work with a labor warranty.
Ask what forms of payment the contractor accepts. More importantly, inquire about any deposits that are necessary. Any deposit shouldn’t be more than about 10% of the total estimate, or be paid until the materials arrive at the work site.
Try to get two or three references of past jobs … and then check them out. Not only should you examine the work in person, but ask homeowners if the roofing projects were completed on time and at a cost in accordance with the estimate.
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Though they can’t predict the future, a good contractor can list possible issues that may result in the job costing more — like discovering extensive water damage underneath an old roof, for example.
If so, get all of the pertinent information about the subcontractors (name, license, insurance, etc.). Then make sure you find out specifically who will be overseeing the actual work on-site.