Things to Ask When Getting Roofing Quotes
Eventually, the time comes for some major home improvement: that moment when you need to install a new roof on your home. This is a costly task, but it’s also one of the most important, because it literally keeps a roof over your head!
While many other exterior projects exist — window treatments, moulding, siding, etc. — none of them quite compares to the crucial nature of a new roof. Without a great roof installation, your bedrooms could literally be covered in rainwater during the next thunderstorm.
For all these reasons and many more, you need to make sure that you hire roofing companies that you can trust to complete the project successfully and without delays. Further, if you need metal roofing work done, you’ll have to find someone that specializes in this work as well.
With all this in mind, let’s walk through the most important considerations to assess for how to hire a roofer to install a new roof on your home.
What Kinds of Roofing Projects Do They Specialize In?
Naturally, you will need to hire a roofer when you need your current roof replaced. Keep in mind, however, that you may also need to hire a roofer to do routine maintenance (do this approximately every 6-18 months) or for an inspection.
Some roofers are specialists when it comes to replacement and repairs, while others are better at brand new roofing installations. When hiring a roofer, make sure that you opt for one that’s an expert in the area that you need them.
Here’s a quick recap of roofing expert areas:
– New roof installation
– Roof replacement
– Occasional roofing repairs
– Routine maintenance
– Home roof inspection
How Long Will Your New Roof Last?
Roofs (along with the roof decking and drip edge) are one of the most important exterior aspects of your home. As such, they are built to last, but they won’t hold up forever.
There are too many factors — such as weather and natural disasters — to accurately predict exactly how long you can expect for your particular house’s roof. That said, a roof should last quite a long time, and the warranty should reflect that.
As far as the warranty itself is concerned, be sure that the details are clear and unambiguous. Specifically, take note of the length of the different warranties provided:
- The roofer’s workmanship ought to have a minimum of 5 years guaranteed
- The roof materials themselves should have a minimum of 20 years guaranteed (some will actually go as high as 40 years).
So, while there’s no hard and fast rule for how long your roof will last, in general they should hold up for at least 20 years, though some might last for as long as 50 years.
What Can You Expect Your Roof to Cost?
Like most things, there’s a range involved in the cost of a roof replacement. On the low end, you can anticipate paying about $5,000, though it can go up to as much as $10,000 or more for costlier materials, such as metal roofing.
The average runs about $7,600 for most homes, but this does not include materials or take differences of style into consideration.
Simply repairing your roof will be much less expensive, as you might expect. It may be as little as a few hundred dollars, or as much as a thousand dollars, or even more; it all depends on the nature of the damage (or wear and tear) that your roof has sustained.
Lastly, if you’re in need of someone to run an inspection or routine maintenance on a roof, the cost is often considerably less, somewhere on the range of a small repair. You can probably expect to spend a couple hundred dollars for these or similar services.
Here’s a quick recap of the estimated costs associated with different roofing work:
– Full replacement roof: $5,000-10,000
– Roof repairs: $300-$1,000
– Maintenance / inspection: $200
Now, we mentioned some pricing to consider above, but, again, those numbers don’t really take materials into account. As such, here are the prices you might expect from a roofing contractor including materials:
Depends greatly on the shingles or other materials you choose.
Materials can run from the $2,500 range all the way up to $25,000 on the extreme high end (assuming a home of about 2,000+ square feet.
The point is this: you do want to be cost-effective, but you do not want to hire someone that’s going to cut corners. A bad roof installation can cause a whole lot more problems than you bargained for.
Pro Tip: Get a Second Opinion
Similar to medical care or automotive work, when you’re looking for the right contractor to install your new roof, make sure that you get multiple estimates from a range of different companies.
While one might offer a lower price, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be the right contractor for you. On the other end, a higher cost doesn’t always entail a higher quality of work.
At the end of the day, roofing companies are not all created equal. Set up conversations with at least two or three different contractors in order to determine the most suitable fit for you and your home.
What To Look for in Roofing Contractors
Keeping all this in mind, here are some key questions and thoughts to consider when hiring a roofer to work on your home:
– Do they have experience with your area (new construction, replacement, etc.)?
– Can they can communicate and work with other contractors if necessary?
– If possible, find someone that’s local to your city, since they will know the area better than a big box store or chain.
– Read reviews and star-ratings from previous customers to gain a sense of their quality and experience.
– Get assurance that the contractors you’re considering have the appropriate licensing and certifications; different states require various licences.
Is It a Good Time of Year for Roofing Projects?
If you can wait until a dryer season such as spring or summer, it’s highly recommended that you do so. Wet seasons can not only present safety issues, but they can also damage the work while it’s being performed.
That being said, sometimes you simply cannot wait, as in the case of natural disasters, like tornadoes or a tree falling on your home. If that’s your situation, hire someone as quickly as you can, but understand that there may be more difficulties involved.
How Long is this Project Going to Take?
Now, you have a solid idea of what to anticipate and how to go about hiring a roofer for whatever project your house happens to be in need of. Next, let’s go through the timeline of what to expect after you’ve hired a roofing contractor for your home.
First, you’ll need to ensure that your contractor has acquired the necessary permits for the work to begin, that their workers are covered by workers compensation insurance (get proof of insurance from the company), and that your insurance company has approved the work itself as well.
Get assurance from the roofing company that they will have a project manager on the job site.
Note: As a practical matter, pay with a credit card, but make sure that you aren’t asked for the whole payment upfront. Usually, you can expect to put down a 10% deposit, with regular payments being processed on your card at predetermined intervals throughout the completion of the project itself.
Second, ensure that there’s a completion date already in place. It’s imperative that you and the contractor agree on exactly when the work will be finished, as this sort of project affects your daily life in a direct way.
Note: If you need to find other lodgings, make sure you take care of this before the project starts; additionally, an end-date lets you know precisely how long you’ll be out of your home in these sorts of situations.
Thirdly (and finally), get updates on the completion of the work as the project continues. There may be times when a particular roof needs additional, unforeseen work that might alter the cost of the original estimate.
If this happens, you’ll want to a) know immediately and b) get official documentation from the contractor detailing what the work is and why it’s necessary for the project. Get this information and make sure they have your signature before the extra work commences.
Pro Tip: Read the Fine Print
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t read all the small print when you click on agreements in apps or email. But you absolutely should read all these details when you’re hiring a new roofing contractor.
This is a major renovation on your home, and as such it should be given thoughtful and careful consideration at every level. One major thing to take note of during this process of deliberation is the roofer’s contract and warranty.
If your roofer won’t provide you with the details or gets annoyed that you’re interested in the contract, then you should save time, energy, and money by going with someone else entirely.
Read the whole contract from start to finish. Make sure that you know exactly what’s involved at every phase of the contractor’s work and what should happen in the case of a roofing emergency after their job is completed.
Where to Hire the Best Roofer in my Area
When you need a roofer, there’s no place better to look than in your own neighborhood. At Rennison Roofing, we know the Columbia, South Carolina, area better than anybody else and have helped countless families and businesses get back to their lives quickly and painlessly under a brand new roof.
Getting a roof over your head is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Call or email us today to get started.