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Should You Ask a Roofing Contractor for References?

December 25th, 2023 | 5 min. read

Should You Ask a Roofing Contractor for References?

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Choosing a roofing contractor is the biggest decision you’ll make for your roofing project. One of the best ways to make this decision is by talking to your fellow homeowners. 

Mainly, this is done through reading a roofing company’s reviews. However, there’s nothing like hearing it directly from the source. 

That’s why many homeowners ask if getting references from a roofing contractor is a good idea.

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided homeowners with the tools needed to make the right hiring decision. Because of this, I’ll break down what you need to know about getting references from a roofer. 

This article answers the following questions:

  • Should you ask a roofing contractor for references?
  • What questions should you ask a roofing contractor’s references?

Should you ask a roofing contractor for references?

A roofing contractor providing references builds trust that’s much needed in the roofing industry. So, you should absolutely ask a roofing contractor for references.

While there’s nothing wrong with letting them pick their preferred customers, you should specifically ask for references from the past 3 to 6 months to get recent experiences. But it’s a huge red flag if they’re not willing to give you references at all.

Now, I understand if you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to past customers. However, you can at least drive by their house to see the finished product. 

What questions should you ask a roofing contractor’s references?

Once a roofing contractor provides you with references, it’s your chance to start asking about their experience. While you’ll want to know a general overview, there are also specific questions you should ask.

Below are the main questions you should ask the references a roofing contractor provided. 

How was your overall experience working with the roofing contractor?

First, you need to ask references how their overall experience was working with the roofing contractor. The main thing you find out is what they experienced from the initial inspection, through the sales process, the actual project, and everything in between.

After asking this question, you’ll be able to sit back while they break down what they remember off the top of their head. Once that’s out of the way, you’re ready to dig deeper. 

Did the roofing contractor protect your property?

No matter what you’re getting done, a roofing contractor should always take the proper precautions to protect your property. Ask the references what was set up to ensure their property wasn’t damaged during the project. 

If the roofing contractor did things the right way, they definitely would’ve noticed tarps covering the landscaping, porch, pool, and other things around the base of their home. You also need to ask the reference if anything was actually damaged and, if it was, how the roofing contractor handled the situation.

Did the roofing contractor clean up after?

Cleaning up after the project is just as important as the other steps of the roof replacement process. The last thing you want is trash in your yard, or worse, a flat tire because a nail was left behind.

That’s why you need to ask the references if nails, roofing debris, or trash were left behind after the project was completed. 

How long of a warranty did the roofing contractor offer on their workmanship?

No matter if it’s a roof replacement or roof repair, a roofing contractor should stand behind their workmanship. Ask the references how long of a workmanship warranty they got and if they have it in writing. 

If it’s anything less than a 10-year workmanship warranty, move on to another roofing contractor.

Did the roofing contractor complete the project on time? 

After signing a contract, your roof replacement or other roofing project will be scheduled and you’ll be given a timeframe for when it’ll be completed. You need to ask the references if the roofing contractor finished the project on time. 

If they didn’t, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, it’s important to ask the reference if they were told about the delay and the reasons why. 

Was the final price the same as the original quote?

Next, you need to ask the references if the price on their original quote was the same as the final invoice. Now, there are circumstances where a price changes due to things like replacing rotten decking, finding another layer, or something else unexpected. 

So, it’s not necessarily scammy or dishonest if there’s a price change. The important thing is how it was communicated and if you were told during the project, not when getting the final bill. 

Was there open communication?

The next thing you need to ask references plays right into the last two questions you asked, communication. You need to ask about communication between the homeowner, site supervisor, crew, sales staff, and even the office. 

Open communication makes the experience significantly smoother and keeps everyone on the same page. So, if they mention having trouble reaching the roofing contractor, getting clear answers, or had no idea what was happening during the project, consider another roofer.

How’s your roof holding up now?

The most important question to ask the references is simply how their roof is holding up. Ask if they experienced leaks on the first rain or any other time after installation. 

Also, ask if they’re happy with the roof and how it looks. Just make sure to ask how everything was handled if there were leaks or other issues after installation.

What questions should you ask potential roofing contractors?

You now know why you should ask a roofing contractor for references. By asking and getting references, you can determine if a potential roofer is right for you. 

And remember, asking the questions above is also crucial to determine if the company does things the right way. But while talking to references is a great way to learn more about the experience, you need to dig deeper into the actual roofing contractor. 

In fact, asking for references is just one part of a full list of questions every homeowner needs to ask each potential roofer. So, just like asking references the right questions, you need to ask roofing contractors the right questions. 

Check out the Top 10 Questions To Ask A Roofing Contractor to ensure you’re asking the right questions when meeting with potential roofers.

roofing contractor questions checklist


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