The roofing contractor you hire has the biggest impact on all aspects of your roof replacement. That’s why hiring a great roofing contractor is the most important decision you’ll have to make.
You may think finding one is the easy part. But the unfortunate truth is, some companies take advantage of homeowners like you.
Knowing how to spot one of these companies is difficult, and you won’t recognize the “bad” until it’s too late. That’s why you need to know how to avoid hiring a bad roofing contractor from the beginning.
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners find the right roofing contractor for their roof replacement. Now we’ll do the same for you.
Let’s get to the 5 ways to avoid hiring a bad roofing contractor for your upcoming roof replacement.
1. Ask the roofing contractor for proof that they’re licensed, bonded, and insured
Every roofing contractor should be licensed, bonded, and insured. That’s why the first way to avoid hiring a bad roofing contractor is by asking for proof that they’re licensed, bonded, and insured in your state specifically.
If they have all three, they’ll have no problem showing you the appropriate paperwork to back it up. If a roofing contractor isn’t licensed, bonded, and insured in your state, don’t even think about hiring them.
Because if something does go wrong, you’ll have literally zero recourse. But why should being licensed, bonded, and insured matter to you?
For a contractor to get a license, all they have to do is register with your state’s board of licensing contractors. The price of the job will determine what license they’ll need.
For example, a job over $3,000 requires a home improvement license and anything over $25,000 requires a general contractor’s license. Roofing contractors should have a general contractor’s license because a roof is a large investment.
A bond ensures that if a company goes out of business during the middle of a job or if there's a problem with the work and they don't fix it, then the customer can fall back on the bond company.
Being bonded means that a bonding company knows that a roofing contractor does business correctly and ethically. The bonding company puts up the bond because they know the contractor will do the job the right way.
All contractors should be fully insured with general liability, workman's comp, and a company vehicle insurance policy on all the vehicles owned and unowned.
General liability insurance and workman’s comp limits depend on the size of the contractor’s jobs and the state they’re in. If all they’re doing is small residential work, their general liability will not be as much as a company that does larger jobs.
At the end of the day, being licensed, bonded, and insured is to protect you. If a roofing contractor can’t provide proof of all three, move on with your search.
2. Make sure the roofing contractor is local and established in your area
When looking at contractors to hire, it’s crucial that you pick one that’s local and established in your area. That’s why one of the best ways to avoid hiring a bad roofing contractor is by only looking at companies with physical office locations in your area and a local phone number.
Unlike an out-of-state company, a local roofer knows the local installation codes, the paperwork required, and everything else to ensure your roof is correctly installed and in compliance with your state’s requirements. You also need to look at how long a potential roofing contractor has been in business to ensure they're well established and have a strong history in your area.
By hiring a roofing contractor that’s established in your area, you can be confident they’ll still be around to take care of your roof investment and fix any problems that may come up in the future. Now, I’m not saying there aren’t good young companies in your area.
But the truth is new roofing companies pop up frequently and shut down just as quickly. So, you just want to be sure the roofing contractor you choose will be around if there’s ever a problem.
3. Look at a roofing contractor’s reviews from the last 3 months
The main way homeowners choose a service or company nowadays is by looking at reviews. By looking at reviews of potential companies, you can gauge if the roofing contractor is reputable.
The reviews you read won’t always be accurate because people tend to go to the extreme one way or the other. But if a roofing company stands behind their work, interacts positively with customers, and does things the right way, then it’ll more than likely show in their reviews.
On the other hand, if you see multiple reviews that have similar problems, like poor quality work or not honoring workmanship warranties, it’s a good idea to avoid that specific company. Just make sure you’re looking at reviews from the last 2-3 months to ensure you’re getting recent good or bad homeowner experiences.
4. Don’t go into the roof replacement process looking for the cheapest price
I understand a new roof is a large investment, and you may have a tight budget. But to avoid hiring a bad roofing contractor, it’s important not to go into the roof replacement process looking for the cheapest roof possible.
If you’re looking for the cheapest price available, you’re making yourself a prime target for a bad roofing contractor. They’ll use this to their advantage and lower their prices to win your business.
They do this by using poor quality materials, cheap labor, and may even cut corners by leaving crucial components off your roof altogether. If this happens, your roof is set up for premature roof failure right off the bat.
This leads to spending even more money on repairs or another replacement well before you should need one. I know the price for a new roof is intimidating, but there are ways to afford a quality roof without breaking the bank.
Let’s say the first contractor you called says you need a replacement. But then you call two others who say you only need repairs.
In this case, it’s a safe bet that you don’t need a new roof. This not only helps you avoid a bad roofing contractor, but it also saves you from spending money on a new roof you don’t need.
Getting multiple roof estimates also gives you a chance to compare the quotes from the different roofing contractors. This is a great way to avoid hiring a bad roofing contractor if you know what red flags to look for.
The roofing contractor isn’t willing to go over the estimate with you
I’m not saying you have to get multiple quotes if you find a roofing contractor you trust and has a good reputation. But it’s never a bad idea to get multiple opinions on your roofing needs.
Ask the right questions when meeting with potential roofing contractors
Now you know 5 ways to avoid hiring a bad roofing contractor. By using this advice, you can be confident you’ll find a great roofing contractor in your area.
But there’s another way to learn if a roofing contractor has your best interest in mind that’s not included in this article. This is asking the right questions when meeting with potential roofing contractors.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to know what these questions are. Because of this, we created a checklist of 16 questions every homeowner needs to ask potential roofing contractors.
But it doesn’t just include the questions to ask, it also has the right answers you should get back. With this free checklist, you’ll have the power to make the right hiring decision.
Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided high-quality roofing services to homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas. No matter if you need roof repairs or a full roof replacement, you can count on us and our lifetime warranty to take care of your roof for decades.
If you’re local to Nashville or a surrounding Middle Tennessee area, don’t hesitate to contact us for any of your roofing needs.