Roof Installers: Five Qualities to Look for Before You Hire

Five key qualities to look for when you’re looking for roof installers to ensure you hire a quality pro

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Roof installers who ran off with homeowners’ money seemingly make more frequent appearances in newspapers throughout the country than any other type of home repair. Although roofing scams appear to crop up more frequently following a natural disaster, they’re a year-round reality. And they can easily be avoided.

A roof installation can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, underscoring the importance of diligence when hiring roof installers. Think of it like buying a used car--you wouldn’t buy a used car from someone who knocks on your door offering a great deal. Roof installation is a similar investment, and therefore should be given similar diligence, if not more.

First, find a roofer. Internet services that match you with experienced, licensed roof installers are one of the most reliable places to begin. Ask neighbors and friends in your area for recommendations. And of course, there’s always the phone book, but it can be an unreliable method.

For a closer look at estimated pricing, check out this guide to answering the question, "How much does a new roof cost?"


Before you hire a roofer, do a background check. Here are some qualities to look for to separate the good roof installers from the bad ones.

Quality #1: Insurance

This is among the most important aspects to consider when hiring roof installers. If a roof installer is uninsured and an accident or injury occurs during the installation, it becomes the homeowners responsibility--often a very expensive responsibility.

Always ask a roofer for paperwork showing current general liability and worker’s compensation insurance before you hire. If they say they don’t have the paperwork available and won’t be able to get it to you before you sign on for the roof installation, move on to another roofer.

Quality #2: Permanence

A permanent place of business is a sign that a roof installer won’t fly by night with your money. That’s not to say roofer installers without permanent locations are all untrustworthy. Everyone had to start somewhere. Nonetheless, a permanent address, phone number, and tax identification number is a good indicator of an established and secure roofer.

Quality #3: Warranties

Warranties are a sign that a roof installation has faith in his or her work. Materials are covered by the manufacturer, meaning a roof installer’s warranty should be taken as a promise of a quality roof installation.

Most issues that arise due to poor roof installation crop up within the first 12 months. Seek out a roofer who offers a warranty on installation of at least one year.

Quality #4: Permits

Government fees, including removal of old roofing materials and other permits to perform the work, can be costly. As a homeowner, you may not be aware of all the permits you need for a roof installation. Make sure the roofer you hire will obtain the necessary permits and cover the cost.

Quality #5: References

Established roofers usually ask clients whether the roofer can give their contact information to use as references for future clients to use as a marketing tool.

Industry experts recommend asking roofer installers for ten references, but not contacting all ten. Pick two or three from the ten to call. A large number of references, such as ten, shows a pool of happy customers.

Reviews on internet sites can also indicate quality or poor roofer installers, but remember that these can be manipulated to make roof installers look better or worse than they are.

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