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28 Most Important Questions to Ask a Manalapan Township Roofer Before Hiring Them

07/26/2022

Letting someone climb onto your roof is a big deal. A lot can go wrong if you pick the wrong roofer. To protect yourself from such dangerous (and costly) mistakes, ask the following 28 questions before you hire any Manalapan Township roofer.

You can even ask them in this exact order.

Are You Licensed?

Only one answer is acceptable – YES!

And if you pick a good local roofer in Manalapan Township, you can be sure they’re licensed to work in your area. 

Safety First? (Workers’ Compensation + General Liability Insurance)

The purpose of the roofing license (for you) is to calm you and make you feel safe. You want to know that you won’t suffer expenses caused by accidents. And that’s valid for both workers and your property.

Workers’ compensation covers the employees. Without it, if a worker nails his thumb to your roof, your insurance pays for his treatment. With workers’ compensation, the roofing contractors take care of their workers.

General liability insurance protects your actual property. For example, if the workers somehow destroy your chimney or gutters during the project, the contractor’s insurance pays for that.

Can I Please See Your Insurance Certificate?

Even if a contractor says they have insurance, ask them to show it to you. That will reveal what level of insurance they have. In other words, you’ll see what expenses would fall on your back if they happen.

Great, What’s Your Legal Business Name?

This is the first trick question. If the person represents a company and doesn’t know its full legal name and address, it’s not the end of the world. However, it’s not a good sign either.

Is This Your First Time? (Are You New?)

Ask them this exact question. If a company is new, that might put them in the defensive mode, so you can dig up more about their motives in the industry.

If they have many projects behind them, that question may give you a chance to laugh together. But then hit them with the following question (unless they automatically move to it).

Do You Remember Your First Time? (How Experienced Are You?)

“Haha, you’re so funny. No one ever asks us questions like this. Mmm…my first time… It was so long ago.”

Roofers are used to answering the same question to every prospect, so you can make the process a bit more amusing for everyone. Still, asking funny questions won’t leave you clueless. You’ll know if you’re talking with someone who pretends to be a pro if they start making things up. You want to get straightforward answers.

“We opened our company in 2016 after working for another roofer for 23 years” – or something in that direction.

Amazing, Can I See Some Photos?

Other than testimonials, photos are proof of experience. If a roofing company can’t show you photos of their previous work, they shouldn’t describe themselves as experienced.

What Past Customers Can I Talk to?

This is the last nail in the coffin of your old roof.

If a contractor shares contacts of previous clients and they praise them – you’re probably good to go. But, ask the rest of the questions to be 100% sure.

Where Do You Get Your Materials From?

Some roofers insist that a client gets materials. Others order everything themselves.

If the roofer takes care of the material, ask them where they get it. Also, ask about brands and models of materials such as shingles.

Where Do You Store Materials During the Project?

If it’s a tiny roof repair, this question isn’t necessary. But if you’re getting a roof replacement, there’ll be a lot of material. Especially if they need to do some work on the decking.

That may cause problems if you don’t have enough space around the house. However, most contractors keep the material on the site (to lower the price for their clients). And if they’re insured, you don’t have to worry about what happens if someone steals your new shingles.

Will You Do All the Work Yourself?

Outsourcing is a thing in the roofing industry, too. But if you’re like most homeowners, you want to see the contractor that you hired to climb on your roof.

And if they’re going to use subcontractors, ask about their level of experience. More importantly, ask if your contractor can guarantee their quality.

How Will You Get to My Roof? Will That Damage My Gutters?

If a roofer has general liability insurance, you won’t pay for any damage they do to your house. But that doesn’t give you back your time.

So ask them if they will use ladder stabilizers or standoffs to get on top of your house without destroying your gutters.

Will You Protect My Plants?

Homeowners should do as much as they can to protect their property before big roofing projects. Move your lawn furniture, BBQ, and anything that may make the roofing project more difficult.

Still, you probably can’t move all your plants, so ask how they plan to protect your green friends.

Will You Check the Inside of My House During Roof Inspection?

You want them to come inside your house during the inspection because that lets them check your attic. They can pinpoint any rotten parts, see if the roof vent works and if your attic is too humid.

What If It Rains While My House Is Without a Roof?

Roofers and weather forecasts; a better love story than Twilight. But even the best forecast isn’t always accurate. So if it starts to rain during your roofing project, you want to hire a contractor who’ll cover your home. 

We know. That’s common sense, but some companies still think homeowners are responsible for covering the roof in case of rain.

Who Takes Care of the Garbage?

There are three options here:

  • Either you take care of everything.
  • Or you ensure there’s a dumpster, then put garbage in, and you organize the transport.
  • Or you sip margaritas while your local roofer takes care of everything.

Who Will Be My Contact During the Project?

Communication is the key to every successful relationship. You want to hire roofers who’ll be at your disposal during the whole project.

The last thing you want is to hire someone who doesn’t have a project manager you can talk to while workers are on the roof.

Can We Just Add Another Layer of Shingles Instead of a Full Roof Replacement?

This is a second trick question. Even though it’s legal to have two layers of shingles on your roof and it is fine in most situations, adding a second layer to your existing roof is not advisable in all situations.  

That’s the answer you want to get. But if you already have two layers of shingles, and they still say it’s ok to add another one… Run… Run without looking back.

Do You Install Drip Edges?

Drip edges are metal parts (usually aluminum) that lead water from the roof.

Some contractors try to save time by skipping drip edges, which can cause water damage to the roof, walls, and foundations.

Book a roofer who will leave your roof in perfect condition after replacing it. Not someone who just wants to get the job done.

Do You Use Any Modern Technology?

Technology is making many industries more efficient. Ask your contractor if they use drones, smart vests, Building Information Modeling, or other modern technology used in roofing.

That’s not a necessity, but it’s a sign that they invest in the business.

How Many Nails Per Shingle?

This is the 3rd trick question.

New Jersey is a windy state. Manalapan Township gets hit by strong winds. And shingles hate wind.

So you want to find a roofer who’ll use a nailing pattern that is in accordance with the shingle manufacturer’s guidelines. That gives your roof additional wind resistance. In other words, you won’t find shingles in your backyard after every gust.

How Do You Define Your Price?

Ahh… The money question.

This is straightforward, so you want to get a clear answer.

Even if their price can’t be determined on the spot, they should know how they’ll get to that price.

What Might Cause a Deviation From the Agreed Price?

It’s good to expect the unexpected. So before you sign anything, ask about all the cases in which the price might change.

That usually happens if they discover water damage that couldn’t be seen with shingles on the roof.

Can You Make My Roof More Energy-Efficient?

New roofs are more energy-efficient than old roofs. They reflect more heat and have better insulation. But you can make your roof even more eco-friendly by using special shingles or using a different color of asphalt shingles.

Do You Have Any Warranty?

A roofer without a warranty is like a cop without a badge. You can’t trust either of them.

Can I Have a Written Copy of the Estimate?

Once you get your estimate, insist on having it sent by email (or printed). That will protect you from unexplainable, unexpected expenses.

How and When Do I Pay?

If getting the material is your task, you shouldn’t pay anything upfront. You pay when the project is done.

If your local roofer gets the material, they’ll probably ask for an upfront payment. Or at least part of it to cover material expenses.

Is Your Contract Easy to Understand?

You don’t want to work with a contractor who’ll give you a contract your lawyer’s mentor couldn’t understand. That usually means you should be ready for problems.

You want to get a contract every teenager can understand.

When Can You Start?

This is the last question. When you’re sure your roof will be in good hands, arrange the date.

Sometimes, companies can’t give you the exact date if they have other projects. But you can stay in touch and get updates in the meantime.

And go through these 28 questions with the best roofing contractor in Manalapan Township, NJ. You won’t have to repeat them to any other roofer again.