You need an Arizona roofer, and you need one fast.
You’re ready to talk to one but…uh…what do you ask them to know if they’re legit?
“You won’t rip me off, right?” (If only it were that easy.)
No, you want to be prepared, making sure you’ve found the right roofer for the job.
That’s why, before you sign the dotted line, you should ask a roofer these 7 questions:
1) Are you, your contractors and subcontractors licensed, bonded and insured?
Licensed means…they met the minimum standards needed to be a roofer. Hiring an unlicensed roofer can cause you tons of trouble, including the possibility of voiding your new roof’s warranty, and if there are problems, no recourse.
We go into more detail about this issue in these articles:
- 5 Dangers of Hiring an Unlicensed Roofing Contractor in AZ
- 3 Common Ways to Void Your Arizona Roof’s Warranty
Bonded means… they have purchased a type of insurance that provides you compensation if the contractor does not complete a job as you’ve requested or contracted.
Insured means…that if a roofing contractor or subcontractor gets injured while working on your roof, you won’t be responsible for paying for their medical bills. Have the contractor provide Certificates of Insurance for both Liability and Worker’s Compensation before work begins on your home. Think being well-insured doesn’t matter? Ask your insurance provider.
2) How does payment work exactly?
Everybody always asks “How much is this gonna cost me?”
But, really, you should ask, “How do I go about paying for this?” Failing to figure out proper payment terms could lead to having some wisecracker run off with your money without doing any work.
Here are acceptable guidelines for paying for roofing services:
- Pay with check or credit, not cash. This gives you a paper trail as proof that you’ve paid for services.
- Don’t pay the roofer the entire project upfront. (If someone asks for upfront payment in cash, run.)
- You may possibly pay a deposit for a large roofing project.
- Ask for financing options so you can pay over time.
3) How long has your roofing company been in business?
Imagine you get a new roof, complete with a maintenance plan and labor warranty (you know, just in case something goes wrong).
Now, imagine the roofer who installed your roof suddenly closes shop. That maintenance plan? That labor warranty? Worthless. And if you find roofing problems down the road, you’re out of luck.
How can you avoid this situation? Look at how long the business has been around.
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 50% of small businesses fail within 5 years. Only about 1/3 survives 10+ years. So if you can find a roofing company that’s 10+ years old, you’ve possibly found a winner.
4) Are you going to obtain the required roofing permits?
Large projects and projects that significantly alter the roof require a roofer to pull a building permit.
“Pulling a permit” just means getting permission from your local government to remodel or make additions to your home. The permit’s purpose is to keep you safe, ensuring that the changes made to your home are done according to local building codes.
Another way of looking at it? The permit protects you from unprofessional roofers who don’t know what they’re doing. A professional roofer will always get the permit for you when required.
5) Are you a current member of any local and national roofing associations, like the NRCA or ARCA?
Being a member in national roofing associations’ shows the contractor is taking the initiative to stay up to date on current roofing information and maintain the highest standard of education possible.
Use the The National Roofers Contractors Association (NRCA) or Arizona Roofing Contractors Association (ARCA) “Find a contractor” search tool to find an association member near your Arizona home.
I must mention…Rhonda La Nue, our co-owner of Lyons Roofing, is the President of ARCA. Just sayin’…
6) Will you provide a written contract?
The contract should include explicit payment instructions (like we discussed above), what services they’re providing and the total price. Use this contract to get an apples to apples comparison with other roofing contractors.
Need a trustworthy roofing contractor in the Phoenix or Tucson area?
Why not contact Lyons Roofing? We’ve been around Arizona since 1995 and all our contractors are licensed, bonded, and insured.