Hiring roof contractors can sometimes be overwhelming, especially for new property owners without much experience in scheduling needed repairs or a new roof installation. Knowing what questions to ask a contractor and why it’s good to get certain information or assistance from them can make the process easier for you, and ensure you choose the right materials for the job!
Check out this quick list of questions you should ask roofing contractors while hiring them and as the job progresses. This information will be helpful for keeping your home’s roof in good condition and even looking its best over the years.
1. Ask Roofing Contractors How Much Life Is Left In a Roof
If you’re hiring roofing contractors for repairs and not a new roof installation, ask them how much life is left in your home’s roof. A qualified contractor should be able to evaluate the condition of shingles, tiles, flashing, and other roofing materials, and note if you should start planning for roof replacement within the next few years. This information is helpful for budgeting and can also allow you to schedule a needed roof replacement before it suffers severe damage and risks interior water leaks, rot, and mold.
2. Roofing Contractors Should Assist With Choosing New Roof Materials
For new construction or a complete reroofing, consider asking a contractor for advice on choosing the best material for your home, whether that’s shingles, clay tiles, slate, metal, or concrete:
- Asphalt shingles are affordable and easy to install, and they work with just about any exterior home style; however, shingles usually have the shortest lifespan, often lasting no more than 20 years.
- Clay tiles are durable and water resistant, and offer a stunning look overall.
- Slate roofing tiles are durable and unique, and can last for decades if not centuries! Slate, however, is often one of the most expensive roofing options on the market.
- Metal panels are durable and fire resistant, and metal can be powder coated a variety of shades, ensuring a coordinated look. Metal is also lightweight and eco-friendly, but might require specialty contractors for installation and repairs.
- Concrete roof tiles hold up well in extreme weather conditions and are usually more affordable than many other roof materials.
If you’re not sure the best roofing materials choice for your home, ask your contractor what he or she would recommend and why. Their knowledge and experience when it comes to the longevity and durability of certain options, as well as how they look once installed, can be invaluable in helping you make the best decision for your home.
3. Ask a Roofing Contractor How You Can Better Protect a Roof
Some damage to roofs can be prevented with a few simple steps; for example, branches from a mature tree scraping the roof can damage shingles, tiles, flashing, and other materials. Roof edges can also absorb standing water from clogged gutters, risking rot, mold, and other damage. Your roofing contractor can usually spot these types of damage and recommend trimming tree branches, cleaning gutters more frequently, and so on.
Roofing contractors might also notice if a home’s roof needs more consistent cleaning. Sand, silt, soot, air pollution residues, and other debris can dry out shingles and tiles or work their way underneath roofing pieces, risking premature damage. Never hesitate to ask your roofing contractor if they might suggest ways of protecting your home’s roof from such damage, or if they notice that the roof needs better maintenance and care overall.
4. Ask Your Roofing Contractor How to Save Money!
When you get estimates from roofing contractors, they might not negotiate or “haggle” their prices, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save some money or spread out those costs over time. Your roofing contractor might discuss any of the following with you:
- If your home needs an entirely new roof, a contractor might perform the project in halves, meaning they’ll replace half of the home’s roof now and half next year. This allows you to spread out those costs over time rather than facing the expense of a new roof at once.
- Many roofing contractors also offer discounts for various times of the year when their work is slow.
- Some roofing companies even offer financing at a lower rate than you might receive from your bank or another lender, and especially from a credit card! Whatever the case, don’t hesitate to discuss your options with a roofing contractor.
Remember that roofing contractors are like partners in ensuring a secure, stable roof on your house. They are just as interested in you in keeping that roof in good condition, and in scheduling the repairs and replacement needed to protect that house and for keeping it insulated and looking its best. Never hesitate to ask those roofing contractors about any aspect of keeping your home’s roof in good condition and about how to save as much money as possible along the way!