Hiring a Roofer — research, communication, & installation

Hiring a Roofer - research, communication, & installation

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Roofing can often feel like a grudge purchase, something you need but take for granted. It’s natural to feel disinterested, as people don’t usually comment on how nice your roof is. Yet, few projects have a greater impact on the energy-efficiency, long-term inhabitability, and homeowner peace-of-mind than roof installation. Thus, hiring a roofer is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make for your home. Here is a step-by-step checklist to help you save money and aggravation when it’s time to put on a new roof.

  • Preliminary Research: When hiring a roofer, too many homeowners believe talking to contractors is the first step. In fact, it’s often a better idea to research various roofing materials and systems. Knowing that many roofs aren’t installed according to the manufacturers’ recommendations is a handy piece of information when first talking to contractors. You don’t need to understand everything about roofing, nor do you need to have the answers about the roof you want. But you need to be able to ask the right questions. Otherwise, you’ll have no idea which contractor is right for you.
  • Contacting Contractors: Compare the rates/estimates of several roofers. If at all possible, contact a roofer during the off-season, usually winter. Chances are they’ll have more time to talk with you in-depth and help prepare your roofing project when the weather becomes reasonable. They may even offer a discount by signing onto the project during this off-season. Ask to see projects your roofer has completed in your area and talk to the homeowners. Consider skill and experience over a cheaper hourly rate when hiring a roofer. An inexperienced, inexpensive roofer, who doesn’t apply the roof correctly, will just cause you to hire another roofer to fix his mistakes.
  • Make it a Game: What’s the smallest amount of money you need to spend on your home over the next 20 years, while still having an aesthetically pleasing roof? It’s a complicated question and demands the same amount of persistence, competitiveness, and luck that you might put into a game of Monopoly. Should you buy that premium metal roofing to minimize your summer cooling expenses? How costly will repairs be if you select basic asphalt roofing? How much will you really save over other high-end roofing materials if you choose the more sophisticated laminate asphalt for your roof? Take to your roofer, crunch the numbers, consider your starting budget, and then roll the dice with an informed strategy in mind.

    Time for a new roof? We can help! Use this link to

  • Roofing Contracts, Communication: Consult with your roofer about which material would be best for your roof. If possible, try to secure a warranty on the work. Be sure to distinguish from manufacturer and contractor guarantees. The manufacturer only covers defects/failures in the roofing products. If your roofer doesn’t install the roof correctly and provide his own warranty, the manufacturer’s warranty may not be worth the paper on which it’s written. You’ll also want to establish expectations for project length (subject to weather) and communication throughout the project.
  • During the Installation: You should inspect the work done on your every day, whether you’re present during the work or not. Don’t feel like you need to hover, but keep in touch with the owner or project manager so you’ll know how things are going. If you are present, it wouldn’t hurt to offer the workers something to drink. A little extra courtesy will go a long way to ensure these workers treat your property with immaculate care and continuous respect. Chances are if you’ve done your homework choosing a roofing system and an experienced roofer, the installation will be a fairly stress-free process on your part. So feel free to enjoy your new roof when it’s going up and in the years ahead.
  • Marcus Pickett is a professional freelance writer for the home remodeling industry. He has published more than 600 articles on both regional and national topics within the home improvement industry.

    Related Articles

    Roofing can often feel like a grudge purchase, something you need but take for granted. It’s natural to feel disinterested, as people don’t usually comment on how nice your roof is. Yet, few projects have a greater impact on the energy-efficiency, long-term inhabitability, and homeowner peace-of-mind than roof installation. Thus, hiring a roofer is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make for your home. Here is a step-by-step checklist to help you save money and aggravation when it’s time to put on a new roof.

    Hiring a Roofer - research, communication, & installation
    • Preliminary Research: When hiring a roofer, too many homeowners believe talking to contractors is the first step. In fact, it’s often a better idea to research various roofing materials and systems. Knowing that many roofs aren’t installed according to the manufacturers’ recommendations is a handy piece of information when first talking to contractors. You don’t need to understand everything about roofing, nor do you need to have the answers about the roof you want. But you need to be able to ask the right questions. Otherwise, you’ll have no idea which contractor is right for you.
  • Contacting Contractors: Compare the rates/estimates of several roofers. If at all possible, contact a roofer during the off-season, usually winter. Chances are they’ll have more time to talk with you in-depth and help prepare your roofing project when the weather becomes reasonable. They may even offer a discount by signing onto the project during this off-season. Ask to see projects your roofer has completed in your area and talk to the homeowners. Consider skill and experience over a cheaper hourly rate when hiring a roofer. An inexperienced, inexpensive roofer, who doesn’t apply the roof correctly, will just cause you to hire another roofer to fix his mistakes.
  • Make it a Game: What’s the smallest amount of money you need to spend on your home over the next 20 years, while still having an aesthetically pleasing roof? It’s a complicated question and demands the same amount of persistence, competitiveness, and luck that you might put into a game of Monopoly. Should you buy that premium metal roofing to minimize your summer cooling expenses? How costly will repairs be if you select basic asphalt roofing? How much will you really save over other high-end roofing materials if you choose the more sophisticated laminate asphalt for your roof? Take to your roofer, crunch the numbers, consider your starting budget, and then roll the dice with an informed strategy in mind.

    Time for a new roof? We can help! Use this link to

  • Roofing Contracts, Communication: Consult with your roofer about which material would be best for your roof. If possible, try to secure a warranty on the work. Be sure to distinguish from manufacturer and contractor guarantees. The manufacturer only covers defects/failures in the roofing products. If your roofer doesn’t install the roof correctly and provide his own warranty, the manufacturer’s warranty may not be worth the paper on which it’s written. You’ll also want to establish expectations for project length (subject to weather) and communication throughout the project.
  • During the Installation: You should inspect the work done on your every day, whether you’re present during the work or not. Don’t feel like you need to hover, but keep in touch with the owner or project manager so you’ll know how things are going. If you are present, it wouldn’t hurt to offer the workers something to drink. A little extra courtesy will go a long way to ensure these workers treat your property with immaculate care and continuous respect. Chances are if you’ve done your homework choosing a roofing system and an experienced roofer, the installation will be a fairly stress-free process on your part. So feel free to enjoy your new roof when it’s going up and in the years ahead.
  • Marcus Pickett is a professional freelance writer for the home remodeling industry. He has published more than 600 articles on both regional and national topics within the home improvement industry.


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