professional roofer installing tiles

Need to Find a Good Roofer?

Installing a new roof is one of the most important, and expensive, home improvement projects you’ll run into as a homeowner. It and your siding is the first line of defense for your home against the elements. Whether you need a quick repair or a complete replacement, you’ll want to hire a trustworthy roofing pro. Here are a few tips to help you find — and work with — your contractor.

On This Page:

  1. When You Need a Roofer
    1. Installation or Replacement
    2. Repair
    3. Maintenance and Inspection
  2. How to Hire a Roofing Contractor
  3. After Selecting a Roofing Contractor
  4. FAQs
  5. Hire a Roofing Pro

When Do I Need to Find a Roofer?

There are a few reasons you might need a roofer:

  • installation or replacement
  • repair
  • maintenance and inspection

Remember that these companies, especially independent contractors, often specialize in repairs or replacement. An installer might not have much experience with repair, and vice versa. Make sure that the one you hire knows how to work with the material you have (or want).

New Roof Installation or Replacement

A roof will last 20 to 50 years. Afterward, it usually requires replacement. The cost to replace or install a roof ranges from $5,200 to $10,100. High-end materials may cost more. If you’re hiring a pro to put one on a new home, confirm the following:

  • the pro has experience with new construction
  • you can coordinate the installation with other contractors working on the home
  • you know who’s responsible for which parts of the structure

For example, you need to know if the contractor framing the house will install the sheathing, or if the roofer will do it.

Roofing Repair

The price to repair a roof runs $350 to $1,300. If it is leaking, sagging or showing other signs of damage, you may need a pro to fix it. Many professionals will perform this work on one they installed. If you need to a hire a pro different from the installer, be sure to look for companies that offer repair.

Roofing Maintenance and Inspection

Hiring a pro for a roof inspection or to provide routine maintenance can increase its lifespan. The expense to hire a roof inspector averages about $200. You may want to arrange service every 6 to 18 months, depending on the material. Some companies offer maintenance plans when you get a new one, but many don’t perform this service.

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Steps on How to Hire a Roofing Contractor

Roofing tiletypes of roofing and rank them by their advantages and disadvantages. The company you hire depends on the material and style you want. If you have a strict budget, keep in mind that the cost of materials for a 2,200 square-foot home ranges from $2,500 to $25,000. The best one for your home may not be the least expensive. A local pro can help you select the most cost-effective options.

2. Find Reliable Roofers

To start your search, find a reputable source like HomeAdvisor that can help you locate qualified roofing professionals with the following services:

  • Connect homeowners and local home improvement contractors and help with potential disputes
  • Put contractors through a rigorous ten-step screening process before placing them in the search
  • Provide quality-controlled customer ratings and reviews, so you can see what homeowners think about individual contractors and roof installation

These reviews also create a powerful incentive for contractors to meet and exceed your expectations. Of course, there is no magic wand, and you can probably find all this information on your own. Instead, you could save time by browsing through a list of trusted pros who can help you create the best result.

3. Talk to Several Contractors

You should talk to several roofing companies so you can gauge an honest and reasonable price range. Interview at least three professionals before you make a hiring decision. Compare the bids, but remember that price is just one part of the project. Be wary of any remarkably low or excessively high bids. You probably don’t want to make your decision on a couple hundred dollars for a project that costs several thousand dollars.

Installing a new roof costs about $7,600 on average, but you’ll need to choose a material and style before you get a total price.

4. Research Credentials

Besides getting a few bids from pros, it’s important that you research the contractor you choose. Reputable contractors should be licensed and willing to prove it. Licensing and insurance requirements vary by state, so it’s wise to look into your state’s laws in advance.

5. Check References and Experience

Ask each roofing company for three references verifying their work and follow up on them. This gives you a chance to see how they operate. If your pro hesitates or refuses to share references, keep looking.

Plan to hire someone with experience working in your chosen material. A skilled pro will complete your job on time, to code and without mistakes. Hiring an inexperienced pro to save money can lead to additional repairs, extended deadlines and inaccurate pricing. 

6. Review the Contract and Warranties Closely

Read every contract carefully before signing. Professional contractors won’t be annoyed by you taking the time to understand the terms of your agreement. Most will be happy to sit down with you and explain parts you don’t understand.

Make sure you understand the warranty that comes with your new roof. It’s important to have follow-up support in case of an emergency. All materials and workmanship should be guaranteed for at least 5 years. The material itself ought to come with a 20-to-40-year warranty.

NOTE: Material warranties are more common than contractor work guarantees. If your pro doesn’t offer a work guarantee, don’t worry — they could still be trustworthy. Ask your professional about other ways to keep the roof safe.

7. Avoid Wet Seasons

Try to avoid scheduling your job during rainy or snowy seasons. Walking on a roof while it’s wet or icy presents a safety hazard and makes it harder to complete. Most pros will help you find the best time to begin your project.

Get a Quote from a Roofing Pro

What to Do After Finding & Hiring a Roofing Contractor

roof repairman

1. Cover Your Bases

Before work begins:

  • Ask your contractor if you need to acquire a permit or not (most will do it for you)
  • Make sure their employees are covered by workers compensation
  • Confirm that you’ve got approval before work begins if you’re submitting an insurance claim

2. Never Pay the Entire Balance Upfront

To prevent scammers from getting your money, don’t pay the entire balance of your new roof upfront. This goes for all large projects. If your contractor requires this of you, don’t sign the contract. It’s a common and accepted practice for pros to ask for a payment schedule that parallels the work, or a good faith deposit of 10% or less.

You may also want to avoid paying by cash or check. Using a credit card increases the likelihood that, in a worst-case scenario, you can recover your money without expensive litigation.

3. Choose a Completion Date

Be sure to agree on a completion date before you begin your project. Replacing or repairing your roof can impact your day-to-day living. Setting an end date before starting work helps you plan around it.

4. Ask for Updated Estimates

Sometimes, project needs change and your contractor has to revise their original estimate. Ask for documentation to prove it and don’t sign anything if it doesn’t make sense. It’s common to encounter unexpected repairs and price increases on roofing materials. You’ll want to confirm that the changes are reasonable and within your budget before proceeding.

Hire Qualified Roofers Today

FAQs

What Should I Look for in a Roofer?

When you research roofers, look for the following:

  • experience in your project and chosen material
  • proper licensing and insurance
  • references you can contact
  • clear estimates on pricing

How Do I Find out If a Roofer Is Licensed?

Roofing contractors get licenses from state agencies. The National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) maintains a list of licensing boards. Click on the license verification for your state to search for contractors by name.

What Questions Should I Ask When Selecting a Roofer?

To get the right information from potential contractors, follow this checklist of questions to ask when hiring a roofer.

How Often Do I Need a Reliable Roofer?

You may only need to hire a reliable roofer for repairs or replacement, if you can perform basic maintenance (e.g. gutter cleaning, debris removal) yourself. This interval ranges from a few years to decades.

Do I Tip Roofing Contractors for Their Services?

As professional contractors, roofers charge by the project or an average rate of $40 to $60 per hour for their services. Tipping isn’t standard.

Looking for a Local, Reputable Roofer?

If your roof is old, outdated or in need of repair, you need a pro who can take care of it for you. Researching multiple contractors and getting a few bids can help you choose the right one for your needs. To get started, find a roofing professional near you.

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8 Comments

  1. emily bennette, May 13:

    I like that you pointed out that you should avoid doing any roof repair during the wet season. It does seem like it would help to be aware of that before you schedule. It would probably be a good idea to ask your roofer when to do the repair.

  2. Annette McIntyre, June 2:

    Need a roofer to estimate and repair bad roofing job on home, garage building and small storage shed. Also, have the ability to work with soffett and gutter replacement.

    Only looking for two top companies.

  3. Linda Lewis, October 2:

    Need a roof total replacement estimate.

  4. HomeAdvisor, October 6:

    Check out our True Cost Guide on the topic – https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/roofing/install-a-roof/

  5. Joe Braxton, April 27:

    My wife and I are looking for a roofing company to help us repair our roof soon, so thanks for sharing these tips. I like your point about requesting proof of the contractor’s license first. I want to make sure they are insured so I’m not responsible for any injuries or accidents, so I’ll be sure to do this.

  6. Donald R. Murray, May 11:

    I want to make sure that I take good care of my roof. It makes sense that getting a professional to maintain it for me would be a good idea! They could ensure that it doesn’t have any problems that might end up making it not last as long.

  7. Seamless Gutters, December 29:

    I agree to beware of using an unlicensed contractor for your projects. The work you get done won’t be as good as the work a licensed contractor can give you. I’ll be sure to ask to see their licensed before I hire any contractor just to be sure. Nick

  8. Tyler Leach, February 12:

    This is definitely an issue. I think homeowners panic and go with the first roofer that comes to their door. ALWAYS check credentials and reviews.

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