How to Choose a Roofing Contractor

8 min read

Share this

How to Choose the Right Roofing Contractor

Your roof is crucial to your home, and keeping it in good condition is imperative. If issues arise, you should have your roof repaired as soon as possible. But you don’t want to hire just anyone to repair or replace your roof — you want the best of the best.

Roofing contractors should be knowledgeable, professional and experienced. They must have the necessary skills to meet your project needs. Check out this guide to learn how to select a roofer.

Roofers vs. Roofing Contractors vs. General Contractors

These terms are often used interchangeably. Let’s look at the differences for a better understanding of what makes each position unique.


Roofers are people who work on roofs. They can repair or install roofs, but that’s the extent of what they do. Often, roofers are crew members of roofing contractors. A roofer is generally responsible for removing the old roofing material, installing new roofing material, and repairing and replacing the decking.

They typically work under a roofing contractor’s license and are not involved in the design, planning or financial aspects of your roofing project. Roofers will likely make up the team that comes to your home when you hire a roofing contractor.

Roofing Contractors

A roofing contractor specializes in all things roofing — inspections to check for leaks or damages, installation, repairs, replacements and maintenance. Roofing contractors have the knowledge and skills to meet your roofing needs.

Your roof is an essential part of your home, so if you notice any problems with it, it’s best to be proactive and find a roofing contractor as soon as possible. Roofing contractors can keep your roof in good condition so you can maximize its life span. They also repair minor problems before they become significant. Additionally, your roof might be old and need replacing, which is something a roofing contractor can determine.

General Contractors

General contractors have skills in different aspects of the construction industry, including new construction and renovation projects. They oversee these projects, serve as a point of contact for homeowners and hire subcontractors. These contractors are skilled and knowledgeable but aren’t experts in any construction field because they dabble in many different areas. For this reason, you should hire a roofing contractor when your roof needs attention.

11 Tips on How to Pick a Good Roofing Company

While searching for a reputable roofing company, keep a list of your top 10 choices. Once you’ve chosen 10 companies, you can narrow them down by researching them further. Here are 11 tips to help you know what to look for in a roofer.

1. Check for a License and Insurance

Not all states require a roofing license, but Florida does. To obtain a roofing license, someone must possess industry experience and knowledge. Anyone who has met the requirements and passed the exam is qualified to handle various roofing jobs.

Most licensed contractors also have insurance, which is a must in the industry. Even if they take all the necessary safety precautions, accidents can happen. Insurance prevents you from paying medical costs if a roofer is injured on your property. It also may cover damage to your roofing material or home. When you choose a roofer, pick one with a license and insurance.

2. Determine Their Experience Level

Hiring a roofing contractor without much experience is a risk. Sometimes it’s rewarding, but most of the time, it’s best to play it safe and choose a roofing company with experience or a new company with an experienced owner. The skills roofing jobs require are gained through experience, so choosing a contractor with experience ensures they have the expertise to complete your roofing project to your satisfaction.

Experienced contractors usually charge more for their work. However, the additional upfront cost saves you money in the long run — experienced contractors can complete jobs efficiently without causing other expensive damage.

You can start by reviewing the company’s About page on its webpage. Then, look at their project gallery to view photos of past jobs. Searching for a past project similar to yours can help you can see if you would be happy with their work.

3. Try to Hire Someone Local

It’s crucial to find out if the companies you’re considering have offices in your state. A local roofing company should know the roofing laws in your state. They might also know the best material for your region. Additionally, you can visit the sites the contractor worked on to verify their previous work.

4. Request Multiple Price Estimates

It’s in your best interest to request price estimates from all the roofing companies you’re interested in. By requesting price estimates, you can more easily compare the companies, the repairs they say you need and the services they offer. Avoid taking the cheapest deal because it may indicate the contractor might scam you, doesn’t have experience or is unreliable. Instead, determine what repairs you need and the average cost for your area and compare your estimates to that.

5. Review the Contract

Professional roofing contractors should provide you with a comprehensive contract. The contract should contain the following details:

  • Your name and address
  • The scope of the work
  • The contractor’s insurance
  • The responsibilities of each party
  • A pricing breakdown
  • A payment agreement
  • The project timeline and deadline

A detailed contract helps you understand the terms, what work needs to be done, what you’re paying for and when the work will be completed, so you know everything you need to know about the project.

6. Develop a Cleanup Schedule

When construction work ends, there might be a lot of leftover debris, such as materials and fasteners. If left in your yard, small nails or screws pose a safety hazard to your family and pets. To prevent this, you should establish a cleanup agreement with your contractor. Learn how they plan to clean up the work site daily and schedule a final walk-through of your property and roof once the project is complete.

7. Research the Contractors

Request three references from the companies you’re interested in. Then, check in with the references and ask them about the company. You can ask them if they were satisfied with the work and if the company completed the project on time and within the budget.

Also, research the company online by checking its reviews and Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. Be wary of false reviews — negative and positive ones. If you notice a repeated characteristic, whether positive or negative, it’s likely true.

8. Meet Them in Person

Schedule a meeting with your potential roofing contractor so you can meet them in person to discuss the project and ask questions. Meeting them lets you form a first impression of the type of person they are and how they work. And if you do hire them, you might feel more comfortable receiving project updates and status reports.

You also want to evaluate their professionalism in person. A professional roofer takes every job seriously. They should use safety protocols and address any of your questions and concerns. You want to choose a transparent company.

9. Discuss All the Details

Planning out your project beforehand helps you stay within your budget and avoid complications. Tell your roofing contractor as many details as you can about the project. For instance, discuss past repairs, damage and the scope of your roof issue. If you don’t know what the problem is, give them as much information as possible and schedule an inspection.

10. Review the Timeline

When you review the contract with your roofer, pay attention to the timeline. While delays can happen, a detailed timeline sets expectations and goals. So, discuss prep work, milestones and the estimated completion date. Find out if you must be at home on any of the project days and when you can schedule the final run-through after the project is completed.

11. Consider Your Needs

Determine your needs for the project, so you can hire a roofer that can meet them. Think about the roofing material and design you want. Once you know what you want, you can find companies specializing in it.

11 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Roofing Contractor

When you meet the contractors you’re interested in, you should prepare questions to ask them so you can further assess them and choose a good roofing company. Here are 11 questions you can ask the roofing contractors you’re considering.

1. Are You Associated With Any Manufacturers?

Most roofing manufacturers have special programs for training contractors on handling their products. So, if a contractor is associated with a manufacturer, they can offer you a discount on the products. They also have a greater understanding of installing the products, equating to a better quality roof.

2. Where Is Your Permanent Address? 

An address can verify a contractor’s authority. Ensure they have a permanent address and an office — not just a P.O. box. Map the address online and view a satellite image of the building. Also, check that the building has a registered name and company sign. You can also discern whether the building is an office or a warehouse for the company’s tools and materials.

3. Are There Pictures of Previous Jobs on Your Website?

Only some companies have pictures of previous jobs on their website. However, roofing contractors who are proud of their work will be glad to show you pictures of past jobs, whether on their phones, social media accounts or website. Plus, when contractors are willing to share their work, it shows they are transparent.

4. How Much Experience Do You Have?

If you can’t find it on the company website, you can ask the roofing company about their experience. Remember that when someone opens a new roofing company, it’s usually after working under another company for many years. So, even if the company is new, you can consider them based on previous experience

5. Where Can I Find Your Reviews?

You can usually find reviews on the company’s website and social media pages. However, companies typically keep positive reviews on those pages, so searching for reviews on a secondary, trusted source is helpful. Reviews can guide your decision, but don’t let one negative review be the determining factor.

6. Do You Specialize in Anything?

Some contractors specialize in certain aspects of the job, like installing metal roofs or skylights. If you have a more complex roof or know that you’ll need specialty work, search for a roofing contractor trained to meet your needs.

7. What Kind of Training and Education Do You Have?

Research if the contractor’s website mentions certifications or ongoing staff training. Roofing materials and proper installation methods are constantly changing, so ongoing training ensures the staff and company are kept current on the latest developments.

8. What’s the Process for Jobs Like Mine?

Asking your contractor to walk you through the typical process for jobs like yours will give you an idea of whether or not their process sounds reasonable.

9. Is a Building Permit Required for My Job?

The answer to this question depends on the local building code. If the roofer says yes, ensure they obtain a permit before they begin working on your roof. Otherwise, you could be fined. Additionally, you can also check the local building codes to see if a permit is required. Professional roofers should obtain the permit and never rely on you to get it.

10. Will You Check the Condition of My Decking?

The decking makes up the bottom of your roof. Some roofers might add the new roofing material on top without inspecting the decking. Others might examine your decking and factor in its replacement cost when they do so, increasing your initial quote. Knowing that your roofer will inspect the decking and include the replacement cost in your estimate upfront keeps you from being surprised by a different bill.

11. What Payment Methods and Plans Do You Accept?

Before signing the contract with your roofing company, learn what kind of payment schedules they offer. You also want to find out what payment methods they accept. Most roofers request a deposit upfront, but it should be about 15%-20% of the job total. Some roofers request deposits of up to 50%.

Roofers should accept a variety of payment methods. When you pay your contractor, use a traceable method like a credit or debit card. If you use a credit card, you might be able to get your money back if the roofer fails to complete your project. Roofers that only accept cash are potentially red flags because cash is untraceable, so they could take your money and run, which is another roofing scam.

Choose Roof RX for an Experienced Roofing Company

When it comes down to it, you want a professional, trustworthy and efficient roofing company that produces high-quality work to handle your repairs or replacement. Roof RX has years of experience repairing and installing roofs on thousands of homes in Florida.

Our experience means we have the skills and knowledge necessary to be industry experts. Because of our expertise, we can perform long-lasting repairs with excellent efficiency. We can work with various roofing materials to produce a quality roof that lasts.

Contact us today to schedule an inspection and discuss your needs with one of our professional roofers.