Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“It’s Not You, It’s Me…” Finding the Right Roofing Contractor

Congratulations! You’ve decided it’s time to put a little money back into your building and now comes the fun part…finding a dependable roofing contractor.

Okay, so maybe this part actually makes you start to sweat a bit and your stomach gets all knotted up and you can feel a panic attack coming on.

This process can be a lot like a first date. Everybody is on their best behavior and you go out of your way to give that perfect first impression. Similar to a divorce, ending a relationship with a bad contractor can also be very costly.

Here are 5 tips on how to weed out those frogs and find a Prince Charming for your project so you don’t have to worry about breaking up.

Shopping for a new roofing contractor can be a lot like a first date.
Shopping for a new roofing contractor is a lot like a first date. Everybody is on their best behavior and go out of their way to give that perfect first impression.

#1 – References

Most contractors are willing to provide a stock list of HAND-PICKED customers that will sing their praises. You may not be able to completely avoid this but you can ask for certain criteria like:

  • Set a minimum length of time the contractor and their customer have been working together. The longer the list of client references with long histories the better the chance this contractor does things right.
  • Ask for references of similar roofing projects to yours.
  • Get project profiles from the contractor when you’re dealing with larger projects.
  • CALL! What good are references anyway if you’re not actually going to call anyone?
Get a list of client references from your roofing contractor.

#2 – Contact the Roofing Material Manufacturer

With just a little bit of leg work you might be able to narrow down your candidate list with the help of the roofing manufacturer:

  • Ask for an approved roofing contractor list for your area.
  • Ask the roofing manufacturer if they keep statistics on their contractors such as total number of roof installations, final inspection results, any awards they may have, etc.
  • Length of time the contractor been an approved applicator.

#3 – Schedule a Sit-down

Don’t shield yourself and rely on phone calls and emails. Long walks on the beach will only last for so long so use this opportunity to find out more about the contractor and the company.

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Does the person sitting across from you seem to be knowledgeable?
  • Do you feel comfortable with the person or does it seem like you’re just being thrown Salesman 101 lines?
  • Review their scope of work with them. Also there is nothing wrong with showing a scope of work you received from a competitor but please remove names and pricing.
Get a list of client references from your roofing contractor.

#4 – Review Their Work

What better way to judge workmanship than actually taking a look at past projects? This could be a great opportunity to see what you might potentially be buying.

  • Ask to see a project or two in the area.
  • How does contractor A’s proposal look compared to contractor B’s? (i.e. Napkin proposal vs. professionally bound with photos, drawings)
  • Attention to detail here usually carries over to the installation.

#5 – Compare Apples to Apples

Get a list of client references from your roofing contractor.

You’ve sat down with a couple of roofing contractors and looked at some past projects and you’re probably starting to feel fairly knowledgeable, right?   Good. Now it’s time to dive into the details and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting and why a contractor is doing what he is proposing.

  • Cheaper up front may actually lead to more money spent down the road.
  • If one contractor’s price seems considerably lower than all the others consider why this may be. Watch out for lower quality materials, missing details that will require change orders and cutting corners.
  • Is the proposal detailed or vague? “Install new metal” doesn’t necessarily mean the same as “Install new 24 gauge steel metal with a Kynar finish” and neither does the price.
  • Create a list of questions and go back to the roofing contractor for clarification. Don’t make your decision based on assumptions.

A final word of advice…

The biggest piece of advice I can leave you with is to know exactly what you’re buying. I mean if I offered you a great deal on a Mercedes and you found out it didn’t come with a motor you’d probably be a little upset. But hey, it looks good from the outside doesn’t it?

Channel your inner 3 year old and ask why.  A good contractor will want to help you understand and will be willing to answer your questions.

Contact us today!

Jurin Roofing Services has been a leader in the roofing industry for over 40 years! We are also an authorized applicator for most major roofing manufacturers. Contact us today and we can supply you with a detailed proposal for your project. Trust the Golden Name In Roofing since 1974!

Founded in 1974, Jurin Roofing Services, Inc. is known for top quality roofing throughout the east coast. Jurin Roofing Services is a full-service commercial roofing contractor offering roof maintenance, roof and leak repair, and roof replacements. Jurin Roofing Services also offers professional roof services such as roof inspections and infrared roof moisture scans. Jurin Roofing is also a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and is a Carlisle SynTec Hall of Fame and ESP (Excellence in Singly Ply) contractor.
Contact us today!

About the Author:

Mike Shultz
Mike works with our new and existing clients to solve the problems created by their existing roofing systems. While an aging roof system may be ready for replacement, a new roof will not always eliminate the existing problems. Mike’s goal is to identify and remove the issues most contractors overlook. A quality contractor is the one that will take the time to learn what the needs of the building owner are, identify the needs of the building itself and assemble a solution that best accommodates these needs.

40 Comments

  1. Fred Summers June 11, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    I think tip number four is very useful. I don’t know if I have time to track down the manufacturer. But I can easily ask for recent projects and go swing by to look at them. Getting a few tips as to what to look for on a good roof also helps when looking at those roofs. Thanks for the tips.

  2. sms lån direkt utan uc June 11, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Highly descriptive post, I liked that bit.
    Will there be a part 2?

  3. Jamarcus Dantley June 23, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I know I’ve felt this way before. It can be a hassle to find a good roofing contractor. I think it’s important, like you pointed out, to check out references before hiring. That can be a good way to narrow down your search. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Walter Kowalski July 9, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    This advice on choosing the right roofing contractor was very helpful. Number two on you list of tips really stood out to me. It never occurred to me to contact the roofing material manufacturer for a list of approved contractors in my area. I’m definitely going to have to do that.

  5. Susan Hirst July 10, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you so much for these tips on finding the right roofing contractor. The list of questions that you provided for a sit down with a contractor were particularly helpful. One of the things I struggle with is asking myself the right questions.

  6. Alex Jennings July 15, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    This is a well researched and written article, Mike! Thanks for sharing this with all of us! I think you’re absolutely right: it’s important to ask for referencing when hiring a roofer. How else are you supposed to know if they’re done relevant work? Luckily, my roof hasn’t had any major problems yet; however, if it were, I would know exactly what to do, thanks to you! 🙂

  7. Julie Myers July 27, 2015 at 10:38 am

    These are some really excellent suggestions to help find a good contractor. I would really like to get my roof repaired soon, but I want to be sure I can get someone who has good experience with roofing and can help me get my roof back into good condition. It sounds like one of the best things to do is to schedule an appointment to sit down and talk with them. Then I can not only learn more about them and their business, but I can also see for myself if they seem like they would be hardworking and trustworthy.

  8. McKayla Strauss July 27, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I agree that it’s a good idea to actually call the references you get from a roofing contractor. There’s really not a whole lot of point in asking for them if you’re not going to give them a call. Personally, I wouldn’t feel comfortable hiring a contractor until I’ve made those calls and found out for sure if they do good work or not.

  9. Callie Marie July 29, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Thanks for the tips about hiring a roofing contractor. My husband and I are thinking about getting our roof fixed, so we want to find the best deal for our price range. I like your tip about find references based on similar projects. This way I will know that my contractor is experienced enough to handle my roof.

  10. Lily de Grey August 10, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Great post, Mike! Thanks for sharing this with us—it has been very enlightening! I think you’re absolutely right: When hiring a roofing contractor, it’s important that you’re looking up their references. You want to make sure that they’re able to do a good job! I have a couple shingles that are missing from my house, so hopefully I’m able to find someone!

  11. Rachelle Reeves August 14, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Thanks for the tips! I’m custom building my home, and I need to hire someone to do my roof. I’ll make sure that I compare different companies and that I have sit downs with them. Once you choose a company, do you have to sign a contract with them?

  12. Ethel August 19, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Using tip number four, asking to see a project in your area, is a good way to see their work in action! Considering the way their work is proposed is another great way to see quality, I hadn’t thought of their presentation as a sign of their quality of work. This was very helpful! I will use these tips to find a roofing contractor.

  13. Deanna R. Jones August 21, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Comparing different contractors seems like a great way to find the right roofer. Looking into why they price their work the amount that they charge is a very good point. It seems important to know if a contractor charges less for fixing your shingles by using materials that aren’t very high quality. That’s something that I would definitely watch out for while looking for a new roofer to fix a few of my broken shingles. Thanks for the tips!

  14. James Bay August 24, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I have been needing to get my roof done for a while. I like how you said to ask for referrals for projects similar to yours. That’s something I’ve never thought of asking for! Thank you so much!

  15. Steven Harrison August 26, 2015 at 10:16 am

    I like that you compare roof contractors with dating and finding true love. It’s funny how many interactions in life can actually be compared to that process. Besides that, it is really good advice to contact the roofing material manufacturer. I didn’t know they had that kind of information on contractors.

  16. Lilly Sedrick August 28, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    I definitely agree that finding a good roofing contractor can be stressful and difficult. It is a really good idea to take time to ask them for references. I also think that it is good advice to ask for references from projects that are similar to yours. That way you can better judge how skilled they are with that specific type of project. That is definitely something that I am going to have to keep in mind.

  17. Chris White September 3, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Finding the right roofing contractor can be a bit of a pain, especially when you have never needed to look for one. I like the list of things to do in order to find the right contractor to go with. The one that can really help would have to be number four to reviews their work. That way you can see what they are capable of doing and how they work.

  18. June Robinson September 10, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    My husband and I are currently building a new home, and we are dealing with a lot of different contractors. We understand that the roof is a major part of the home, and really want to find the right person for the job. I really like the ideas given here of how to find that, especially the idea of scheduling a one-on-one sit down with the roofer to talk about questions and concerns. I will definitely be using these ideas, thanks for the information!

  19. Zach Thalman September 11, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Great site and a very well written article. I now have a clear understanding of what I need to do to get my roofing done the right way and the smart way. I think it is a smart idea to read over this before you decide to go out and look for a roofing contractor. Then you will know the right steps and effectively find something that is going to fit your budget but also be sturdy and last you a long time.

  20. Brandon Roberts September 15, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I have been trying to find a roofing contractor to help me repair my roof, but I just haven’t had any luck with finding someone. So I really appreciate you talking about this, and letting me know how I should go about finding the right roofing contractor. I’ll definitely follow these tips, and see if I can find one now.

  21. Zach Thalman September 17, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Great article. I will have to remember these tips when I am looking for a roofing contractor. I like the tips to have a sit-down with the contractor. I am a firm believer in human interaction. I think it would definitely help the situation and you could make clear any confusion that you may have.

  22. June Robinson September 18, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    I really appreciate this information on how to find the best roofer. My father is currently trying to redo the roof on our home, and he has come to the conclusion that he can’t do it on his own. I really like the idea given here of of scheduling a sit-down with the contractor to talk about their career and what you want out of the roof. Thanks for the information!

  23. Casey Jones September 28, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks Mike for the advice on choosing a roofing company. I like how you mentioned trying to cut costs up front might cost more in the long run. I will be sure to hire someone that can do a quality job and guarantee their work.

  24. Alex Lane October 7, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Thanks for these tips. I think it would be wise for me to replace my roof before winter hits. I didn’t realize that it was important to schedule a sit down with a potential contractor. Is this just to get a better understanding of the overall company?

  25. Jake White October 8, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    We are working on a re-roofing project for an elderly lady living in our neighborhood, and we were hoping to hire out some help. This article was very helpful, and gave us several things to look for. We probably would have just hired the first company that we could find, but now we will need to do a little research to make sure they are gong to do a reliable job. I like the suggestion to review their work, and hopefully we can be able to see different projects that a potential company has done in the past. Thanks for these tips.

  26. Joel Sampson October 16, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Thanks for the tip about reviewing their work. I didn’t realize that you could even do that. A friend of mine actually works as a roofing contractor, but he never talks about clients asking to look at previous jobs he’s done. It’s a great idea. I’ll have to ask him about it.

  27. Fitz October 22, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Hello, and thank you very much for this information on finding the right roofing contractor for your needs. There are many different styles of roofs for different houses and buildings. I think it’s good to research and make sure you are getting the right contractor for your specific needs.

  28. Bill Barnett October 26, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    We have been looking to hire a roofer to repair our roof. It is a rather big decision, so we want to go with the rigth person. I really like the idea of scheduling a sit-down to discuss our needs and thoughts. We will definitely do that!

  29. Jenny Gygi December 1, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    I’m going to be re-roofing my home, and choosing the right man for the job has been the hardest part. I really like your idea of having a sit down with the roofing contractor before hiring him on, just to get a feel for what he is like. I think that you can really learn a lot about a person if you just take the time to talk to them. I’ll make sure to do this with all of the roofers that I could potentially hire. Thanks for the idea!

  30. Kyler Brown January 20, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I need to re-roof some parts of my house that were damaged from ice buildup. I’m glad that I came to this article, especially since I’ve never had to do this before. I liked the tip to get references in order to see other projects that a company has done. Thanks for sharing this advice with me!

  31. Dee Francis February 3, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Looking into the quality of materials that a roofing contractor uses and if they do well on their projects seems like criteria that will help me find the right professional to fix my roof. You’re right about how I should make sure that a contractor who offers a lower price offers quality work with good materials. I would want my roof fixed to stand the test of time, so the only way to do that is with a contractor who will do a project well.

  32. Sam Wilkins February 8, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    I agree with what you said about checking references. That way you can be sure every customer receives the same high-quality work. My husband and I need to hire roofers, so I will make sure to ask for references that meet the criteria to suggested.

  33. Kyler Brown February 10, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    My wife and I are designing a new home together, and we will need some help with the roof when the project gets closer. I really liked this article, and I hadn’t even though about asking to see a project or two from a potential contractor. This seems like it would be super effective. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  34. Braden Bills February 12, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I’m trying to find a roofing contractor for my house, but I have no idea where to start. I didn’t even think to ask for references to similar roofing projects. I’m going to have to schedule a sit down with some of the contractor candidates I’ve come up with.

  35. John Carston March 8, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks for you’re help in finding the right roofing contractor. I’m wanting to find a new company for the next job and your list of things to do in finding the right references will be very helpful, since references are key for me. Thanks for the great info you’ve provided.

  36. Jen Pack March 8, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    My husband and I are in the process of building the home of our dreams, and we know that it will only remain the home of our dreams if we have the best roof to protect it. I really appreciate your tips of how to find the best roofing contractor, especially your idea to schedule a sit-down with potential contractors. I imagine that would help you see if your visions align and if they would be a good match for the job. I will be sure to keep all these suggestions in mind!

  37. David Hawkins March 30, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Scheduling a sit down meeting with the company in question is a great idea. In this meeting you can get a sense of how the company works and what they focus on. If they meet your roofing needs and you like how they operate, it might be a good idea to start giving them your business. Thanks for the awesome tips on finding a great roofing company!

  38. Bob Lowe March 31, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks for the information. I really like the idea the you should review their work. That will give you a good idea how good their work is. I would also consider talking to a few of their clients to see how good the company was to work with.

  39. kiyel williams April 5, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    I like the tip to ask for specific references. asking for references who had projects similar to yours will give you a better picture of what the contractor can specifically do for you. Also asking questions, it’s your house and your money, you should be able to have all the questions answered. I will pass this on to my friend who is getting his roof redone. thank you for the information.

  40. Kenneth Gladman April 14, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    I think it is a great idea to ask for an approved roofing contractor list of your area. I didn’t even know those existed. If they are local and are still in business, chances are they do a good job. We are having our roof fixed this summer.

Comments are closed.