Published on: February 01, 2022
Interviewing roofing contractors in Seattle is time-consuming work if you’re focused on finding the best in the area at a fair price. What you might not realize is there’s a list of questions you can ask over the phone to speed up the process and guide you in shortening the list to find the best candidates.
As a roofing team, we’ve worked with homeowners who have had poor experiences with other contractors and they need us to come in and fix it. The issue might be 10 years old or it could be from last week and the homeowner is simply ready to move on.
From these experiences, we’re able to help others in the Seattle area avoid poor experiences with local contractors by guiding them to ask these questions. You don’t want to have to replace your roof more than once but you can’t spend hours each week in your search for a reliable roofing contractor. So here’s what you should do instead.
You likely have a budget for your roofing project that you need to adhere to carefully. For a moment, forget all about that budget and focus on quality, trustworthy workmanship. Your priority has to be finding a skilled contractor team. So here’s a look at what you should be asking long before you talk pricing with a Seattle roofing contractor.
This initial question is designed to help weed out any scammers. Many companies operate under a DBA (doing business as). Learning the legal entity name allows you to search for information on the company and not just the DBA name.
If the company has done poor work under another name and started a new DBA to avoid the online reviews backlash of that poor work, you’ll know about it. Contractors will find this a funny question, but it’s an important one, especially if you can’t find information about the company for more than a few months ago or even more than a year ago.
Don’t feel self-conscious asking the question. You have a right to protect the wellbeing of your home and finances in your search for trustworthy contractors.
Washington only requires that roofing contractors carry $250,000 in insurance coverage. That isn’t much when you consider the value of the homes they are working on and the possible medical bills their roofing team could incur if something goes wrong.
For comparison, Oregon residential roofers must carry twice that amount before being licensed with the state. Roofing contractors that only carry the state minimum insurance are unlikely to go above and beyond for your home project. And they could leave you liable for medical bills for workers if a catastrophic accident happens during your roofing project.
Look for a roofing company that has adequate insurance based on your home value. It’s appropriate to ask for a company of the company’s policy so you can properly weigh the risks of having the team on your property. However, contractors are not used to homeowners making this type of request and are not used to taking the time to fulfill such a request so don’t be surprised if they don’t have this information at the ready.
Bigger roofing companies have more than one team that goes out and works on a project so that they can manage multiple projects at once. But you don’t want a roofing company that subcontracts their work frequently. Working with subcontractors will make it more challenging for you to ask questions during the project and work toward solutions to any issues you encounter.
Ask about project managers and how much time they will spend on the property during the project. Ultimately, what you want to hear when you ask this question is that someone will be there throughout the project overseeing the team and ensuring quality workmanship.
Companies that spread themselves too thin or don’t have enough project managers to remain on-site for the whole project are more likely to encounter errors.
Do not accept the company saying that their roofing teams are experienced and know what they are doing. That should be a given but having someone overseeing the project and guiding the team with consistent expertise is essential to a quality roofing project.
The use of drones and aerial footage has completely transformed the construction industry. Today, contractors can measure roofs without climbing a ladder. But that doesn’t mean you should accept an estimate from a roofing contractor who has never seen your roof.
Companies that drop off estimates in your mailbox or front door are desperate for business and not focused on the customer. You want an in-home estimate. Get that contractor on your roof doing an assessment. And then invite them inside to talk about your options.
Your roofing options are vast. Weigh the pros and cons of long-term roofing solutions against your budget as you talk through what each roofing option means for your home.
If the roofing contractor says yes to an over-the-phone estimate based on aerial footage without the face-to-face customer experience, you should probably move on. While it isn’t always a bad sign, it can demonstrate a lack of customer service, which could be challenging later in the project.
Budget roofers will likely answer this question over the phone with no problem. They look to be the least expensive option, but with that normally comes low-quality workmanship and materials.
Pricing a roofing project is a complicated task that isn’t just about square footage. A quality roofing contractor will use these factors to create a roofing estimate after seeing your roof for themselves.
Every home is different. Older homes might require repairs before applying the new roof. Failing to do those repairs could mean you end up right back where you are now with issues from your roof.
Square footage pricing before discussing goals for your new roof won’t tell you much. You want to discuss roofing material options with a contractor before you talk price.
Companies that say yes without assessing your roof are likely looking to earn the project and the money without concern for the wellbeing of your home. Once again, every roof is different. Some roofs can accept another layer of shingles over top of the existing materials. Others need a full shingle removal first.
Companies that answer this question before seeing your roof are not focused on your home’s needs. The best answer to this question is, “it depends.” The roofer should explain that while it’s possible to do a layover job with your existing roof, they’ll need to visit your home for a full assessment.
During that assessment, the Seattle roofing contractor will be evaluating your roof’s foundation to decide whether it needs work to allow the shingles to properly protect your home.
And your home might already have many layers of roofing on it. Roofing is extremely heavy. Adding layer after layer without removal could make the roof too heavy and cause structural damage to your home.
So, when you ask this question, look out for the companies that can answer it before a full assessment. Companies that say they might be able to are not a bad option, you just want to know they will need more information to provide a full assessment.
YES! Or at least, that’s what a quality contractor should say. Various parts of your home tell a story about what’s happening on the roofing. Allowing the roofing specialist access to your attic space will aid in helping them provide the best estimate possible.
In the attic, the roofing specialist might find water damage, which will indicate that the roofing team will need to make repairs before installing your new roof. This assessment will give you a more accurate estimate for the project. And it ensures that the roofing team comes prepared for those repairs and includes them in the timeline for your project.
Even if you don’t have an attic, you want the roofing specialist in your home looking for cracks in your ceiling or walls. To you, these cracks might seem unrelated to a roofing issue, but a contractor knows the issues that could be lurking behind those cracks.
You want a thorough roofing contractor that avoids cutting corners and focuses on protecting your home.
Seattle has dozens of roofing contractors. If you search on Google, Yelp or a similar service, you’ll find many listings. What you might not realize is that companies pay to be at the top of those listings.
Online searches and reviews provide an excellent foundation for starting the process of finding qualified workers for your home. But you can’t stop there.
The big mistake that many homeowners make when seeking a roofing contractor in Seattle is they only call the companies at the top of search results and get half a dozen quotes.
Having too many quotes to evaluate will make the process take months. Scheduling in-home estimates (remember, you don’t want to accept over-the-phone estimates or estimates where the contractor hasn’t seen your roof or inside your home) is time-consuming. You’ll need to work around your busy schedule and be there to discuss the project with each contractor to truly evaluate them.
Calling and interviewing the company with these 7 questions will save you the time in having poor contractors that only focus on churning out projects spend time in your home.
Focus on a maximum of three roofing contractors coming into your home to provide estimates.
Before you trust online reviews and the top of search listings, ask your neighbors, family and friends in the Seattle area if they have recommendations. This will create a shorter list for phone call interviews, which could create an even shorter list for in-home estimates.
2FL Windows, Siding and Roofing focuses on quality roofing installation with outstanding customer service. We’ll work with you to select the best roofing system based on your budget and goals and oversee the project with knowledgeable team members you can trust in and around your home.
We’re committed to the following when working on Seattle-area homes.
Getting the modern replacement roofing you need to protect your greatest investment is a seamless process when working with the pros at 2FL Windows, Siding and Roofing! Just give us a call today to learn more about the services we offer or fill out our online form to request your free, no-obligation roofing estimate.
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