A new roof is a big job. And a big investment. That's why we strongly recommend that you hire a professional roofing contractor who can offer proven experience, a written estimate and worry-free installation. To make sure you're choosing the best, use this checklist before you sign a contract:
Does the contractor:
- Have a good reputation? Check for references and call a few of them.
- Have adequate insurance coverage?
- Thoroughly inspect your roof? Including flashing chimney, soil stacks, other roof penetration, deck, plus attic?
- Provide a written estimate? Including an accurate description of the work to be performed, plus work that may have to be contracted out?
- Explain the entire roof system? Your roof is a series of components that work together; you should know all about them.
- Check existing ventilation for proper circulation? Explain the importance of ventilation? Improper ventilation will damage your shingles and can invalidate your manufacturer's warranty.
- Explain reasons for tearing off versus nailing over the existing roof? Local codes determine the maximum number of nail-overs.
- Know, explain and comply with local building codes?
- Apply underlayment to the wood deck? Additional waterproofing underlayment might be needed if ice damming, wind-driven rain, or collected or flowing water might be a problem.
- Apply shingles according to manufacturer's specifications?
- Use proper fastening techniques? Four fasteners for each shingle - six in high wind areas. Fasteners should penetrate 3/4" into the deck.
- Commit to supervise the job during all phases of work and inspect it completely when finished?
- Thoroughly clean up your roof and around your house when finished? Remove all surplus material? Leave your yard in the same shape the contractor found it?
- Clearly explain both the workmanship and manufacturer's warranty? Are defective shingles replaced for prorated replacement cost, or original cost, with labor additional? You should be very clear about who to call with a problem.
- Offer any additional warranty coverage?
- Use quality roofing materials? Check warranty plus UL fire and wind resistance ratings. Choose a name you trust - not all shingles are the same.