5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Good Roofer?

Updated March 1, 2020

If you live in Marin, Sonoma or Napa counties, you may be feeling the pinch in the building trades. If you are looking for a roofing contractor, you may find yourself waiting just to get an estimate.

Some people point to the rebuilding efforts after a couple of years of savage wildfires that wiped out homes. Others might suggest it has more to do with fewer youth going into the trades.

Whatever the reasons, once you actually make contact with that roofing professional what questions will you ask?


Here Are 5 Questions to Ask Before Any Roofing Contract is Signed

  1. Does your company provide a detailed written estimate?

This is key to informed decision making. We recommend you get at least two estimates – three is best. However, if you don’t get details on what the estimate contains, how can you judge one estimate from another? That goes for differences in the roofing materials, are new gutters needed, how many layers are on the roof, now, etc.?

  1. Do you have a local company office? If so, what is the address and phone number?

By local, you may want to consider whether their office is in your county, a nearby county, or whether it is located miles away or in another state. That should be a red flag. The permitting process varies municipality, to municipality. The building codes are different in Nevada than they are in California, and laws governing employee protections differ, to name of few concerns. While there are no guarantees that any company will still be in business 5, 10 or 20 years down the road, dealing with one long-distance leaves a lot of room for miscommunication and weaker customer service. Beware the roofer who says they are just doing a job in your neighborhood and they’ll give you a great deal on a roof replacement. Chances are they won’t be around a week after your roofing job is done, much less years or decades later.


  1. Ask how much the plywood will cost if the current roof’s under-decking is damaged or rotted.

This cost might be not be included in any detail in your estimate, as the plywood under-decking is often fine when a house is reroofed. Unseen, damaged, under-decking can change the cost of a reroofing job considerably. Ask first, so you’ll be prepared.

  1. Does your company supply the refuse bin for the removal of the old roofing material? If the answer is yes, is it detailed in the estimate? 

Getting rid of the old roofing material should be included in the bid. If it is left out, you could have reason to question the thoroughness of the roofing contractor. A roof covers a large area, for most homes and the careful removal of everything from shingles, nails or tiles is a safety measure a homeowner should not have to consider on their own.

  1. Will you have someone on site during the course of the roofing project for me to talk with if I have concerns or questions?

While most roofing professionals like to get in, do their job and go home, it is not at all unreasonable for a homeowner to feel they have an onsite contact. If that is not possible or the roofing company would rather your point of contact be elsewhere, ask for a direct line or cell number. You need to feel comfortable in getting the information you need, when you need it.


Do You Have Other Questions? We Can Answer Them For You

In fact, if you have questions now, contact us today or call us in Marin at 415-924-27333 or Sonoma at 707-586-2656. One of our roofing professionals will do their best to get you the answers you need.