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By Paul Shuler 23 Mar, 2017
By Paul Shuler 27 Jan, 2017

It is so important for you to ask the right questions when choosing a roofing contractor. Below are my top 14 questions I would ask. Hopefully they will help you when you are ready to choose a roofer! 

1.   Are you licensed?

Answer You Want to Hear : Yes, we are licensed through the Alabama Homebuilders Licensure Board as well as the required city, county and state business licenses. We provide all of our customers with copies.

Why You Want to Hear It : Alabama requires all contractors to be properly licensed in the state. You have some recourse in case things go wrong. Be sure all the licenses are up to date.


2.  Do you have workman’s comp insurance?

Answer You Want to Hear : Yes

Why You Want to Hear It : Some contractors and roofers will skimp out on this requirement. The reason? Insurance isn’t cheap, and some would rather take their chances. The problem, of course, is when the chance is taken on your property and an employee becomes injured on your property, you might find yourself forking over thousands of dollars to pay for medical bills. To protect yourself, make sure the company you hire insures each worker that will be present on your property. When it comes to insurance, don’t simply take the roofer’s word for it. Ask to see an insurance certificate. This certificate will list the type of insurance as well as the insurance provider. If you feel hesitant, call the insurance company and verify the coverage. So, if something happens on the job, you –and all of your hard-earned property - are covered. NOTE: Ask the contractor If they use sub-contractors, if they do, ask for certificates for that company as well.


  3. Do you carry general liability insurance?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Yes

Why You Want to Hear It : Workman’s compensation covers the employees on your property; general liability insurance covers your actual property. For example, if a contractor accidentally burns your house down while working on your roof (it has happened!) and the company doesn’t carry liability insurance, you could be responsible for covering the debts incurred by this tragic accident. When it comes to insurance, though, don’t simply take the roofer’s word for it. Ask to see an insurance certificate. This certificate will list the type of insurance as well as the insurance provider. If you feel hesitant, call the insurance company and verify the coverage. So, if something happens on the job, you –and all of your hard-earned property - are covered.


4. Will you be purchasing a building permit for my project?

Answer You Want To Hear: Yes

Why You Want To Hear It: It is very important for the contractor to purchase a building permit. This helps insure that the contractor follows the local codes. It also means that the contractor has an insurance bond on file or a certificate of liability insurance listed with the city or municipality that you reside. IMPORTANT: Never let a contractor convince you to pull the permit as the homeowner. This places liability and responsibilities on you instead of the contractor. Make sure that the estimate has it in writing that the contractor will be furnishing a building permit.


5.  Are you going to install new roof flashing and drip edge metal when you install the new roof?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Yes

Why You Want to Hear It:  Drip edge is a small piece of metal placed under the shingle where it comes off of the roof. This piece of metal extends past the roof and allows runoff to flow into, rather than behind, the gutters, protecting the fascia and wood on your roof. If new drip edge or other roof flashing is not installed, you will have a 25 year roof with flashing and drip edge that can be decades old and will fail before the roof does. However, unless you specifically ask about drip edge and other flashing on the roof prior to the job, some roofers will skip over this part of the process. For this reason, it is essential you ask about the details prior to hiring a roofing company.


  6.  Will you use ladder stabilizers or standoffs to protect my gutters or the edge of my roof when you install my roof?

Answer You Want to Hear:   Yes

Why You Want to Hear It : You may not think about it as you contemplate your new roof, but the method the company uses to get onto the roof is almost as important as the type of roof you choose. Ladder stabilizers and/or standoffs should be used in every roofing job. Stabilizers are like big arms that rest on the roof or on the side of the roof. This keeps the weight of the extension ladder, which can weigh a few hundred pounds, off of your gutters or the edge of your roof. Without some type of standoff or stabilizer, you might end up with a great roof but a torn up, broken apart guttering system around your house at the end of the job. If the company you’re considering for the roofing job answers no to this question, you need to ask what they will do to ensure your gutter system or your new drip edge will remain intact and unharmed during the project; if they can’t answer this question, don’t trust them to complete your roof.


7. Do you bring a container or a trailer for waste material?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Yes

Why You Want to Hear It:   Debris from the old roof, such as shingles, will need to be placed somewhere as it comes down. The company you hire should bring a container or utility trailer to the job site to contain the debris. You should not be required to supply this container, nor should you have to deal with the clean-up once the job is completed.


 8 .  What will you do in the case of bad weather during the job?

Question You Want to Hear:  Cover the job project in tarpaulins or plastic covers

Why You Want to Hear It: Make sure your roofer has a plan for this. Your roof should be covered in some type of plastic sheeting or tarpaulin if the old shingles have been removed to ensure it, and everything beneath it, remains dry. Also ask what the plan is if the rainy days extend for a while. Will the company come back to ensure the covering is keeping the home dry? If there is a storm with high winds, will someone be available to come out and secure the covering if it appears to not be holding?


9. Do you have a local phone number and address?

Answer you want to Hear:  Yes

Why You Want to Hear It : Head down to Florida after a hurricane and it’s likely you’ll see a band of trucks roaming the streets, filled with contractors looking for work. While some of these may be on the up and up, what happens when the job gets done and then something goes wrong? Who do you call to fix what was not installed correctly or got damaged before the warranty expired? Will the person that did the work be available to come back out to fix what is wrong?  If you choose to deal with a company not local to your area, you may not be able to get the company back to fix any potential problems in the future.


10.  What is the warranty on my new roof?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Minimum of 25 years

Why You Want to Hear It:  Make sure your roofing contractor provides a manufacturer’s warranty for your roofing product as well as a labor warranty from their company.


11. What is the cost of plywood should you find rotten roof or soft roof decking?

Answer You Want to Hear:  A dollar amount per plywood sheet

Why You Want to Hear It:  Unscrupulous roofers might skip over this information as you head into an agreement. Once the roof is up, it’s tough for you to dispute an overinflated cost for plywood sheeting to fix what was rotten underneath. For this reason, you need to ask how much it will cost per plywood sheeting should the roofer find rotten or soft pieces that need to be replaced. This will leave you with no surprises during the job, and it will allow you to compare one roofer’s estimate to another’s.


12.  How will you protect my landscaping during this project?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Specific details on what the company will do to ensure your landscaping does not take a beating. (Placement of equipment, traffic patterns to avoid trampling the bushes, etc)

Why You Want to Hear It : Too often, homeowners think about what’s going on top of the roof and forget about what surrounds the house. This includes the gutters, which we talked about earlier, but also the landscaping. If you spend hundreds - or thousands - of dollars planting trees, shrubs and flowers, you don’t want to come home to a new roof but a torn up lawn. Before you hire a company, ask specifically what they will do to protect your landscaping. Where will the ladders go? Where will the old shingles and potentially rotten plywood be dropped or tossed so that it doesn’t affect the bushes and flowers that surround your house? If an accident does occur and an employee from the company tromps through your rose garden, what will the company do to fix the damage?


13. Is there going to be someone on site with whom I can communicate?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Yes

Why You Want to Hear It:  While we always hope home renovation projects run smoothly, sometimes there are questions or issues that require the homeowner to communicate with a supervisor. A reputable roofing company will have someone on site throughout the project to answer questions and address concerns.


14. Do you provide a written estimate?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Yes

Why You Want to Hear It:  Settling into a contract without a detailed estimate can cause problems in the long run. Be sure, before signing a contract, you have a detailed estimate for the job. Include the cost of removing the old roof, adding the new roof, and anything that could come up in the process, such as rotten plywood that needs to be replaced. Make sure that an estimated time-frame as to when the job will be started as well as the duration of the job is on the estimate/contract. Have the contractor list in the estimate they will be responsible for the building permit.  


By Paul Shuler 19 Dec, 2016
I have finally decided to take the plunge and add a blog to my site. I always wanted an easy way to share information with visitors and I’m super excited to start this journey. Keep coming back to my site and check for updates right here on the blog.
By Paul Shuler 19 Dec, 2016
Anyone can make one:
For better or worse, anyone can write a blog post about anything they want. Everyone has a voice and the best voices will rise to the top.

The writer can show their personality:
In blog posts, the writer has more leeway to add in their voice and personality than other types of writing.

Blogs are a great form of mass communication:
You can help people, learn new things, entertain your audience—the possibilities are endless and amazing. Blogging opens up all of these to a very wide audience.

You can make money:

Get the right blog going and you can make a lot of money through advertising and sponsored posts.

It allows people to craft better thoughts:
Instead of reading haphazard, uneducated Facebook statuses, it’s much better to see people’s thought process in a well-written blog post.

You can establish a community:
Blogging allows you to connect with other individuals who share the same interests. Sharing ideas and opinions within your community helps establish yourself as a thought leader.

Good for SEO:
Keeping content on your site fresh and relevant, you can use your blog to boost the search engine ranking (SEO) of your site and your business.

It brings people back to your site:

If your blog is strong enough and updated regularly, people will come back looking for more and bring traffic back to your site as well.

It’s free:
It costs you a grand total of zero dollars to post to the blog, so if you have something to say, there’s nothing to stop you.

You can establish yourself as a thought leader:

A blog is a great place for your original thoughts, and it can be a wonderful way to show off your individuality. If people like your ideas, you can become a thought leader in your industry!

What else do you love about blogs? Let me know!
By Paul Shuler 23 Mar, 2017
By Paul Shuler 27 Jan, 2017

It is so important for you to ask the right questions when choosing a roofing contractor. Below are my top 14 questions I would ask. Hopefully they will help you when you are ready to choose a roofer! 

1.   Are you licensed?

Answer You Want to Hear : Yes, we are licensed through the Alabama Homebuilders Licensure Board as well as the required city, county and state business licenses. We provide all of our customers with copies.

Why You Want to Hear It : Alabama requires all contractors to be properly licensed in the state. You have some recourse in case things go wrong. Be sure all the licenses are up to date.


2.  Do you have workman’s comp insurance?

Answer You Want to Hear : Yes

Why You Want to Hear It : Some contractors and roofers will skimp out on this requirement. The reason? Insurance isn’t cheap, and some would rather take their chances. The problem, of course, is when the chance is taken on your property and an employee becomes injured on your property, you might find yourself forking over thousands of dollars to pay for medical bills. To protect yourself, make sure the company you hire insures each worker that will be present on your property. When it comes to insurance, don’t simply take the roofer’s word for it. Ask to see an insurance certificate. This certificate will list the type of insurance as well as the insurance provider. If you feel hesitant, call the insurance company and verify the coverage. So, if something happens on the job, you –and all of your hard-earned property - are covered. NOTE: Ask the contractor If they use sub-contractors, if they do, ask for certificates for that company as well.


  3. Do you carry general liability insurance?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Yes

Why You Want to Hear It : Workman’s compensation covers the employees on your property; general liability insurance covers your actual property. For example, if a contractor accidentally burns your house down while working on your roof (it has happened!) and the company doesn’t carry liability insurance, you could be responsible for covering the debts incurred by this tragic accident. When it comes to insurance, though, don’t simply take the roofer’s word for it. Ask to see an insurance certificate. This certificate will list the type of insurance as well as the insurance provider. If you feel hesitant, call the insurance company and verify the coverage. So, if something happens on the job, you –and all of your hard-earned property - are covered.


4. Will you be purchasing a building permit for my project?

Answer You Want To Hear: Yes

Why You Want To Hear It: It is very important for the contractor to purchase a building permit. This helps insure that the contractor follows the local codes. It also means that the contractor has an insurance bond on file or a certificate of liability insurance listed with the city or municipality that you reside. IMPORTANT: Never let a contractor convince you to pull the permit as the homeowner. This places liability and responsibilities on you instead of the contractor. Make sure that the estimate has it in writing that the contractor will be furnishing a building permit.


5.  Are you going to install new roof flashing and drip edge metal when you install the new roof?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Yes

Why You Want to Hear It:  Drip edge is a small piece of metal placed under the shingle where it comes off of the roof. This piece of metal extends past the roof and allows runoff to flow into, rather than behind, the gutters, protecting the fascia and wood on your roof. If new drip edge or other roof flashing is not installed, you will have a 25 year roof with flashing and drip edge that can be decades old and will fail before the roof does. However, unless you specifically ask about drip edge and other flashing on the roof prior to the job, some roofers will skip over this part of the process. For this reason, it is essential you ask about the details prior to hiring a roofing company.


  6.  Will you use ladder stabilizers or standoffs to protect my gutters or the edge of my roof when you install my roof?

Answer You Want to Hear:   Yes

Why You Want to Hear It : You may not think about it as you contemplate your new roof, but the method the company uses to get onto the roof is almost as important as the type of roof you choose. Ladder stabilizers and/or standoffs should be used in every roofing job. Stabilizers are like big arms that rest on the roof or on the side of the roof. This keeps the weight of the extension ladder, which can weigh a few hundred pounds, off of your gutters or the edge of your roof. Without some type of standoff or stabilizer, you might end up with a great roof but a torn up, broken apart guttering system around your house at the end of the job. If the company you’re considering for the roofing job answers no to this question, you need to ask what they will do to ensure your gutter system or your new drip edge will remain intact and unharmed during the project; if they can’t answer this question, don’t trust them to complete your roof.


7. Do you bring a container or a trailer for waste material?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Yes

Why You Want to Hear It:   Debris from the old roof, such as shingles, will need to be placed somewhere as it comes down. The company you hire should bring a container or utility trailer to the job site to contain the debris. You should not be required to supply this container, nor should you have to deal with the clean-up once the job is completed.


 8 .  What will you do in the case of bad weather during the job?

Question You Want to Hear:  Cover the job project in tarpaulins or plastic covers

Why You Want to Hear It: Make sure your roofer has a plan for this. Your roof should be covered in some type of plastic sheeting or tarpaulin if the old shingles have been removed to ensure it, and everything beneath it, remains dry. Also ask what the plan is if the rainy days extend for a while. Will the company come back to ensure the covering is keeping the home dry? If there is a storm with high winds, will someone be available to come out and secure the covering if it appears to not be holding?


9. Do you have a local phone number and address?

Answer you want to Hear:  Yes

Why You Want to Hear It : Head down to Florida after a hurricane and it’s likely you’ll see a band of trucks roaming the streets, filled with contractors looking for work. While some of these may be on the up and up, what happens when the job gets done and then something goes wrong? Who do you call to fix what was not installed correctly or got damaged before the warranty expired? Will the person that did the work be available to come back out to fix what is wrong?  If you choose to deal with a company not local to your area, you may not be able to get the company back to fix any potential problems in the future.


10.  What is the warranty on my new roof?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Minimum of 25 years

Why You Want to Hear It:  Make sure your roofing contractor provides a manufacturer’s warranty for your roofing product as well as a labor warranty from their company.


11. What is the cost of plywood should you find rotten roof or soft roof decking?

Answer You Want to Hear:  A dollar amount per plywood sheet

Why You Want to Hear It:  Unscrupulous roofers might skip over this information as you head into an agreement. Once the roof is up, it’s tough for you to dispute an overinflated cost for plywood sheeting to fix what was rotten underneath. For this reason, you need to ask how much it will cost per plywood sheeting should the roofer find rotten or soft pieces that need to be replaced. This will leave you with no surprises during the job, and it will allow you to compare one roofer’s estimate to another’s.


12.  How will you protect my landscaping during this project?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Specific details on what the company will do to ensure your landscaping does not take a beating. (Placement of equipment, traffic patterns to avoid trampling the bushes, etc)

Why You Want to Hear It : Too often, homeowners think about what’s going on top of the roof and forget about what surrounds the house. This includes the gutters, which we talked about earlier, but also the landscaping. If you spend hundreds - or thousands - of dollars planting trees, shrubs and flowers, you don’t want to come home to a new roof but a torn up lawn. Before you hire a company, ask specifically what they will do to protect your landscaping. Where will the ladders go? Where will the old shingles and potentially rotten plywood be dropped or tossed so that it doesn’t affect the bushes and flowers that surround your house? If an accident does occur and an employee from the company tromps through your rose garden, what will the company do to fix the damage?


13. Is there going to be someone on site with whom I can communicate?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Yes

Why You Want to Hear It:  While we always hope home renovation projects run smoothly, sometimes there are questions or issues that require the homeowner to communicate with a supervisor. A reputable roofing company will have someone on site throughout the project to answer questions and address concerns.


14. Do you provide a written estimate?

Answer You Want to Hear:  Yes

Why You Want to Hear It:  Settling into a contract without a detailed estimate can cause problems in the long run. Be sure, before signing a contract, you have a detailed estimate for the job. Include the cost of removing the old roof, adding the new roof, and anything that could come up in the process, such as rotten plywood that needs to be replaced. Make sure that an estimated time-frame as to when the job will be started as well as the duration of the job is on the estimate/contract. Have the contractor list in the estimate they will be responsible for the building permit.  


By Paul Shuler 19 Dec, 2016
I have finally decided to take the plunge and add a blog to my site. I always wanted an easy way to share information with visitors and I’m super excited to start this journey. Keep coming back to my site and check for updates right here on the blog.
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