When it comes to finding a qualified, experienced, and quality residential roofer, many homeowners can become overwhelmed. Not only are there likely dozens if not hundreds of professionals serving any major urban centre, but every friend and family member has their own advice about who is best and why. And while seeking out referrals from trusted friends and family is important, there are some things that every homeowner should know to look for in their residential roofing contractor. Once you’ve narrowed your list of potential contractors to just two or three, the following checklist will help you make the right decision.
- Write a detailed description of your project.
- Visit your local City Hall or municipal offices to determine that the work can be approved according to local zoning guidelines.
- Ensure that no special permits are required.
Choosing your Contractor
- Speak with friends, family, colleagues and neighbours for recommendations.
- Seek those at local home-builder associations, building supply stores, municipal building departments, or even the Better Business Bureau.
- Check the credentials of all roofers and ensure they are properly insured.
- Ask potential contractors for references from past clients (even if you have a referral from a personal friend or family member).
- Check again with the Better Business Bureau to ensure no complaints have been lodged against the roofer.
Estimates and Proposals
- Establish the cost of your project in advance.
- Get estimates from multiple contractors.
Ensure estimates include:
- A detailed description of all work to be completed.
- A list of materials and products to be used.
- Plans and/or sketches of the complete project
All roofing contracts should contain:
The correct address of the project’s location.
- Your name and address.
- The name, address, telephone, and business number of your contractor.
- A complete description of the project and all work to be done, including sketches, and information about materials to be used.
- Your right to retain a lien holdback as outlined by local laws.
- A statement indicating all work will be completed according to municipal law including applicable codes for building and fire safety.
- The total cost of the project and agreed upon payment schedule and type.
- Specific information about who is responsible for obtaining permits, licenses, inspections, and certificates (i.e. the homeowner or contractor).
- Agreed upon start and completion dates.
Contractor and Homeowner Responsibilities
The Contractor Must Provide
- All necessary insurance including liability and property damage insurance.
- Information about necessary permits and legal requirements.
- Workers’ compensation benefits for all laborers, contractors, or subcontractors.
- Removal of debris at job completion.
- Warranty information for work and materials.
The Homeowner Must Ensure
- All contracted work adheres to zoning regulations.
- Adequate space and freedom of movement for all workers.
- Access to utilities.
- Prompt payment according to the terms of the contract.