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You’re going to live and work under a roof for years to come, so choosing a quality roofing contractor is very important. Northwest Quality Roofing has prepared this short article to help you understand what to look for in a roofing contractor, so you’re covered for the duration.

Use this checklist to determine the reliability of a roofing contractor:

  • Are they licensed and can they be bonded?
  • Do they have liability insurance and carry workers compensation insurance?
  • How are potential worker injuries handled? Make sure you won’t be liable for any accidents.
  • If their equipment damages your property, who is responsible?
  • Will their work meet Code, Covenant, or Restriction requirements of your area, if applicable?
  • Will the contractor give you a signed permit and walk-through checklist from the final building inspection, if required?
  • What is the exact business location? Get the address, even if they work out of their home.
  • Has the company changed its business name? If yes, why?
  • Does the owner perform the work, or does he have employees? Request the name of the project supervisor.
  • Will there be subcontractors? Make sure to get their names, license number and insurance certificates.
  • Verify whether there will be workers on the job every day until completed.
  • Do they have a procedure in case of bad weather during the project?
  • Get at least 10 references (addresses and phone numbers) of past jobs you can call and visit.
  • Do they have a warranty on installation and workmanship? How long will you be covered?
  • What is the amount of down payment required?
  • Do they take credit cards? It is much easier to dispute charges if you pay with credit card, should you run into immediate problems.
  • Does the contractor provide product literature and samples prior to the project?
  • Is the contractor’s bid significantly lower than others? Be careful—quality may be an issue.
  • Does the contract specify materials and brands to be used? Make sure it does and make sure these products carry warranties.
  • Make sure cleanup is included in the bid, including gutters and ground areas.
  • Make sure there is a solid arbitration statement in your contract. The roofer must agree to settle disputes through binding arbitration. Without such an agreement, you have no recourse.

Once work begins on your project, pay close attention to the quality and details of the work. Make sure that the contractor is using the materials agreed upon—for example if the contract calls for 30-pound felt, check the labels on the product to verify. Make sure you are getting what you are paying from, from chimney flashing, to vents and pipe jacks.