When it’s time to make the decision to put on a new roof, you want to make sure that you get a good roofing company to do the job — one who won’t rip you off or leave you with a poorly-done job. When you call any roofing company to get a quote, you’ll have a chance to speak with one of their representatives. Everyone will give you their sales pitch to try to convince you that they’re the best, but how do you know whether they’re telling you the truth? One of the best methods that you can use to sort the good contractors from the bad ones is to ask a standard list of questions to everyone. We’ve come up with 20 questions that you should ask any potential roofer, and in today’s blog post, we’ll cover the first six.

1. Why should I give you my business?

This is an invitation to the company to give their best sales pitch, but it can tell you a lot. Listen carefully to the response, as it may come with the answers to many of the questions below. What to listen for:

  • Does this person have a prompt answer, or do they stutter? Every business should have this very clearly defined, and it should be easy for them to articulate the reason why they should earn your business
  • Does it sound like they believe in the value of their service?
  • Do they have a story that convinces you why you should give them your business?

2. How long have you been in this business?

This is a piece of verifiable, factual information, and it should be very easy for most companies to answer. Anyone from the company should be able to quickly and easily say, “Since 1997,” or “For three years,” or “For 20 years in X location and then for 5 years here.” This detail should also be up on their website, making it easy for you to see if the answers match. To go the extra mile, after your conversation, go to your local Secretary of State’s Business Search website and type in the business name. See if they’ve really been in business for as long as they say. If not, maybe they’ve been running around from place to place to place doing poor quality work and moving to a new place as soon as their reputation catches up to them. (Hippo Roof has been in business since 2008.)

3. Are you licensed and insured? Can I see proof?

The license is the roofer’s permission to do business, issued by the state or municipality. The insurance is the policy that they carry so that if anything goes wrong, their insurance will pay. Both of these are vitally important for every roofer to carry. You can avoid scams by asking to see proof of the roofer’s license and insurance, and if they can’t give it to you, you do not have to do business with them. The risk to you is too great. What if they’re not a roofing contractor at all? What if they’re not insured, and someone falls from the roof and sues you as the property owner? What if building materials or tools get stolen while the job is in progress? There are too many ways for things to go wrong, and the best way to protect yourself is to make sure that your roofing company carries insurance and holds a valid license.

4. What materials do you plan to install on my roof?

This is a question where if you can do just a bit of homework beforehand, you’ll do yourself a favor. Look up the major types of roofing material and then look at the difference between a few items on the high-end and the low-end of the price spectrum. For instance, if you’re looking at a shingle roof, check out Lowe’s or Home Depot’s website for their shingles. Compare the warranties and other features, such as high wind resistance (crucial here in Florida) or algae resistance (also important, especially if there are trees shading your house) and get a basic grasp on the prices.

That way, you’ll be more knowledgeable in the conversation with any potential roofer, and you’ll be able to glean meaningful information and make conclusions from what they’re telling you, rather than just saying, “Yeah, ok, X brand of shingles, whatever,” while the whole answer went over your head. At the most basic level, you should understand that there are grades of quality to every potential roofing material out there. Shingles, shakes, tile, slate, and metal roofing all have different life expectancies, level of performance, and features.

Why do you need to know this? Because it’s your house. You definitely don’t want to get stuck paying premium prices for a roofer to install bargain-basement roofing materials that will disintegrate in five years. So protect your interests and get the exact name and brand of the roofing material that will be installed on your home. If you don’t understand it all during the sales pitch, you can at least look it up later. Protect your own interests, because you can be sure that the roofing contractor is going to be protecting theirs.

5. Where will you store the materials while the job is in progress?

Every roofing job requires a large volume of materials and tools. If you’re getting a metal roof, there will be sheets of metal delivered to your property, or if you’re getting a shingle roof, there will be bundles of shingles. Depending on the size of your roof, this could be a lot of material. It weighs a lot and it takes up a lot of space. Case in point: One bundle of shingles weighs approximately 75 pounds. The way shingles are typically packaged, it takes three bundles to cover 100 square feet. That’s 225 pounds right there, just for 100 square feet (which is called one “square” in roofing terminology).

What’s important for you to know:

  • Will this make a big mess on my lawn, block my driveway, or damage my landscaping?
  • Will it create an HOA violation?
  • What security measures will need to be taken to prevent the building materials from going missing or being stolen? (This goes back to the importance of your roofer carrying adequate insurance.)

6. What is your procedure for pulling the needed permits?

Notice that we phrased this as an open-ended question, not as a yes/no question. If you say, “Will you pull all the needed permits and everything?” of course you will hear, “yes.” Everyone knows that’s the right answer. Instead, ask the open-ended version so that you can test whether the roofer has a prompt and knowledgeable answer.

If your roofer doesn’t know how to pull a permit, doesn’t know when a permit would be needed, doesn’t know where to file the permit application, or think permits are overrated, that’s a red flag. Run away fast.

Brevard County accepts electronic documents and offers an expedited permit process for licensed professional contractors who are doing residential re-roofing jobs, so it should be AUTOMATIC for any roofer to take out the needed permits for your roofing job. If they don’t, it’s possible that they might not even be authorized to do business, and you won’t have any confidence that the roofing job they do will be up to code. Permits are required for roofing jobs in Brevard County, and the lack of a permit could cause you to incur additional costs, delays, or even redoing the whole job. Just avoid a nightmare and avoid working with any contractor who can’t tell you that they just need to submit the PDF of the permit application to Brevard’s Advanced Service Site (BASS). It’s that simple, and any roofer should know it.

Contact Hippo Roof Today for a Quote

We believe that you’ll notice the Hippo difference right away when you talk to us to ask about your roofing job. We have been in the business of installing metal roofs all along the Space Coast, and we are passionate about getting your job done right, with the highest-quality materials, craftsman-level skill, and unparalleled attention to detail. Learn more about our Defender Roof and the unbelievable guarantee that we offer of a Metal Roof for the Same Price as Shingles*. This roof is so good, it should outlast you, protecting your home and family for 50 years or more. Or, check out our Shield Roof if you want the longest-lasting roof possible but you can’t get a metal roof. We are here to serve all the folks in Brevard County with excellence in roofing, so contact us today for your roofing quote.