Hiring a roofing company is a big decision, and if it’s not something you do every day, it could be hard to know you’re getting the right roofing contractor. As humans, we never like to feel like we’re “out of our depth,” whether it’s dealing with an auto mechanic, the IRS, or even our kids’ algebra homework, and that’s exactly how we DON’T want our customers to feel when they need a new roof.
The best way to get a grasp on the things you need to know is to ask. However, sometimes, even knowing the right questions to ask is tough. That’s why we’ve put together this guide with 20 questions that you should ask when you’re considering any potential roofing company. Ask these questions to every contractor who gives you a bid and you’ll be much more able to make an informed decision and not just choose between them based on who gives you the cheapest price. If you missed the first eleven questions, you should also read part 1 and part 2 of this series, and stay tuned for our next blog post, when we’ll share part 4.
12. If something goes wrong later, what and how much will you fix?
What you’re really asking here is, “How much do you stand behind the quality of your work?” The unfortunate reality is, most roofers won’t stand behind the quality of their work. Why? Because of the nature of roofing: Most people won’t need another roof again for years and years, so roofing companies usually don’t have much incentive to cultivate relationships and earn repeat business with customers. So they figure, “I’ll just do the quickest, cheapest job I can get away with.”
We think this is a short-sighted strategy. Yes, it’s costly to the roofer to make a service call to the roof they installed last year. No, there’s not as big a profit in performing needed maintenance to PREVENT the roof from getting to the point where it needs repair. However, here at Hippo Roof, we’ve chosen to take the exact opposite approach. If someone is not going to need another roof for years, we aim to ensure that the roof we install is so spectacular, durable, and permanent that the roof truly won’t need to be replaced. Whereas other roofing companies offer a “lifetime” warranty that’s actually only 30 years when you read the fine print, we have come up with a roofing solution that will genuinely be the last roof you will ever buy. Our roofs also come with a free annual inspection when requested, and if we see maintenance issues, such as a problem with your fasteners, they would be addressed at no cost.
How can we do this, and why do we take this approach? Simply because we aim to create a community of such raving mad fans of our work that our customers can’t help but talk about us to their friends and neighbors. When someone gets a great-looking roof, they might give us a good review, but when they get a free annual inspection, they’re so blown away that they start sharing the good vibes with everyone around them.
Is your roofing company going to be short-sighted or taking the long view? You owe it to yourself to ask this question.
13. Where would you rate yourself on the quality of workmanship that you do?
Here’s a question that might throw a curve ball to the roofer you’re talking to. On the surface of it, it gives the roofer a chance to brag about the work they do. However, what you’re really going after with this question is, “Are you going to be honest with me?”
Here’s a sample of how some of the answers might sound:
- The company does poor quality work: “You know what, we get the job done fast, but we’re going to be able to offer you the cheapest price, so if budget is the main issue, choose us. Roofing is simple…no one needs to be a perfectionist.” Follow up with, “How do I know you won’t cut corners or make mistakes?”
- The company does middle-of-the-road work: “I’d rate us a 4 out of 5. There might be companies out there who are more meticulous, but they’re going to charge you an arm and a leg for all the extra time they take.” Follow up with, “Can I have some references of satisfied customers you’ve served?”
- The company does top-quality work: “Quality work is in my blood. When I work on your house, I treat it like it was my own home. I wouldn’t be true to who I am if I didn’t do things the right way.” (Watch for the person’s face to light up when they’re talking about quality. If they really care, it will show.) Follow up with, “Can you give me an example of an area of quality that’s you do but that most other roofers wouldn’t do?”
What you should watch out for is an answer that’s patently false or impossible, such as someone claiming that they’re a 5 out of 5 on quality while also quoting you the lowest prices, or someone not being able to keep up the charade once you ask the follow-up questions.
Quality workmanship is one of the hallmarks of the Hippo Roofing name, and it’s why we have chosen to specialize in metal roofs. Rather than being frustrated at our roofs failing, we just pivoted into an area that let us do work that will stand the test of time. Metal roofs are durable, wind-resistant, and energy-efficient, and they allow us to pour all that pent-up desire for quality into roof after roof.
14. How do your prices compare to your competitors?
This question gives you valuable information at face value, but it also functions as an open door for the roofer to say negative things about their competitors. No matter what business someone is in, throwing dirt on a competitor is usually in poor taste. It’s better to keep the focus on the positive value you bring to the table than to start trying to stomp on the other guys. It can also indicate insecurity or unprofessionalism. The higher road is to refrain from bashing the competition, so listen for whether you can respect their approach when you bring it up.
This a particularly difficult question to answer for someone whose prices are higher than the competition, but it’s also the chance for them to show you where they shine. For instance, the more expensive companies might tell you something like this:
- “Our base service is going to be $2000 more than most competitors, but here’s why: We include an attic ventilation assessment and no one else does. There are roofers who just plop roofing material on the top of your house and call it a day, but a poorly-ventilated attic will shorten the life of your roof and also potentially damage your home and your health. We include this as a standard procedure because we believe in how valuable it is to not go without this step.”
- “Yes, our prices run a bit higher than the rest of the guys out there, but here’s what you get with that price: You get X, Y, and Z, plus this bonus and that extra service, etc.”
Give your roofer a chance to offer an explanation for why their prices are higher (or lower) than the competition, and at minimum, you may find out some useful information.
15. Do you have reviews or recommendations by your customers?
We’ve touched on requesting this in question 13, but if you haven’t done so already, ask! This is a great way to find out what other local people are saying about the roofing company you’re talking to.
The most powerful kind of review is one that lists the full name of the person giving the review, with an address, telephone number, or other method where you can verify that the review is not fake. It goes without saying that most people won’t want to give this kind of review, as they don’t want their personal information being broadcasted. With that in mind, it’s a remarkable fact that we have a list of over 100 clients who are so happy with our work, they’ve given us permission to give out their telephone number and stated their willingness to provide a reference to any potential new customer, describe their experience, and talk about their overall satisfaction with the job.
Another great type of review is a video review, because you get to hear the person’s authentic voice as they tell in their own words about the experience they had and whether they would do it again if they could do it over. If video is more your style, check out our video testimonials here.
Get your free roofing quote from Hippo Roofing today
Contact Hippo Roof for your roofing job anywhere on the Space Coast, and enjoy the benefits of a permanent roofing solution that will protect your home for years to come. A metal Hippo Roof is the last roof you’ll ever need to buy, and since it’s energy-efficient, you may even save on your air conditioning costs. Give us a call and ask for a quote today — and don’t hesitate to ask the questions we’ve covered here! Stay tuned for our next blog for the rest of the questions you should ask.