Depending on the type of roofing material, a house’s roof should only be replaced every twenty to thirty years. Therefore, you will likely only replace the roof once in the time that you own the property. However, to ensure that is the case and you don’t have to replace the roof again any time soon, make sure you vet a roofing contractor thoroughly first.
Here's how property owners should interview a roofing company before hiring one!
12 Vital Questions to Ask a Roofer
Checking the roof for leaks is an essential point on every rental property inspection checklist. If your property’s roof needs repairs or replacing, it is a task best left to the professionals. Not every roofing company is the right contractor for rental property repairs or replacements. So, how can you find the right one? Here are 12 questions to ask when interviewing a roofing contractor.
1. How Long Have You Been in Business?
Find out how long the roofing company has been in business. This will tell you how experienced they are and might be a fair indication of whether they can provide good work at a reasonable price.
The benefit of a roofing company such as Bondoc Roofing which has been in business for some time is that there will be plenty of references for you to check. In addition, an established roofing business should have many examples of work they have done and be proud to show it off.
2. Do You Have a Business License?
If you want to do extra due diligence, phone your local licensing offices to check that the license is up-to-date and that there are no outstanding violations.
3. Do They Have a Physical Location?
You've probably seen the influx of roofers that seem to appear (as if from nowhere) after a hail storm. Many of these companies don't have physical locations at all (or anywhere near your home).
Inquire about the business's physical address. You want to know if they have a physical office location and staff nearby to follow up on warranties or other issues that could occur with a new roof.
Steer clear of fly-by-night roofers that come into a town after a storm. They won’t be around if there are issues with your new roof.
4. Do You Have Liability Insurance?
You may be liable if a roof repair worker sustains an injury from falling off a ladder, and your landlord insurance might not cover the cost. Check that the business has both workers’ compensation and liability insurance.
Workers’ compensation covers the landlord in case a contractor is injured on the property. Liability insurance covers the costs of damage resulting from work done by the roofers. Call the insurance company to verify the insurance coverage is active.
5. Do They Operate Company Vehicles?
San Antonio property managers recommend asking about company vehicles. We know this might seem strange.
However, when a company allows its team to use company vehicles, it shows that they care about employees using well-maintained vehicles and delivering quality services. A business that cannot invest in company vehicles is a poor sign.
6. Do They Have Good Reviews?
Beyond asking the roofer for client references that you can check, it's also smart to check for online reviews. Type the business name into Better Business Bureau and social media sites like Facebook. These web searches should reveal any potential red flags that could make you reluctant to use a particular business for your roofing project.
7. What Kind of Roof Warranties Do They Offer?
Find out whether the company offers warranties for the work they do. The manufacturer typically provides a warranty for the materials used while the roofers cover the work. Get clear information about the coverage and how long each warranty is valid.
8. Do They Work With Subcontractors?
Ask your professional roofer whether they subcontract to complete certain aspects of the project. They should be able to clearly explain to you which tasks they outsource and why. Then, make sure subcontractors carry the necessary licenses and insurance too.
9. Can They Provide a Written Quote?
To avoid any costly surprises when it comes to the final bill, ask your roofer for a written estimate for the project. A realistic estimate will include the expense of labor and materials, as well as the cost of removing the old roof should this be necessary. A written quote should also include estimated costs for additional things that could come up, like replacing rotten wooden support beams.
10. How Long Does it Take Them to Complete Their Work?
To ensure that your turnover time is as short as possible, find out how long it will take the roofer to complete the project. Ask what contingency plans they have in place should there be any impediments to completing the project in time. For example, do they have a plan for bad weather? Do they have backup staff to help get a project done in a given time frame?
When roofing work takes too long, tenants are displaced, and other renovation work can't take place (leading to lost income for rental property owners).
11. Do They Take Care of Gutters and Landscaping?
Ask your potential roofer what standard procedures they have in place to ensure that your gutters and your lawn and exterior landscape look precisely the same after the project’s completion as they did before they started.
Will they ensure that workers don’t step on your bushes and walk ruts into your lawn? Do they make sure that heavy equipment rests on the sidewalk and not on your lawn? Make sure you understand their working practices before you're surprised by destroyed landscaping at your property.
12. How Do They Handle Refuse Removal?
You don’t want to have a new roof and a yard full of building rubble. How does the roofing company deal with refuse removal?
Find out whether your roofer will remove all roof-related refuse material from your property at the end of the job. Check what they do to ensure that debris, such as sharp nails that may harm the tenants or their pets, is removed from the property.
San Antonio Property Manager Can Help You Find the Right Roofer
Does this all sound like a lot of work? Sure, it does! However, if you want to only replace the roof once in the time that you own the property and have contactable service providers should anything go wrong, you have to do your due diligence on the roofer that you hire for the job.
If you are not up to the task, enlist the services of our San Antonio property managers. We have relationships with the best roofers in the area! Contact MHN Property Management to find out how we can simplify the care of your property investments with trustworthy, professional service providers.