Hiring the right roofer

To be sure if you need a new roof and to ensure that the roof system installed will be appropriate for your home, call in a qualified professional roofer. He will check out the shingles, the flashings and the attic ventilation and then recommend remedial action that should be taken.

Homeowners are often unsure about how to go about selecting the best roofer for the job. If you understand what makes a good roof and follow some very basic common sense rules, the selection process is simplified.

Basic rules for selecting roofers

  • Ask for several quotes – three should give you a good idea of what a new roof for your home is worth.
  • Always compare apples with apples. Make sure that the roofers quote on the same basis – including like shingles, underlayment, eave protector, proper ventilation, etc.
  • Most often, roofing problems that do occur are not related to manufacturing defects but to installation. Roof warranties do not cover improper installation, so be sure your roofer will stand behind his work.
  • Start with BP Certified Roofers. They are highly qualified experts who have satisfied a strict set of guidelines established to ensure your roofing work is completed with the utmost care. They must be licensed, have liability insurance, be in business at least five years, provide references and pass rigorous exams on products and installation.

  • Ask for references. And don’t be shy about checking with the homeowners given as references.
  • Check out jobs being done in your neighborhood. Watch closely for the care the installers take in applying the materials. Neighbors who’ve had roofs done could be good – though not always the best – sources of information. Back up their references with your own visual inspection.
  • Your local home centre is a valuable source of information for any renovation project. Their roofing experts can also provide you with a list of reliable contractors.
  • Finally, you can contact your provincial roofing contractors association for a list of reputable, licensed contractors.
  • Know what you are getting for the money

  • A good roofer will not cut corners to lower the price. Remember, you are looking for the best value, not just the best price. For example, make sure the roofer is including proper underlayment and eave protection. These are important elements in ensuring the water-tightness of your roof and, since the cost represents only a small portion of the total expense, they are well worth the money.
  • Premium and architectural shingles cost more than standard shingles. Again, the up-charge is proportionally small compared to the extra warrantied protection and the added aesthetic value and resale value they provide.
  • Although no roofer can guarantee that absolutely no damage to your property will occur, the contractor should include in his quotation the protection of your house and surrounding yard during installation and then the clean-up after the job is done.
  • Once your selection has been made, be sure the job is done to your specifications and to your satisfaction.
  • Be home when the job is being done.
  • If any additional work, such as deck or chimney repairs, is required, you should be notified before the work proceeds.
  • You are not expected to be a roofing expert, but it helps to know the basics. If something the installers do begs a question, ask the crew foreman while he is there. Again, don’t be shy; it’s your roof and your money.
  • DreamRoofs.com is a free Canadian web-based consumer information portal designed to increase the awareness of the issues surrounding the installation, selection, design and warranty of a residential roof.