1. Do you have a license to operate?
Ideal Answer: Yes, we have a license.
Construction is a complicated job. It requires a lot of resources, skills, and experience. To protect the public, provinces have their licensing boards that set the standard and regulate the entry of contractors in the industry.
2. Are your workers covered by compensation insurance?
Ideal Answer: Yes, they are.
Labor statistics show that construction jobs are still among the most dangerous for workers. Slips falls, and other types of accidents occur frequently. These lead to severe injuries or even death. If an uninsured worker gets into an accident on your property, then you may need to pay the hospital bills which amount to thousands of dollars. This is an additional expense that homeowners would rather avoid. They can do so by hiring a contractor that has an excellent safety record and by making sure that this company has workman’s comp insurance. This is required by law, but some contractors try to reduce their operating costs by neglecting this. It shows a lack of foresight at the very least. The initial savings will be nothing compared to the cost of the medical bills, especially for major accidents.
3. Do you have general liability insurance?
Ideal Answer: Yes, we do.
There are various types of insurance with each having their specific function. Workman’s compensation insurance is focused on the well-being of the contractor’s employees while working on your property. Meanwhile, general liability insurance is meant to cover actual property damage. If the workers commit mistakes that lead to a massive fire, then the insurance provider will pay for the damages right away. Without this coverage, homeowners are left to pick up the pieces by themselves. It is a big blow for anyone. Since the stakes are so high, it is best to get solid proof from the contractor such as an insurance certificate. A quick call to verify the facts from the insurance provider will also lead to peace of mind.
4. Are you going to remove the old roof?
Ideal Answer: Yes, we will.
It can be tempting to limit your roof repairs to a superficial addition of another layer to cover the old. Some roofers will say this low-cost option is adequate following their visual inspection. This will make things look fresh, but the structure could be rotting underneath. The reality is that there could be a lot of damage hiding under the surface, but these cannot be seen unless the old singles are taken out. The first approach will only delay more expensive repairs in the future. It is better to remove the old roof and start anew.
5. Will you be installing drip edge with the new roof?
Ideal Answer: Yes, we will.
Water is the number one enemy of roofs. The damage they cause can be minimized in different ways, including the installation of a drip edge. This is a piece of aluminum that is meant to be positioned under shingles as they come off the roof. The metal extends past the edge and guides water onto the gutters. Having this in place helps in keep the wooden structure holding the roof dry. Although it is essential, it is often skipped over by contractors that are trying to reduce their costs and maximize profits. Make sure to ask about it to be clear about what you will be getting.
6. What are your plans in case of bad weather during construction?
Ideal Answer: We will protect the site from damage with waterproof materials.
Weather can be unpredictable. Even the warmest summer day can welcome sudden rain. You might think that the construction will proceed without hiccups but precious time can be wasted due to bad weather. You can schedule the work during the safest months, but you still can’t be 100% certain that you will avoid the storms. Roofers must always be prepared for any eventuality. Ask them point blank about their plans should the skies start to darken and rain begins to pour. Do they have plastic sheeting that can provide adequate coverage? Will they check on the site to make sure that things are holding up? Are they prepared to secure the sheets in case of high winds?
7. Is there a guarantee on the roof?
Ideal Answer: We will honor a warranty of at least 25 years.
Roofs do not come cheap. It is reasonable for homeowners to expect that this will be worth every penny. The structure should be free from damage for many years. Materials have drastically improved in quality while having reasonable prices. These should help in extending the life of roofing. The industry standard has been 25 years for a long while, and this should be the minimum warranty given by reputable contractors.
8. Will the landscaping be protected from the chaos of the work?
Ideal Answer: Yes, it will be protected.
Although the focus will be on the roof, the other parts of the house must not be neglected during the construction. Those who have poured significant time and money for landscaping will indeed be mindful of this. Some workers tend to toss discarded items on the ground, but these might hit flowering plants and outdoor sculptures. Accidents might lead to the destruction of part of the garden. Ask the contractor if there are systems in place to prevent this or fix the damage if it happens.
9. Will a project manager be available on the site for consultations?
Ideal Answer: Yes, a project manager will be assigned.
It is rare for constructions and renovations to run smoothly. Most of the time, something happens to spoil the initial plans or cause various problems. This could be anything from unprofessional behavior from the workers to deviations from the approved plan. There should be a way to air concerns right away and take concrete actions to solve these problems. Ask if there will be a project manager on the site. Since this person is unlikely to be there 24/7, get their phone number and other contact details to facilitate communication. This is vital. Get a name from the company before the work commences to be safe. Any roofing company worth its salt will assign a competent manager on every project.
10. Can you give a detailed estimate of the costs?
Ideal Answer: Yes, we can.
Getting a quote on the overall cost is not enough. Ask for a detailed breakdown of the project so that you can check whether each of them is realistic and not overblown. The written estimate will also help you in keeping track of the expenses during the renovations. You will be able to check if the budget is being followed or not. You might also be able to find sources that offer lower prices than those stated.