E.W. MacDowell Roofing Questions

What Questions Should I Ask My Roofing Contractor?

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 Why you need to ask your roofing contractor questions about your roofing project.

     When you get work done on your roof, it is important to understand what you are getting and how the process works. You want to make sure that your home's integrity isn't jeopardized, and that the job goes according to plan.
You may be tempted to just let a contractor do his or her job without discussing too much of the details with them. But if you were hiring an electrician or a plumber, would you expect him or her to go right ahead installing whatever equipment he chose? Would it be alright for him not to tell you what kind of wiring was being used? Or maybe he'd lop off a pipe here and there because "it got in the way"? Probably not.
South Florida Roofing Contractor Project
     And yet many people don't ask the right questions when they hire roofers. That is why you should always be sure to cover the basics of a project before it gets started: what's being done, how it will look afterward, and whether or not it will impact your home's value. You certainly don't want to cause damage by not knowing enough.

     There are some items you need to discuss with a roofing contractor before anything else goes on: Ask about the materials they will be using. A lot of people don't think about this one, but it's crucial. This is especially true if your roof is older and needs replacing because existing materials may not be suited to the new roof. Materials like shingles aren't always easy to work with - so even if you don't care what color or design they use, you should still know that asphalt shingles are being used for instance. The kind of work they will do in terms of tearing off old material as needed, installing new layers etc., along with what tools and machinery they will use and how everything gets cleaned up afterwards.


     These are easy to overlook, but they're important to have answered before you work with a contractor. It's also important that you know what your home and personal property will be exposed to while the work is being done. Another thing to ask is how long the project will take, both in terms of planning as well as actual installation time. And if it won't be completed within a day or two - when can you reasonably expect it to be finished? Remember, with roofing projects there isn't always perfect weather and sometimes it gets worse if more than usual rain occurs (since this seems like an issue for most of these days). These things should all be discussed beforehand in order for them not to come up during implementation: otherwise things start to get even more difficult.


     To help you find the answers to these questions, you can ask your contractor references or look them up yourself if possible. This way, before you hire a contractor by phone or in person, you'll have a pretty good idea of whether or not they are "the one for the job". Check their registration with your state's license board and make sure they're properly certified to work on roofs. Go down this checklist with each potential roofer so that it is clear what is being done and what details need to be addressed before moving forward in any manner. If they seem unsure about something, press them for an answer…but only after politely inquiring as to why they don't know yet! Of course there's no reason to be pushy, but it's better to know what is going on than not.

Palm Beach County Roofing Contactor Installation of New Roof
      Of course there are other things you need to think about as well: maybe the contractor needs to come onsite beforehand so he can give you a more accurate estimate of how your roof will look afterwards. This way, you can make any necessary adjustments while everything is still in the planning phase and before anything major gets started. It's always best to take all challenges into account before they become problems, especially with a roofing project that has the potential for damage if something goes wrong. And finally, don't forget that these answers should be written down somewhere - after all, you're paying them and this could save time down the road if any kind of dispute comes up.


      Finally, if your roof needs replacing or even repair, be sure to have it inspected by a professional like E.W. MacDowell Roofing first, before you start working with anyone on the project. This way, you can get an idea of what will need done and how much it will cost so that you are prepared for whatever happens next in the process.

 A Dozen Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractor that is Business Related. 

1. How long has your business been in operation?
2. You’re a local business, but where are you operating from?
3. Who is the owner of the business, and how long have they had ownership of it?
4. Do you have any prior projects I can visit in the area?
5. Who is going to be doing the work? Are they hired employees or subcontractors? Do you have a house or building in the area you’re currently doing roofing working on?
6. Do the roofers have any formal training and experience?
7. May I speak with a prior client of yours?
8. When can I have my roof scheduled for work?
9. How long does a roof of my type and size normally take to complete?
10. What licensing do you currently have to perform this work? Are you insured, and do the workers have worker’s compensation insurance? Would you mind sharing this information with me please?
11. Is a building permit required to do the roofing project, and if so, would you be pulling the permit?
12. What precautions do you take to ensure your workers, myself, and my family are safe during the roofing project?

 A List of Questions Everyone Should Ask Their Roofing Company 

1. How do you plan on having the workers gain access to the roof?

2. What plan do you have for removing my old roofing material? Are you using a dumpster for disposal? Are you providing any porta-    potties for the workers?

3. What do you do in order to make sure our gutters do not get destroyed in the process?

4. If there is inclement weather like lightning, are you going to stop work?

5. Do you provide written warranties for the craftsmanship that goes into my roof? If so, when will I get this information?

6. Are you going to use manufacturer recommended fasteners for the roofing installation, and are you able to provide documentation that shows the right ones were used?

7. What are you going to do to protect my driveway and lawn from damage caused by the equipment and dumpster? If there is damage, are you paying for the repair?

8. What is the cost of plywood replacement per square if it needs to be replaced?

9. Whom is my main point of contact for the duration of the project if I need assistance?

10. Is there anyone on your team that is responsible for overseeing the quality of the roofing installation?

11. Are you planning on replacing the flashing and drip edge with all new ones, or are you planning to salvage the existing flashing and
metal material for the re-roof?

12. Do you have an installation plan for how the new roof will be installed?

13. If there is any parts of the roof that you plan to seal vs adding flashing?

14. For any piping penetrations, how do you plan to make sure there is no water leaks?

15. What form of payments do you accept?

16. Is there any reason there could be a deviation from the price outlined in the contract?

17. What steps do you use to determine the condition of the roof decking? Do you perform any type of “fastener pull-out” testing?

18. What signs are my roof showing that indicates it needs to be replaced? Should I consider additional venting from what was originally installed?

19. Are you planning to inspect the attic space to see if there is any mold or excessive moisture accumulation?

20. Are there any type of utility service rebates or tax credits that I am eligible for in my area for installing a new roof?

 Be Sure To Ask Your Roofing Company About the Following Items Related to Your Roof. 

1. If your roof has protrusions such as walls, skylights, or chimneys, ask the salesperson to show you how those will be handled. This will tell you if they know what they are doing. The flashing needs to be inserted behind or into most roof protrusions. The skylight needs to be curbed at a higher level than the roof plane.

2. Skylights can be dangerous. Some can break and the glass may fall down. If you have any that are over ten years old, we recommend replacing them.

3. If you have a chimney, make sure to ask if it has a cricket. Cricket is something to keep the air going up and down. You need one if your chimney is 18" or wider.

4. Tell the contractor if there are any unusual things you have seen in regards to the design of your roof. They will probably not know what they are, so be sure to tell them. Dead valleys would be an example of something unusual.

5. Look for any places that are not right on your roof. You will have to change the structure of the roof or else you will have problems later.

6. If your roof has a lot of streaks and stains, make sure to talk about it with the contractor. They will have ideas on how to fix the problem in the future.

7. If your roof has a low pitch, make sure that the contractor shows you proof that the manufacturer approves it to be used on roofs of your kind.

8. Be very specific when you talk to a contractor about your Attic Ventilation. This starts with understanding how ventilation works and what it does. Be sure you know exactly what will be done on the new roof so there won't be more exhaust vents than intake vents. It is a great time to address this issue when your home has new roofing!

9. Decide if your old roof needs to be removed. Ask a professional. Sometimes, two layers of roofing can work well together.

10. If you want your new roof to be environmentally friendly, then you should ask if it uses less energy. If there are recycled materials in the roof, or if it is easily recyclable at the end of its life. You can ask whether or not your new roof is Energy Star rated.

     If you are like many homeowners, then the answer is that you wish someone had taught or coached you on how to ask the right questions of your potential contractors. This information should put you in the best position for a good project outcome and control.
In conclusion, these questions will allow you to put you in a better position to make an informed decisions and avoid making costly mistakes. When you have the answers to even some of these questions, it will shed light on any confusing things your roofing contractor says about their business, and may get insight into how knowledgeable they are.
     The roofer's response to these questions will allow you to get a feel for how comfortable they are with what they're doing. When there is something that makes your eyebrows raise or make you think twice, then it might be something regarding the job. You need to know this information before hiring the contractor. Keep asking questions until you get answers that are clear and understandable.
Asking good questions can help ensure that what you hire will be someone who will do the job well and that it'll go smoothly from start to finish. If you have more questions about roofing, we'd be happy to help answer all your questions. We look forward to serving you.
E.W. MacDowell Inc. Roofing
Your #1 source for all your roofing needs in South Florida.