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Listen for specific measures that are taken to ensure worker safety (harnesses, heavy equipment, etc.). Don’t settle for a vague statement like, “Well, they try not to fall off the roof!”
Make sure the roofer agrees to clean up all shingle pieces, wood remnants, and other assorted debris before he departs. That’s part of what you’re paying them for.
Roofing materials will come with product warranties. But you should also inquire about whether the contractor guarantees the labor and installation itself. Reputable roofers will stand behind their work with a labor warranty.
Try to get two or three references of past jobs … and then check them out. Not only should you examine the work in person, but ask homeowners if the roofing projects were completed on time and at a cost in accordance with the estimate.
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Though they can’t predict the future, a good contractor can list possible issues that may result in the job costing more — like discovering extensive water damage underneath an old roof, for example.
If so, get all of the pertinent information about the subcontractors (name, license, insurance, etc.). Then make sure you find out specifically who will be overseeing the actual work on-site.
Most neighborhoods or municipalities require some type of permit before embarking on a roofing job. If the contractor refuses to handle the procurement of these permits, it’s not a positive sign.