Most roofing contractors will tell you that a good roof should last anywhere from 15 to 25 years. If you're having problems with leaks, loose shingles, or gutters before your roof reaches that mark, chances are it can be repaired instead of completely replaced. A professional roofer will carefully evaluate your problems to give you several options to consider.
Even if you are familiar with roofing contractors from referrals or past experience, it's always a good idea to get multiple opinions and bids for the work you need done. When you are gathering information, make sure to compare the types of materials that they will use, how much time it will take, what they will charge you, and their payment terms. The lowest bid may not necessarily be poor quality, and the highest bid may not be the best quality. It's important to balance the quality of work with the budget you have in mind so you can be sure you are getting the best value! Make sure to consider the following questions:
What materials do they use?
Make sure the roofing contractors you research offer the complete line of products you'll need. If you have a lot of angles to your roof or an unusual color or texture of shingles, you'll want to make sure the team has knowledge of those particular products. Ask about the materials they use for all aspects of the roof, including the flashing, gutters, insulation, attic vents and ventilation.
Do they offer a warranty on their products and / or work?
Many manufacturers will offer a standard warranty on their products. Reputable roofing contractors will also offer a guarantee on their work and your satisfaction. Chances are, if a company stands behind their work, they are going to do a good job.
How experienced is their team?
Ask questions about the experience of the individuals who will be doing the work. How long have they been doing installations or repairs? If they only know about repairing a few loose shingles, you may not want to use them for replacing your roof. Are they certified and licensed by any particular groups? You should also make sure they are insured against injuries to their team or for damage to your property.
Can they fully explain the reason for the suggested options for a new installation or repairs?
A reputable company will not just tell you what you need, they will also tell you why you need it. In most cases, they should be able to offer different options that will vary in quality and cost and give you the pros and cons of each option.
Can they give references for similar jobs?
You should get two or three references from the company for similar jobs. Ask the references about the time it took for the job compared to their projections, and if the cost came in as expected. Most importantly, ask them if they would use the company again.