Roofing contractors are the people to call when your roof has been damaged. They are also able to install new roofs, clean them, and remove snow from the top of your house. However, not all roofing contractors are credible. Some illegally sell their services, so there are a few things you need to know before hiring a roofer. Having a basic understanding of the common responsibilities of this kind of worker will also help you find what you’re looking for and have a stress-free experience.
What Are Roofing Contractors?
A roofer is a professional who is certified to repair, replace, and install roofs. Additional services they may offer include roof cleaning, snow removal from the roof, and ice dam melting. Whether they accept commercial, residential, or, both types of work depends on the particular contractor. Roofing contractors are either self-employed or employed by construction companies. Moreover, roofers can differ by the type of materials they work with. Some companies offer multiple types of roof, such as metal, asphalt shingle, and clay tile. Others prefer to specialize in one area.
Some builders decide to become roofers because they have extensive knowledge of home construction. Others enter the field with a background in carpentry. People who are interested in becoming certified roofers must spend time in the field learning.
Roofers have a tough work environment. Their jobs involve a lot of bending, lifting, kneeling, and climbing. They are also outdoors most of the day whether it’s hot or cold. Some roofers fall sick with heat-related illnesses in the summer as roofs can become extremely hot. Roofers tend not to work when it rains or snows because it’s too dangerous and the type of work they need to do might not be feasible in that sort of weather. During cold winter months, when it snows, they may focus more on melting ice dams and raking snow from the roof.
Pros and Cons of Roofing Contractors
Advantages of Roof Contractors
- Contractors are knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to roofing. Many of them went to school for three or more years, and all of them have hands-on experience. If you attempt a DIY roofing project, it might not turn out as you hoped due to minor things you either misunderstood in the instructions or didn’t know.
- Roofers give accurate estimates on how much material is needed for a project. When you attempt a roofing job on your own, you might overestimate or underestimate. Buying too much or too little material is one of the common mistakes roofing DIYs make.
- They are required to gain experience before becoming certified. This is a good thing because even the new contractors already have experience working on actual roofs. Although you may learn a lot through reading and studying, having experience is necessary to complete the learning process.
- Roofing contractors have a wide variety of tools in order to fix any problem that may arise. When you try fixing your roof by yourself, an unexpected issue may reveal itself. And if you don’t have the necessary tools for fixing it, you’ll have to buy or rent them. Roofers use their own tools, so you don’t have to worry about that when hiring them.
- If a roofer makes a mistake, they will usually fix it at no extra cost to you. Making a mistake while attempting to repair or install a roof on your own costs you extra money because you’ll have to hire a home roofing contractor to fix it.
Disadvantages of Roof Contractors
- The roofing industry is popular among scammers. Therefore, you must know what signs to look for in a credible roofer. Whether you’re looking for home roofing contractors or commercial roofing contractors, you must check if they’re reputable. The National Roofing Contractors Association is a good place to find certified roofing professionals.
- You could be liable if a worker is injured on your property. Therefore, you should only consider hiring contractors that are insured. You’re taking a huge risk if you hire someone who doesn’t have insurance.
What to Expect from Roofing Contractors
Most locations require roofers to obtain business licenses from the state in order to sell their services. Contractors usually have to earn a certification from the state in which they plan on doing business in as well. You should never hire a roofer who doesn’t have a certification because it’s too risky. There are certain safety procedures and legalities that roofers need to know. Obtaining a certification ensures they know what they’re doing and won’t put you or your family at risk.
Some roofers offer free inspections, which is the first step in repairing a roof. Always check if a roofer you’re interested in hiring offers free inspections so that you don’t unnecessarily pay for a roof inspection. Because some types of roof damage are hidden, roofers aren’t always able to tell you with 100% certainty what the source of a problem is. After the inspection, roofers calculate the cost of materials needed for repairs. You can also calculate the material costs with an online roofing calculator. This way you can check the roofer’s estimate. Homeowners can sometimes save money buying the materials on their own and just paying a contractor for their labor.
Be aware that some roofers hire sub-contractors to help them when they take on large roofs. If you don’t want them to hire sub-contractors, bring it up during contract negotiations. Another important thing to know when you’re looking for a roofer is most locations require them to have an electrician’s license for installing solar panels. Roofers who aren’t able to legally install solar panels are allowed to hire sub-contractors to handle that task for them.
Putting It All Together
When choosing a roofing contractor, always check their certification to know they’re reputable. You should also ensure they’re covered by insurance. It’s usually better to hire roofers when you need work done on the roof because they have the knowledge, experience, and proper tools to complete the job quickly. Hiring a good roof contractor will save you time and money overall.