How to Choose a Good Roofer

Finding the Best Roofers Near You

Roofing Vancouver WA
Having any type of roof work is an investment. Since roofs eventually need to be replaced, and it is more often the case than not that a replacement is more cost effective per square inch than taking care of multiple repairs year after year, you want to make sure you are getting the most for your money. You want a roofer who is experienced, reputable, and will grantee his work with a good warranty. If you are looking for roofers in Vancouver, WA, you are welcome to call Dr Roof Inc for more information on choosing the right roofers. Otherwise, here are some tips to follow when looking for roofers you can trust.

Choose roofers who specialize in your area

You want a roofer who has an established reputation in the Vancouver community. Their projects list should include places you’re familiar with — whether it’s a smattering of private residences in Fisher’s Landing or commercial projects like your new favorite coffee shop on Mill Plain Boulevard.

That means selections a roofer who not only does business in the area, but that has roots that go back at least a few years as being owned and operated in your state. The reason to verify this information is based on stability. A warranty is not worth much if, when you call to have a repair made within the covered time-frame, you can’t find the company and are not even sure which state it was based in. A local company with a minimum of five years’ experience has proven they can be found and are likely to be around if/when you need to discuss their work in the future.

Roofing company references

Of course word-of-mouth is one of the best way to find a good roofer. If you know a few people who have used a certain contractor and have been happy with their work and their costs, that is the first call you want to make. If, on the other hand, you don’t have anyone you know to offer up a good reference, start by checking out reviews online. Look for companies that have been rated highly by multiple reviewers. It is pretty safe to assume a company with only a few reviewers who all gave them a five-star rating are likely friends and family of that contractor. Generally with a minimum of ten reviews, it is safe to assume several will be from legitimate, unbiased customers. And, it goes without saying, you want to see a high rating from those reviewers.

You can also ask companies you are considering to offer you a list of references. They should be happy to provide contact information of customers who they have recently completed projects for. Make sure you call. Don’t assume that since the company turned over a list that it means those customers were happy, so there is no need to call. Do call. Have a prepared list of questions such as:

  1. Did they finish on budget and stay within what was quoted?
  2. Did they finish on time?
  3. Did they do a good cleanup when the project was complete?
  4. How was the customer service when you had questions or needed to reach them?
  5. Were you satisfied with the quality of work done?

Roofer credentials

Licensed roofers should have a contractor’s registration number. This is proof that the contractor has met the requirements in your state to work as a contractor. It is a minimum requirement that any roofer you use should absolutely have. If they do not, they are not even legally allowed to act as a roofer and their work will not be protected in any way.Roofers Vancouver Washington

Cost Compare

It is always a good idea to get more than one estimate for your roof work. Most companies will complete a thorough inspection and offer an estimate for free. Get at least 3 estimates. While it may be tempting to go with the lowest bid, that is not the best way to select a roofer. Their estimates should not be lower than 20% from one another. If one stands out as much lower than the other two estimates, there is generally cause to worry. Underbidding means that contractor is making up the difference somehow. You don’t want that to be with low quality materials and under-trained, inexperienced laborers.

Roofing contractors should offer a written Bid

An estimate should always be in writing. If you wind up with problems down the road and do not have a written estimate, then it is your word against the company’s on what was originally quoted. Make sure the estimate is not only in writing, but detailed. You want it to include line items for each service and product being suggested.

Ask about the type of roofing you will be getting. Some roofing materials have warranties that include winds up to a certain speed, salt-water exposure, or a high amount of snowfall. If you live in a climate that sees harsh weather conditions, ask if the contractor will be using materials guaranteed for those conditions.

Ask the roofer if you have been given an estimate or a bid. An estimate is a best guess based on a cursory, visual inspection, but it won’t include any costs for deeper damage that may not be visible from the surface. A bid is more inclusive and is a list of actual costs for the service, it also requires a deeper level of inspection, which a good roofer will not shy away from completing.

In the beginning, comparing bids is fine, but you want an actual bid in writing before you agree to any work.

Hidden Costs

Once you get the estimate, make sure your ask questions about it. Good communication should be a part of a good roofer’s M.O. If you get flack about asking questions, then stop the process. A reputable roofer will understand that people who are not in the roofing industry are not apt to understand all the details. The roofer should be happy to explain the items on the estimate and answer all your questions.

Ask what the line items mean. Ask what brand of products they use. Familiarize yourself with the terms on the estimate by doing a little research online. This is how you will come to understand if the products being used come with their own solid warranty, if line items are being duplicated or manufactured. A written estimate is necessary, but is should also be understood. Also compare the items on different estimates from the different roofers. Ask them to explain why their cost may differ on a specific item from what another roofer quoted. Know what you are getting into.

Don’t Let Them Come to You

Roofers who come to you unsolicited are a big warning. Don’t wait to hear what they have to say and don’t agree to let them inspect your roof. Reputable contractors do not go fishing for work, scam artist do! A roofing company should have an office with a local address and a phone someone answers with their business name. They should be licensed and have an online presence, replete with reviews.  In other words, they are a real business. They find customers through advertising, community ties, and word-of-mouth referrals, not going door to door scaring people about the state of their roof without having been invited to do so. If someone knocks on your door to talk about your roof or leaves you a flier saying they have done a visual inspection, run. 

Good Customer Care

Customer service is always a mainstay in any good business. Your questions should be met with forthcoming information and friendliness. A contractor who seems to get defensive or is simply unpleasant is not one you want to be working with if there winds up being a problem. Just like any other type of professional, roofers should offer open communication and be pleasant to work with. If you are not getting that right from the start, imagine how difficult the contractor may become if there is an issue with his or her work down the road.

Bonded and Insured

Here is another place where you want to do due diligence. Ask the roofer for proof to their worker’s compensation and liability insurance. Actually call the insurance company to verify they hold current coverage. They cost they put into insurance is also a cost that is there for your protection. Call While not all companies choose to pay the BBB fees to be listed as a member, it is yet another place to check for validity.