1. Contractor Licensing?
Most states require some type of contractor licensing, whether through the state itself or through each county or city-sometimes all three. Ask your contractor and also call your county or city government to ask about requirements for contractor licensing.
2. Does the contractor have liability and workers’ comp insurance?
If they do, how much? Your contractor should be able to easily provide you with a certificate of insurance from their insurance provider. Stating you and your property as additional insured protects you from being liable if one of the crew member is injured while on your property. Your contractor should also have insurance specific to that of the field they work in i.e. a roofing contractor should have roofing specific insurance. Not having field specific insurance can complicate claims. Many “fly by night” contractors do not carry insurance.
3. How long has your contractor been in business? Have you heard anything about their reputation?
Look for a contractor with experience and longevity. If they have been around for awhile, it’s probably because they have done the job right and have return customers. Also, ask those around you if they have heard of this contractor or anything about their reputation?
4. What is the labor warranty and material warranty- how do they both work?
A reputable contractor should be able to offer at least a two- year labor warranty, along with the manufacturer’s warranty for the products they will be installing. Make sure to ask your contractor how the warranty works- what exactly will be covered with labor warranty? Will the manufacturer’s warranty cover the labor to reinstall if there are any material defects? How will the contractor decide if the issue will be covered by the labor warranty or the manufacturer’s warranty? Can they provide a sample warranty so you can read the terms beforehand?
5. Will there be a roof inspection?
Will your contractor offer an inspection after the job is completed, not only for the roof but for other problems in the house that could lead to problems with the roof? Will you be able to get a roof inspection later on to ensure the roof is performing properly?
6. Does the contractor provide a written estimate?
Don’t accept a quote over the phone with a brief description of what the work might entail. A written estimate and contract not only protects the contractor, it protects you as well. If the estimate is not specific enough, ask for more detail. Also, will the estimator note other issues with the building that may lead to problems with the roof?
7. Does your estimate include pulling a permit?
Pulling a building department permit should be the responsibility of
the contractor, not the client. This wil protect you from insurance liability issues and ensure the correct informaition and prcedures are followed. A contractor who doesn’t include this service may try to add it in later as a change order.
8. Does the contractor belong to any organizations or associations?
Belonging to associations and organizations such as Colorado Roofing Association and National Association of Home builders means the contractor is more than just another company- they are involved and aiding in making new policies and regulations in construction.
9. Are they a member of the BBB or another reputable business rating organization?
The BBB monitors and rates companies through their past and present business and customer experiences. BBB can also help with disputes if there is an issue down the road. Check your contractors BBB rating by going online at www.BBB.org.
10. Is the contractor bondable?
A bondable contractor helps reduce the risk in larger projects. A bond constitutes a legal guarantee that the project will be completed as expected and if for some reason the project is not completed, the bonding company will provide some form of compensation to the owner.
11. Can the contractor provide client references?
Your contractor should be able to give you contact names and phone numbers for past and present customers and should have testimonials
12. Trade references?
In this economy, many vendors are not getting paid for materials. Getting trade references from your contractor can put you in direct contact with the vendors and ensure they are getting paid when your contractor gets paid. Requiring a lien release for all involved parties, vendors, subcontractors, etc, from your contractor can ensure everyone is paid in a timely and
13. Does contractor have alternate phone numbers or emergency paging system?
If something happens, will your contractor respond quickly to your needs, even if it’s after hours? How does the emergency system work, is there a response time frame?
14. What kind of supervision will be on the job site?
A supervised crew is an efficient crew. Will there be a manager on site? How are the crews run and how are they supervised?