What to know before hiring a roofing company

roofing-lgQ: Does a roofing contractor need to be licensed?

Yes. Go to to check the status of the roofing contractor’s license before hiring them. You may also check to see if there have been any complaints filed against the roofing contractor’s license on that website.

Q: What type of insurance should the roofing contractor have?

When you are interviewing a roofing contractor, make sure they have general liability insurance, as well as, worker’s compensation insurance. Ask for their insurance information and call the insurance agent/company to make sure their policy is still active and that it will be active during the performance of their work on your property.

Q: Should there be a warranty on my roof?

Yes. Make sure you obtain a clearly written warranty for both the materials as well as the installation and/or labor.

Q: Once I hire a roofing contractor, do I need to obtain any permits?

It should be in your contract that the company will be responsible for obtaining the permits necessary to perform the work. Furthermore, all permits must be posted on the property before work begins.

Q: I have heard of a “mechanic’s lien release”. What is it?

In Florida, most roofing companies need to go to material companies to obtain the necessary materials to build your roof. The roofing companies obtain these materials on credit and usually do not pay the material companies in full until after the job is completed and the roofing company is paid by you.

What would happen if your association pays the roofing company in full however the roofing company does not pay the materials companies for the materials used on your roof? Your association may be liable for those costs. It is important to have your attorney draft the contract so that your association will not pay all of the money owed to the roofing company until your association obtains a release of lien from all companies that provided labor and materials.

Q: Who is responsible for removing debris from the roofing project?

You should make sure that removal of debris is included in the terms of the contract with the roofing company. Debris removal should include scraps and old roofing materials. Also ask how the roofing company will contain the job site to prevent nails and other debris from spreading throughout the yard, parking lot, etc.


Q: What are some other suggestions before hiring a roofing contractor?

You should ask about the process the work crew will use to repair your roof. Make sure that the crew will not remove more of the roof than can be replaced in a single day. There should also be enough tarps to cover the roof in case of rain on site in case of bad weather.

You should also make sure that new vent flanges and flashing are installed instead of reusing the old materials from the roof you are replacing. Often these should be replaced, even if you believe them to be sound. If this is anything other than a minor repair, insist that new flashing be used.

Your roof is likely to cost more than your car. Take the time to read and review the proposal and contract. It is highly recommended you have a lawyer review the contract to fully protect your rights. If the roofing company does not call you back or show up on time for the estimate, you should move on to the next company. At this point, the roofing company is trying to impress you. Imagine what it will be like once they have you stuck in a contract with them. Finally, call your city’s building department and ask if they have heard of your roofing company and if they have anything negative to say about them.