A new roof is a big investment. It’s something you really only ever do once or maybe twice in a lifetime, so you want to make sure you get it done right. The hard part, though, is choosing the right roofer. Even if you have your materials and color all picked out, you still need to find a roofer who will give you an honest estimate and can deliver a quality roof sure to last at least the next few decades. So, if you’re in the process of finding the right roofer to give you an estimate or quote, here are a few questions to ask while you’re interviewing to help narrow your choices down to a few top-quality professionals:

#1 Who will be on the job?

Depending on the size of the company, it’s not always reasonable for a business owner to be at every single job site every day. That said, a reputable roofer will have a project manager or contact person in charge of each job site, that you can go to with any questions or concerns while they’re working on your new roof. This person will understand the ins and outs of your roofing project and will be available to answer any questions you may have. Quality roofers assign a point person to each job, so that clients are in the know, and don’t have to worry about playing phone tag while trying to figure out where their project is in the timeline.

#2 Do you offer a warranty?

Most manufacturer roofing materials come with a minimum warranty of about 25 years. While warranties will differ from company to company depending on the material you choose and the roofer you’re going with, you should at least get a 25-year warranty. Some roofers might offer an additional limited warranty on their labor, but don’t go with anyone who offers you less than a 25-year warranty on the materials.

#3 Do you have homeowner references?

Quality roofers tend to do a ton of projects every summer. Most good ones won’t mind if you check out one of their ongoing projects to see what the process looks like. If you’re considering a new roof in the off-season, or if the roofer you’re working with doesn’t have any ongoing projects, then they should give you a list of homeowner references—these will be people they did roofs for in the past, who you can talk to about the quality of their installation. Any roofer who refuses to offer references might not be your best choice. A quality roofer will be proud to show off their previous work, and shouldn’t hesitate to give you a few contact numbers.

#4 Will you remove the old roof?

It’s important to remember that in most cases, you’ll have to have your old roof removed before you can have the new one put on. While most roofers are pretty upfront about the cost of removing the old roof, there are roofers out there who will add on that fee at the end, unexpectedly increasing how much you have to pay. Make sure to ask if old roof removal is shown in the initial quote, and if it isn’t, ask to have them include it in your estimate before you commit.

#5 How do you protect the lawn and landscaping?

You work hard to make the area around your home look nice, and there’s a lot of mess and debris that comes in the roofing process. First, there’s the teardown process, which is the removal of all of the old shingles from your existing roof, and then there’s the installation of all the new shingles. With shingles, nails, and tools flying around all over the place, bushes, trees, and flowers can get damaged. Be sure to ask any potential roofers how they work to protect your landscaping while they’re on the job. It’s a good idea to let them know what you’re worried about being damaged in the first place, but a good roofer will already have your home in mind and will have a plan in place to keep your yard looking nice and tidy.  

#6 How long will the job take?

You want to have an idea of how long the job will take because, after all, they are roofing the house you live in. It’s not always fun to have workers up on the roof hammering away at 6 a.m., so you’ll want to prepare by asking how long the roofer expects your project to take. If you’re interviewing multiple roofers and notice that there are some installation time discrepancies, know that it’s likely a result of how many jobs each roofer has at one time. A company that has a ton of jobs might take a bit longer to complete your roof since their workers might be spread a bit thin, whereas a company with no other jobs will give you a super short estimate. If you can, pick someone in the middle, as they likely have other jobs, but not so many that your roof gets lost in the shuffle.

#7 Will you obtain the proper permits?

Finally, be sure to ask about the proper permits for your area. It’s good to know that there are roofers out there who will have you obtain permits yourself. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s a lot easier if the roofer just does it for you, because roofing permits require a lot of specific paperwork, and are different in just about every state. Most quality roofers who work regularly in your area will go ahead and take care of the permits for you, but it’s good to ask, just to make sure your roof goes up legally and soundly.


We hope these questions help you find a roofing professional you can trust to put up a roof that’s sure to last the lifetime of your house. If you have more questions about finding a roofer you can trust, or if you’re looking for a new roof in West Michigan, be sure to give Werner Roofing a call at 616-844-5382. We’ve been in the business for years now, and would be happy to answer any of your questions, or offer a free, no obligation estimate for your roof.

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