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  • Writer's pictureMatt O'Dore

Top Questions To Ask A Roofing Contractor Before Your Roof Installation

Updated: Feb 23

Two roofing contractors installing a roof

Roof replacement is a sizable endeavor, and the choices you make will impact your home for years, if not decades. To ensure you're making the right decisions, especially when it comes to roof installation and choosing your new roofing system, it's crucial to have open conversations with your potential roofing contractors. Not sure what to even ask a roofer about? You're not alone, and that's why we've crafted this comprehensive guide for you.

As an integral part of Vancouver, WA community, Matador Exteriors' roofing contractors have a long-standing record of crafting roofs that protect and enhance homes. From replacing roofs with new shingles to installing robust roof decks, we do it all. With our experienced project manager overseeing each job and our commitment to quality, you're certain to have a roofing job you can rely on for years to come.

In this blog, you'll discover a range of questions you should ask any roofing contractor you're considering, and the responses you should anticipate. Afterward, we'll share a checklist for an in-depth dive into evaluating roofing contractors to make sure they're the right fit for your existing roof's needs.

Confirming Their Credibility: Are They Licensed, Bonded, and Insured?

The first step in your roofing journey involves ensuring that your contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured.


Any reputable roofing contractor should have proper licensing issued by the state’s board of licensing contractors, which they obtain after a registration process. This process involves demonstrating their understanding of different roof components, the value of the job typically determining the type of license required.


A bond is a kind of guarantee provided by a bonding company, assuring you that the roofing contractor operates ethically. If the contractor fails to complete a job or correct a leaking roof, for instance, the bonding company steps in to provide recourse.


All roofing contractors should carry comprehensive insurance, covering general liability, workers' compensation insurance, and company vehicle insurance. It's essential to ask for proof of liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance to protect yourself from any potential liabilities.

Never shy away from asking for physical copies of these documents. Remember that building permit, licensing, bonding, and insurance requirements vary by state, so do your homework and confirm your roofing contractor fulfills all local regulations.

Local Presence: Do They Have A Local Business?

When it comes to roofing work, choosing a local business is crucial. Confirm the physical office location of the roofing contractor and ensure they have a local phone number. Check their Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and any BBB complaints lodged against them.

Out-of-state contractors often swoop in following severe weather events, providing low-cost services without adhering to local codes or proper installation practices. Conversely, a local roofing company will understand local roofing products, installation codes, necessary paperwork, and other requirements to ensure your new roof meets state standards.

Their History: How Long Have They Been in Business?

Before investing in a serious roof repair or full roof replacement, ask your contractor about their business longevity. Ask for testimonials from past customers. Companies newer to the industry may offer attractive roofing quotes, but they often struggle to sustain their business through leaner periods, such as winter months.

While some new companies may deliver quality roofing work, it's crucial that you choose an experienced contractor and reputable company who will be around to support your investment for years to come.

Their Guarantee: What Workmanship Warranty Do They Offer?

Roof warranties are critical for protecting your investment. You'll have one for your roofing system and another for the roofer or contractor’s workmanship.

Ask your roofer about their workmanship warranty, which can range from a year to a lifetime. A company confident in its work quality will often provide an extensive warranty. However, remember, the warranty's value lies in the company's ability to uphold it.

Direct Communication: Can You Speak Directly to the Owner or Project Manager?

Direct access to the owner or project manager of a company is often an indicator of excellent customer service. If a problem arises, knowing you can reach out to the top authority in the company for resolution provides significant peace of mind.

Manufacturer Approval: Are They Certified by Shingle Manufacturers?

Top shingle manufacturers certify a select few high-quality contractors in each area. These certifications allow the contractor to offer enhanced warranties on the roofing system materials from the manufacturer. If your contractor holds these certifications, it signals trust from the shingle manufacturer in their work quality.

Client Testimonials: Can They Provide References?

Asking for references is a crucial part of selecting a roofing contractor. Request references from jobs completed in the past 3 to 6 months.

If a contractor hesitates to provide references, consider it a red flag. Inquire about their past customers' satisfaction, especially regarding how well they've managed to handle any issue with a leaking roof or roof components.

Property Protection: How Do They Protect Your Property?

Inquire about the steps a contractor takes to safeguard your property during the roofing process. This includes your yard, driveway, and especially your roof deck. Removal of your old roof can be messy even for the most experienced roofers. Some contractors may disclaim responsibility for any damages during the project, so it's vital to discuss this upfront.

What is included in your roof estimate?

Ask for a detailed written roof estimate to know exactly what the job will entail. This should include cost for materials, labor, and any additional fees or potential costs that could arise during the process. Check the scope of work to see if these roofing companies are including things like chimney flashing in their written estimate. Make sure to ask what happens if they discover a problem during the work. How would that be communicated and agreed upon before the extra work is completed?

How will you handle waste removal and cleanup?

Roof replacements can produce a lot of waste material. You want to ensure that your roofing contractor is responsible for cleanup and waste disposal. They should have a plan in place to protect your property, clean up each day, and dispose of all debris and waste materials once the job is complete.

How will you protect my home during bad weather during the job?

Depending on the time of year and where you live, there could be a risk of inclement weather during the roofing job. Ask the contractor about their plan to protect your home from unexpected weather events during the job. This could involve covering the unfinished roof with a tarp or plastic sheeting.

What is the project timeline?

Ask for a clear understanding of when the roofing project will start, the expected completion date, and any factors that could potentially delay the project. Knowing the schedule will help you prepare and make necessary arrangements for your family during the roofing work.

Remember, asking these questions is crucial to ensuring you are choosing a reputable, reliable roofing contractor that's the right fit for you and your home's needs. You want your existing roof replaced with a new, sturdy, and attractive roofing material that can stand the test of time.


Choosing a reliable roofing contractor in Vancouver, WA is not a simple task, but asking the right questions can make the process easier and more straightforward. By doing so, you can ensure that your investment is protected and that your new roof will be installed to the highest standards.

At Matador Exteriors, located in the heart of Vancouver, WA, we are proud to answer all these questions and any others you might have about your roofing needs. With our commitment to quality workmanship, excellent customer service, and thorough transparency, we guarantee your satisfaction. For a free estimate on your roof replacement or installation, don't hesitate. Call Matador Exteriors today and take the first step towards a sturdy, beautiful, and long-lasting roof.

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