4 Questions To Ask a Contractor

Guiding DMV & NJ residents through pre-project conversations with their contractors 

 

With the weather warming many of us are probably considering sprucing up our homes through various improvement projects. Between the winter storms we have just weathered and the spring showers we are expecting, our homes, and especially our roof, could use some tender loving care.

However, before beginning any project it is important to ensure you have all of the relevant information. Understanding any home improvement project can be daunting, we at MLM Home Improvement, have compiled four questions to ask ahead of time.

Question #1: Ask about their business including location and credentials.

Perhaps the most important questions to ask before working with a contractor are the ones that will help you learn about them as a business. After all, it is critical to go into the project feeling confident that you are working with a trusted team.

To start, confirm their locality. By asking a contractor for their physical address, if part of the project later needs adjusting or needs additional attention,  they are close-by and can easily remedy the situation.

Second, check if they are backed by a national manufacturer. For example, at MLM, we are an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor. This means we have been stringently vetted and are the top tier of a premier network of roofing professionals dedicated to service, reliability and professional craftsmanship.

Question #2: How long will my project take?

There are several different factors that go into an estimate on how long a roofing project will take. Some of these, such as the size of the roof, the dimensions and other home related factors can be accurately judged with the latest advancements in technology, however even with the best weather forecasting, sometimes Mother Nature can rain on your parade.

The general rule of thumb is that the smaller the surface area of the roof, the less time it will take to do the work and vice versa. It is important to have a gauge on how long the project may take so that you and the contractor are aligned on timing.

Question #3: Does the materials you are using have a warranty?

Most homeowners have an “out of sight, out of mind” policy when it comes to their roof.However, unless you have a warranty on your shingles, the roof should be top of mind. Making sure there is a warranty on the products used in your roofing project is an essential answer to find out from potential contractors. Most manufacturing companies will have warranties on their shingles that must be met by specific installation requirements. For example, Owens Corning has multiple levels of their warranty coverages, with all of them extending the lifespan of the product. Their most basic warranty covers the homeowner for the first 10-15 years.

Question #4: Ask about your roof’s ventilation.

A roof is like a fine wine, you have to let it breathe in order to get the best out of it. A roof needs the proper amount of airflow to breathe and regulate the temperature in the attic, which is essential to save money on energy bills and keep your shingles in tip-top shape. Roofers are uniquely equipped to assess your current ventilation systems and recommend if you could use an upgrade.

While most information can be found through some Googling, it is more helpful to simply talk to a trusted, local contractor directly as they are the experts and can simplify a potentially technical topic. It is critical that both you and the contractor are on the same page before starting any project, so do not be afraid to ask questions and get into the nitty gritty details!