Asphalt Roofing Contractor Hiring Guide

Key Tips for Finding and Hiring Asphalt Roofing Contractors

By Mark J. Donovan

The typical asphalt shingled roof lasts 15 to 20 years depending upon where you live and the quality of the asphalt roofing shingles installed. If the asphalt shingles show signs of cupping, fishmouthing, cracking, or curling it’s time to hire an asphalt roofing contractor and replace the old shingles.

Hiring an asphalt roofing contractor can be a bit of a challenge. Large home improvement centers offer roofing contractor services, however they often don’t use the best roofing contractors. In addition, the home improvement centers are also known to have unique restrictions.

For example, if you have a home with a separate room addition attached to it with its own roof, and you only want to shingle either the main home or the addition, the home improvement center often won’t bid on the job. They only want the business if they can re-shingle all of roofs on the property. Crazy, but it’s a fact. I’ve personally had this situation occur.

Blindly hiring an asphalt roofing contractor from the phone book or off the internet can also be a crap shoot. Asphalt roofing contractors seem to come and go with the weather, and it’s not surprising. Roofing is a dangerous and hard job, so it’s hard to find guys that have been doing it for a long time. Young guys that get into the roofing business often either get hurt or find a new line of work.

How to Hire a Roofing Contractor

So for all of these reasons it’s extremely important to do your homework when searching for a roofing contractor. Your best bet for finding an asphalt roofing contractor is to first talk to your family and friends in your local area to see if they’ve recently used one that they can vouch for. If they can provide you with a roofing contractor name ask the contractor to quote your project, however still do further background checks on the contractor, even though you’ve got a referral from a family member or friend. One positive experience doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a similar one.

Notice the ice and watershield installed during this Asphalt Roof Shingle Installation.

Background checks should include contacting the state or local better business bureau to confirm that the contractor is indeed licensed and insured, and has no complaints against him. Also, ask the prospective contractor for a list of references and call several of the names on the list.

Shingling a roof also typically requires getting a permit from your local municipality. Make sure any prospective roofing contractor you interview is familiar with your local building codes and that they are capable and willing to pull the necessary permits. You may also want to visit your local building inspector to see if they are familiar with the asphalt roofing contractor you are considering hiring.

Prior to the roofing work actually occurring make sure you have a written contract in hand from the asphalt roofing contractor you plan to hire. Both you and the contractor should sign the contract and it should be explicit with the work to be performed, who’s performing the work, when it will be completed, and what the payment terms are. Do not accept any verbal contracts. Also make sure you clearly understand the warranties associated with the contract and how the old shingle and scrap material will be discarded. Moreover, make sure the contract specifies how the home and adjacent plants and shrubbery will be protected during the roofing work.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet

Finally, take your time when searching out and hiring an asphalt roofing contractor. Shingling a roof is an expensive endeavor and vitally important that it be done right. The last thing you want is a leaky new shingled roof causing water damage to the interior of your home.

For more help on hiring a roofing contractor you may also want to check out my “Asphalt Roofing Contractor Hiring Guide”, or bid sheet. It is the perfect tool for helping you identify and hire the right roofing contractor for your project. It includes a comprehensive questionnaire and bid sheet that you provide to prospective asphalt shingle roofing contractors to fill out. You can then easily do an apples-to-apples comparison on roofing quotes. In addition, the questionnaire/bid sheet ensures you ask all the right questions to properly screen contractors, compare bids, and ensure you get a quality roofing job.

For more help on Shingling Your Home’s Roof, see’s Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet. The Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet will help to ensure that your roof won’t end up with a blue tarp over it and a dumpster sitting in your yard for weeks as you wait for the roofing contractor to come back and finish roofing your home.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing Cost Estimator

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