While there is no exact science to hiring a good roofing contractor there are a few things that you can do to improve your chances of avoiding a bad one.
Hire a licensed roofer! That may seem obvious, but unlicensed, and uninsured roofers are much cheaper than licensed ones but you could be risking a lot more than you think if you hire them.
Perhaps the most telling sign for a roofing contractor is whether or not he has a visible presence on the Internet. Not having a website is not a good sign. Check different rating services such as Angie’s List, Yelp, Google, etc., to see whether or not he has many good reviews. And bear in mind that a roofer with no reviews is almost as bad as a roofer who has lots of poor reviews.
Go to your state’s CSLB web page and check his license number to make sure he doesn’t have complaints. Having even a single complaint is not a good sign because they can be resolved and cleared, so that means he hasn’t bothered or it’s very recent. The license check and verification page for California, it is www.cslb.ca.gov
Above all you want to hire a roofer who has a good reputation; after all, he’s got something to lose. That may not seem like much, but these days, having a bad rep online is having a bad rep, period. And just because a roofer did a good job for your friend or neighbor, does not mean he’ll do a good job for you so you should still check him out.
Also, don’t pass on a roofer just because he seems to be very busy. A busy roofer is often a good roofer.
One of the more common trends of roofing contractors is the unwillingness to get up on your roof. It’s pretty hard to do a proper roofing estimate, whether it’s a repair or a reroof without getting on a roof so that you can see the specific aspects of your roof. All roofs are different.
While you can probably hire a good roofing contractor that doesn’t have general liability, it’s usually not a good idea. Besides the fact that he is not covered by a general liability policy and you are there for putting yourself at risk, it’s often indicative of a contractor who is not really well established, or who perhaps doesn’t have the finances to cut even cover it. The bottom line is a decent roofing contractor should have general liability.
Follow all these steps and you’ll be pretty sure to hire a good roofing contractor.