If you’ve decided to install a metal roof on your Nashville home, shed, or industrial building, congratulations! You’ve made an economical decision that will continue to return benefits for years to come. However, whether you’re still searching for a contractor, deciding between metal roofing systems, or are awaiting install date, consider these essential questions any property owner should ask a metal roofing contractor.
Before Choosing a Contractor
Of course, if you’ve already hired a contractor, you can (and should) feel comfortable asking these questions at any time in the process. However, these questions are essential to ask during the hiring process.
What metal roofs do you install?
If you’ve done your research and prefer a specific metal roofing system over another, be aware that not all Tennessee contractors are able to install all types of metal roofing. Most metal roofing contractors will offer a few types of metal shingles in addition to standing-seam roofs, but a select few materials, procedures, and styles are patented and may only be installed by certain contractors.
If you haven’t chosen a metal roofing style yet, you’ll likely be limited to a specific group of roofing materials your contractor frequently works with. This is often ideal, as that usually means the contractor has experience installing that type of roof. However, you may not find the roofing style you’re looking for.
Are you properly licensed and insured?
Once you’ve determined the contractor can install the roof you’ve chosen it is essential you learn whether they’re licensed and insured. In particular, insurance is important because if something happens to your contractor, other workers, or your property during the install and your contractor does not carry insurance, you may be liable.
In addition, Nashville licensed contractors must keep up a professional license regularly, and you should be able to find Better Business Bureau or other online ratings and reviews. Ask for proof of both license and insurance at the initial interview as well as immediately prior to the beginning of the job.
How will you protect the safety of your workers?
Responsible contractors have a strict set of safety regulations they must follow to protect property, themselves, and any workers. Partially, these regulations protect the corporation charged with maintaining workers’ compensation insurance. However, properly protecting workers is a sign of a responsible company that is less likely to risk your liability.
Do you have customer references? Projects in the area I can see?
Customer references are an important part of screening out shoddy contractors – if a contractor is unsavory, he or she has likely victimized someone before. Asking to see local work can provide you with additional proof the contractor has completed satisfactory jobs in the past, and also should provide you with a phone reference if you wish to contact the homeowner.
Who will install my roof? What is their experience level? Were they trained by the manufacturer?
Sometimes, the contractor you’re speaking with will not actually install your roof and may hire a subcontractor. It is important to inquire about anyone who may be performing work on your roof, including every member of the contractor’s team. In addition, many metal roofing manufacturers provide training for their patented systems – training by the manufacturer is usually a good sign a crew has experience and skill.
When will you be able to schedule my project? How long will it take?
The scheduling of your project often determines whether you will be able to hire a contractor, no matter how reliable or skilled they seem.
After Choosing a Contractor
Once you’ve chosen your Nashville contractor and are awaiting install, it is important to ask these questions so you know what to expect:
How will you access my property and my roof?
Remember to ask how the contractor plans to access your roof, as well as how any equipment will access your property. If you need to move any items, it is best to do so ahead of time.
How will you protect my property from damage?
Unfortunately, installing any sort of roofing system can risk your gutters, driveway, lawn, and other parts of your property, especially if workers are careless. Ask your contractor about protections in place to reduce the amount of damage caused, as well as how excess materials will be removed.
Do you provide decking inspections? If so, how much will you charge to replace plywood?
If you’re removing your existing roof covering, many contractors inspect the plywood decking below your current roof’s covering. Knowing replacement costs for any plywood necessary is important to avoid surprises later.
How will I know your work was quality? Will you provide written warranties for the product and the installation? Will you be supervised?
Ensuring the quality of your materials and the installation itself is of the utmost importance. Request written documentation of any warranty information. In addition, a company providing additional oversight is usually indicative of proper quality certification.
What fasteners are you using and in what configuration? Are both approved by the manufacturer? Will you reuse old fasteners? Will you perform fastener resistance tests?
Fasteners are an important component of metal roofing. It is important the type and number of fasteners your contractor uses are adequate for the roofing type and your decking, and manufacturer-approved fasteners have already been tested for those purposes. It is similarly important that you know whether your contractor plans on reusing fasteners and whether they will adequately ensure the fasteners attach well to your decking.
Who should I contact before, during, and after the installation process?
Having a reliable point of contact is important at all stages of your metal roofing experience. However, the contractor you are speaking with may not be present on the day of the job or may not have the authority to answer questions regarding billing, or other common topics.
What events may cause a change in installation price? How and when will those changes be communicated to me?
One unfortunate way unsavory companies get extra money from unsuspecting victims is to claim that extra work, extra supplies, or other unexpected expenses were necessary during installation. Be sure to ask how any extras are billed, and request notification before installation of any extras.
This is certainly not a complete list of all the questions you could ask your Tennessee metal roofing contractor, just the bare essentials. If your contractor seems annoyed, evasive or refuses to answer any of your questions, you may want to look for a new one. However, most reputable contractors will readily answer questions, provide documentation, and provide any assistance they can to make sure you are happy with the installation of your new metal roof.