How to Find a Roofing Contractor for Your Home (2023 Guide)

How to Find a Roofing Contractor for Your Home (2023 Guide)

In this guide on finding the right roofing contractor, you’ll learn:

  • What’s the difference between a roofing company and a contractor?
  • How do you make sure your roofing contractor is reliable?
  • What do you need to consider when hiring a roofer?

If you’re looking for tips on hiring a reliable roofing contractor, you’re in the right place. Enter your zip code below to receive a personalized quote on roofing options near you. 

Whether you need a roof repair or a total roof replacement, hiring a reliable and reputable roofing company is key to guaranteeing the job is done properly.

While you might pay a bit more upfront for a true professional to tackle the job, a repair or roof installation done the right way can save you money in the long run, ensure your home conserves energy and, most importantly, provide long-term protection for your home and family.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how to find a reliable roofer to work on your home. We’ll include information about the different options you have and discuss how to go about ensuring you find the right contractor for your roofing project.

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Power Home

Best Overall

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Positive industry reputation
  • Lifetime or lengthy warranty
  • 10+ years of experience
  • Positive customer reviews
  • Uses eco-friendly materials
  • Well-trained, certified installers
  • Variety of roofing styles available

Cons

  • Limited variety of roofing materials
  • Short or nonexistent warranty
  • No financing information available
  • Expensive
  • Little information available on company website
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Erie Metal Roofs

Best for New Roofs

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Lifetime or lengthy warranty
  • Widespread availability
  • 10+ years of experience
  • Positive customer reviews
  • Uses eco-friendly materials
  • Financing options available
  • Well-trained, certified installers
  • Uses durable materials meant to last
  • Variety of roofing styles available

Cons

  • Limited variety of roofing materials
  • Expensive
Badge icon

Aspen Contracting

Most Eco-Friendly

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Positive industry reputation
  • Lifetime or lengthy warranty
  • Widespread availability
  • 10+ years of experience
  • Positive customer reviews
  • Financing options available

Cons

  • Little information available on company website

How to Hire a Reliable Roofing Contractor

If you’ve already begun your search for a local roofer, you might be a bit overwhelmed by the number of options you have. 

Your roof is one of the most crucial pieces of your home that protects it from the elements, and in some cases, can even generate clean energy. There’s a high demand for roofing work, so there are tons of companies that provide repair and replacement services.

Because your roof is such an important part of your home, you shouldn’t trust just any company to get the job done. Industry experts, such as Marty Ford, Shingle Master and President of Bullet Proof Roof Systems, Ltd¹, know that “Choosing the right roofing contractor is key to getting a quality roof that will last for many years.”

In the sections below, we’ll provide some tips on finding the right roofing contractor for the job and ensuring that the work on your home is done correctly the first time around.

If you’re ready to connect with vetted contractors in your area, click below to get started.

What Qualifications Does a Roofing Contractor Need?

Before you begin the process, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the minimum qualifications necessary for a contractor to operate in your area. The best roofing contractors will be: 

  • Experienced in your local climate 
  • Able to provide references and reviews
  • Licensed and insured
  • Willing to meet with you in person
  • Able to provide you with a written quote

To learn more about the checklist of what to look for in a roofer, you can watch the video below.

What Are the Steps to Finding a Roofing Contractor?

With that in mind, let’s get into the steps of how to find a reputable roofing contractor. 

Know the Difference Between a Roofing Company and a Contractor

First, it’s helpful to understand the different options you have when it comes to roofers. There are two primary types of roofers to choose from: a roofing company and an independent contractor.

Both of these should share the following:

  • A general contractor’s license (sometimes not required, based on your state)
  • Necessary business insurance (usually worker’s compensation and liability insurance)
  • Proven experience with roofing work
  • References

The main difference between the two is that a roofing company is a group of roofers and administrative staff that tackle all roof-related jobs, including roof removal and total replacement, new roof installation for new homes, repairs, patches and more.

An independent roofing contractor is usually a single person with a general contractor’s license that can tackle roofing services only, like roof repairs and leak patches. In some cases, an independent contractor can tackle larger projects, but the timeline for doing so is usually much longer.

how to choose a qualified roof installer

The upside to working with an independent contractor is that you’ll have one point of contact, your wait time for the work can be shorter and the cost is usually lower.

However, roofing companies more often provide roof warranties for their work, have more accountability and can tackle any roofing job you might have. These include:

  • Full roof replacement
  • New roof installation
  • Gutter installation
  • Installing metal roofing
  • Solar panel installation (in some cases)
  • Removing and re-installing solar panels surrounding repairs or roof replacement
  • Major leak repair
  • Tackling home additions
  • Other general contracting jobs that would be too involved for a single contractor

Get a Referral

Once you decide between a roofing company and a potential contractor, your next step should be to get a referral, if possible.

It’s always safer to choose a company with which a friend or family member has worked. If you aren’t able to get a referral, you can check the company’s online reviews and ratings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for more information about what you can expect.

Check Online Reviews and References

Whether or not you’re able to get a referral for a roofer, you should always check the company’s online presence and reviews. As mentioned, you can begin checking for open complaints or pending lawsuits with the BBB, but make sure you’re looking at the company’s local office if it has more than one location.

After checking with the BBB, read through some reviews on sites like Google Reviews or Yelp. Make sure to read positive and negative reviews to get a snapshot of the service you’re likely to receive.

It’s important to remember that virtually all companies will have negative reviews. A single negative comment should be taken lightly, and what you’re looking out for is a pattern of particular customer service issues that repeat from customer to customer.

Check for Licensing and Insurance

Once you’ve decided on a roofing company you believe you can trust, double-check to make sure the company is licensed and insured. According to David Snyder, CEO of Nova Home Buyers, LLC², you can make a grave mistake if you don’t check for proper licensure:

“Many people don’t know roofing can be hazardous for homeowners if not done correctly. Check out the credentials of any roofing contractor before you hire them. It is essential to know that hiring a roofing contractor who is not licensed, and insured can be risky.”

Feel free to call the company and ask for proof of both. Some homeowners are uncomfortable doing this, but any professional contractor or company will have no issue providing this information, and they should expect you to ask.

This step serves to protect you and your home from improper business practices, so make sure you don’t skip over this one.

Meet Your Roofer

After you confirm that the company’s licensing and insurance are in order, you can schedule a consultation with the roofer. This should always be done in person, and you should avoid any roofing companies that provide quotes based on phone calls, provided dimensions or pictures.

find roofing contractors
Credit: SolStock / Getty Images

When you’re meeting with your roofer, feel free to ask questions about the roofing process and the company. Some recommended questions include:

  • How much experience do you have in the roofing industry?
  • Do you use subcontractors or do all the work yourself?
  • Does the estimate include labor and materials? Are there any other fees?
  • Will you be pulling building permits (if required)?
  • How do I make payments?
  • How long will the project take from start to finish?
  • Does the work come with a warranty?
  • How do you prevent damaging my house or landscaping in the process?
  • What is your clean-up process like?

During this meeting, you can also ask your roofer for references. Many homeowners request references but never actually contact them. We recommend reaching out to those references, as this is a great way to gauge the quality of the roofer’s work in the long term.

Get a Written Quote

Finally, you should request a quote and make sure it’s in writing. Most professional roofing companies will include an itemization for the labor and materials and will sometimes include specifics about the materials they plan to use.

Make sure that the quote fits within your budget and that the timeline for the job completion — which should be included in the written quote — is satisfactory.

Consider Factors Other Than Cost for a Roofer

Finally, it’s important not to focus too much on the overall cost of the job. Of course, the price is an important thing to consider, but you also need to remember that you get what you pay for, and something as important as your roof isn’t the place to cut costs.

Some additional things you might want to consider include the timeline of the job — especially if you need emergency work done to keep your home safe — the professionalism, response time and overall confidence you have in the roofer after meeting with them. 

Just remember that peace of mind that the job will be done properly and on time is usually worth paying extra for.

We also suggest considering the quality of the roofing materials used and how they will affect your home’s energy efficiency. The material you install can have a massive impact on the efficiency of your home, so paying for high-quality roof shingles can lower your energy costs in the long run.

If you’re ready to connect with vetted local roofing professionals in your area, click below.

How to Make An Informed Roofing Choice

The EcoWatch team spoke with Todd Miller, a roofing and HVAC expert that has been in the first for over 35 years. Here’s what he had to say about eco-friendly roofing materials.

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Todd Miller, Roofing and HVAC expert and technician
Since 1986, Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the exterior building products industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of specialty residential metal roofing based in Ohio. Todd also serves on the Boards of Metal Construction Association and Metal Roofing Alliance and is a frequent speaker and author on topics related to roofing, condensation, ventilation, and leadership. Through his educational website, Ask Todd Miller, he answers hundreds of questions each year related to his fields.
Note: responses were edited for length and clarity.
What purpose does a roof serve? 

A home’s roof provides a lot of things for a home. It provides protection from all types of severe weather, whether that be rainstorms, heat, windstorms, firestorms or snow and ice.

A home’s roof can also provide beauty. On a lot of homes, the roof is 50% or sometimes even significantly more of the home’s visible exterior, so the roof is a really nice open palette to add beauty and looks to a home.

Can a roof impact the energy efficiency of your home? Is this something that homeowners are considering when choosing a roof? 

I think that homeowners are increasingly starting to think about how their roof impacts their home’s energy efficiency. They’re looking at that not only from an operational cost standpoint but from doing the right thing for the environment as well.

And another thing is that oftentimes, a roof is really great real estate to put solar on up on a home. It usually doesn’t have as much obstruction and shadowing to it, and it’s often well-angled for the sun. So, roofs are increasingly thought of as being a great place to locate solar panels or a solar array.

How do you recommend homeowners go about selecting a roofing material? 

My advice really is to start out by setting your criteria– what it is you want to accomplish with your next roof. Once you set those criteria, you can use that to help you go out and use the internet or other resources to find a product that meets those needs.

My general advice is a little different than most roofing contractors are going to tell you. My advice is to find a product that first your needs and is right for you and your home. Then contact the manufacturer of that product to find someone in your area who has been trained or is in some way qualified to install that product.

Otherwise, if you go the normal route of just choosing a roofing contractor, you’re probably going to end up with a product that they want you to have, not necessarily the product you want to have on your house.

And frankly, the product that they want you to have probably is going to be the product that they’re the most familiar with, or in a lot of cases, the product they feel they can be most profitable on.

Other than color and style, what are some of these criteria that homeowners look for when deciding on a roofing material?

Because the roof is such a significant portion of a home’s exterior, homeowners are obviously going to care about life expectancy.

Chances are, if they are reroofing their house, they know how long that roof lasted. They may want to do better than that, and we certainly hope that they’re going to be interested in the carbon footprint of the roofing material that they are choosing.

Energy efficiency is another big thing. As you know, energy efficiency impacts the cost to operate the home. But, of course, it’s also an environmental choice.

I think that based on the climate they live in, homeowners are going to think about any severe weather considerations. Homeowners in Florida are going to be thinking a lot about wind resistance, homeowners in California are probably going to be thinking a lot about fire resistance, and homeowners in Texas and Oklahoma are probably going to be thinking a lot about resilience and hail.

What should homeowners know about the lifecycle of different roofing materials?

Another thing we’re seeing a lot is homeowners looking at the total product lifecycle. Folks are saying, Okay, what’s going to happen to this roof when it wears out? Is it recyclable? Some roofing materials are and some are not.

Another thing homeowners are asking is, I’ve got a roof up there right now, does that have to go into a landfill? Or would there be potential to install a new roof over my existing roof?

That being said, what roofing materials are made with recycled content?

There are some asphalt shingles out there that have recycled content, but about 15% is the highest I have ever seen.

Then there are polymer plastic roofing materials. Some of their manufacturers say they have some recycled content, but I’ve never seen any actual figures on that.

Steel roofing typically has at least 35% recycled content, and some steel mills are as high s 85% recycled content.

Aluminum, which is a highly recycled metal almost always has around 95% recycled content when it’s used as roofing.

Copper, which is a fairly high-end roofing material typically has around 35% recycled content.

What can you tell us about roofing materials that end up in landfill?

About 12 million tons of asphalt shingles go into landfills every year. Scientists estimate that asphalt shingles take about 300 to 400 years in a landfill before they will fully decompose.

And at the same time, asphalt shingles have a lot of oil content. So they are releasing that oil into the landfill as well. 

However, Building codes in most areas of the country allow up to two layers of roofing. So if someone does just have one layer of roofing on their home right now, they can go over that with another layer, which could be asphalt shingles.

But a lot of times they will also choose a lower-weight roofing material, such as steel or aluminum to go over those existing shingles.

FAQ: How to Find a Roofing Contractor

Below, we’ll answer some of the most common questions we get about hiring a good roofing contractor and how to maximize peace of mind in the process.

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Article author
Dan Simms is an experienced writer with a passion for renewable energy. As a solar and EV advocate, much of his work has focused on the potential of solar power and deregulated energy, but he also writes on related topics, like real estate and economics. In his free time — when he's not checking his own home's solar production — he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, skiing and rock climbing.
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Expert reviewer
Melissa is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainability studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a nonprofit that’s featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.