In our last blog we covered some of the most important interview questions you will want to ask any prospective roofing company you considering working with. If you haven’t read it, or the first blog in our series of how to choose the right roofer, we suggest you start there. Once you’re clear on the type of roofer you should hire and the interview questions you should ask them, the next step in the hiring process should be to contact a few of their references and get a real account of the services they provide. Any reputable contractor should be willing and able to provide you with several references of past clients who are willing to speak openly about the work they were afforded.
Oftentimes, individuals opt not to contact previous references, assuming (potentially incorrectly) that if the company was willing to provide references at all the work they complete must be good. This is not necessarily true, and we encourage you to go the extra mile and actually contact their references. You can learn a lot about a company, its strengths, its weaknesses, and its basic practices from past clients, satisfied or unsatisfied. If the company you are considering is unwilling or able to provide you with a set of references, you should view this as a red flag and walk away – before it is too late.
If you’ve never completed a reference check on a contractor before, you might not know what to ask. We’ve compiled a list of questions that should help you determine what type of roofer you are dealing with.
- When did the roofer work for you? When was the work started and completed? Was the timeframe more-or-less what you were quoted?
- What work did they complete for you?
- Did you consider any other contractors for this job? If NO, why not? If YES, why did you eventually settle on this company?
- Did you have any problems with any aspect of the roofer’s service or work? You can be specific here and add additional questions to prompt responses such as: Were they routinely late? Did they stick to your budget? Did they clean your yard appropriately after the job? Did they use ladder guards or other devices to protect your gutters? Did they wear safety gear on the job? Was the work site clean and organized? Was the contractor easy to work with? Did they answer or respond to your calls when you needed them? Did they answer any questions you might have had along the way? Were they friendly?
If the reference replies that they did encounter some problems, ask them how the contractor handled their concerns, and what was done to rectify them.
- What did you appreciate most about the service you were provided?
- Did they provide you with a written warranty and/or contract?
- Were you satisfied with the final product?
- Would you hire them again?
In addition to these references, we also encourage you to check the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services’ “Consumer Beware List”, which tracks businesses who either have been charged or convicted by the ministry for breaking the consumer protection act or did not respond to the ministry after 2 notifications that a complaint has been issued against them. Every professional roofer has their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses, and it is important to find out what those are and what you are willing to work with before you lock yourself into a contract and put thousands of dollars on the line.