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9 Important Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor

If you’re a homeowner, you might be wondering how to properly maintain your home’s roof. We understand that it can be a little overwhelming when wondering what to do about repairs or maintenance — we’ve been there! It can be hard to determine whether you just need repairs or if you’ll need to have the entire roof replaced, and we're going to help you with that. 


When it comes to finding the right contractor for your roof, you need someone who will provide high-quality materials and top-notch workmanship. Therefore, it’s essential to look at all their qualifications, not just look at the quote they offer you. There are many skilled professionals in this field, so you must do your research before trusting any contractor.


To find the best roofers for your home, you want to ask some questions before signing on the dotted line, like the ones we have put together below. Contractors with experience and integrity who can complete projects safely and on time and at an affordable price are important.

1. Are You Certified With the Roofing Manufacturers?

Hiring a certified roofing contractor is a great way to guarantee quality work is done on your home.  In addition, by confirming your potential contractor has gone through a certification process, you’ll feel more confident knowing they're using only premium materials.


Certification also shows they have years of experience installing roofing materials on residential and commercial properties in your area with great success.

2. Are You Licensed With Your State And How Much Coverage Do You Have?

In the state of Hawaii, roofing contractors are required to be licensed through the state, so you want to make sure the company you’re considering working with is actually licensed. Roofers in Hawaii need a C-42 Roofing Contractor License.


For this license to be issued to a roofing contractor, they must pass a trade exam, in addition to a business and law exam. The contractor must also have four years of supervisory experience, with at least ten years of experience working as either a journeyman, foreman, supervisor, or contractor.

3. Are You Bonded?

A type of bond a roofing contractor may hold that helps protect both sides from any type of monetary loss is a Roofing License Bond. This is a license requirement in many states.


In addition, it’s extra assurance for the customer that a company cares about their customer’s overall satisfaction with the work they provide. Customers want to know that their contractor is safe to do business with, and a surety bond gives them that peace of mind. 

4. Are You Insured?

It’s crucial that a roofing contractor is insured. It helps protect the home or business owner from being held liable should one of their employees injure themselves while working on your project. You’ll want to know if your roofing contractor has general liability insurance first and foremost as this is the insurance that helps protect you from liability should an accident occur on your property. You can also ask if the roofing company has workmen’s compensation insurance for their roofers, or whether there is builders’ risk insurance. Builders’ risk insurance is a type of risk insurance in the construction industry that is specialized property insurance that helps protect the building under construction. 


5. Do You Subcontract?

Some roofing contractors hire subcontractors to complete jobs for them. This can help homeowners save money since subcontractors typically make less than the actual contractor, and therefore the contractor can quote less in labor costs.


The downside is that subcontractors may have lower morale because they are paid less, potentially resulting in shoddy work.


In addition, subcontractors may use lower-quality materials than the main roofing contractor had they completed the job themselves. This could result in the homeowners paying for repairs or an entirely new roof much sooner than anticipated.

Another issue with subcontractors is if they aren’t also insured, bonded, and licensed, the homeowner may be held liable should something happen to a subcontractor while on the job. For instance, if a subcontractor isn’t licensed and one of their workers gets injured, it could result in a lawsuit.

6. What Happens if Things Go Wrong? Do You Offer a Warranty?

There are three main types of warranties that roofing contractors may offer.

A. Standard Manufacturer’s Warranty:

The majority of roofing shingles come with a basic limited warranty. This warranty typically covers your roof for as long as you live in the home. However, it’s important to note that the term “limited” may vary between manufacturers. Most basic manufacturer warranties usually only cover the cost of defective materials and not the cost of labor to remove and dispose of the defective materials or install replacement materials.


We recommend that you ask your roofing contractor about the specific details of the warranty provided by the manufacturer of the roofing material you want.

B. Contractor Workmanship Warranty:

This warranty covers the workmanship (installation) the roofing contractor provided you and not damage from storms, high winds, etc.

C. Extended manufacturer’s warranty:

The extended manufacturer’s warranty offers extended coverage to homeowners on new roofs and is available at an additional cost. However, extended manufacturer warranties have specific criteria that have to be met to purchase an extended warranty. Your contractor can go over these criteria with you if you would like to purchase an extended warranty.


An excellent comprehensive manufacturer’s warranty should cover all roofing system components, coverage for defective materials, including labor costs, repairs and replacements, and workmanship coverage.

7. Do You Do Repairs?

A good roofing contractor will install new roofs and repair them if any issue arises. In addition, it’s a good idea to hire an experienced contractor to perform repairs rather than do them yourself. They are familiar with roofing issues and accurately able to assess any problems you have and if they are covered by any warranties. Also, they are familiar with local building codes and will ensure any repairs or replacements are done to code.

8. Do You Belong to Any Professional Roofing Associations? If so, which one(s)?

Roofers may join professional associations to network with other roofers in their field and to keep up on industry trends. Roofing associations can also help give contractors a competitive edge over other contractors.


They also provide contractors with access to conferences, webinars, and other training opportunities to help them grow. In addition, associations also help contractors stay on top of any new changes to OSHA’s safety requirements.

9. Can You Provide References From Past Customers?

By asking your roofing contractor for references from past customers, it can help build a relationship between the customer and the contractor. Trust is important, and you want to be able to trust that your chosen roofing contractor will provide you with service that is of top-notch quality.


Remember to ask for references from the past three to six months, not just their preferred list of customers. You may not be getting an accurate representation of what quality of work the contractor provides or how they treat their customers.


If a contractor balks at your request for references, it’s a red flag and may indicate they have something to hide.

We Are Here to Help With All of Your Roofing Needs

Kapili Roofing & Painting, located in Waipahu, Hawaii, works with homeowners and builders with many different needs. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with services and solutions that fit their specific goals.


All work that we provide is 100% guaranteed. If a problem arises, we do everything in our power to rectify the situation as we pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service.


We currently offer roof repairs and replacements, roof maintenance, and roof inspections to residential and commercial customers.


If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation today, please feel free to contact us either through our website or via phone at (808)621-7663. We look forward to hearing from you.