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How To Hire A Roofing Contractor

December 21, 2020
hire a roofing contractor

Hiring an experienced roofing contractor is one of the most important decisions you will make for your home. The cost of replacing or repairing your roof the wrong way is very high and likely something you do not want to put yourself through. The average cost to replace or install a roof ranges from $5,376 to $10,973. As a homeowner, it is in your best interest to make sure you save yourself from the headache and learn how to hire a roofing contractor.

How To Hire A Roofing Contractor

To ensure you get it right the first time, we came up with a list of helpful tips on how to hire a roofing contractor.

identify roofers to consider

  1. Get local referrals from friends, family, and neighbors. If possible, choose a contractor from your community.
  2. Research Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. Check out what other homeowners have reported to the Better Business Bureau at
  3. Check for manufacturer certification. GAF annually verifies contractor licenses (where required), insurance and years in business before granting the factory-certified designation. If you are considering a GAF Factory-Certified Contractor, verify their certification here using McKinnis’ phone number 402-513-6620.

narrow down your choices

With referrals from friends and neighbors, online searches, and ads for roofing companies, you may be starting with a small list of companies. A phone call with a set of good questions will help you narrow it down.

Questions to ask on the phone

  1. Where are you located? Choosing someone from your community improves their ability to quickly address issues that may arise during or post-installation.
  2. How long have you been in business? Choosing an established company can help ensure upfront quality and back-end support. The average new company only stays in business for 4 years. If there are problems with the roofing project who will be there to fix them?
  3. Are you certified by manufacturers? For example, GAF annually verifies contractor licenses (where required), insurance, and years in business before granting the factory-certified designation. As a matter of fact, only 2 percent of roofers in the U.S. qualify to be recognized as GAF Master Elite™ Contractors, which McKinnis Inc. is a part of.
  4. Can you provide references? You can request references and addresses of recently completed projects, to see their work. It’s also a good idea to check reviews online (Google, Better Business Bureau, etc.)
  5. Are you properly licensed and insured? GAF requires factory-certified roofers to carry at least $1M in liability insurance, workman’s compensation, and state licensing where required
  6. How are you adjusting to social distancing guidelines? Ask about their end-to-end process and how they will deliver an accurate estimate and high-quality installation without entering your home
  7. What is your workmanship warranty? While the manufacturer of the roofing materials typically offers a warranty on the products (no matter who installs your roof), the roofing contractor will typically offer its own warranty on the workmanship. Most workmanship warranties offered by individual roofing contractors last for one year or more. A Master Elite® contractor can offer enhanced workmanship warranties, backed by GAF, which cover both the GAF Products and workmanship.

Make your decision

Once you have narrowed your list and invited a few roofing contractors to your home to give you an estimate, you can discuss more specific topics to help you hire a roofing contractor for your roofing job.

Questions to ask in the home

Local codes and ordinances

  • Who will obtain the permit?
  • Are permit costs included?
  • Will you conduct an inspection before and after doing the work?

Product choices

  • How many shingle choices do you offer?
  • Are they listed by the brand and manufacturer’s name?
  • What warranties can you offer?
  • Can you tell me the differences (like construction, texture, UL fire rating) between the product options?

Estimates and payment

  • Do you offer free estimates? (Estimates are often free but be sure to ask about this before agreeing to one.)
  • Does the estimate list the product name and color?
  • How will I receive my estimate? (It is hard to ask questions about the estimate, installation practices, ventilation, supervision etc. if it is just dropped off.)
  • What are the payment terms? (It is typical to pay one-third of the cost upfront. Resist anyone asking you to pay for it all in advance.)
  • How do you accept payment? (Pay by check or credit card, not cash.)
  • How do I pay my insurance deductible? (Any contractor who claims they can handle the roof repair or replacement without you having to pay your insurance deductible may be committing insurance fraud and/or putting you at risk. Check out more tips for dealing with insurance here.)

Clean-up and inspection

  • Will you be conducting daily clean up?
  • How will they make sure your yard and home stay free from stray nails and other debris?
  • Who will inspect the job and when will that be?


  • How far out the roofing contractor is scheduling?
  • How many days will the project take?
  • What might cause possible delays in the schedule?
  • Is there a no-later-than finish date?


If you are in the market for a new or replacement roof, you need the expertise of people who have been serving Omaha, Lincoln, and Blair, Nebraska for more than 39 years. The highly skilled employees of McKinnis will walk you through every type of roofing option to make certain you choose the roofing material that best fits the needs of you and your home. Give us a call today at 402-426-2644 or fill out our online contact form!