Questions to ask your contractor

March 16, 2022

Here is a list of questions you might want to ask your contractor:

·        Will there be a porta-potty onsite?

o  Contractors will sometimes put a porta-biff onsite if the job takes more than a couple days, otherwise the crew will take breaks and head to the nearest gas station/convenience store.

·        Will you be using the same metal flashing/drip edge, or installing new?

o  Standard practice is to install new metal.

·        How many people will be on the crew?

o  They usually put 4 – 8 people on a crew.

·        How long will the job take?

o  For an average size house, it should take one day. They try to number their crews so they’re done by later afternoon or early evening.  

·        Do you pull the building permit?

o  The contractor should take care of any permits.

·        What steps do you take to protect my siding?

o  The crews usually tarp sensitive areas, and lean sheets of plywood up against the siding to protect it.

·        Are the materials loaded on the roof by hand or crane?

·        What kind of warranty will I get?

o  The homeowner should be a written warranty; for example, 30 years on products and 2 years workmanship.

·        How is the payment handled?

o  Standard procedure is to pay up to 50% down and balance upon completion. If there is a small detail that needs to be completed(called a punch list), like a piece of siding replaced, the homeowner can deduct an appropriate amount from the balance (maybe $200) and pay that amount when the detail is completed. If insurance is involved, it’s a whole different deal. (See video and post about insurance projects)

·        Do you recommend better ventilation for my attic?

o  Now would be the time to address ventilation issues.

·        Are your crews certified by the manufacturers?

·        Is the crew prepared for surprise precipitation?

o  They should have a tarp on hand just in case.

·        What is the process to ensure proper installation of the roof?

o  They should take pictures of completed stages.

·        Any recommendations for existing skylights (if there are any)?

o  Older skylights should be re-flashed or replaced. Old school carpenters will tell you there are two types of installed skylights: those that leak and those that will leak in the future!

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