How to Select the Right Roofing Contractor

There are numerous documented cases in which unlicensed roofers have taken advantage of consumers. One of the most common cases is when the roofer cannot be located after a problem has developed with the roofing job. If there is a problem with a roof applied by a licensed contractor, you have more than a telephone number to fall back on. You have the assurance that he has met the qualifications required by the State of Washington. Should you have a legitimate dispute with a Licensed Roofing Contractor, you do have the recourse of filing a complaint with the Department of Labor and Industries. Licensed Roofing Contractors are also required to post a bond. In some cases, you may be able to file a claim against that bond.

Guidelines for homeowners:

  • Check for a business license, tax identification number, permanent place of business, and telephone number. At the following link https://fortress.wa.gov/lni/bbip/

  • Check to see if the roofing contractor is properly bonded.

  • Ask to see the roofing contractor’s proof of insurance. Make sure the coverage is in effect through the duration of the job.

  • Make sure the contractor is financially stable and can provide current financial information about his/her company.

  • Ask for references and a list of completed projects. Call these clients to find out whether they were satisfied.

  • Insist on a detailed, written proposal and examine it for complete descriptions of the work and specifications, including approximate starting and completion dates and payment procedures.

  • Have the contractor list the roofing manufacturers with which his/her firm is a licensed or approved applicator. Most roof systems require special application expertise to achieve lasting quality.

  • Have the contractor explain his/her project supervision and quality-control procedures. Request the name of the person who will be in charge of your project, how many workers will be required and estimated completion time.

  • Check to see if the contractor is a member of the state level roofing association (RCAW), as well as any regional (WSRCA) or national industry associations (NRCA). Being a member of industry associations demonstrates a commitment to professionalism.

  • This link will take you to our list of members  Membership Directory 

  • Call or log onto your local Better Business Bureau to check for possible complaints filed against the contractor.

  • Carefully read and understand any roofing warranties offered, and watch for provisions that would void it.

  • Ask the contractor what type of safety training he/she provides for his/her workers and what industry education programs they have attended.

  • Keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many fly-by-night contractors’ below-cost bids seem attractive, but these contractors often are uninsured and perform substandard work. Remember, price is only one of the criteria for selecting a roofing contractor. Professionalism, experience and quality workmanship also should weigh heavily in your decision.

  • The National Roofing Contractor Association (NRCA) also has a consumer tips page.

  • The RCAW is not a consumer agency and is not equipped to handle disputes between consumers and contractors. For specific disputes, please contact the Better Business Bureau.