Considerations for choosing a good contractor

I haven’t had any contractor recommended to me so I’m checking the roofing section of the Yellow Pages. There are so many listings that I want to narrow it down a bit if possible before talking to anyone. Many of the listings are for construction companies or remodelers.

  1. In general, wouldn’t I be better off with someone who only does roofing? On the other hand I understand why a roofer in my area (South Dakota) might need to “branch out” a bit in the winter due to our weather. In a case like that, how would I be sure that the roofing crew was all “roofing” guys?
  2. CertainTeed website lists local contractors with certain types of “qualifications” for roofing, etc. Do these actually signify a higher level of experience & training or are they just sales BS? They don’t explain in enough detail how they decide these things. I’m sure there are many good contractors out there without these Manufacturer “qualifications” but I need to start somewhere.
    Thanks for your help.

There are a few things you can do.

I would absolutely contact several contractors to bid the work, and I would talk to whoever they send out to the job. Find out how long the company has been in business. Make sure they are bonded and insured. Ask for references. Check with the BBB. Keep an eye open for any roofing going on while you drive around, stop and check with the homeowner to see how they like the contractor, etc…


When I listed my self as a General Contractor, I was doing it for insurance purposes.

You can cheat the insurance system if roofing is not in the name of your company. Your policy will include limited roofing. That means an occasional repair or a small job connected to an addition you are doing. It does not cover a roofing job by itself.

So if a company is advertizing for roofing work but does not advertize as a roofer company, watch out. This is not an absolute. Just a warning sign.

I’ve already checked the BBB - found no listing on many roofers, little helpful info on the rest. Of course I’m looking for licensed, bonded, insured, but haven’t been able to narrow it down much. I even checked some profiles in this forum to see if any of you were in my area, but no luck so far. Thanks again.

Mcoy, a few other things you can check out is with those refs, go and talk to the people that are on the list dont just drive by. Along with that compair what you are getting for your money, the lowest price should be thrown away automatically. Check to make sure there licence is valid and they have proper roofing insurance and its is paid up to date. If they do not have the proper insurances and something happens they might have trouble getting a claim covered making you responsible. And that is not fair. Also ask how long the crew they have working has been working for them and working together. That will determine a few things for you. Hope this helps. Good luck in your quest.

I appreciate your response - good advice. I’ve studied other posts and already have a good idea of questions to ask when I talk to a contractor. My question relates to narrowing down the number of contractors prior to talking to them. Thanks anyway.

Im really not understanding the question maybe. How can you narrow the number of contractors without talking to them. You can get licence checks without talking to them. As far as insurance checks i think you will have to chat with them to find out who there policy is thru. Whom ever you have do your roof make sure that the insurance is for roofing and is not a limited policy. Repairs are covered not tear-offs. Some guys go and do that to lower there insurance but after seeing what happened to a company i know i would suggest to make sure the policy states roofing and calling the policy holder will give you all the information that you will need to make a logical decision

hello mcoy,

just start askin around to all your freinds and family, " does any body know a good roofer whos been around for awhile?" and youll find someone. when you find someone ask them for a couple of other local companys.
you should be able to get a few roofers to talk to,
and find the one who knows most about the conditions in your area.
pick someone who has been in your town for 10-20 yrs.

good luck.

In my original post I noted that CertainTeed’s website (which is the brand I’m interested in) lists some contractors in my town with varying levels of CertainTeed “qualifications”. I asked if these qualifications were meaningful in your estimation or just a marketing ploy. If they are meaningful as far as quality of work & experience, it would suggest that I should talk to those contractors first, instead of picking contractors at random from a much larger listing in the phone book. I don’t know how else to explain it, but thanks for trying to help me. In either case I will talk to contractors about insurance, experience, licenses, etc. until I find a good one.

All of those companies took tests to see what there education level of roofing is to get there. the difference between a shingle master company and a slect shingle roofer is they allowed them to make sure that the insurance is strictly for roofing and not limited to repairs. So i would go with a shingle select roofer before any of the others. Also these tests and the qualifications are not done by writting a check it is done soley by doing the tests and passing them. Its a good test. I as a salesman have the master applicators and quality master qualifications.

You guys are the best. I hope your customers appreciate you as much as I do!