Criteria for Good Roofers

How can I weed out the bad from the good roofers?

i can only answer this with a question.
why do you need to know this?


If start time is at 7am, youre on the roof at 7am, not getting out of the car.

You dont take an hour long lunch if its 30 mins.

If you dont know how to do something you ask someone who does so no one has to pay you to it twice.

You dont complain, you just do it and complain to yourself.

You work with everyone else to get the common goal accomplished.

You dont think you can sit on your cell phone because the foreman answers work related calls.

I could think of more but I have a headache.

You can weed out some of them just by talking to them. Common sense will lead the way on this part. But for most of them only time on the roof will tell. Word of advice if anybody tells you they can nail 16 square an hour with a feeder(ie shingle feeder/laberer) just turn around and walk away before you fall down laughing in their face.

The best way to wean out the good from the bad is to throw them on the roof and see what they got.Plain and simple

are you a customer looking for a “roofer”?

or are you a contractor, looking for a laborer?

are you a h.o. or contractor? if contractor i agree w/ bambam. i hate one handed roofas, coffee or cell ph. i kick em both off the roof.

Yes Agape I’m looking for a roofer. Most of the ones I spoke with seem like scammers. I’ve talked to about 10 roofers. I’ve had my roof size estimated anywhere from 40 to 54 squares…how can that be? I’ve had costs on upgrading to the GAF Slateline to be from $50 to $75 per square. Most want to strip the old roofing off while one wants to cover the old roof. Some of the estimates can’t be understood.

Anyway, my head is spinning and I could use some help in choosing a roofer.


Where are you located?

So in otherwords youre looking for a good contractor?

The difference in squares could be because of the different amount of waste shingles some of them are adding on. Others could be short and others could have a few more. Right off the bat dont go with the guy who only wants to roof it over.

Dont let the price be the determining factor. The upgrade cost to the slateline could very well be right. I have no idea what it is in Germany. Lets asy you spend 15000 on a roof that lasts 30 years. That means you are spending 73 cents a day to protect your biggest asset, your home.

When choosing your contractor look at his past references. Check out his ratings with different related roofing associations. Look at his insurance policies. You have to go with who you feel most comfortable with.

Good Luck.

good job corey, Agape.

poster i have one thing that i look for.

if he/she has roofing tar all over everything,
ei there truck clothes tools etc then they are probably knuckleheads.


Get references,adresses to other jobs…if they dont have any…NEXT!

gweedo, im w/ ya bro. thats one of the first things my grampa taught me, 1st; how to use a scratchbar/spudbar & 2nd; how not to get karnak #19 all over me & the crewcab.

I’m a consumer looking for a contractor.

I would have to say that I would judge a contractor on his confidence (not a smooth talker,but a confident speaker)in what he is talking about. If they seem unsure about something,chances are they are not right for the job…
I always make sure that the customer is educated in materials(all the options of a quality roof system good better best for pricing comparison)paper, Ice&water shield,shingles,cap,ventilation,method of installation,removal(shingles,all nail,and loose sheathing nails)(((That is the closer))),re-nailing entire deck, changing damaged wood ,disposal,warranty,(mat,labor)and any follow up that may be in the future,such as roof maintainance,keeping debris from building up in valleys,gutters,etc.
I mainly do all of this to let the prospect know, whether they use me or someone else,they should know a little more about what is best and worst,so they are better able to make an educated decision .It only works for intelligent people though,and some folks could care less,and just want the lowest price at all costs…and they are the ones that call about the new roof that needs to be re-done because they got a low ball ,cheap job,or over the top of rotten wood,so what did they save…and they usually buy on the spot,even if I am the 1st guy there,or the next guy really looks like an idiot after they have been educated on the correct methods,lol then I get the call to go forward,or when they cant get anyone to stop,cause it is a steep cut up roof with complex roof lines…lol
I am also not a member of bbb,or any institution,or even in the yellow pages but I am cert.Gaf/Elk,but all that means is I pay for the warranty,and you get the extended warranty,and products that comply…(which I always used before )and have dozens of happy customers…happy to take your call to attest all I said.
I hope this helps you in the decision process,and best of luck!

Since you have already clouded your perception so much by interviewing 10 separate roofers, I think you should set back and take a breather for a while.

Don’t be in a hurry.

Out of all of the deciding criteria involved in a roofing contract, I think ACTUALLY Checking up on previous references is the most important.

Don’t get lazy on that point. Go to about 3-6 previous addresses of the 1-3 contractors that you have a better gut feeling about and knock on that persons door and ask them how there experience went when they used that contractor.

Were they easy to deal with?

Was their price within 20-30% of the middle of the road estimates?

If there was any problems or concerns, how did they react to them?

Did they show up when promised?

Did they work full days, starting at the beginning of each day?

Did they do daily and final clean up?

Do they get the permit?

What happens if there was any additional unknown damage and how did they handle the additional change order and pricing for that work?

Would they use them again?

These should be enough to get you started.


Well said Ed, I’m hired,lol

Good roofers are hard to find.

Too many are solely concerned with how fast a job can be completed, the roof suffers as a result.

Honest, trustworthy, ethical, how do you determine this about a person or company with only one or 2 short meetings?

Poor quality lowball roofers survive because (some) people treat what we do as a commodity.
They don’t understand that they are not buying a tv in which there is no difference in the same model from one store to the next.

There is a very large difference from one roofing company and the next.
Your best bet is to get a referral from somebody you know, this is not fool proof…

Find a local High End builder, ask them who does their roofs.
Custom builders won’t tolerate a poor quality roofer, they have too much to lose…
Chances are they have been through many of them in your area.

Call the guys that you have seen their trucks all over town for years, this is no guarantee either…
It is a good start though.

Call all of your local roofing suppliers, they know who is good and who isn’t.
They will tend to recommend their steady customers though…
But if you get the same name from 2 different roofing suppliers, it is a great start.

If the salesmen doesn’t bother to get up on the roof, don’t even consider them.
They should want to look in the attic also.

If they leave a flyer on your door, don’t even consider them.
If they are not local, don’t even consider them.

If you choose a large local company keep in mind that you could get the A, B, or C crew…

A small company should be able to to stay booked largely by word of mouth, after a few years in business.
So if you run into a small company that advertises all over the place, they will probably have more constraints on their time.
So they need to get it done fast to cover the overhead.

Etnicity has nothing to do with it, I have repaired plenty of forked up roofs done by natural born citizens.

You may get estimates that vary by 25- 50%.
This doesn’t mean anything more than one company knows their costs and what they are doing and the other doesn’t.
A larger company will cost more than a smaller company, the larger has more overhead.

Being certified by GAF or Certainteed doesn’t really mean anything either.
These certs are just sales tools, but the GAF guys have to pay for it…
Nobody checks their work to see if they are actually doing things the way they are supposed to be done.

If you see some roofers working in your area, watch them for a bit, see how they do things.
Watch how they protect the property from debris, see how they clean up after themselves.
Look at the finished product.

All that being said, an established local company is your best bet.
They have been in business for a while for a reason.
They will probably be the most expensive also…

I have to say this.
I am small co., and I have canvassed , and left cards and flyers,and also knocked on doors that needed a new roof between jobs,and walked out with a signed proposal and deposit.2 days later I am on the job with permit and materials on the way, and been past on 2 all their friends form there.
In my neighborhood there is a BIg Company that has been there since 1972,and they sub out anything they get for as cheap as they can and charge top $$$ for the job.Meanwhile the subs are told not to replace sheets,or only to install MAX 20’ of ridge vent no mater what.
So to say that a guy like me should not even be considered is not fair…too guys like me or to the H.O. who will actually save a few bucks and get a better job(if references check out ,like Ed said)
Oh yeah the owner of Big Co. has been in court more times than he would like anyone to know about ,and anyone who has lived in the area for more than 2 yrs has heard the HORROR stories…(and I have seen and posted hear many time about them)…
I also know of a crew that was Master Elite Gaf/Elk ,that lost cert for Poor business practices…

I agree with you 100% JWolff, I am a guy just like you.
I work on the roof every day.

But, there are a lot of guys like us that should be avoided, you know this.

There are always exceptions, don’t count on them though…