How to Choose Your Roofer: Five-Point Checklist for a Quality Roof

The time has come to change your roof and you are wondering how to choose THE best professional for your roof and your expectations. We understand!

Because it is such a significant investment, it is especially important that new roofing be installed properly. Quality work will prevent leaks and insulation problems, which can otherwise result in a major – and unexpected! – expense. Improper installation may also void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Five “musts” to choose your ideal roofer

If you are reading this article, you probably have not yet found the answers you are looking for. Or you are not completely convinced by the recommendations you have received from family and friends.

Referrals are a good starting point. However, it is always preferable to compare a few professionals to find the perfect roofer for YOUR home.

But first, what is the best time of year to change your roof?

Spring and fall are the most recommended seasons for roof work such as a roof replacement. The temperature is high enough to activate the sealant bands on the back of the shingles, thus ensuring optimal adherence without risking any damage. According to the Association des maîtres couvreurs du Québec (AMCQ), it is preferable to avoid this type of work during the cold winter months. Cold temperatures could reduce the adhesive’s effectiveness, making the roof vulnerable to wind damage. To avoid this problem, follow our cold weather installation instructions. That way, you can rest assured that your new roof will stay on, no matter the temperature at the time of installation.

1. List your needs

To find the RIGHT professional for your roof, it is important to clearly identify your needs and expectations. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What type of roof do I have (pitched or flat) and what roofing material do I want (three-tab or architectural shingles)? What colour shingles do I want?
  • What is my budget?
  • Where is my house located? Downtown or at the end of a hard-to-access road?

Use the answers to these questions as a starting point for your research criteria: specialization required, budget, equipment needed, etc.

2. Check if the roofer is properly registered

Make sure the roofer you choose is duly registered with your local building authority. Some cities, such as Toronto, may even require additional licensing. Call your municipality to find out the exact licensing/registration needed by your roofer.

To be licensed, contractors may need to pass a test evaluating their knowledge of safety standards, project management, and work methods. Such a license can protect you from shoddy work.

Other requirements may vary by province. In Ontario, for instance, roofing workers must be trained to work safely at heights and trained in workplace-safety hazards.

3. Check the roofer’s insurance and warranty

Ask the roofing companies about their liability insurance. Professional liability insurance must be valid for the entire duration of the work. Do not hesitate to ask the contractor what precautions will be taken to protect your house and property.

Note that contractors who are members of the Association des maîtres couvreurs du Québec (AMCQ) have $5M in civil liability coverage in the event of an accident.

Also, think of notifying your home insurance company that you are having work done on your home.

4. Ask for quotes and compare

Once you have identified a few potential candidates, ask each one for a quote. In addition to letting you compare their prices, this will give you an idea of the quality of their customer service and the products and services they offer.

Get a proper breakdown of all the work being done so that when you compare quotes you are comparing apples with apples.

As a general rule, an effective roof system must include eave protection and a waterproof membrane1 in addition to the shingles. Make sure these are included in the quote. The quote should also include the starter strips, as well as hip, and ridge singles. These can be specially designed shingles or traditional 3-tab shingles that your roofer will cut out for this purpose.

1 Certain exceptions apply. Refer to the installation method for complete details.

5. Read online reviews

If a contractor meets the four preceding criteria, go find feedback on their work and recommendations on Google Business, Facebook, BBB, etc. You will feel more confident entrusting your roofing project to a contractor with positive comments.

If your search reveals negative comments directed toward the roofer you want to hire, check what they are all about. Are the issues a deal breaker for you? Are these complaints recent or has the contractor had the opportunity to correct the issue since? Also, be sure to read the contractor’s response to negative feedback. Sometimes a negative comment will turn positive, depending on how the company handles it.

There is one way check all these points quickly and easily

Three words: BP Certified Roofers

To help you make the right choice, we have created our Certified Roofer program. This strict certification lets you check the above-mentioned points 1, 2 and 3 off your list, as well as other technical and quality verifications. Only BP-Certified Roofers can offer an extended warranty, which is our promise for a roof that will provide outstanding and long-lasting performance.

We have created an interactive map to help you easily find a BP Certified Roofer near you! Give it a try: it will save you a lot of hassle!