Finding a Qualified Roofer
Ask for referrals from friends or acquaintances who have had roofing done recently. They can steer you to good roofers and away from disasters. Drive by their houses to look at the work yourself. Quiz them on the process, costs, and problems they faced. A key issue is how the roofer handled complaints. Getting the referral is just a starting point, however. You still need to evaluate the roofer. Problems that did not occur on your friend’s job might crop up on yours.
Search for roofers in your area through the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA). Go to their Web site (see Reference 1) and type in your address to find roofers in your area. The NRCA provides you with a worksheet that will help you make a choice. The worksheet covers things like years of experience, years trading under that company name and lawsuits against the company. It also will confirm whether the company has insurance and the proper licenses to work in your area and will detail the materials it uses and warranties it offers (See Reference 2).
Confirm the roofer has insurance. If the contractor argues that insurance is not necessary, or is willing to sign a contract stating that accidents are his responsibility---go somewhere else. You'll wind up paying if someone gets hurt. Protect yourself and your investment by getting insurance certificates from the company and then calling the insurance firm to confirm coverage.
Find home renovators in your area and ask them for referrals. House flippers buy homes, improve them, and sell them immediately for a profit. As such, they are keyed into reliable roofers and they have probably seen the same roofer do many jobs. That kind of reference is valuable. Flippers are tough to find because they are independent spirits, working for themselves, but they do work with Realtors. The best place to find a flipper is to ask a real estate broker for a reference.