Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I know if a roofing contractor is qualified?

Check to see if your bidding contractors maintain membership in regional or national industry associations (e.g. National Roofing Contractor’s Association). Ask to see certificates of insurance, licensing and bonding papers. Insurance coverage should include liability limits of at least $500,000. Auto coverage should be at least $500,000. Prior to signing a contract, check to see if your contractor is properly bonded and licensed by calling the contractor’s registration at 1-800-647-0982.

How many bids should I get and is there an easy way to compare bids?

Always get several bids. Not all contractors use the same format so it is often difficult to compare pricing. Roofing Specialists Northwest can provide you with a free bid spreadsheet designed to help you compare apples to oranges.

What is the best way to check references?

Always ask for references and follow up with calls to all of them. Ask whether the contractor kept your contact well informed, was the contractor easy to work with, did the crew show up on time everyday, did they haul off trash promptly, and finally, have any problems arisen since the job was finished?

Why is it important to check a contractor’s trade references?

Trade references are the people your contractor does business with. You can find out how long a contractor has done business with this supplier, do they pay their bills on time, what is their credit limit, and what is their current balance?

What else can I do to guarantee my new roof will be installed correctly?

First of all, insist on a pre-construction meeting so that a clear chain of command can be established. This allows everyone involved to agree on where equipment will be placed, when the job will start, who’s in charge, and the approximate completion date.

How do I know if I should have my old roof removed before installing a new one?

If there already two layers of old roofing, insist that your old roof be removed before a new one is installed. Three-layer roofs might not comply with FHA mortgage inspection practices and if you are considering selling your home anytime soon, you may have difficulty closing or worse, be asked to tear your new roof off and re-install it after removing the old roof layers.

What should I look for during the deck work?

The decking system of your roof is the support system under your roof. Until your contractor actually tears off your roof, he can’t know the true condition of your deck. We recommend you be present while the tear-off work is being done. Bids traditionally indicate deck replacement work will be done on an as-needed basis and are charged in addition to the original bid. Unless you actually witness the deck replacement, you have no way of gauging what you should be charged for.

What is a lien waiver and how will it protect me?

If for any reason your roofing contractor doesn’t pay his employees or doesn’t fully pay for building materials used on your roof, you are potentially liable for these costs. A lien waiver equal to the payment received from you will release you from these liabilities. In addition, you are entitled to ask for and receive the names and phone numbers of any suppliers your contractor used for your roof. Call them all to verify your materials have been properly paid for.

To save money, should I be talked into using off-brand materials?

Never! Guarantees for most roofing work range between 10 and 20 years. Often during that time, firms go out of business. Building material suppliers tend to have longer track records. If you use name brand materials from major manufacturers (GAF, Owens Corning, Certainteed, etc.) you have a much better chance of recouping your losses should your new roof run into problems.

What areas do you serve?

Auburn – Bainbridge Island – Bellevue – Black Diamond – Bothell – Burien – Carnation – Covington – Des Moines – Duvall – Eastgate – Enumclaw – Everett – FallCity – Federal Way – Hobart – Issaquah – Kenmore – Kent – Kingsgate – Kirkland – Lake Forest Park – Lake Union – Lakeland Hills – Lynnwood – Maple Valley – Medina – Mercer Island – Milton – Monroe – Newcastle – Normandy Park – North Bend – Pacific – Ravensdale – Redmond – Renton – Renton Highlands – Riverton-Boulevard Park – Sammamish – SeaTac – Seattle – Shoreline – Skykomish – Snoqualmie – Tukwila – Vashon – West Lake Sammamish – West Seattle – White Center – Woodinville