Roofing contractor going over roof project with customer

Selecting the right roofing contractor is a game-changer for the outcome of your roof replacement adventure. It’s one of the most crucial steps in the journey, helping steer clear of unnecessary headaches and ensuring a smooth sailing process.

In Vancouver, there’s no shortage of roofers claiming they’re the best. But here’s where you play it smart: by asking them the right questions. You can dodge any potential missteps in the crowded landscape of roofing choices.

For 30 years, our squad at American Mastercraft has been the go-to source for homeowners seeking honest, straightforward advice on finding their perfect roofing match. Let us share with you the most important questions that every homeowner needs to ask a potential roofing partner.

1. Are They Licensed, Bonded, and Insured?

Aiming for a triple-threat (with a licensed, bonded, insured) contractor is your best bet in safeguarding your property. Ask to see the evidence of their business license, bond, and insurance. These aren’t just pieces of paper, they’re your safety net, ensuring the job gets done without a hitch.

Any experienced, trustworthy roofing contractor won’t hesitate to show you their credentials. But remember, requirements vary across states and cities, so make sure they’re not just legit but also fully prepared to meet our local standards.

2. Do They Have References for Recent Projects?

Recent references show the consistency of the contractor’s work. Request a list of references from jobs completed within the past three to six months (not just years ago). The recent time frame helps you assess the current skill level and reliability of the roofing team.

When given references, take the opportunity to drive past the homes to observe the craftsmanship firsthand. 

Just like with licensing, a reputable contractor should have no qualms in providing these references. If a contractor balks at this request or fails to give a satisfactory number of recent, verifiable references, consider it a major red flag. This could indicate a decline in the quality of their work, issues with customer satisfaction, or a lack of recent experience.

3. Are They Local Roofers?

Asking about a roofer’s service area reveals their familiarity with the unique roofing codes and climate quirks of Vancouver. Multi-region or transient contractors are prone to leave behind a trail of shoddy installations and unmet local regulations.

4. How Long Have They Conducted Business in Vancouver?

Understanding the tenure of your roofing contractor gives you a glimpse into their stability and reliability. It’s not that tenure equals talent, but longevity suggests they’ll be around to back their work in the years to come.

Experience and established trust in the community often translate into peace of mind for your significant roofing expenditure.

5. What Is Their Workmanship Warranty?

Inquiring about their workmanship warranty gives you a sneak peek into their confidence in their skill and the quality of their materials. Workmanship warranties can vary wildly – from a year to a lifetime. Contractors who stand firmly behind their work like American Mastercraft are usually more than willing to offer extended, even lifetime, warranties. 

So don’t settle for less than a decade of coverage. Be sure to dig into reviews and see if they truly honor their warranty, as a promise is only as good as its keeper.

6. Are They Certified by Shingle Manufacturers?

Check if they’re certified by any leading shingle manufacturers. Being chosen for certification means they’re not just a big fish in our local pond but also recognized for their quality workmanship and reliability. And with certification comes access to the finest material warranties and enhanced options offered by the manufacturer, giving you an extra layer of assurance and value.

This certification isn’t handed out freely – it means they’ve been deemed worthy by the makers of the products they install to do the job right.

7. Will They Install Drip Edge?

Drip edge installation is not just beneficial, it’s mandated by building codes. This metal flashing is integral to channeling water away from the fascia and protecting the underlying roofing components. Given its importance, you must verify that the contractor plans to include it and inquire about the specifics of how they will install the drip edge.

Ask for details about the overlap of adjacent pieces, the extension over the deck, and how they meet the code requirements. If a contractor is unfamiliar with the code or seems to have a superficial understanding of the installation process, it’s a sign that your roof may not be up to code under their care.

8. What Is Their Protection Policy for Roof Replacements? 

Roofing projects can be messy and invasive by nature. Your property deserves consistent protection from potential damage during the process. Roofing contractor candidates should clearly outline their strategies for safeguarding your home’s exterior (lawns, gardens, decks, and pathways) and interior, if necessary.

Expect them to describe the specific protective measures they will implement. These may include the use of tarps to catch falling debris, plywood over windows to prevent accidental breakage, and measures to protect delicate landscaping. Now is also the time to review their liability policies. If a company includes clauses absolving them from damages caused during roofing, be cautious. 

You want a contractor who takes full responsibility for their actions, not one who hides behind fine print.

9. Do They Use an Ice and Water Shield?

The ice and water shield is more than a defensive layer, it’s an essential component that protects the integrity of your roof (particularly in regions prone to harsh weather conditions). Its purpose is to prevent water infiltration caused by ice dams or wind-driven rain, especially in vulnerable areas like valleys, eaves, and around roof penetrations.

Clarify whether the contractor uses this shield as a standard practice and how they determine the areas of its application. You are looking for a thoughtful answer that confirms they aren’t just checking a box but genuinely understand the importance and correct installation of this waterproofing material. Alarm bells should ring if they seem to dismiss the value of an ice and water shield or are vague about their usage policy.

10. What Is Their Project Cleanup Process?

The mark of a responsible roofing contractor is their dedication to cleanliness and order during the job. Inquire about the daily cleanup processes and what specific steps they take to manage debris. Address the use of tools like dump trailers and if they have designated cleanup crews.

More importantly, discuss how they plan to ensure the complete removal of hazardous materials like old nails and sharp objects once the project is finished. Many contractors employ a meticulous protocol, which includes using magnetic tools to capture stray nails from your garden and walkways after the work is over. Failing to do so can result in injuries or tire damage, so a thorough cleanup process is non-negotiable.

Signs of Bad Roofing Contractors

As you’re evaluating roofing contractors, it’s more than what they say, it’s also about their behavior and practices. Here’s what to watch for:

  • Reluctance to provide documentation.
  • Vague communication.
  • Unclear project bid details.
  • Pressure to make a quick decision.
  • Overly low-costing bids.
  • No physical business address or professional web presence.

Transparency, attention to detail, and clear communication are signs of a reputable roofing professional.

Trust Us as Your Local Roofing Contractors

Armed with these insights, you’re better positioned to select a roofing contractor who respects your property, adheres to the highest standards, and is committed to delivering a durable, high-quality roof.

We at American Mastercraft understand that picking a roofing contractor is a pivotal moment in your remodel or new build. With over 30 years of experience in Vancouver, our roofers know the ins and outs of repairing and replacing any type of roof.

Contact us today for a free service estimate! Our team is more than happy to answer any questions you have about roofing.

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