It’s no secret that a quality roof is the key to a durable home. A roofing contractor can help you choose the right roof for your home and install it properly.

Ready Roof is a full-service roofing contractor that serves Long Island, New York—including all of Nassau & Suffolk counties.

We know that roofing can seem complicated to homeowners who don’t have prior knowledge or experience in the industry. That’s why we created this guide—to help you understand what to expect when working with a roofing contractor.

We often hear the following questions about roofing contractors:

  • What are the benefits of hiring a roofing contractor vs. DIYing my roof?
  • What is the difference between a roofing contractor and a roofer?
  • What does a roofing contractor do?
  • How do I find a reputable roofing contractor?
  • How much does a new roof cost?
  • How should I prepare to work with a roofing contractor?

We are about to answer all of these questions and more. Let’s dive in!

What is a roofing contractor?

A roofing contractor is a professional who specializes in the installation and repair of roofs. They are usually licensed and insured, which protects you from liability if something goes wrong during the roofing process. A roofing contractor will also have access to better quality materials and equipment than the average homeowner, which means your roof will be more durable and last longer.

The benefits of hiring a roofing contractor

There are many advantages to hiring a roofing contractor instead of attempting to do the job yourself. Here are a few examples:

  1. Save time: A roofing contractor can complete the job in a fraction of the time it would take you to do it yourself.
  2. Save money: A roofing contractor will have access to discounts on materials and labor that you wouldn’t be able to get as a homeowner.
  3. Get it done right: A roofing contractor has the experience and expertise to make sure your roof is installed correctly and will last for years to come.
  4. Peace of mind: When you hire a roofing contractor, you can rest assured knowing that the job will be done correctly and that you won’t be held liable if something goes wrong.
  5. Protect your investment: Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. Hiring a roofing contractor will help you protect that investment by ensuring that your roof is installed correctly.

Should I DIY my roof?

Especially if you have home improvement experience, you may wonder if you can simply install or repair your roof on your own. While it is technically possible to do so, we would advise you to hire a roofing contractor instead.

Here’s why we do not recommend DIY roofing:

  1. It’s dangerous: Roofing is a physically demanding job that requires working at heights. If you’re not experienced in roofing, it’s easy to make a mistake that could result in serious injury or even death.
  2. It’s time-consuming: Installing or repairing a roof is a major job that will take a significant amount of your time. If you have a busy lifestyle, you likely won’t be able to dedicate the time necessary to do the job right.
  3. It’s expensive: If you make a mistake while roofing, you could end up spending more money to fix the problem than you would have if you had hired a roofing contractor in the first place.
  4. It’s stressful: Roofing is a complicated job that requires a lot of planning and coordination. If you’re not experienced in roofing, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the process.
  5. You could void your warranty: If you roof your home yourself, you could void the warranty on your roof. If something goes wrong, you’ll have to pay for the repairs yourself.

So, while you can DIY your roof, we strongly recommend hiring a roofing contractor. They have the experience and expertise necessary to get the job done right, and they can do it in a fraction of the time it would take you to do it yourself.

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What is the difference between a roofing contractor and a roofer?

Many people believe that roofers and roofing contractors are the same—but while their services are similar, there is a crucial difference between them.

As we mentioned, a roofing contractor is a professional who is licensed and insured to install and repair roofs.

On the other hand, a roofer is a tradesman who specializes in the installation and repair of roofs, but they are not required to be licensed or insured.

As a homeowner, you could be held liable if something goes wrong during the roofing process if you opt to work with a roofer instead of a roofing contractor.

So, while there is some overlap between roofing contractors and roofers, we advise you to work with a roofing contractor instead of a roofer. They are qualified and can do a better job, which will save you money in the long run.

The services roofing contractors provide

Roofing contractors provide a variety of services, including:

Installing new roofs

Both residential homes and commercial buildings can benefit from brand-new roofs. Roofing contractors will work with you to choose the right roof for your needs and budget, and they will install it correctly to ensure that it lasts for years to come.

Repairing old roofs

If your roof is starting to show signs of wear and tear, a roofing contractor can help. They will inspect your roof to find the source of the problem and then make the necessary repairs to extend the life of your roof.

Cleaning roofs

Over time, your roof will accumulate dirt, debris, and stains. Roofing contractors have the tools and expertise necessary to clean your roof quickly and efficiently.

Roof maintenance

To keep your roof in good condition, it’s important to have it inspected and serviced regularly. Roofing contractors can provide the roof maintenance services you need to keep your roof in top shape.

Inspecting roofs

It’s important to inspect your roof regularly to ensure it is in good condition. Roofing contractors can inspect your roof and identify any potential problems so you can fix them before they cause serious damage.

No matter what type of roof you have, a roofing contractor will help you keep it in good condition and extend its lifespan.

How to find the right roofing contractor

The roofing contractor that is best for your project will depend on several factors, including the size and scope of your project, your budget, and your location.

However, the most important factor is that the contractor you choose is experienced in roofing. Ask for references and pictures of previous projects to get an idea of the contractor’s work.

Here are a few additional tips on how to find quality candidates and vet them for your project:

Ask around! Friends, family, and neighbors are great sources of referrals.

Check out online reviews. Sites like Google, Yelp, and Angi can give you an idea of what other customers have experienced with a particular contractor.

Make sure the contractor is insured and licensed in your state.

All roofing contractors should be licensed and insured to work on your home. Check with your state’s licensing board to verify that the contractor is in good standing.

Check with your local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the contractor.

You can also use these resources to determine if a contractor is licensed and insured.

Get quotes from several contractors before making a decision.

Make sure to compare apples to apples and get the quotes in writing. Beware of any contractor who offers a quote that is significantly lower than the others—this could be a sign of subpar work. Always ask about additional fees or charges before hiring a contractor.

When you’re ready to hire a roofing contractor, get the contract in writing.

This document should spell out the scope of work, materials, timeline for completion, warranty information, and payment terms.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions or negotiate the terms of the contract before signing.

Once you sign, you’re agreeing to the terms of the contract, so make sure you understand and agree with everything before writing your signature on the dotted line.

15 questions you should ask roofing contractors before you hire them

Choosing which roofing contractor to work with is tough as is—but knowing what to ask roofing contractors before you hire them can make the decision a little bit easier.

After all, your roof is a big investment, so you want to be sure you’re working with a quality contractor who will do the job right.

Here are 15 questions you should ask any roofing contractor before hiring them:

  1. What is your roofing experience?
  2. How long have you been in business?
  3. Do you have liability insurance?
  4. Do you have workers’ compensation insurance?
  5. Do you have references I can contact?
  6. Can you provide me with a list of previous customers?
  7. Can you provide me with photos of previous projects?
  8. Are you licensed and insured?
  9. What type of warranty do your roofs come with?
  10.  What is the expected lifespan of the roof you install?
  11. What is included in your quote?
  12. Is there a charge for the estimate?
  13. What are your payment terms?
  14. When can you start the project?
  15. How long will the project take to complete?

What a good roofing job looks like

A quality roofing job should result in a roof that is:

  • Durable: You want a roof that will last, so ensure the chosen contractor uses quality materials.
  • Watertight: A great roof will keep water out, so ask about the contractor’s methods for ensuring a watertight seal.
  • Fire resistant: In some areas, it is required that roofs be fire resistant. If this is the case in your area, ensure the contractor you choose can provide a roof that meets this requirement.
  • Energy efficient: An energy efficient roof can save you money on your energy bills, so ask about this when getting quotes.
  • Attractive: The roof is one of the first things people see when they look at your home, so you want it to look amazing!

Discuss your aesthetic goals with the contractor and make sure they can deliver on your plans.

Signs of a professional roofing contractor

A professional roofing contractor will:

Have a physical office address and be able to provide local references

It’s always a good sign when a contractor has a physical office address. This shows they’re not a fly-by-night company and they are serious about their business. Local references are also a green flag—they show the contractor has a good reputation in the community.

Be licensed, insured, and have workers’ compensation insurance

This protects you in case anything goes wrong during the roofing job.

Provide a detailed estimate

They will be able to provide you with a detailed estimate that includes the cost of materials and labor. They should also be able to answer any questions you have about the estimate.

Offer a warranty on their workmanship

This protects you in case you notice issues with the roof after its installation.

Use high-quality materials

They will use the best materials to ensure your roof is durable and long-lasting.

Give you a timeline for completing the project

They will share a detailed timeline and stick to it as much as possible. They will also update you on their progress and let you know if there are any delays.

Communicate with you throughout the project

They will answer any questions you have and update you on their progress.

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Red flags to watch out for when hiring a roofing contractor

At Ready Roof, we provide complete transparency and outstanding customer service to everyone we work with. But unfortunately, not all roofing contractors are like us.

There are some dishonest contractors out there who will take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. Be on the lookout for these red flags when hiring a roofing contractor:

Pressure to sign a contract immediately

Some roofing contractors may pressure you into signing a contract on the spot. They may say that the price will go up if you don’t sign right away or that the materials they have in stock are limited. Don’t fall for it!

If a contractor is legitimate, they will be happy to give you time to read and understand the contract before you sign.

Request for a large deposit upfront

A reputable roofing contractor will not ask for a large deposit upfront. A small deposit of around 10% is standard to cover the cost of materials, but anything more than that should be a red flag.

Unprofessional behavior

You should expect courteous, professional behavior from any contractor you hire. If a roofing contractor is rude or aggressive, that is a sign that they are not the right person for the job

Refusal to provide references

A good roofing contractor should have no problem providing you with references from past clients. If they refuse or say they don’t have any available, that’s a red flag.

Lack of insurance or licensing

As we mentioned, all roofing contractors should be licensed and insured to work on your home. If they are not, that is a major red flag, and you should not hire them.

Common roofing problems and how contractors fix them

Many different roofing problems can occur, but some are more common than others. Here are a few of the most frequent roofing problems we see and how contractors can fix them:

  1. Leaks: If you have a leak, it’s important to act quickly to avoid water damage to your home. A roofing contractor will first identify the source of the leak and then make repairs to seal it off.
  2. Shingle damage: Wind, hail, or debris can damage shingles. If you notice any missing or damaged shingles, contact a roofing contractor right away. They will replace the shingles to prevent further damage to your roof.
  3. Ice dams: Ice dams form when melted snow and ice refreeze at the edge of your roof. This can cause water to back up under your shingles and into your home. A roofing contractor will remove the ice dam and make repairs to prevent it from happening again.
  4. Ventilation problems: Proper ventilation is important for preventing condensation and mold growth in your attic. If you notice any signs of condensation or mold, contact a roofing contractor to have them check your ventilation system. They can add additional vents or fans to improve airflow and prevent future problems.
  5. Skylights: Skylights are a common source of leaks. If you have a leaky skylight, a roofing contractor will replace the seals around the skylight to stop the leak.

Hiring a roofing contractor is the best way to ensure that your roof is in good condition and can protect your home from the elements.

How to determine the best type of roof for your home

When you’re ready to replace your roof, you’ll need to decide on the best type of roof for your home. There are many factors to consider, including the climate, the style of your home, and your budget.

Here are a few factors to keep in mind as you choose the best roof for your home:

1. Climate:

The climate in your area will play a major role in deciding which type of roof is best for your home. If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, you’ll need a roof that can withstand the elements.

For example, roofing in New York needs to be able to withstand heavy snowfall and high winds.

And by the way, if you are looking for a roofing contractor or roofer in Long Island, we are the ones to call. Based on our extensive knowledge of roofing materials and climate factors, we will work with you to make the best decision for your New York home.

2. Style of home

You should also consider the style of your home when choosing a roof. For example, if you have a ranch-style home, you’ll want a roof that is low-maintenance and can withstand high winds.

If you have a Victorian-style home, you’ll want a roof that is more ornate and will add to the curb appeal of your home. No matter what style of home you have, we can help you choose the best roof to match.

3. Budget

Your budget is another important factor to consider when choosing a roof. There are many types of roofs, and the price will vary depending on the materials and installation.

4. Warranty

When you’re choosing a roof, be sure to ask about the warranty. Some roofing materials come with a lifetime warranty, while others only have a limited warranty.

5. Maintenance

You’ll also want to think about the maintenance required for the different types of roofs. Some roofs require more maintenance than others.

For example, metal roofs need to be cleaned and sealed regularly to prevent rusting. Asphalt shingle roofs need to be inspected for damage and replaced as necessary.

How often should roofing be replaced?

Most roofs will last for 20 to 25 years before they need to be replaced. However, several factors can shorten the lifespan of your roof.

For example, if your roof was damaged in a severe storm, it may need to be replaced sooner than expected. Also, if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, your roof may not last as long as it would in a more moderate climate.

If you’re not sure how old your roof is or if it needs to be replaced, we can help. We will inspect your roof and let you know if it needs to be repaired or replaced.

How snow and ice impact your roof

Especially in the winter months here in Long Island, New York, it’s important to be aware of how snow and ice can impact your roof.

Here are a few examples of the damage snow and ice can cause:

The weight of the snow and ice can cause your roof to collapse.

Although this example is more severe, it is important to be aware of the weight of the snow and ice on your roof.

Snow and ice can also damage your gutters and cause them to pull away from your roof.

This can lead to water damage on the exterior of your home as well as the interior.

Ice dams can wreak havoc.

This happens when the snow on your roof melts and then refreezes at the edge of your roof. This creates a dam that prevents the melted snow from draining properly. As the water builds up, it can leak into your home and cause water damage.

The snow and ice can create leaks in your roof.

Even if the snow and ice don’t cause major damage, they can still create leaks in your roof. Over time, these leaks can lead to water damage and other problems.

The melting and refreezing of snow and ice can also damage your shingles.

This damage is often not visible from the ground, but it can shorten the lifespan of your roof.

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How to prepare your home for a new roof installation

If you’re getting a new roof, here are a few actions you can take to prepare your home for the installation:

1. Clear any debris from the yard.

Remove leaves, branches, and lawn furniture. This will give installers a clear path to your home and help prevent damage to your property.

2. Move any vehicles from the driveway.

Installers will need access to your roof, so please move any vehicles from the driveway. If you have a garage, you can park your vehicles inside.

3. Make sure pets are out of the way.

Pets can be frightened by the noise of the installation and may get in the way of the installers. Make arrangements for your pets to be kept away from the work area during the installation.

An overview of the roofing installation process

Ever wondered how roofing is done? Here’s the rundown:

When your roofer or roofing contractor arrives to install your new roof, they will first inspect the area and measure your roof. They will then remove the old roofing material and dispose of it properly.

Next, they will install the new roofing material. This process may take a few days, depending on the size and complexity of your roof.

Once the new roof is installed, your roofer will clean up the work area and remove debris. They will then inspect your new roof to make sure it is installed correctly.

What you can expect during the installation process

The roofing installation process can be disruptive, so it’s important to know what to expect. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

1. Prepare for dust and debris.

Roofing projects can create a lot of dust and debris. To help keep your home clean, we recommend that you cover any furniture or carpets in the work area with plastic sheeting.

2. Expect some noise.

The installation of your new roof will create some noise. We appreciate your understanding and patience during this process.

3. Keep children and pets away from the work area.

For their safety, please keep children and pets away from the work area during the installation.

4. Be available to answer any questions.

Installers may have questions during the installation process. Please make sure someone is available to answer their questions to avoid delays.

5. Inspect the work area after the installation is complete.

Once the installation is complete, we recommend that you inspect the work area to make sure everything is to your satisfaction.

The cost of a new roof

The cost of a new roof depends on several factors, including the size of your roof, the type of roofing material you choose, and the complexity of the installation.

We know that getting a new roof can be a big investment. That’s why we offer financing options to help make the cost more manageable. We also offer a variety of warranties on our products and services to give you peace of mind in knowing that your investment is protected.

To get an accurate estimate of the cost of your new roof, we recommend that you request a free quote from us.

How to care for your new roof once it’s installed

Once your new roof is installed, here are a few steps you can take to keep it in good condition:

1. Inspect your roof regularly.

It’s important to inspect your roof regularly and look for any signs of damage. If you notice anything, please call us immediately so we can make the necessary repairs.

2. Keep your gutters clean.

Keeping your gutters clean is crucial for maintaining your roof. We recommend you have them cleaned at least twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall.

3. Remove any debris from your roof.

Debris such as leaves and branches can accumulate on your roof and cause damage. To prevent this, we recommend that you remove any debris from your roof regularly.

4. Call us for any repairs.

If you notice any damage to your roof, please call us immediately so we can make the necessary repairs.

We hope this guide has helped give you an overview of what to expect when getting a new roof. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you are searching for a professional roofing contractor or roofer in Long Island, New York, look no further!

Ready Roof is one of the top NYC roofing contractors with years of experience and a reputation for quality workmanship. We offer a wide range of roofing services, including installation, repair, and replacement.

We are proud to be one of the premier full-service New York roofing companies. No matter what your roofing needs are, we are ready to help!

To get more information or request your free quote, contact us today.

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