You are looking for a roofer to repair or replace your roof, but you want to make sure that you are hiring a legitimate and experienced contractor. How can you be sure they are reliable and qualified to get on your roof and do a good job? Learning about the licensing and certification requirements for roofers is important in order for you to know if they are providing services legitimately. If your roofer is licensed and certified appropriately, you can be assured that you have a contractor that aims to do quality work, which reflects on how they will perform their job.
It is important to note that in the United States, the regulation of the roofing trade is generally left up to individual states. In Virginia, for instance, roofers (and all businesses and individuals offering construction-related services) are required to obtain a contractor license, regardless of specialty.
Following are the basic things that roofers need to provide services legally and according to industry standards. At a minimum, you should judge roofers by these criteria.
General Business Permits and Licenses
Local business permits are generally acquired from the town or city hall. Some local governments may require zoning, planning, and safety inspection approvals, if the contractor operates their business from a location other than their home. There are also the tax registrations, sales permits, and business structure paperwork for partnerships, corporations, or limited liability companies to secure.
Furthermore, the roofing company needs to have taxpayer and employer identification numbers from the IRS for their employees.
In most states, roofers can render services only if they are licensed. While the licensing procedures may vary from location to location, the core requirements are similar. Typically, states have a particular department or office that deals primarily with contractors and professionals who render their services to consumers. Some states may require applying for more than one license, depending on the type of roofing job/s they perform. It is a good idea that you check with your state’s requirements to ensure that a contractor is licensed to do the particular type of work you need done. Some may only be qualified to do repairs or installation of roofing materials, but not be qualified to build or repair the entire roof framing and system. Most if not all of the information that you need can be found published on your local government’s website as to the requirements they should have.
It will also help to remember that contractor licenses are renewed periodically and contractors may be required to acquire continuing education specific to their specialties. So check if your potential roofer has up to date credentials and training.
Other Important Qualifications
Aside from business and contractor licenses and permits, a legitimate contractor must have:
- Insurance – Business liability is a common requirement in all states, and some require worker’s compensation insurance. Roofing work is dangerous. Insurance is meant to help protect you, the company and the employees. For large jobs, surety bonding may also be needed.
- Third Party and Manufacturer Certifications – Continuing education, training, and manufacturer certifications all speak to the reliability and reputation of an experienced and skilled roofer. It is also important for roofing warranties, as only materials installed by roofers certified to install those products will be covered.
- There is a plethora of roofers out there, some better than others. However, ensuring that they have the required licenses, permits, and certifications will make the decision process easier. How can you know if they have these things? Ask them and ask for proof. You can also go to a site such as contractors-license.org, see what licenses are required, and find out if the contractor is licensed in your state.
I hope this post has helped you learn about the basic things that you need to look for in the area of contractor’s legal requirements to take care of your roofing needs.
About the Author: Cara Theiss is one of The Roofing and Remodeling Company’s ever-reliable administrative personnel. A big part of her job is interacting with clients and contractors, giving her a full view of the home improvement industry. She enjoys sharing her experiences and insights by writing blogs and guest posts.