How to Choose the right roofer and Avoid the nightmares

Warren Oberholser
Warren Oberholser
Published on May 6, 2021

Hi, I’m Warren Oberholser. I’m a realtor in the East Bay Tri-Valley area in Northern California. My goal is to help both buyers and sellers get maximum results for one of their biggest investments, their home.

4 helpful tips to choose the right roofing contractor

You need a new roof, I’m going to give you four helpful tips so you can find the right roofing contractor for your home.

A new roof is usually one of the biggest homeowner’s expense

To start this BLOG off, I’d like to use that phrase let me address the elephant in the room. Is a new roof expensive? Definitely. Is it a big job? Oh yeah.

Applying a new roof is one massive undertaking and unless you’ve installed them for a living, it is not a DIY project. In this video, I’m going to give you a straightforward four-step process so you can find the right contractor to install your new roof. Remember, the key is to take your time and research carefully.

Ask your neighbor if they liked their roofing contractor

Number One: Get Referrals

. We’ve always found that the best way to get what you want is to ask others for their recommendation. If you have a trusted general contractor, ask him or her and your real estate agent is always a good choice. Then seek out referrals from family members, friends, neighbors, and even colleagues. One of the things I recommend to my clients if you see a neighbor just having a new roof put on, watch how the work is done. Do you like the way they show up? Do they seem like they’re taking care of it? Of course, when it’s finished, go over and talk to your neighbor. How did the job turn out?

If you still can’t find at least three to interview, check reviews on and the rosters at the National Roofing Contractors Association (

Get a minimum of 3 bids in writing

Number Two: Get a Few Bids

Now that you have a list of referrals, call each roofing contractor, set up an appointment for them to come out to your home, and make sure you get a bid in writing. The reason a written bid is so important is after you’ve had a couple and three especially, they all tend to sound alike, so you need to compare them carefully by looking at them in writing.

So what should the bid include? One, the scope of the project. This would include the approximate starting time and completion date and payment procedures. Number two, make sure when you look at this written bid, you see the roofer’s license and insurance. I would take this one step further regarding the insurance bond. I would inquire do they have workers’ comp insurance and if so can you see their policy.

There are several reasons why insurance is important and one of them is their employees, if they’re hurt on the job, and the contractor, the employer doesn’t have insurance, they may seek reimbursement from the homeowner which would be you. Finally, ask for a list of names and contact information of their last three clients. Then part of your due diligence, call each one for references. Bottom line, if the roofer is reluctant to provide, chances are, you want to cross them off your list and use somebody else.

The bids should describe the scope of the project, “… including approximate starting and completion dates and payment procedures,” according to the experts at NRCA.

Part of the contractors background check is to verify their insurance (including worker’s compensation)

Number Three: Perform Background Checks

Go online to your local Better Business Bureau and plug in each name of the contractor you’re interested in hiring. Then check their records carefully. Also, go to your state licensing board for contractors and ensure that the roofer’s contract is valid and has not been suspended or revoked. Finally, you can head back to or Google and check for references or testimonials there.

You’ll find various directories online, such as the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies website and also at

Not all warranties are the same

Number Four: Roof Warranties

Avoid basing your hiring decision on any warranty offered. In fact, the pros at NRCA suggest that you keep a healthy skepticism when it comes to these warranties. According to NRCA, many of them are merely marketing gimmicks and if it’s helpful, run the warranty over to an attorney or somebody you trust who has a good understanding of contracts. Again going back to NRCA, watch for any provisions that could cause a void. According to, nationally, the average homeowner spends about $7,636.00 to install a roof and most spend within a range of $5,202.00 to $10,120.00.

 “Watch for provisions that would void it,” cautions the folks at NRCA. Read more about roof system warranties on the NRCA website.

The bottom line is, when choosing someone to install your new roof, ensure that the contractor is licensed, insured, comes highly experienced, and has no to few complaints, and offers a guarantee in writing of his or her work.

The good news, most roofs last for 25 to 30 years

Hopefully, this BLOG gives you a good outline to pick the right contractor for your roofing needs and the good news is depending on what kind of roof you purchase, most of them last between 25 and 30 years so there’s a good chance you won’t be repeating this in a while.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please let me know if you have any questions. Warren


Hello…I work with both buyers and sellers in the Tri-Valley area of Northern California. The Tri-Valley is comprised of 6 cities: Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo. To better understand what each city has to offer, I have created a Pros and Cons video and BLOG for each – (Pros & Cons for Pleasanton, Pros & Cons for Livermore, Pros & Cons for Dublin, Pros & Cons for San Ramon, Pros & Cons for Danville and Pros & Cons for Alamo). If you are thinking about purchasing or selling a home, please reach out to me by text, phone, or email. If it is convenient, I can schedule a Zoom chat so we can discuss your home goals. Wishing you all the best on your home journey. Cheers!

Warren Oberholser

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Warren Oberholser

eXp Realty

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(925) 980-4603

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