Outer Banks Roofing





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Time for a roof replacement or a roof to accent your new home?

Homeowners know that roofing is the best proper protection for their home. Knowing when to replace your shingles or what type of shingles to use can be a difficult decision for any homeowner. Roofing shingles come in many different styles, colors and life expectancies, there are many manufactures and we at Outer Banks Roofing can help choose the best shingle and manufacture to protect your home.

We can handle anything from a small residential home to a large commercial roofing building.

Click on the image of the house for before and after pictures of our most recent work.



Choosing the Right Roofing Contractor

Certainteed suggest that you evaluate your roofer as carefully as you would a doctor or a lawyer. It is certain that you will want a roofing contractor who employs capable applicators to install the shingles. It is also clear that you will need to look closely at the proposal offered, the products selected, and the price/value relationship of the entire package. But what criteria can you use to decide if the contractor is a true professional who will stand behind his work? While there is not a single, clear-cut answer, there are a number of indicators that you can look when going through the evaluation process.

Interview the Contractor

You cannot choose a professional roofer by looking at an estimate and comparing prices. Allow yourself an hour, more or less, to sit down with each contractor. You may be speaking with a salesperson or even the owner. Both of you need time to ask questions and explore the possibilities. You will be surprised at how many options you have.

Good contractors take pride in their work, and also the salesperson representing the company. The salesperson should show pride and enthusiasm in discussing other jobs. The salesperson should be knowledgeable about other jobs (which shows his amount of involvement in the actual work)


The Seven Questions to Ask

   1. What is the full name and address of the roofing company?

Getting the complete address of the roofing company can be an important factor in determining a company's time in business. If a post office box is given, as for a full street address as well.

Try to hire a roofing contractor that has an office nearby. The likelihood of quicker service is greater if the roofing company is based near your home.

2. Does the roofing company carry insurance?

A roofing contractor should carry comprehensive liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance to protect you in the event of a roofing accident. This can be verified by asking to see the contractor's certificates of insurance (worker's compensation and general liability). If the contractor can't show them, he's probably not insured.

Roofing contractors may also carry other kinds of insurance including health, life, and auto insurance. Bland assurances of insurance coverage may refer to these. Don't be confused. Ask for proof of general liability and workers' compensation coverage.

3. Is the roofing company a licensed contractor?

When you pose this question, you are, in effect, asking if the roofing contractor is licensed by your state and/or city.

Not all states require roofing contractors to be licensed. If your state does license contractors, then they might have to pass a written examination in their specialty. A number of cities also require professional licensing. Check with your local licensing authority for details.

A roofing contractor may also answer this question by telling you he has a business license. However, a business license is a tax requirement only and is not directly relevant to the roofing contractor's competence.

4. How long has the roofing company been in business?

Needless to say, longer is usually better than shorter. Under three years may signal an unstable business.

On the other hand, everybody has to start sometime. References will be helpful to double-check any business, and are especially important when dealing with a new business. A newer business may have a great future, but it is only reasonable to be more careful when considering its referrals. The failure rate of small businesses in the first three years is very high.

5. Will the roofing company provide referrals or references from previous jobs?

  • Ask for 10 (yes, 10) job-site locations in your area that you can visit.
  • Ask for photos of completed work, if available. Keep in mind, however, that many roofers will not have photos.
  • Request a list of names and phone numbers of recent customers. However, realize that the roofer can legitimately refuse to give a long list--many customers may not want their names released.

6. What is the roofing company's workmanship warranty?

  • Typically, contractor workmanship warranties are for one year or more. Longer warranties are not more valuable than shorter warranties. The length of the warranty is less important than the intent and ability of the roofer to stand behind his warranty.
  • The roofer will warrant his workmanship. The manufacturer, on the other hand, warranties the roofing material against defects in manufacturing. Thus, two warranties will cover the shingle system. Understand them both. Ask for a copy of the manufacturer's warranty pertaining to the specific shingle products you are considering.

Usually, most problems of either workmanship or material show up very quickly. Therefore, the near-term warranty given by the roofing contractor or manufacturer is more important than the warranty coverage during the later years of the warranty.
Even if problems of workmanship arise after the workmanship warranty has lapsed, a reliable roofing contractor usually will want to stand behind his work.

7. What is the roofing company's track record for solving customer complaints?

  • Try to find out how your contractor handles problems when they do arise. Request a referral from a job that involved a complaint.
  • Ask the contractor if he has ever lost a job-related court case.
  • Ask if his contractor's license has ever been suspended and why


Also, in talking to the appropriate authorities, such as the Better Business Bureau and licensing departments, find out if any complaints have been filed against the roofing contractors whom you have interviewed. Many roofing contractors in business for any length of time have been involved in a dispute. Ask how the dispute was resolved, to test your roofing contractor's reputation.

Evaluating the Contract

Before you get to this stage, you will have received from the roofer either a job proposal or an estimate. Estimates and proposals can be very different approaches to your job.


  • What is an Estimate?
    To simplify, an estimate will typically offer a single price, a generically described product, a color and no options. This is traditional and legitimate. But it isn't consumer-friendly.
  • What is a Proposal?
    Simply put, a proposal is a tentative agreement for a project. It offers a choice a choice of products by brand name, prices, services and even designs. Many other provisions may also be included such as change order conditions and financing options. The homeowner should expect three product choices. These could be presented in the typical range of good, better, and best.  Appropriate product literature and samples should also be offered. In conclusion, a proposal is consumer-friendly.

Details, Details!

Most contracts for roofing work are simple and straightforward. The larger or more experienced contractors may have longer, more detailed contracts. Regardless of the form of the agreement, you should read all of the specific items in the contract carefully.
Misunderstandings are more often the cause of contract disagreement rather than actual dishonesty or incompetence.
It is in your interest that certain items, which are important to you, be stated in writing in the contract. The following are some of the basics that should be covered:


  • Compliance with local codes and ordinances.
    Will they be observed? Are permit costs included? Who will obtain the permit? What about provisions for posting zoning notices? Have inspections been planned?
  • Product choices
    Have you been offered a choice of shingles? Are they identified by brand and manufacturer name? Is there a clear reference to the warranty that will cover the shingles to be applied? Is the manufacturer's name for the color of the shingle you are buying stated in the contract? Do you understand the difference in the aesthetics from one shingle to another (including not only color but also texture, style, construction, reinforcement and UL ratings)?
  • Scheduling
    Start and stop dates are difficult to pin down due to the unpredictability of the weather. But you can control exceptions.
    For instance, negotiate a "no-later-than" clause. Be reasonable, but do make it clear that these terms will be enforced if necessary. If early completion is important, offer an award for completion by an early date in addition to a no-later-than clause. NOTE: Some state laws require a no-later-than clause.
  • Right-to-Rescind
    This clause establishes a time period in which the homeowner can cancel the contract without penalty. Some states require such a clause in contracts. Check with your local authorities. Three days is usually the time period give for a right-to-rescind without penalty. If the homeowner cancels the job after the right-to-rescind period has elapsed, then the contractor may request a certain dollar or percentage value of the contract in return.
  • Manufacturer's warranty specifications
    Confirm that the Agreement states that all workmanship will conform to the requirements of the manufacturer's warranty and installation instructions. Especially take note that this includes ventilation requirements, fastener requirements, low slope installation terms and ice dam protection. All such terms are normally found on the shingle packaging, or will be found on manufacturer's literature available from suppliers.
  • Contractor's workmanship warranty
    Make sure this is clearly noted in the contract.
  • Clean-up
    Call for a daily clean-up of the premises. This becomes very important if shingle tear-off is necessary.
  • Payment terms
    Schedule, terms and method of payment should be written out fully with no room for misunderstandings.
  • Preliminary inspection
    Finally, agree to an inspection before the job with the job supervisor. Establish the condition of the property before any work is done. Take special care to list the conditions of landscaping and equipment located under or near the roof eaves. Do not be unreasonable on your expectations. It is not possible to reroof a house without some damage to landscaping. Discuss and agree on what is reasonable
    Prepare a checklist as you go and co-sign it, indicating that both parties understand the present condition of the property. A thorough inspection after the job will determine if any valid property damage claims exist.

Insider Tips

  • Understanding the Contractor
    This information serves as a guide to shopping for a good contractor and negotiating a good contract. However, you should keep in mind that your contractor is also shopping.  A contractor is shopping for good jobs that will make a fair profit and bring future referrals.  Many contractors have had experiences with unreasonable or dishonest homeowners. Therefore, they look for warning signs of customer problems during the initial job interview.  Show the contractor that you are his best interests in mind.


  • Getting a Roofing Contractor to WANT your job
    Many homeowners have been mystified by the seeming lack of interest and response from contractors when they receive a call for a job. Here's how you can get a roofer to respond to your call:
    • When you call a roofer, tell him you are shopping around, but are only interviewing three contractors, not 10.
    • Call contractors in the general vicinity. Roofers prefer to work close to home, just like everyone else.
    • Tell the contractor you call that you are not looking for the lowest bid, but rather the best value. And ask for a Good-Better-Best proposal.
    • If you have seen work by a contractor in your neighborhood and you liked it, or if someone referred a contractor to you, call him. And when you do call, mention how you received the contractor's name.
    • By following these tips you can help a roofer to determine that you are a good prospect and worth his effort.

Local Information

There are a number of organizations and institutions that you can contact when you need additional help or information about reroofing. Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict which will be the most useful in any given location. Consider these sources:

  • Local Better Business Bureau
  • City, county and state licensing authorities
  • Local roofing trade associations, whose members are actual contractors, should be active in policing their trade and can be excellent sources of information.

When it comes to re-roofing, there are a number of areas homeowners need to be aware of from selecting a contractor to the actual start of work. We’ve outlined the six most commonly asked questions by homeowners with regard to getting started. Click here to learn more (opens in a new window).