How to find a good roofer
Your roof is one of the most important parts of your house, not only is it potentially one of the most expensive to replace but it also protects the rest of your home.
If there’s any damage to your roof it can impact the rest of your building - the insulation and beams can get damp, mould and dampness can spread and quickly your home can begin to deteriorate.
This is why it’s so important to make sure that your roof is in tip top condition. Often if a problem is identified right at the start it can be extremely easy to fix, it might even be something that you can do yourself. Have a quick look at our guide on finding and fixing a roof leak for some hints and tips.
But even if you are a seasoned DIYer it is advised that you get a qualified roofer/contractor round to look at your roof every few years and ASAP if you know that there is damage that needs looking at that you cannot confidentially fix yourself.
Make sure that you find the right roofer and ask the correct questions by following our quick guide below.
Experience and Qualifications
The single most important thing to look for is a roofer’s experience and qualifications and they should be BBA certified with a certificate from the British Board of Agreement.
The National Federation of Roofing Contractors Limited (NFRC) is the UK’s largest roofing trade association and actively make sure that all its members go through a vigorous vetting procedure before they can become a member of the federation. The NFRC also ensure that each roofer carries out high standards of workmanship, sound business practice and that they adhere to Government Endorsed Standards. So the NFRC website is a fantastic place to look for a roofer and it allows you to search by area to find a one that is a NFRC member.
You might find that you are recommended a roofer by a family member or friend. This is great as you will be able to ask your friend whether the roofer was trustworthy and completed the project within the time frame given. You can also check out their work yourself and ask if they were tidy when carrying out the job.
If you don’t know anyone who has recently had some work carried out look for reviews online, there’s a number of sites such as Trust a Trader and Check a Trade where you can search for contractors based on your location and read reviews by current and previous customers.
Or you can ask a roofer to supply their own references, just remember hat these may be bias – he/she isn’t going to provide you with a reference from someone who had a bad experience!
Reviews and references are important because you want to know that a person is friendly, quick and on time however, you must still check their experience and qualifications. No matter how friendly a person is that doesn’t necessarily mean that they know what they are doing so if you have found a roofers name through reviews just pop it into the NFRC website and see if they’re there.
Quotes, Insurance and Payment
Now that you’ve done the groundwork and found a reputable roofer it’s tempting to go ahead and hire them but the prices that one roofer charges compared to another can vary wildly. If you know that you need some work done than it is worth getting several quotes. Three separate quotes is usually advised, if two of the three offer the same or similar advice, then you can usually take this as being the more reliable information.
You may find that one quote is considerably cheaper than the other two, take care to make sure that you are happy with the knowledge that the roofer has and their experience before jumping to hire the cheapest contractor. A cheaply, badly done job can just lead to further and often more expensive costs in the future.
Base which roofer you choose on their knowledge of the problem, their experience, the materials that they have recommended and the cost, not just one factor.
A few more things to check for before choosing a roofer; Check to see if they have liability insurance in order to carry out the work and if they have a guarantee. If you found the roofer on the NFRC this guarantee should be backed up by the NFRC’s own independent guarantee should the roofer go out of business – but check the NFRC website for up to date information on this and also ask your roofer to confirm.
Make sure that you have each quote in writing, this will cover you from any dramatic changes or possible misunderstandings. You will, however, need to bear in mind that the quote will only be based on what the contractor can see from the outside. Once the roofer raises the roof tiles, shingles or whatever roofing material your property has, they may uncover further damage which could result in the work that needs doing and the cost, changing. Ask your roofer to be transparent about this throughout the entire process.
Payment is another factor that needs to be agreed, be weary of contractors that request complete payment before the work has begun and those that ask for cash in hand (VAT free). As, although this can work out cheaper,they can be hard to track down or prove any misdoings should anything go wrong.
Local Authority Building Control
One last factor to bear in mind is that if your roof needs to be refurbished across 50% or more of the area than further building regulations may apply and you should contact your Local Authority Building Control for further information prior to starting any work.
And if you do find that you need some new roofing materials you'll find some very competitive prices at Roofing Megastore and feel free to call us if you would like some advice on suitability of different materials. Reach us by phone on 01295 565565, email us at