How do I find a professional Edmonton roofing contractor?

Maybe you’re not quite sure where to start? Or maybe you have re-roofed your home before, but you need to brush up on some of the latest products and procedures? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Your decision to re-roof your home may have been the result of seeing a neighbor re-roof his or her home. Or maybe you’ve been experiencing some roofing problems, which can no longer be ignored. Then again, maybe you’ve decided just to give your home a face lift and a new roof would really enhance the look. Whatever the reason, you don’t want to make any costly mistakes! To help you through the process, we’ve broken down the re-roofing process into three specific areas:

Getting Started Selecting a Roofing Product and Re-roofing Procedures.

This article outlines each of these areas and lists the most commonly asked questions concerning each topic, with straightforward answers to help resolve some of your uncertainties. Not surprisingly, there are a number of pitfalls to which homeowners can fall victim, including evaluating and hiring a Roofing contractor without a personal interview, judging estimates on low price only, selecting products without comparison shopping, and not understanding re-roofing basics. We suggest reading this brochure in combination with our Choosing a Professional Roofer article in order to get maximum benefit. You’ll find that being prepared and knowing what to expect when re-roofing work begins will help ensure your ultimate satisfaction with your new roof.

Getting Started

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.

  1. How do I find a professional roofing contractor?
    • Referrals are the best place to start. Ask a neighbor or friend who recently had his roof replaced about his contractor and if he was happy with the work done.
    • The second best place to seek out a professional contractor is to go to your local roofing distributor and ask them
    • We are not referring to the large home center or retail store chains, but rather professional roofing material distributors who work with reputable contractors on a regular basis.
    • The Internet is usually the third place homeowners can look.
    • You should interview two to three different contractors, whether they are referrals or from the Internet
    • The following are additional points to consider in evaluating contractors:
      • Repeat business in nearby area
      • Length of time in business
      • Willingness and ability to handle complaints quickly and fairly
      • Completeness and professionalism of estimate offered and presentation given.
      • Number of job-site photos shown on their website
      • Presentation of proper insurance
      • Number of reviews posted online

Do not base professionalism on the sole criteria of having a legible business card.

  • Do not consider any bids from contractors you have not met or interviewed.
  • To help you find a professional contractor, we’ve posted many articles on Choosing a Professional Roofing Contractor

How many estimates should I get before selecting a roofing contractor?

  • Although you may receive a reliable, fair estimate from the first contractor interviewed, you should usually obtain two additional estimates to help you determine which one is best.

What is the best way to judge a roofing estimate?

  • Although you may receive a reliable, fair estimate from the first contractor interviewed, you should usually obtain two additional estimates to help you determine which one is best.


Never judge the value of various proposals from the received. A low price can signal a lot of discrepancies and shortcomings in the reliability of the contractor. In judging the cost of a job, you should evaluate the following:

  • The contractor – Base your evaluation on the likelihood that during the next two to five years (the period in which any imperfections in the roof system are most likely to occur) the contractor can be located, will stand behind his warranty and will provide the service he promised.
  • The quality & completeness of the roof system recommended – Make sure the complete roof system will include ventilation ice and water shield protection, synthetic underlayment, required metal flashings.
  • The quality of the product choices offered – Expect to pay a higher price for designer or impact resistant shingles. (Further explanation regarding product selection is provided in the next section).
  • The completeness of the contractors insurance package – Protect yourself from involvement in worker injuries, third person liabilities and damages consequential to the work being performed.

How long is it reasonable to expect to wait after I select a contractor for work to begin?

Weather permitting a common period from contract signing to job start is two to six weeks. This can vary a great deal depending on the time of year and the contractors backlog. Job start delays and postponements are a fact of life in a trade which is highly dependent on weather. However, the contractor also has a responsibility to you to be straightforward about his availability right from the start. They should also advise you on a timely basis about any changes in the schedule originally set. What is the typical duration of a re-roofing job? The duration of the job varies widely depending on the size and complexity of the roof. A small, uncomplicated roof job can usually be finished in a day or two. A large, complex project can last a week or more. Once started, however, a job should not be interrupted for any reason other than weather. If, on the other hand, a problem arises in the re-roofing process, it might be necessary to halt the work to negotiate a change in the contract You should always be advised of any changes which affect the contract agreement. A well-drafted, professional contract will anticipate unforeseen problems such as hidden deck rot, etc. How does extreme weather affect re-roofing projects? Bad weather and extreme temperatures can interrupt or postpone roofing projects. Safety of the worker is the first consideration. This can be an issue in both hot and cold weather.  Should I expect to pay a deposit when I sign an agreement? You should never pay a deposit or for the roofing job up front. NOTE: Before signing the , make sure the price covers all materials, cleanup, completion date, etc. Selecting a roofing product  is no different than purchasing a major home appliance or even a new car. You should investigate your options carefully, comparison shop and weigh the costs against features and benefits desired. Just like choosing a car, the overriding factor in selecting a roofing shingle is knowing whether your primary goal is function only, or function plus aesthetics. With a car, you know whether you want a sporty, knock-em-dead car or a practical sedan with room for several passengers. Its the same with roofing products Sometimes a homeowner who is looking to re-roof for functional reasons may see a standard three-tab roofing shingle on a neighbors and decide to go with the same product choice and maybe even the same color. But if appearance is a major factor in your re-roof decision, then take the time to really look around. You may want to visit our showroom to obtain product literature and see the various roofing material choices available. Our wide range of roofing materials can be viewed online here The following are the most important questions you can ask when choosing a roofing shingle.

  1. Whats the difference between an architectural, impact resistant, designer, shingle and a standard traditional shingle?

Since the early 1900s, the three-tab or strip shingle was the standard composition shingle installed on single family residences. These products come with 20, 25 and 30 year warranty coverage. Color is about the only appearance differentiation Today, the architectural shingle class is running away with the market. Warranties range up to 40 years and even lifetime. Color is no longer the only choice to make. The many textures, forms and designs of architectural shingles in the marketplace can result in a major aesthetic upgrade for your home. Shingles are not just for keeping out the rain anymore. What type of warranty should I look for? Aren’t they all the same? Warranties range from 20 years to lifetime. The length of the warranty is an indicator of performance and value. The upfront coverage in the first few years following application is also very meaningful. This is the time when, according to manufactures, problems caused by defects are most likely to occur. As a result you should: Look for manufacturers warranties that cover  materials and labor in the first three to five years after application on any grade of roofing shingle. Carefully review the manufacturers warranty stipulations about proration and transferability Proration is the reduction of the manufacturers contribution to the homeowner for repairing or replacing defective shingles during the warranty period. Select products carrying a warranty that does not prorate during the first three to five years after installation. Make sure the warranty prorates on the current market cost of the replacement shingles (as opposed to the original cost of the defective shingles) Examine the manufacturers stipulations on ventilation and warranty validation. Shingle roof system failure as the result of inadequate ventilation may cause the shingle warranty to become invalid. (See question regarding roof ventilation in “Re-roofing Procedures” for further explanation.)

  • Note the contractors guarantee of performance. Contractors guarantees are usually for one to five years on the average. Remember that the length of the contractors warranty is less important than his ability or intent to stand behind their workmanship and to service a valid complaint in a reasonable time period.

Re-roofing Procedures While we do recommend hiring a professional contractor to re-roof your home, you should, nevertheless, familiarize yourself with certain aspects of the re-roofing process. The fact is, there are various conditions about your roof that may limit your product choices or affect the cost of your roofing job. Consequently, you should learn about these certain circumstances if and when your contractor approaches you about them. Heres a list of questions and answers that are relevant to the re-roofing process.

  1. What is roof slope? Does the slope of the roof limit the choice of shingle that can be used? The slope of the roof is measured by the rise versus the run, or the number of inches vertically by the number of feet horizontally. Some roof slopes can limit the choice of shingles that can be used. For Instance:

A roof slope below 2/12 (2 inches per one foot) cannot use shingles. Roof slope between 2/12 and 4/12 require low-slope application techniques, including application of waterproofing underlayment Roof slopes above 21/12 require steep-slope application techniques. Your roofing contractor should strictly comply with the manufactures application instructions

  1. Is it always necessary to tear off existing shingles before re-roofing?

YES!! Tearing off the old roof before applying the new one is highly recommend (tear off). There are advantages to tearing off the old roof before installing a new one. For example:

  • If there are any defects in the roof deck, they will be revealed when the roof is torn off. These defects should be repaired before applying the new roof.
  • If condensation problems exist in the attic, they too will be revealed when the roof is torn off. Properly designed attic ventilation can then be installed in order to help eliminate such problems.
  • When the old roof is torn off, ice and water protection and shingle underlayment can be installed before applying the new roof. This will help protect against leaks created by cyclical ice damage and wind-driven rain.
  • Tearing off the old roof and starting with a clean deck before re-roofing will result in a smoother finished roof system.
  1. How can you determine if the roof is properly ventilated?

When contractors say a roof should breathe, hey are usually referring to the ventilation system beneath the roof deck. Most shingle warranties require a lot of ventilation; as much as one square foot of net free ventilation area for each 150 square feet of floor space to be vented or one square foot per 300 square feet when both ridge and soffit ventilators are used, An effective ventilation system will help:

  • Reduce attic heat buildup
  • Reduce attic moisture and condensation
  • Prevent weather infiltration, i.e., drifting snow, wind-driven rain
  • Prevent ice dam build-up

Even if you feel you’ve had satisfactory ventilation performance with your old roof for as long as 20 years, it might be necessary to add ventilation with your new roof to meet the standards Need to Know More? We hope this article has provided you with some insightful information regarding the re-roofing process. Our intention is not to overwhelm you with information, but rather offer you a reliable resource or easy reference. If you have any questions we would be happy to hear from you.