Selecting a Roofing Contractor1 (steep-slope residential)

April 2014

Buying a new roof system is an important investment. Before you spend your money, spend some time learning how to evaluate the roofing contractor who may do the work.

All roofing contractors are not alike, and CRCA recommends you prequalify roofing contractors to get the job done right the first time. The following guidelines will help in your decision:

  • Check for a permanent place of business, telephone number and tax identification number
  • Insist on seeing copies of the contractor’s liability insurance coverage and workers’ compensation certificates. Make sure the coverages are in effect throughout the duration of the job. (Consult your provincial or territorial compensation board for local laws to determine workers’ compensation insurance requirements.)
  • Have the contractor provide confirmation that all workers have completed a recognized provincial health and safety training program.
  • Look for a company with a proven track record that readily offers client references and a list of completed projects. Contact these clients to find out whether they were satisfied.
  • Insist on a written proposal and examine it for complete descriptions of the work and specifications, including approximate starting and completion dates and payment procedures.
  • Call your local Better Business Bureau to check for any complaints that have been filed.
  • Have the contractor explain his or her project supervision and quality control procedures. Request the name of the person who will be in charge, how many workers will be required and the estimated time of completion.
  • Carefully read and understand any roofing warranty offered and watch for provisions that would void it.

Keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid and be sure to get a minimum of three bids from different contractors (where possible). If the bid sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember price is only one criteria for selecting a good roofing contractor. Professionalism and quality workmanship should weigh heavily on your decision.


  1. Derived largely from the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) in the United States Consumer Advisory Bulletin on the same subject matter.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the CRCA National Technical Committee. This Advisory Bulletin is circulated for the purpose of bringing roofing information to the attention of the reader. The data, commentary, opinions and conclusions, if any, are not intended to provide the reader with conclusive technical advice and the reader should not act only on the roofing information contained in this Advisory Bulletin without seeking specific professional, engineering or architectural advice. Neither the CRCA nor any of its officers, directors, members or employees assumes any responsibility for any of the roofing information contained herein or the consequences of any interpretation which the reader may take from such information.