A roofing contractor repairs and replaces roofs on homes and commercial buildings. Many roof contractors are self-employed, although some construction firms hire large numbers of roof contractors to handle major projects such as the installation of roofs on newly constructed housing projects. Roofing contractors work year round and around the world.
Builders often become roof contractors due to their knowledge of home construction, while other people migrate into the field that have a background in carpentry. In most places, before soliciting clients a roofing contractor must obtain a business license. Most contractors have to go through a certification process, which involves spending time working alongside an experienced roofing contractor to gain a thorough understanding of the work.
Homeowners normally hire roofing contractors to repair damage caused by storms, water leaks, fires, and similar events. The roofing contractor begins work by inspecting the roof and determining the extent of the damage. Contractors then calculate the cost of buying the materials necessary to repair the damage and provide the homeowner with an estimate of the repair cost. Labor costs are included in price estimates, and in order to win contracts roof contractors sometimes lower their bids. Many homeowners obtain price quotes from several roof contractors before deciding which one to hire.
Homeowners whose roofs are in a state of disrepair can hire a roof contractor to install an entirely new roof. Roof contractors often specialize in installing certain kinds of roofs, such as metal or tile roofs. Contractors hire sub-contractors to help with the installation of roofs on large properties.
In some areas, government entities offer tax rebates and cash incentives to property owners who install solar panels on their houses. Some roof contractors specialize in installing these panels. Many roof contractors who specialize in the installation of solar panels previously worked as electricians. Local laws in many areas require contractors installing the panels to either be licensed electricians or to hire sub-contractors who are licensed to complete the work.
Insurance companies can require homeowners to pay for a roof inspection prior to agreeing to insure a residential or commercial property. Roofs are among the most expensive parts of a building to replace, and some insurers refuse to insure buildings with roofs that are in a state of disrepair. Inspections of roofs are typically performed by roof contractors who accept a flat fee for the work. The contractor gives the roof inspection to the insurance company and if the inspection shows that roof repairs are necessary, the insurer may require the property owner to have repairs made before a policy can be written on the property.