Michael Wakerling, owner of General Roofing Company, suggests people find out if their roofer uses quality materials. Cheap shingles cost only marginally less than quality ones, he says, so the decision to use them is hard to justify.
Some contractors use OSB (oriented strand board) instead of plywood, because it runs $5 cheaper and could save $500 on a roofing bill. Before you agree to OSB, Mr. Wakerling suggests you ask your contractor to review the pros and cons (OSB loses its waterproof quality when the surface is cut, for example).
Mr. Wakerling suggests you take other precautions as well. Check that any contractor you consider hiring is licensed and insured, and ask them to produce certificates of coverage that come from the insurance company. He also advocates using a company that’s been in business a long time—at least 20 years, he says, which is the life expectancy of a general roof.
Mr. Wakerling advises to work with a contracting company with whom you share a comfortable connection. He also warns against shopping solely based on price. “There will always be someone who wants to give it to you cheaper. Sometimes it’s legitimate, but often there’s a reason for that price difference.”