What Is the Difference Between a Roofer, a Roofing Contractor, and a Roofing Company?

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A roof replacement is a major home expense, and you want to make sure that it’s done right. Looking for a roofing company to get your job done can be overwhelming. When you begin your search for the right roofing company, you will find many roofers, roofing contractors, and roofing companies. You’re probably wondering what the difference is between all of them and if these differences even matter. The truth is that there are definitely differences! Who you hire for your roofing project will depend on what you expect from someone working on your home. Keep reading to find out what the differences are between roofers, roofing contractors, and roofing companies. We’ll also discuss how to hire a local roofing company that will be around when you need them.


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A roofer is a person that specializes in roof installations and repairs. A veteran roofer will have experience with various roofing systems. A roofer typically works for a roofing company. A roofer will not have the established business practices in place that you will find with a roofing company.

A roofer plays a vital role for a roofing company. Without the skills of a roofer, a roofing company would not exist. In fact, the industry has a shortage of skilled roofers since there’s not a technical school or trade school for establishing the skills a roofer has. So, you may ask yourself how a roofing company acquires an experienced roofer. It’s quite challenging and this is why it takes years of building a reputation as a local roofing company to have an established customer base to be able to solicit experienced roofers and keep the company fully staffed with roofers.

A roofer might have several responsibilities as a member of a roofing crew while working for a roofing company. One of the things a roofer will do with a roofing crew is tear off shingles. A roofer will use a specialized tool that lifts the shingles from the roof decking. Roofers should be able to identify rot, damage, or defects to roof decking. Once the shingles are removed, the roofer should notify the project manager if they notice any issues with the roof decking. If there are any potential problems with the roof decking, the roofer will also remove and replace the roof decking as determined by the project manager who communicates with the homeowner. A roofer is also responsible for doing their part to keep the work site clean, adhere to safety requirements, and follow any other instructions from the project manager.

If you choose to hire a roofer for your project, there are a few things to be aware of. A roofer will not have measures in place to provide a homeowner with peace of mind. A roofer is not a registered contractor with the city. A roofer will not carry their own general liability insurance. If you choose to hire a roofer to work on your project, your home, will not be covered by contractor’s liability insurance during the project.

A roofer will not have a contract with their customers. A contract lays out the terms and conditions of the job, the agreed upon price for roof repairs or replacement, the timeline for job completion, and specific product information among other things. Contracts are important because they protect the homeowner. A contract signed by both parties ensures that who they hire for the roofing job is legally bound to fulfill the terms of the contract.

A roofer will not have any established relationships with shingle manufacturers or supply houses. They lack the business requirements that these entities require. These companies only partner with other businesses and not individuals. Because of this, a roofer will not be able to warranty the products they use or warranty their work.

Roofing Contractors

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A roofing contractor is usually hired by a roofing company during the busy season and after a major storm. A roofing company will have a project manager on site to oversee the project and manage the installation. A roofing contractor typically hires roofers as part of a roofing crew. A roofing contractor can repair roofs and install new roofs. A roofing contractor typically has a lot of knowledge and experience, which is why roofing companies hire them. However, there are a few things that you should look for when hiring a roofing contractor to repair or replace your roof.

First, you’ll want to know if the roofing contractor that you are considering hiring has a physical business address. Not all roofing contractors have an office, in fact, some are referred to as ‘fly by night’ because they are only in town after a storm and then move on to the next storm hit area. To some people this won’t matter, but you always want to be sure that you know where you can find your roofing contractor if you need them. After you’ve had your work done, you may need your roofing contractor to address a roof installation problem or any issues with your roofing materials. Maybe not immediately, but if you were to ever have a question about the roof installation or want to have your roof evaluated, you would not be able to find the roofing contractor because most of them are not local.

Next, be sure to ask whether or not your roofing contractor is insured. Be sure to ask the roofing contractor to see a current copy of their insurance, called a Certificate of Insurance (COI). Not all roofing contractors carry insurance. Most cities require registered businesses to have up to date insurance, so if your roofing contractor is uninsured, chances are they are not registered with the city either. Often, roofing contractors rely on the insurance provided by the roofing companies that hire them, which is a misconception because reputable roofing companies require their subcontractors to be fully insured. It’s important to know that if you hire an uninsured roofing contractor on your own, you will not have the benefit of the roofing company’s insurance. A roofing contractor’s liability insurance covers your home while it is considered a work site.

You need to know if the roofing contractor you hire will provide a contract which you both sign. A legitimate contract with the roofing contractor protects the homeowner. A contract ensures that the roofing contractor will complete the roofing project. A roof replacement is a big job. Relying on a handshake or verbal promises to get your roofing job done is not enough.

Roofing contractors may or may not offer warranties. It’s important to know what types of warranties, if any, a roofing contractor provides. The most common types of warranties are product warranties and workmanship warranties. If your contractor does provide warranties, you’ll also want to know how long these warranties cover the products the roofing contractor uses and how long it covers their workmanship. In order to offer product warranties, the roofing contractor has to have met certain standards set out by shingle manufacturers. If the roofing contractor will not warranty their products or work, it is a red flag because you cannot rely on them to return if there is a problem with your roof repair or your roof installation.

Finally, it is a good idea to ask a roofing contractor for references. If the roofing contractor cannot or will not provide references, it is not a good sign. If the roofing contractor does provide references, you’ll want to take the time to speak directly to these homeowners. A few things to ask these homeowner references is if they hired the roofing contractor directly or hired a roofing company who the roofing contractor worked for. If the homeowner reference you speak with hired a roofing company rather than hiring the roofing contractor directly, you may have a very different experience than they did with your roof replacement. You may also want to drive past these homes and view the roofing contractor’s work firsthand. This way you can be sure that it meets the standards you have for your home.

Roofing Companies

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Roofing companies represent top of the line roof services. Establishing a roofing company is a major undertaking. A roofing company needs to be licensed with the city in which they are offering services, be fully insured, be certified by shingle manufacturers, establish themselves with the community as a reputable business, and be fully staffed with experienced roofers in order to provide service to the community. One of the attributes that a roofing company needs is to be very passionate about the industry that they are in since it’s very hard work and requires a lot of attention to detail. As most homeowners know after they have hired a roofing company to replace their roof, roofing systems expensive. A homeowner expects their new roofing system to be in place for a very long time. In this day and age, most business is earned through referrals and maintaining a good reputation as a local roofing company is vital to the success of the business.

Most roofing companies are licensed and provide warranties. However, this doesn’t mean that all roofing companies will exceed your expectations. At Orbit Roofing, we are a fully insured roofing company, meaning that your home is protected while we’re completing your roofing project. We employ teams of experienced roofers that follow the strict standards for roof installation that we require. We always require contracts with homeowners before we begin work. Our contracts lay out the terms and conditions of the job, the timeframe for job completion, the products we will use, and the pricing that is agreed upon. Orbit Roofing has established relationships with shingle manufacturers and supply houses. This means we will warranty our work and will be there when you need us most.

At Orbit Roofing, we work with all insurances. We have relationships with a number of large insurance companies. This means that we have met their strict financial, workmanship, and customer relations requirements in order to provide service to their policy holders.

Hiring a Local Roofing Company

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You’ll definitely want to be sure that the roofing company you hire is local. After a hailstorm a lot of roofing contractors and roofing companies send salespeople to the storm affected area. These roofing contractors and roofing companies are called storm chasers. Storm chasers travel from city to city, and even state to state, following the destruction of hailstorms, tornados, and other weather events. You may run into a couple of problems if you hire a storm chaser. Storm chasers aren’t always familiar with your city, so there’s a chance that they won’t be up to date on city code upgrades when replacing your roof. A local roofing company will be aware of city codes and requirements. Most importantly, if the roofing company you hire is not local, there is no guarantee that they will be around in the future to address any issues with your roof installation.

Orbit Roofing is a local, family-owned roofing company. We only use top-of-the line roofing materials from leading manufacturers. We install durable, high-quality roofing systems. We love our community and want to be there for your roofing needs for years to come. If you need a roof inspection, roof consultation, roof repair, or roof replacement call us to discuss your options.

Should I Hire a Roofer, Roofing Contractor, or a Roofing Company?

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It really depends on what type of materials and what quality of work you want done on your roof. Your comfort level with risk is another factor. If you want the best protections for your home, such as insurance, contracts, and warranties you’ll only want to look at local roofing companies. If you want the best roofing materials for your budget and have high standards for the work that is done on your home, a local roofing company will be the best fit for your project. If you make the choice to hire a local roofing company, you’ll benefit from everything the roofing company has in place as part of their service, from insurance, to contracts, to warranties.

Ultimately it is up to you who you hire. At Orbit Roofing, we work with our clients to help them make the best roofing decisions for their home and budget. Our durable roofing systems provide maximum protection for your home. We are proud to serve our community with dependable service and solid workmanship. We specialize in replacing your roof quickly and professionally with as little disruption to your daily life as possible. Give us a call to discuss your roofing goals for your home, we’re always happy to help.

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