Every year, dozens of families across Colorado are taken advantage of by unlicensed roofers. Shady companies looking to get ahead will use misdirection and deceit but there are ways you can put their claims to the test. Let’s figure the why you should never hire an unlicensed or uninsured roofer and how to choose the right one.
What Does Licensed Mean?
A roofing contractor is licensed when they carry a current, valid building department license to operate roofing in your town, county, or other individual jurisdiction. Most Denver residential roofing companies carry dozens of licenses for all the different areas they cover.
Licensed can also mean they are licensed in their trade, for example an electrical contractor must have additional licensing outside a contractor license to operate.
In most cases, residential roofing does not require additional licensing. In roofing, licensing usually refers to being licensed with a local building department.
If the roofer isn’t licensed, they can’t pull a building permit. Without a building permit and requisite inspections, you’ll never know if your job was done correctly and to building code. Never hire a roofer to do unlicensed work.
Asking for Licensing
When interviewing contractors for a roofing job ask directly if they’re licensed in your area. If they dodge the question or promise a copy later – choose another roofer.
Checking Your Contractor’s License
Thanks to the proliferation of online contractor registration and records, it’s very easy to check if your roofing contractor’s license is valid with the following steps:
1. Figure Out Your Jurisdiction – Jurisdictions can be confusing but the easiest way you can find your jurisdiction is by calling the closest building department. For example, Centennial residents can call the Centennial building department to find out if they’re zoned for Centennial or Arapahoe County. You can also online search for your county’s assessor which normally notes the property’s building authority.
2. Ask Your Roofer for Copy of License – Ask your roofer for their current license in your jurisdiction. If your jurisdiction is City of Englewood, you need to see that specific license and not one for Arapahoe County. You can also call your local building department to verify.
Note: There is no such thing as a master Colorado roofing license or a license that covers multiple jurisdictions. If your roofer tells you they have a state or general license, they aren’t being forward.
What About Insured?
You’ve probably read that any roofing contractor on your property must be insured, but what does that really mean? For Colorado residents this means that any person that works on your roof should carry both general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
If the roofer doesn’t carry both types of insurance, guess who’s liable if a crew member gets injured on the job or if they damage your property? You.
The good news is most homeowners don’t need to check both licensing and insurance. Denver area jurisdictions require proof of general liability and workers’ comp to issue licenses. If your contractor has a current and valid license, they’re likely backed with the insurance that keeps them safe on your roof.
We do advise to double check with your local jurisdiction that they require both general liability and workers comp to issue licenses. If not, ask for a company representative to forward you a copy of both their general liability and workers’ comp proof. Verify the coverage by calling the company that has issued the policy.
Getting the Right Roofer for Your Denver Roof Replacement
There are several boxes to check when hiring a Denver roofer, but they must always be licensed and insured. Licensed means licensed with your local building authority and insured means insured with both a general liability and workers’ comp insurance policy. Always check these two boxes and you’re on your way to hiring a great Denver roofer.