Get Quotes from Top Roofing Contractors in San Francisco, CA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor in San Francisco

Whether you are installing a new roof, repairing damaged section, or carrying out a maintenance routine, whatever your reason for hiring a roofer in San Francisco, ensure to pick a licensed, insured, and experienced professional. Considering that roofers are three times more likely to get injured on the job than other construction workers, it is important to ensure your roofing contractor would not only complete the job as per the city's building code but also qualified to mitigate work-related roofing hazards. As such, you should always ask roofing contractors that you intend to hire in San Francisco the following questions to make sure that they are the best professionals for the job:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Roofing Contractor in San Francisco?

The licensing and regulation of roofing contractors that operate in San Francisco is handled at the state level by the California Department of Consumer Affairs through its Contractors State License Board (CSLB). Per the requirements of this board, roofing contractors that wish to bid for or work on projects in the city worth $500 or more, cost of materials and labor inclusive, must hold a valid contractor license before doing so.

Individuals who wish to obtain CSLB-issued contractor licenses for roof work will have to meet certain eligibility criteria, which include:

  • They must be 18 years or older
  • They must correctly complete and submit an Application for Original Contractor License Form to the CSLB and pay a stipulated non-refundable application fee.
  • They must have at least four years of roofing work experience attained at no lower than the journeyman level and submit acceptable and verifiable documentation as proof of this experience. Note that this experience must also have been attained no more than 10 years before the application for the contractor license is made.

Applicants who successfully submit the application forms and all additional documentation are typically provided a date and location for a CSLB-administered examination, which they must pass before they can receive the requested contractor licenses. However, the CSLB runs a reciprocity program under which applicants who already hold valid state-issued licenses from Arizona, Nevada, and Louisiana may waive the trade portion of its licensing examination. Also, successful applicants will be expected to comply with board-mandated insurance and bonding requirements during the validity period of their contractor licenses.

You can contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to get additional information on its licensing process for roofing contractors that wish to operate in San Francisco. Note that offering roofing services in the city without proper licensing is considered a misdemeanor offense, and violators can receive statutory and administrative penalties of up to $15,000 in fines, six months of jail time, or a combination of both. You can confirm that your intended roofing contractors have met all necessary CSLB licensing requirements and hold valid contractor licenses by calling (800) 321-2752 or by utilizing the online license check portal the board provides for this purpose.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Roofers in the City?

Confirming how much your intended roofers charge for their services is important before commencing any roofing work on your home. This way, you can ensure that the work done stays within your budget and prevent financial misunderstandings with your roofer at the end of the day. Note that the cost of roofing services in San Francisco is typically influenced by a number of factors, such as:

  • The size of the roof to be replaced, repaired, or installed
  • The type of roofing materials to be used
  • The roof design and style
  • Your location within the city
  • Your roofing contractor's experience and local reputation
  • The labor intensity of the roofing project

It is always a good idea to get and compare cost estimates for your roofing project from at least three different roofers in the city before selecting one within your price range. Note that costs should not be your sole deciding factor when searching for roofers in San Francisco. You should also consider criteria like the roofer's licensing status and area of specialization. Also, be wary of roofers who submit cost estimates that are noticeably higher or lower than the other estimates you receive for your project, as this is usually an indication of unscrupulous behavior on the part of the roofer.

Roofers in San Francisco earn an average wage of $68,190 annually. The average hourly wages of roofers in San Francisco and those of roofers in other areas of California, as well as other major cities in the country, are compared below:

San Francisco Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
San Jose Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Oakland Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Los Angeles Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
San Diego Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Chicago Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Houston Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
New York City Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Phoenix Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Washington D.C. Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Will You Get the Roofing Permits Required as per the San Francisco Building Code?

Section 106A of the San Francisco Building Code stipulates that a permit must be obtained from the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (SFDBI) before the construction, alteration, improvement, modification, or repair of buildings or structures in the city. However, exemptions are typically made for the following types of roofing projects:

  • Reroofing projects that do not involve the installation, repair, or removal of the roof sheathing, provided that the total surface area being reroofed within any 12-month period does not exceed 25 percent of the roof's entire surface area
  • Roofing projects involving small residential rooftop solar energy systems provided that these systems are not installed on buildings that are designated landmarks. Note that other types of SFDBI-issued permits may be required for these projects

Building permits in San Francisco are typically issued to state-licensed contractors, property owners, or authorized agents of these contractors or property owners. Applications for these permits can be made by completing and submitting an Application for Building Permit Additions, Alterations, or Repairs (Building Form 3/8) to the SFDBI at:

San Francisco Permit Center
49 South Van Ness Avenue
2nd floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (628) 652-4900
Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays

Note that, depending on the specific nature and scope of the roofing project, the submission of project plans and other additional forms and documents may be required. To this end, applicants are advised to contact the city's Planning Counter at (628) 652-7300 to find out the specific requirements for their roofing project before making their permit requests.

Alternatively, permit applications for roofing projects can be submitted online via the SFDBI's Building Permitting and Inspection Scheduling Platform. Note that online applications can only be made by state-licensed contractors who also complete a voluntary local contractor registration process. Queries related to this process and online permit applications can be directed to (628) 652-3320.

Once all required documents have been submitted and stipulated fees paid, these submitted documents will be reviewed by the SFDBI and any other relevant agencies, following which the requested permits will be issued. It is important to note that permitted roofing projects are subject to inspection by the SFDBI's Housing Inspection Services Division to ensure that the work done complies with the San Francisco Housing Code and other pertinent city regulations. You can contact this division at (628) 652-3700 to get more information on its procedures for roofing project inspections.

Additional information or general inquiries related to the processes and requirements for obtaining roofing permits in San Francisco can be directed to the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection by calling its main line at (628) 652-3200 or via email.

What Kind of Roofing Services Do You Offer?

When looking for qualified roofing contractors in San Francisco, the area of specialization of your prospective roofer is a crucial factor to consider. It is essential to confirm that the roofer you employ is qualified to provide services tailored to your individual roof design and preferred roofing material to ensure that you receive good service at the end of the day. Common types of roofing materials handled by professional roofing contractors in San Francisco include:

  • Asphalt roofing
  • Metal roofing
  • Slate roofing
  • Tile roofing
  • Clay/terracotta roofing
  • Composite roofing
  • Silicon roofing

Similarly, professional roofing contractors in San Francisco typically provide a wide range of roofing services to interested parties in the city, including:

  • Roof inspections
  • Roof damage repairs
  • Roof maintenance
  • Roof restorations
  • New roof installations
  • Roof replacements
  • Roof leakage repairs and waterproofing

Notwithstanding this, you should always verify that your intended roofing contractor has the necessary equipment and experience to deliver the specific types of roofing services you require before signing any contracts with them. It is also crucial to agree on the contractor's rates for these services before they start any work.

Listed below are cost estimates for some of the most regularly requested roofing services in San Francisco. Note that variables like the nature and scope of your requested service, the reputation of your roofing contractor, and your location within the city will all influence the actual cost of these roofing services:

Estimates based on task:

Asphalt shingle roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$215 - $355
Flat roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$175 - $295
Tile roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$1,025 - $1,640
Metal roof installation
$1,015 - $1,335
Metal roof painting (per 100 square feet)
$2.80 - $3.25
Slate roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$990 - $2,460
Wood shake roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$715 - $945
Roof cleaning (per visit, for a typical two-story house)
$460 - $600
Roof heating cable installation (per linear foot of eave)
$43.57 - $51.95
Roof inspection (per visit, for a two-story home with a typical roofline)
$240 - $410
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates based on roof pitch (per square feet):

Flat roof replacement
$4 - $10.50
Low-slope roof replacement
$4 - $10.50
Conventional slope roof replacement
$3.50 - $11.50
Steep slope roof replacement
$5 - $17
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates for roof repair/replacement based on roofing material (per square feet):

Asphalt shingle
$3 - $10
Vinyl (PVC)
$4 - $12
$3 - $10
$5 - $15
Concrete Tile
$5 - $27.50
$5 - $37.50
$5 - $15
Architectural shingles
$5 - $25
$8 - $15
$5 - $18
$10 - $27.50
$10 - $42.50
$10 - $35
$10 - $25
Wood Shake
$5 - $15
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates for roof repair/replacement based on shape (per square feet):

$4.50 - $15
$4.50 - $15
$4.50 - $15
$4.50 - $15
$5 - $17
$5 - $17
$5 - $35
$7.50 - $30
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Roofing Companies in San Francisco?

Roofers that wish to offer their services to residents of San Francisco are mandated by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to post and maintain a $15,000 surety bond and also carry workers' compensation insurance for their employees, where applicable. Also, even though they do not have to carry general liability insurance, roofers in the city who wish to offer residential roofing services are required by law to inform customers about their liability insurance status.

Roofing was the third most dangerous occupation in the United States in 2020, with workers in this industry recording a fatal work injury rate of 47 per 100,000 workers during this period. Given the high-risk nature of this occupation, verifying your intended roofer's insurance status before finalizing any hiring arrangements with them is critical. If you fail to do so, you may be held liable for any accidents or property damage that occurs while they provide your required roofing services.

As such, always ask for copies of your intended roofer's insurance and bond certificates and authenticate them with the relevant issuing organization. Also, even though roofers in San Francisco are not required to carry general liability insurance, it is always in your best interest to make sure that your intended roofer does, as this insurance protects you from third-party bodily harm and unintentional property damage.

You can contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to inquire or get additional information on the bonding and insurance requirements for San Francisco roofers.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Roofer in San Francisco

You can file complaints against bad roofers in San Francisco locally and at the state level with the San Francisco District Attorney's Office and the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB).

Homeowners in the United States are estimated to spend an average of $8,200 on roofing projects. Unfortunately, this large sum attracts con artists and fraudulent contractors who aim to obtain money from unsuspecting homeowners deceptively, and consumers in the Bay Area are not spared from these scams. In June 2019, the CSLB announced that it would be taking legal action against 169 contractors who had been caught conducting deceptive and illegal business practices in several locations across California, including San Francisco. To this end, if you decide to undertake a roofing project in San Francisco, you should look out for signs that the roofer or roofing company you intend to contract with may be trying to scam you. Some of these signs are:

  • The roofer uses high-pressure sales tactics aimed at getting you to retain their services immediately.
  • The roofer shows up at your home unsolicited and offers you free or discounted roof inspections and repairs.
  • The roofer is hesitant to provide a written contract for the job
  • The roofer requests full payment upfront or a substantial advance payment
  • The roofer does not have a local address
  • The roofer cannot provide references

You should consider taking the following tips and precautions to protect yourself from scams when looking to hire roofing contractors in the city:

  • Never hire roofers that come to your home uninvited
  • Get referrals to reliable roofing contractors in the city from your insurance provider if you require post-disaster roof repairs.
  • Use resources like the CSLB's Find My Licensed Contractor platform, as well as online directories provided by the Better Business Bureau and the National Roofing Contractors Association, to search for reputable roofers in the city.
  • Get and compare cost estimates from at least three different roofers in the city.
  • Check the CSLB's Most Wanted List to be sure the roofer you intend to hire is not on it
  • Confirm that your preferred roofer holds a valid CSLB-issued contractor license. You can do this online or by calling (800) 321-2752
  • Verify your roofer's bonding and insurance status.
  • Never hire a roofer who demands full payment upfront, and never pay more than $1,000 or 10 percent of the total cost of your project in advance, whichever amount is less
  • Be wary of roofers who insist on cash payments
  • Be wary of roofers who cannot provide you with at least three references
  • Ensure you get a written contract that includes a description of the job, the types of materials used, the project's cost, and a payment schedule before the roofer starts any work. Read this contract properly before signing it

You can report bad roofers as well as suspected or confirmed roofing scams that occur in the city to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office either online, by calling (628) 652-4000, or in person at:

350 Rhode Island Street
North Building
Suite 400N
San Francisco, CA 94103
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays

You can also report these types of matters to the CSLB by filing a construction complaint with this agency.

Finally, you can take private legal against dishonest and unscrupulous roofers in San Francisco by filing a lawsuit against them with an appropriate division of the San Francisco County Superior Court. Note that you should always seek legal advice from a licensed attorney before taking this step. You can find licensed attorneys in the city via the Bar Association of San Francisco's Lawyer Referral and Information Service.