Get Quotes from Top Roofing Contractors in San Jose, CA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor in San Jose

Asphalt shingles, metal roofing, and slate and shake are the most common types of roofing in California. However, San Jose's hot weather impacts on the joints or the activities of animals like squirrels, raccoons, and opossums on the rooftop will wear out the roof before the end of its lifespan. Depending on the extent of any damage per time, you may have to maintain, repair, or replace the whole or a part of the roof. As such when in search of a roofer in the city, ensure to pick a professional licensed and conversant wit the San Jose Building Codes.

To find out if a roofing contractor is competent and experienced enough to handle a roofing project, homeowners should ask the following questions:

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

Roofing contractors in San Jose are typically required to obtain an occupational license from the California Department of Consumer Affairs via its Contractor State License Board (CSLB) before plying their trade in the city. Roofers in the city must have an occupational license since it is illegal for an unlicensed person to perform contracted work on any project that costs $500 or more in combined labor and materials.

Operating as a roofing contractor without a roofing contractor license is a misdemeanor that can carry a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine, as well as an administrative fine ranging from $200 to $15,000. It should be noted that a second infarction may attract more severe penalties. Anyone who engages in unlicensed contracting for a second time will serve 90 days in jail and pay a fine of 20 percent of the contract price or $5,000.

Roofers in San Jose are encouraged to obtain a roofing contractor license before operating to prevent paying unnecessary fines. It should be emphasized that applicants must take and pass two examinations before being considered for a license. These examinations will cover law, business, and the profession for which a license application will be submitted. If an applicant is already serving or has served as a qualifying individual for the same profession being applied for in good standing within the last five years, they may be exempted from the examination. Applicants may apply for a license after passing their examinations. Applications for a roofing contractor license can be made online or by downloading, printing, and mailing an application form to the CSLB mailing address at:

P.O. Box 26000
Sacramento, CA 95826

In their application, applicants must supply full legal names and addresses, business names and addresses, information on business structure, and a US social security number or individual taxpayer identification number. In addition, each applicant must pay the license fee and meet the requirements for fingerprints, experience, and insurance. For example, a candidate must have at least four years of experience in the classification they are applying for the last ten years.

Similarly, each applicant must have liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 but no more than $5,000,000. Only applicants that meet these aforementioned requirements will be issued a license. For more information concerning the process and requirements for obtaining a roofing contractor license, call (800) 321-CSLB.

While roofers must apply for and obtain a license, it is your responsibility as a homeowner to always verify the license status of your preferred roofing contractor before reaching an agreement with them. You can confirm a contractor's license status by utilizing the CSLB's check a contractor license portal or calling (800) 321-CSLB. If you discover that the individual is not licensed, do not hesitate to report such a person to the CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT). You can do this by completing the SWIFT Lead Referral form. After completing the form, you may attach it to an email and send it to the appropriate SWIFT office.

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

The cost of retaining the services of a roofing contractor in San Jose is typically determined by certain factors. The first is the nature of the task at hand. Roofing repairs, for example, are typically less expensive than installation work. The cost of roofing service is also affected by the size of the roof to be installed. Roofing contractors in San Jose typically charge by calculating the square foot of the roof. Furthermore, the roofing type and material utilized influence service costs. Some roofing materials necessitate a high level of expertise, and their installation takes longer. Finally, the homeowner's request for additional services may raise the overall service cost. Roof coating, for example, costs more but saves money on energy expenses.

Given that roofers charge based on the aforementioned considerations, it is always in your best interest to speak with more than one roofing contractor for your roofing project. Furthermore, you should request that each roofing contractor with whom you have discussed the job produce an estimate outlining the type of work to be done, labor expenses, and material costs. This will allow you to determine the average market pricing for your job while also helping you select a contractor who fits within your budget. Nonetheless, be wary of unreasonably low bids because they are utilized by scammers to deceive you into hiring them.

Roofers in San Jose earn an average wage of $70,890 annually. The average hourly wages of roofers in San Jose and those of roofers in other areas of California, as well as other major cities in the country, are compared below:

San Jose Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Sacramento Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Modesto Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
San Diego Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Santa Clara Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
El Paso Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
New York City Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Phoenix Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Houston Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Chicago Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

Before allowing anyone to begin work on their roofing job in San Jose, homeowners should always find out if a permit is required for their project and confirm that the relevant permit has been secured. A permit is required in San Jose when re-roofing 25% or more of an existing roof in a single year. Any reroofing job that does not fulfill this requirement is considered a repair and does not require a permit. The Development Services Permit Center (DSPC) in San Jose is in charge of issuing reroofing permits to homeowners or licensed contractors.

Note that homeowners or licensed contractors are generally required to submit an application and pay the appropriate permit fee before a permit can be issued. Homeowners or licensed contractors can apply for a reroofing permit online. Applicants who intend to use the online service must create a user profile before starting the permit application process. Applicants who do not wish to use the online service can download, complete, and submit a reroof project worksheet alongside a building permit application at:

San José City Hall
200 East. Santa Clara Street
San José, CA 95113

Upon receiving the application, the DSPC will review the submissions to determine whether a permit will be issued. In addition to issuing permits, the DSPC also conducts inspections on the city's reroofing projects. Only one inspection is required for a re-roof project in San Jose. This is either an in-progress inspection or a final inspection. If the inspector identifies the need for minor corrections, the roofing contractor or property owner may self-certify the completed corrections.

Before an inspection can be scheduled by the homeowner or a licensed roofer, the permit card must be on-site at all times, and the homeowner must provide a ladder to enable access to all levels of the roof for inspection. Roofing contractors can schedule an inspection for a reroofing project online. It should be noted that the service also requires licensed contractors to log in to their profiles first. Queries concerning how to schedule an inspection for a reroofing project in San Jose should be directed to (408) 535 - 3500.

What Kind of Roofing Services Do You Offer?

Roofers in San Jose offer different roofing services to members of the public. These services include commercial, residential, and roofing repairs and replacement. Some professionals also offer additional services like roof coating, restoration, and attic ventilation. However, regardless of the variety of roofing services a single contractor claims to offer, you should always take some precautionary steps to ensure that you do not hire the wrong person.

First, you should always ask if the roofing contractor specializes in the type of roofing service that you need. Following that, you should also find out if the contractor is experienced in utilizing the type of roofing materials you choose for the project. San Jose buildings use a wide range of roofing materials, each of which requires a high level of competence and skill to install. Asphalt shingles, natural slate, wood shake or composite, tile, metal, solar, foam, and single-ply are some common roofing materials in the city. It should be noted that repairing, replacing, or even installing a new roof is best left to a competent roofing contractor.

After confirming that the contractor is experienced in installing the type of roofing materials you want, you can now request references from satisfied clients they have worked for in the past. Make sure you follow up on the references to get a first-hand review of the contractor's work. Finally, you should discuss the price of the roofing service before reaching any agreement with the contractor.

Below are the estimated costs of some roofing services commonly requested by property owners in San Jose. Note that factors like your location within the city and the reputation of the roofer that you hire may affect these costs:

Estimates based on task:

Asphalt shingle roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$229.60 - $373.10
Flat roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$186.55 - $308.58
Slate roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$1,042 - $2,538
Tile roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$1,076.25 - $1,722.00
Wood shake roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$753.37 - $990.15
Metal roof painting (per 100 square feet)
$1,069.08 - $1,399.12
Roof cleaning (per visit, for a typical two-story house)
$485.77 - $632.83
Roof heating cable installation (per linear foot of eave)
$45.92 - $54.53
Roof inspection (per visit, for a two-story home with a typical roofline)
$251.13- $430.50
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates based on roof pitch (per square feet):

Flat roof replacement
$4.70 - $9.50
Low-slope roof replacement
$4.70 - $9.50
Conventional slope roof replacement
$5.50 - $9.50
Steep slope roof replacement
$6 - $20
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

Asphalt shingle
$5 - $15
Vinyl (PVC)
$5 - $15
$5 - $15
$5 - $12
Concrete Tile
$5 - $20
$7 - $30
$6 - $13
Architectural shingles
$7- $15
$7 - $20
$8 - $25
$8- $28
$8 - $35
$15- $25
$15 - $25
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

$4.50 - $10
$4.50 - $10
$4.50 - $10
$4.50 - $10
$4.50 - $12
$4.50 - $12
$5 - $25
$10 - $20
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

Roofers are exposed to a variety of workplace hazards due to the amount of climbing, bending, heavy lifting, and kneeling required during a roofing project. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 100 fatal work injuries occurred in the roofing contractor business across the country in 2020 alone. While these injuries are often unexpected events, reputable roofing contractors in San Jose prepare for their occurrence by purchasing the right insurance coverage for bodily injury, property damage, and death beforehand. Homeowners in San Jose are advised to hire an insured roofing contractor to protect themselves from the financial liabilities that may result from on-the-job accidents that occur during their roofing project.

Furthermore, hiring an insured contractor also means that you are dealing with a law-abiding citizen of California. This is because the California State Licensing Board mandatorily requires contractors to meet specific insurance requirements before they can obtain a license. Contractors must purchase liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 but no more than $5,000,000, and if the contractor has employees, Workers' Compensation Insurance will also be on file with the California State Licensing Board. Note that the liability insurance amount is determined by the contractor's number of employees. For five or fewer personnel, the amount is not less than $1 million. For each additional member of the personnel, the amount increases by $100,000, up to a maximum of $5 million.

Homeowners can confirm if the individual they intend to hire is insured by asking for a certificate of insurance and contacting the insurance company that issued the certificate. Alternatively, homeowners can contact (800) 321-CSLB to find out whether the roofing contractor has an insurance policy on file with the California State Licensing Board.

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

Residents of San Jose lose thousands of dollars to unscrupulous individuals posing as legitimate roofing contractors every year. Roofing scams are common home remodeling scams perpetrated by unscrupulous contractors who frequently prey on the elderly in San Jose. These unscrupulous individuals employ various tricks to defraud unsuspecting citizens, which include claiming there is damage to a roof when there is none or certainly not enough damage to justify a full roof replacement.

Likewise, unscrupulous individuals often offer a special "today only" deal to pressure you into signing a legally binding contract on the spot without time to read the details of the contract carefully. In addition, some unscrupulous individuals use inferior materials for repairs so that the work can be repeated in the near future, while others trick victims by demanding more than 20% of the projected total bill as a down payment. To avoid falling victim to any of these roofing scam tricks, residents of San Jose should always take the following precautionary steps:

  • Avoid door-to-door contractors or anyone who shows up right in front of your door for roof repairs after a disaster.
  • Avoid contractors that use pressure tactics or anyone offering a special "today only deal."
  • Get recommendations from family, friends, or trusted platforms like the National Roofing Contractors Association.
  • Always seek more than one opinion when you need roofing repair. Get estimates from at least three different roofing contractors before choosing the best hand for the job.
  • Visit third-party websites like Better Business Bureau to confirm whether a complaint has been filed against your preferred contractor.
  • Always verify the license status of your preferred roofing contractor using the CSLB's check a contractor license portal or by calling (800) 321-CSLB
  • Ask for references from your preferred roofing contractor
  • Always insist on a written contract for the job. Make sure that you read and understand it before signing
  • Do not hire anyone asking for up to or more than 20% of the total project price as a down payment
  • Do not make full payment until the project is satisfactorily completed and inspected

Victims of contractor scams can report the situation to the California State Licensing Board. Note that the process for reporting a licensed contractor is different from that of an unlicensed contractor. Victims can report a fraud case involving an unlicensed contractor to CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT). Victims can do this by completing the SWIFT Lead Referral form. After completing the form, they can attach it to an email and send it to the appropriate SWIFT office. However, if the fraudulent activity involves a licensed contractor, victims can report it online or by downloading, completing, and mailing a construction complaint form to:

Sacramento Intake Mediation Center
P.O. Box 269116
Sacramento, CA 95826-9116

Note that filing a false complaint against an individual licensed by the California State Licensing Board is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $1000. As a result, San Jose homeowners are advised to avoid filing a complaint against licensed contractors unless they are certain that the contractor committed the crime.

Furthermore, if victims of roofing scams want to take private legal action or file a monetary claim against a San Jose roofing contractor or business, they should consider hiring a lawyer. Claims that involve $10,000 or less are typically filed in the Small Claims Division of the Santa Clara County Superior Court.