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Make sure the roofers GETs the permit as NJ tighten up its contractor laws a couple of years ago. (No permit, homeowner get FINED per day and goes to court). Then, before the job starts, make sure the "contractor" who got the permit is the contractor YOU have the written contract with. As the insurance associated with the license contractor won't cover the unlicensed contractor who you have the contract with. Not uncommon as a scam now.
And write ALL checks to the name that matches all the paperwork. And don't buy the material yourself. Be there when the material is delivered by lift truck (and note who delivered) as there are "seconds" sold by auctions in the NE area.
You might want to start by talking to your local government's construction office. As they can't recommend (or not) contractors, they will explain what and how much the inspections staff does stuff. They will explain what must be done (layers of shingles, material required or is normal). In my area, they ONLY do a finish job inspection from the ground. NO LADDER or walk the roof inspection, won't call you in advance for final inspection (roofer scheduled), won't "lift" corners, etc. I did have the inspector come back out and inspect the HOLES/LIGHT thru the roof and missing roof deck from the attic. Talk about unhappy roofer. Display the YELLOW permit card in a window and keep it so roofer doesn't reuse it.:ignore:
Go to one or two building supply houses and talk about product and required warrenty material - use 1 HOME DEPOT/LOWES store and 1 real roofing supply place (yellow pages).
Be prepared to know and watch what the roofers are doing. Go for the 30 year shingles, snow shield (per warrenty required by shingle manufacturer), new drip edge, new flashing, new plumbing roof boots and think about NEW GUTTERS.
Why does this sound like so much work - because most people only do this once. If you plan on living there for 10+ years and then selling, you don't want to have to redo it for the sale to go thru OR to accept a lower offer due to a lousy roof job. Your roof protects the house and water damage can rot outside wood, cause moisture problems in the interior of the house, cause freezing damage, flood the basement, and affects your curb appeal. And it will cost you big money to fix these problems later.
My roofers don't travel above Trenton, unless you speak Polish. I did 8 roofs in the last 3 years using 2 roofers and have another roof planned this month.