It’s easy: look for it in the front yard. The roofer is required to post a copy of the permit in plain sight from the street, and it’s usually in a clear plastic sleeve nailed to the trunk of a tree or a “job box” on a post.
Verifying that the permit is posted at your roofing job is one way to be sure that you have a real and legitimate, licensed contractor. The permit is required to be posted before work begins, so if your roofer offers reasons why the permit has been “held up” on they “keep it at the office for safekeeping” while starting work on your roof, something’s wrong.
The local building department requires that the roofer provide proof of a current license and all necessary insurance in order to pull a permit, and then a series of inspections of the job while in-progress and a final inspection are signed off by the building inspector before the permit is closed out. All of this is added insurance for you that the roof meets current standards for materials and installation methods.
After the roof is completed, we recommend that you require that the roofer give you a copy of the permit to keep that shows there was a final inspection approval by the local building department before making the last payment on the work. Occasionally, we inspect a roof that our research shows was permitted, but the final inspection was failed and no reinspection was scheduled by the roofer. Building departments normally do not chase down contractors and require them to close out permits before issuing new ones, so it’s up to you to make sure the roof passed a final inspection.
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To learn more about roofs and attics, see these other blog posts:
• Why is my roof sheathing sagging between the trusses?
• Why is granule loss a problem for an asphalt shingle roof?
• What are the mistakes to avoid when doing attic improvements?
• What causes roof shingles to curl up at corners?
• What causes shingles to buckle along a line on the roof?
• What causes leaks at a fake roof dormer?
• What causes a sagging roof ridge line?
• What causes bubble-like blisters in a built-up and gravel roof?
• Why does it cost so much more to replace a steep roof than a low slope roof?
• What is "ponding" on a flat roof?
• Is an attic required to have a light by the building code?
• How can I inspect my roof for hurricane damage?
• Why is premature curl of roof shingles a problem?
• How can I tell if a roof has more than one layer of shingles?
• What are the common problems with attic insulation?
• What is the life expectancy of an asbestos cement shingle roof?
• What's the average lifespan of a roof?
• Should roofing nails be visible sticking into the attic?
• Why is it a mistake to replace a roof and not replace its flashings?
• Why is there no attic access hatch in the house?
• What is the building code requirement for an attic access hatch, scuttle, or door?
• Does a roof with multiple layers of shingles last longer?
• What can I do to prevent roof leaks?
• Are roof trusses better than roof rafters (stick framing)?
• Why is a popped nail in a shingle roof a problem? How do I fix it?
• What are the most common problems with wood roof trusses?
• What causes a lump or dip in the roof?
• If my roof is not leaking, why does it need to be replaced?
• How can I be sure my roofing contractor got a permit?
• How many layers of roofing are allowed on a home?
• What are the dark lines running parallel to shingles on my roof?
• Can metal roofing be used on a low slope/pitch roof?
• How can I make my roof last longer?
• What are the warning signs of a dangerous attic pull-down ladder?
• How can I find out the age of a roof?
• Should I buy a house that needs a new roof?
• Should I buy a house with an old roof?
• What are those metal boxes on the roof?
• What does "lack of tab adhesion" in an asphalt shingle roof mean?
• Why do roof edges start leaking?
• Why do my dormer windows leak?
• Do home inspectors go on the roof? Do they get in the attic?
• Should I put gutters on the house?
• How much of a roof truss can I cut out to make a storage platform in the attic?
• What's the difference between an "architectural" and a regular shingle roof?
• What does a home inspector look for when examining a roof?
• Do stains on the ceiling mean the roof is leaking?
• How can I tell if the house needs a new roof?
• Why does my homeowner's insurance want a roof inspection?
• What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic?
Visit our ROOF AND ATTIC page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.