Get Quotes from Top Roofing Contractors in Boston, MA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor in Boston

Boston's weather, characterized by abundant precipitation and hot summer days, can contribute to the rapid degradation of your roof, which would have ordinarily lasted twenty years at the very least. Other factors like damage from birds and rodents and poor initial installation can also make hiring a roofing contractor for repair, maintenance, and replacement services necessary. Whatever the case, it is essential to check to see if the roofer you are hiring has the required experience to reduce workplace risks. Therefore, to make sure you get the best person for the job when hiring roofing contractors in Boston, you should always ask the following questions:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Roofing Contractor in Boston?

A Construction Supervisor License (CSL) issued by the Office of Public Safety and Inspections (OPSI) is required for roofing contractors in Boston. Depending on the kind of roofing work being done, different types of CSL, including Unrestricted CSL and Specialty CSL Roof Covering, can be applied for. To apply for any of these licenses, applicants must print and complete an exam registration form before mailing it to the exam administrators. The paperwork is processed in 10 days, after which applicants can schedule a test.

Also, Boston roofing contractors may require, in addition to a CSL, a Home Improvement Contractor license (HIC) issued by the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR). This is because a contractor with only a home improvement registration may only conduct jobs that would normally be considered routine property repairs. Larger projects involving structural work will necessitate the registration of both a CSL and a HIC. Applicants can register for this license online, or by sending an application via mail or in-person to the Division's office at:

1000 Washington Street
Suite 710
Boston, MA 02118

Boston places a high value on licensure and registration. Working without one can see the defaulter paying fines of up to $5,000 and serving a prison sentence of up to two years. To verify a Construction Supervisor License, use the Office of Public Safety and Inspections License Verification Site. To confirm the Home Improvement License of a contractor, use the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation's Home Improvement Contractor Registration Lookup.

For additional information on Construction Supervisor licensing for contractors in Boston, contact the Office of Public Safety and Inspections, Division of Occupational Licensure at (617) 727-3200. You can also contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation regarding Home Improvement Contractor licenses at (617) 973-8787. Both offices are located at:

1000 Washington Street
Suite 710
Boston, MA 02118

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

In Boston, the type of roofing material selected for the job, the difficulty of the roofing project, and the size of your home all significantly affect its final cost. For instance, it will cost more to roof a seven-bedroom mansion than a two-bedroom bungalow. However, you can get a good idea of the average cost of your roofing project by requesting bids or quotes from at least three different roofing contractors in the city. When you receive bids or quotes, be wary of any that differ significantly from the rest because this is frequently a sign that the contractor is dishonest or fraudulent.

Roofers in Boston earn an average wage of $62,470 annually. The average hourly wages of roofers in Boston and those of roofers in other areas of Massachusetts, as well as other major cities in the country, are compared below:

Boston Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Cambridge Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Springfield Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Worcester Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Los Angeles Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Washington D.C. Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Houston Roofing Contractors Hourly Average Wage
Phoenix 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 Boston Building Code?

Roofing permits in Boston are handled by the Inspectional Services. Whether you are altering a structure or the use of a building determines how Boston's permitting process works. Minor changes can be authorized online or in person, but major changes can only be initiated online and must be finished in person.

For a short-form permit, which covers minor roofing works in an existing building, homeowners or roofing contractors can apply online or in person. Before you apply, make sure you have the following requirements:

  • a full description of the work you'll be doing
  • an estimate for the total cost of your project
  • identification, including trade licenses for all contractors
  • a copy of your contract agreement
  • the homeowner waiver, if you will be doing the work yourself on your property.

Long-form permits are required for new construction, additions, structural work, the construction of additional dwelling units, and the expansion of a building's capacity, amongst other things. To apply for a long-form permit, create an online application with the following files:

  • your roofing contract,
  • evidence of Workers' Compensation
  • a waiver, if you are performing the roofing work on your own property,
  • a nominal fee letter, if it applies,

After an online application, you will also need to submit the following to the Inspectional Services in person:

  • a description of the work you'll be performing
  • permission from the property owner if it is not yours
  • a site plan
  • a floor plan
  • an engineer or licensed contractor's signature on your application
  • a certified plot plan indicating property lines and the location of the building on the lot

To submit an application or for additional information on permits in Boston, contact the Inspectional Services at (617) 635-5300 or by visiting the office at:

Building Division
1010 Massachusetts Avenue,
Fifth Floor
Boston, MA 02118

What Kind of Roofing Services Do You Offer?

It is imperative to make sure the roofer you intend to hire has the training and tools required to carry out the type of service you require on your specific type of roofing system. Buildings in Boston use a variety of roofing systems, and each one has unique characteristics that call for a specific level of knowledge and specialized tools on the part of the roofer to ensure proper service delivery. In Boston, common roofing materials include slate roofing, asphalt & asphalt fiberglass shingles, wood shingles and shakes, rubber roofing, metal roofing, and flat roofing.

Some of Boston's roofers may be experts in one particular type of roofing. Others may restrict their packages to those in particular areas, such as waterproofing, roofing remodeling, roofing maintenance, and repairs. As a result, be sure to find out what services a roofing contractor offers before hiring them. This will assist you in making the right choice and avoiding any misunderstandings down the road that could slow down the job.

The following list includes the approximate costs of a few roofing services that Boston property owners frequently request. Be aware that variables such as your location within the city and the reputation of the roofer you select may have an impact on these costs:

Estimates based on task:

Asphalt shingle roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$211.30 - $343.36
Flat roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$171.68 - $283.93
Slate roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$957.44 - $2,377.08
Tile roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$990.45 - $1,584.72
Wood shake roof installation (per 100 square feet)
$693.32 - $911.21
Metal roof painting (per 100 square feet)
$983.85 - $1,287.59
Roof cleaning (per visit, for a typical two-story house)
$447.05 - $582.38
Roof heating cable installation (per linear foot of eave)
$42.26 - $50.18
Roof inspection (per visit, for a two-story home with a typical roofline)
$231.11 - $396.18
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates based on roof pitch (per square feet):

Flat roof replacement
$3.50 - $7.50
Low slope roof replacement
$3.50 - $7.50
Conventional slope roof replacement
$2.50 - $9.50
Steep slope roof replacement
$4 - $13
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

Asphalt shingle
$2 - $6
Vinyl (PVC)
$2 - $8
$2 - $8
$3 - $9
Concrete Tile
$3 - $22
$3 - $33
$4 - $14
Architectural shingles
$6 - $17
$7 - $14
$7 - $17
$9 - $24
$9 - $37
$11 - $27
$14 - $24
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

$3 - $9
$3 - $9
$3.10 - $9.50
$3.10 - $9.10
$3.50 - $10.50
$3.50 - $7.50
$4 - $31
$7.50 - $24
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

Roofing is a risky profession, and roofers are subject to a number of workplace dangers like falls from great heights and injuries. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, four of the 15 fatal work-related injuries reported in Boston in 2012 were caused by falls to a lower level. Therefore, it's crucial that all Boston-licensed contractors have sufficient insurance.

To avoid being held responsible for any on-the-job injuries or other negative events that may occur during your project, you should always verify that your intended roofer has good insurance coverage.

Every employer, including roofing contractors, doing business in Boston is required to carry workers' compensation insurance for both their workers and themselves if they work for the same company. No matter how many employees there are or how many hours they work, the requirement still applies. The Boston roofing contractor would also benefit from general liability insurance and commercial auto insurance.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Roofer in Boston

Whether or not you choose to work with a reputable and experienced contractor to complete your roofing project in Boston will have a significant impact on its success. Con artists and dishonest contractors take advantage of homeowners in Boston by demanding full payment in advance, providing low bids and discounted repair offers, blowing the extent of damage out of proportion, or purposefully performing substandard work. According to a report by the local Boston news network WWLP in February 2022, a home improvement contractor was prohibited from conducting business in Massachusetts as a result of a settlement with the Attorney General's Office. Following allegations that he conned dozens of homeowners in Massachusetts, the contractor was asked to pay $150,000 in restitution and was barred from owning or managing a construction company.

In order to avoid falling victim to a roofing scam in Boston, you should always do the following before hiring any roofing contractor:

  • Search and Research Wisely: Ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations on reliable contractors they have used. Look up any information available about your intended roofing contractor on websites, such as the Better Business Bureau and the National Roofing Contractors Association. As always, request references from contractors. Make sure your contractor is registered with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation or the Office of Public Safety and Inspections so you can look up any complaints they may have received in the past. To get a more comprehensive picture of industry standards, inquire with various businesses about their pricing strategies.
  • Get Several Bids: Before beginning any project, it is imperative that you first obtain quotes from at least three roofing contractors. Verify the amount when you receive them with your insurance provider. They will provide you with a rough cost estimate.
  • Get It All on Paper: Don't stop after speaking with several roofers about a specific project you want to take on. Make sure that these estimates are printed on business letterhead and contain accurate contact information. Before signing any paperwork, it's critical to agree with your contractor on the project's schedule and cost, including any down payment because it is very difficult to undo a legally binding contract once you've signed it. A trustworthy contractor will never withhold information or try to dodge inquiries about costs or supplies.
  • Avoid Large Down Payment: A contractor who requests a sizable down payment before starting any work on the homeowner's roof is clearly running a roofing scam. These fraudsters steal the money from the homeowners, take off, and vanish into thin air. A contractor has every right to request a small down payment to cover the cost of the materials. However, the down payment shouldn't be more than 10 percent of the anticipated total cost. You should not work with a company or individual if you receive an estimate from them that requires a down payment of 50 percent or more.

If you have been the victim of a roofing scam in Boston, please get in touch with the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts at (617) 727-2200 or (617) 727-8400 (consumer hotline). You can also file an online complaint or send a mail to their mailing address at:

Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Advocacy & Response Division
One Ashburton Place,
18th Floor,
Boston, MA 02108