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How to qualify a great roofer?

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Yes, but I've only met a couple of them in my entire career.

The sorts of questions I'd ask a roofer are tightly specific and the answers, if a roofer could provide them, probably couldn't be deciphered by anyone not already highly knowledgeable about roofing. Most roofers I talk to don't know the answers; how can a civilian?

Roofers, in their sales pitches, sell shingles. They don't sell flashing procedures or installation guidelines because most people wouldn't know what they were talking about.

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Some options:

Go to the local building department and ask the construction official who does good work in the area.

Ask your neighbors and friends for names of roofers that they have had a good experience with.

Go to the local roofing supplier and ask for some names.

After you have a few names:

Provide a specification to the roofers that you want to have bid your work. If you don't have the ability to develop the document you should ask an architect, engineer, or home inspector for their assistance. If you have the roofers bid to your specification it will be easier to compare the costs.

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