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The greatest misconception in roofing is ciphering the terms we go by and what they really mean. A single company may talk about itself using all 3 terms on their website for SEO reasons more than any other… This too adds to the confusion. Thus, when consumers are looking for roof repairs, maintenance, or a new roof, confusion sets in quick!

Let us set the record straight for you by defining roofers, roofing contractors, and roofing companies. Hopefully this will help you make an educated pick more efficiently.


When you hear “roofer” you really should think of the hammer and nail guy that climbs a ladder to fix or install a roof. These are the hands on construction workers. Finding a “roofer” to repair a roof is usually not a wise choice because their specialty may be purely in installation.

Hiring a Roofer:
Single roofers for hire may be hard to come by so try calling on a handyman instead. This person is best for smaller repairs and will probably save you some money.

Please Note:
This person may in fact be a licensed or unlicensed roofing contractor or a general contractor who also does roofs.

Hiring a single roofer brings with it the negative stigma attached to roofing as a whole, that picture that is painted in your head, and that preconception which comes true all too often. Getting proper clarification from a roofer up front will save you. Ask if they are licensed as a roofer, roofing contractor, or a general contractor. Ask if they work solo or if they work with a crew. Do they work for their own roofing business, or for another company or as a side job? Get the facts and ask for proof. Be sure to get references as well as a copy of their driver’s license or contractor’s license.

Roofing Contractors

A “roofing contractor” is someone that is licensed with their state as a contractor specializing in roofing. Many roofing contractors complete the job themselves as a “roofer”. Subcontracted work is also par for the course here. Just be sure that the contractor covers the subcontracted work. Roofing contractors may often be employed by a roofing company. You should always ask questions such as whether the contractor is licensed, if they work with a crew, have their own company, or use sub-contractors to help clarify the issue.

Hiring a Roofing Contractor:
This is the person for the job if you’re just looking to focus on the roof itself.

Please Note:
A roofing contractor should always have a license and other credentials to provide.

Be sure that any contractor that comes to your door after a storm is local and can show proof of this along with a list of references. Many will be working locally and stop by while others will be storm chasers. These contractors will either do poor work or take the money and run.

Roofing Companies

A roofing company generally specializes in roofing but offers other exterior services such as gutters, siding, and windows. These companies will employ licensed professionals to do the work. Roofing companies typically gain standing with manufacturers that allow them to offer substantial warranties. Roofing companies cover themselves and employ those who pass a background check. You may expect them to cost more but this isn’t always the case because they typically negotiate better product rate because they order more. Oversight/Accountability is always better with a roofing company because they’re looking to do great work and stay in business indefinitely.

Hiring a Roofing Company:
This is the right choice for anyone looking to replace their roof. While they are still a good choice for repairs and maintenance, a company really shines with installs and their warranties.

Please Note:
Residential Roofing Companies may call themselves a “contractor” as they do have contractors working for them. They may even drop the word “roofer”.

Just because they call themselves a “roofing company” doesn’t make it so. To be sure, make certain that they employ contractors, have an office staff, owner(s), project managers, and others apart of their business. A real organization will have these working parts.

We hope our defining roofers, roofing contractors, and roofing companies has helped clear up any confusion you may have had.

To be clear, Roofing Annex is a roofing company. We serve the greater Cincinnati area. We are state licensed, run background checks on our employees, provide reference list upon request, and maintain an A+ rating with the BBB.

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