Home Improvement

Roofer vs. Roofing Contractor: What’s the Difference?

September 8, 2023

When it comes to maintaining or installing a new roof, understanding the roles of a roofer and a roofing contractor can save you time, money, and future headaches. While the terms are often used interchangeably, the differences are significant.

What is a Roofer?

A roofer is a skilled worker specializing in the installation, repair, and maintenance of roofs. Generally speaking, a roofer is hands-on, working directly with roofing materials like shingles, metal, and other substances to seal and cover buildings. Roofers typically work as part of a team, often under the guidance of a roofing contractor, to complete a project.

Skills and Responsibilities:

  • Installing new roofing materials
  • Repairing damaged areas of existing roofs
  • Sealing seams to make roofs waterproof
  • Working with various types of roofing materials
  • Knowledge of safety regulations and best practices

What is a Roofing Contractor?

A roofing contractor is generally a business or an individual specializing in roofing services. However, a roofing contractor often has a broader scope of responsibilities, which may include project management, client consultation, and supervising the laborers on the job.

Skills and Responsibilities:

  • Project assessment and cost estimation
  • Obtaining permits and ensuring regulatory compliance
  • Supervising the team of roofers
  • Handling client interactions and communications
  • Providing warranty and maintenance services

Key Differences

1. Scope of Work

A roofer’s primary focus is on the physical act of roofing — the installation, repair, and maintenance. On the other hand, a roofing contractor oversees the entire project from start to finish, including management and logistical responsibilities.

2. Licensing and Certification

While both roles usually require some form of certification, a roofing contractor often needs additional licensing to operate, which may require a higher level of education and business acumen.

3. Job Flexibility

Roofers are generally more specialized and might not be involved in managerial aspects, whereas roofing contractors often have the flexibility to manage multiple projects and even other types of construction work.

4. Client Interaction

Roofers usually have limited interaction with the client, focusing more on the task at hand. Roofing contractors act as the point of contact for clients, managing expectations, timelines, and budgets.


When embarking on a roofing project, understanding the difference between a roofer and a roofing contractor can be pivotal. Roofers are the craftsmen who handle the hands-on labor of installing or repairing a roof. Roofing contractors take on a managerial role, overseeing the entire project, from initial consultation to project completion. By understanding these roles, you can make more informed decisions that could lead to a smoother roofing process and a well-executed end result.

Roofer vs. Roofing Contractor: What’s the Difference? was last modified: by

You Might Also Like