Finding a reputable and reliable roofer can be difficult for a number of reasons.  In general, roofers tend to be rough around the edges and have a shady reputation.   Many roofers avoid standing by their work.  With some roofing work being hidden from the customer, a roofer has an opportunity to be dishonest about the repairs he has done.
There are many honest roofers, who will provide quality roofing services and products, but it can be difficult to decide who to trust.  Here are some ways to help choose a good, honest roofer when you need a leak repaired, or are ready to get a new roof:

1.  Always get multiple estimates.

Try to get at least two or three estimates if possible.  You may find a large difference in price and options.  When comparing estimates, don’t make your decision based on price alone.  A high price doesn’t always mean quality, and a low price doesn’t necessarily mean shoddy work will be done.  Different roofers may price their work in a different way, or may be using different materials or installation techniques.  Make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

2.  Get referrals and recommendations. 

You could ask the roofer for references of work he has done in the area.   You could also simply ask friends, neighbors, and relatives for their opinion on roofers who did work for them.  You can also check online for reviews.

3.  Ask questions. 

Ask questions on how the roofer will do the work, and what materials will be used.  Keep in mind that just because a roofer knows technical roofing lingo, doesn’t mean he will do honest, quality work.

4.  Don’t be fooled by appearance.

A shiny truck with a fancy logo doesn’t always equal a quality roof.

5.  Find out who is actually doing the work.

Some roofers will use subcontractors, instead of doing the work themselves.  Subcontractors are not necessarily a bad thing, it is just helpful to know who will actually be doing the work on your roof.

6.  Find out about guarantees and warranties.

Ask your roofer if he offers any guarantees or warranties for his work.   Ask about his policies regarding any problems after the work is completed.

7.  Find out if the roofer has insurance.

Make sure the roofer is fully insured.  Many states require contractors to register.  The registration process usually requires the contractor to provide proof of insurance.