Q: We have a screened-in, enclosed aluminum patio attached to our house. It was probably built in the 1960s or 1970s.

The roof, which appears to be a single sheet of aluminum or vinyl, leaks in several spots. Do you have any idea how to replace the roof or to patch the leaks? The rest of the structure, which appears to be aluminum with some type of insulation, is fine. If we fix the roof and replace the screens, I think we’ll end up with a great 3-season area.

A: You should contact several reputable roofing contractors who are licensed in your state, bonded and insured. Invite them to inspect the roof and give you a written estimate for the work that needs to be done.

Ask your friends, family, colleagues, and even your local real estate agent to refer you to roofing contractors with whom they have had good experiences. Then, check out the names through the Better Business Bureau (bbbonline.org) and with the state agency that licenses and regulates roofing contractors. This way, you won’t end up working with a scam company.

Sept. 17, 2004.