Important Info About Roofing Companies
When you need a new roof, you probably have contacted 2 or 3 companies that gave you an estimate. Did you know that an estimate is not a contract? An estimate will tell you the approximate price for your project but it won’t handle all the specific details. Without a contract, you will left to the mercy of the contractor.
Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. If you are paying for a roof replacement, you want to make sure that it is done right and will last for years. You want to make sure you stay within your budget, while getting quality service. An estimate will give you some information about the job, but a contract is the written handshake. If you and the contractor have problems during the installation of the roof, the contract is your protection.
Many times, disagreements between home owners and contractors are not the result of incompetence or dishonesty, but because a misunderstanding has occurred between the estimate and problems that were discovered after the roof was removed. An estimate does not have provisions if something if there is a problem that needs to be repaired that wasn’t in the original plans. A contract covers the requirements of the job, in writing, giving you legal recourse in a disagreement.
Your contract should include:
- Clearly explained payment terms, including the deposit terms.
- It should include the start and completion date. You may want to include provisions for delays due to weather or material shipping issues.
- Compliance with local building regulations. If you need permits, it should state who is responsible to obtain them.
- Compliance with manufacturer’s installation requirements so that the warranty is not voided. Details about the manufacturer’s warranty should be clearly outlined.
- All of the materials to be used should be clearly identified by brand and model. It’s not just the shingles, but the vents, the underlayment, eaves, and flashing.
- The contractor’s warranty for the workmanship.
- The contractor’s insurance information and protection for you if there is an injury on the job.
- You should get protection against liens on your property if the contractor doesn’t pay his suppliers for your job
- The contract should outline your cancellation rights
In addition, the most important part of the contract should carefully detail the job and exact work to be performed. It should identify what happens if there are problems discovered once the roof is removed. Who will handle the debris removal? What will the contractor do to protect your roof from damage if there is a delay? What if you need vents installed or your roof deck needs to be repaired?
A professional contractor will not mind that you are asking these questions. In fact, they should be asking you questions as well to determine your needs. You need to be able to hold up your end of the contract. They also want you to be satisfied when the job is done. In order to ensure that, they need to know your expectations. Having as much information as possible makes sure that everyone understands what is important.
You should be able to talk to your contractor about previous jobs they’ve handled that are similar to yours. Ask about the workers who will be installing your roof. How much experience they have, if they have any training, and their work history. Your contractor should have no problems showing you their business license and certifications to perform the work on your home. They will have many references in the community and want to show you their portfolio. Taking pride in their work and answering your endless questions is a good sign of a professional company.
There are many complexities when you install a new roof. It isn’t always possible to see the damage to your home under the shingles. When the shingles are taken off, you could discover repairs that will need to be made before the new ones can be put on. Your contractor can only work with what is there. That’s why it’s important to understand how your estimate could change before the job is finished.
Don’t be left to the mercy of your contractor. Get the details in writing before the job begins. Make sure you have the important points covered, so there are no surprises later. Any reputable contractor will want to have the contract in place to protect themselves as well. You know you’re dealing with a professional when you have a contract in place, not just an estimate.
Most contractors are honest individuals who perform a service to the community. They want you to be happy with your roof and tell others about their service. Their policies will be carefully outlined in the contract. While there may be surprises when your roof is removed, you won’t have surprises when you get the bill. They will communicate to you before and during the job. You will know your responsibilities and understand theirs.
If your roofing contractor does not seem engaged in the process or wants to rush you into signing something, you may want to consider talking to someone else. A professional company will allow you time to make sure you are hiring the right company to meet your needs. You should always contact the contractor, not hire someone who comes to your door. Be diligent when you need to have your roof installed. Make sure you hire a professional company.