What Should You Have in Your Roofing Contract?
Replacing your home’s roof is a big deal. Not only is it expensive, but it’s your home’s protection. Before you let just anyone handle your roofing repairs or replacement, you should know what to look for in a roofing contract to make sure that it’s worthwhile.
All of the Project Details
Make sure you have everything in writing regarding the project details. Don’t let anything be a ‘verbal agreement.’ At the very least, make sure the following details are included:
- The type of materials being used, this includes the brand and color
- The cost of the materials being used
- The date the project will begin
- The estimated time of the project
- The method the contractors will use to remove the old roof
- Any exclusions the company may want to include (and that you agree to)
If you have any questions about what’s included/not included, don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t sign the contract until you are sure all details are covered.
The Payment Terms
As a general rule, don’t agree to pay for the full project upfront. In fact, you shouldn’t pay anything until you have a written contract, but any reputable roofing company won’t require you to pay the full amount upfront. In general, you may have to pay as much as 25% of the cost upfront, but this allows the roofing company to purchase the necessary materials. Again, don’t pay anything until you have everything in writing and you agree to the terms. The contract should detail how and when you owe the remaining payments. Typically, you’ll pay the initial deposit and then the rest upon project completion, but each company differs. Read the payment terms carefully. Also, look for any service charges or other fees if you pay by credit card.
The warranty is a crucial part of the contract. You want a roofing company that stands behind their work, both the materials and the labor itself. If issues come up down the road, you need to know that the company will come back out and handle them. The warranty information should include all of the reasons you can make a warranty claim, the process you must go through, and what you can expect. The contract should state the length of the warranty and the method in which you should make a claim. If anything is unclear, make sure you clarify and get the answers in writing on the contract.
Whenever someone works on your property, there’s the risk of damage, whether to your home, a contractor, or even yourself. The contract should include information about the insurance the roofing company holds and under what circumstances it would be used. You need to know that you aren’t liable for any damages caused by the contractors themselves. This includes damage to your home or to one of the contractors. They should have liability insurance as well as workmen’s compensation coverage.
How Extenuating Circumstances will be Handled
Unfortunately, life is unpredictable. No one, not even the most successful roofing company, can predict what will happen once they start removing your old roof or making repairs. If the unforeseen circumstances happen, how will the roofing company handle it? What if more materials are needed or if they need more labor support? What will that do to your cost? How will it change the time estimate to handle the project? What circumstances won’t the roofing company handle at all? You need all of this in writing.
How to Terminate the Contract
If the roofing company will allow cancellation of the contract, you need to know under what circumstances it’s allowed. The contract should clearly spell out the terms including any penalties or fines for canceling it. Make sure you clearly understand the terms and if something is unclear – ask. The last thing you want to find out is that you are responsible for the full cost even if you cancel the contract. Your roofing contract is very important when you hire a roofing company to repair or replace your roof. Making sure it has the details you need and that it’s clearly written is crucial to the success of the project for everyone involved.