Contract with my roofer, do I need one?

dryrot siding
May 29, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

Contract with my roofer. . . do I need one?

Simple question-big answer. When doing any home improvements it is always a good idea to have a written contract no matter how big or small to the job is.

Long gone are the days of a promise, hand a shake and trusting a friend or local business to do a job for you. Nowadays, there is so much money and labor involved with home repairs it would be just plain crazy not to have some form of understanding of what the “scope of work” will be done, in a contract.

A contract protects you and the roofing contractor

Having a clear written contract with your roofer can relieve you of much grief later, in the event of a dispute.

What, Did you say dispute? No, that would never happen. Guess what folks, some of the biggest complaints filed against roofers are because “I didn’t understand, change orders, added costs like repairing dry rot, or I thought the was included in the cost of the roof job.”

Yes, a job cost can change because of many reasons. That is why the scope of work needs to be very clear and in writing. Having the hourly rate in print should also be included in the event there are hidden or unexpected surprises like dry rot, broke rafters, multiple layers of roofing. Roofers just cannot see everything and it needs to be known how things will get handled if a surprise occurs.

What else should be included in a roofing contractor? You should include everything you want to be done. The cost of completion of the job, including the cost of materials needed to do it. A good contract will have both the principles, addresses of the place of business and the job site, with contact information.

Just a tip – multiple phone numbers of interested parties are a good thing to have. Description of the work to be done and with a timeline. Type of materials to be used and roofing systems and colors installed. Materials warranty along with labor warranty. Any licenses needed in your jurisdiction to perform the work described and a copy of any insurance certificates in case of an accident. Payment schedule including down payments, hourly rates for any work asked to be done not included in the scope of work.

If the discovery of something that would change the scope of work is found and a savings or cost to the homeowner is justified, a change order should describe what is to be done and the value of the change to the original contracted price. Any addition to the job like adding a skylight during the roofing process is requested an amendment to the contract should be written up and signed. Some states allow a three notice of cancellation clause. I am sure they are other things but this give you a good start as to a contract with your roofer.

Remember, if it isn’t written down it probably won’t get done. A clearly written contract protects both parties and I strongly advise drawing one up, no matter who is doing your roof.


Have a question? AskARoofer HERE

Need a contractor?  Check out our list of Roofing Contractors HERE.

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