After a thorough evaluation, you have finally found a roofing contractor who has passed your criteria with flying colors. Be aware that there is due diligence you can do to protect your interest. Here’s a short list.
Seal the deal in writing
When entering into an agreement, especially one where money is involved, always document the transaction. Executing a document bearing details of the project and your contractor’s obligations isn’t for your protection alone. It is also necessary to set things straight. It also ensures that both you and your roofing contractor are on the same page. Even if forging an agreement isn’t required in your locale, a written agreement should be in place to avoid future misunderstanding and to protect your interests.
What should the agreement include aside from the obvious such as contractor’s name and address, contact numbers, and license details? A typical contract for roofing projects should have the following:
- Start and end date
- Scope of works and list of materials to be procured (including model, color, dimensions, and brand name, if applicable)
- Schedule of fund releases and determination of amounts to be released
- Obligations of contractor (including obtaining required permits, deliverables as well as limitations and exceptions)
- Changes to original scope of works (including how they’ll handle cost and timetable adjustments)
- Contractor’s warranties (warranty period and workmanship)
Typically, contractors are the ones who draft the contract but knowing what should and what shouldn’t go in there is a must. Make sure you know what you are getting into. Once you sign that contract, the deal has been sealed.
Ensure that the contractor is insured. Never miss out on this. If you do, you can be answerable to a lot of consequences. For instance, your contractor (or any of his workers) encountered an accident while at the project site you may be obligated to answer for his medical needs if the contractor isn’t insured. Now, what if the contractor accidentally damages your property? If he did not obtain any insurance, your chances of recovering the cost of damage could be nil.
Verify contractor’s permits and licenses
Depending on the extent of work to be done on your roof and your home, a working permit is usually required by your state. In Ohio, licensing isn’t statewide. The county where the project is located determines the requirements as far as permits, licenses, and applicable law is concerned. Also, take note that acquiring necessary permits is the contractor’s responsibility, not yours. Remember the contract details discussed earlier? Make sure that when the contract is drafted, you’ve checked about the costs of obtaining permits. If it is indicated therein, make sure that you aren’t billed again separately for it.
The rationale behind contractor’s permits is that in the event the working crew fumbles, the contractor becomes responsible for them, not you.
Researching and performing due diligence may seem a daunting task but in the end, it is worth the effort.