Understanding a Roofing Contract
Make Sure Your Contract Has All the Details
Your roofing estimate needs to be detailed. If all it says is “replace existing roof with new underlayment, flashing, and shingles,” that simply won’t cut it. You need to find out more.
Details you should pay attention to include:
The number of layers that need to be stripped. Some roofs only have one or two layer of shingles, while others have three. That subtle difference can make a cost difference in the contract.
Applying ice and water shields in the valleys. Valleys – the areas where two roof planes meet – need to be properly sealed to ensure water can’t penetrate the roof deck below. Your contract should contain specific information about the type of ice and water shield your roofer will use.
The type of underlayment used. Pay attention if your roofer plans to use synthetic underlayments, as most don’t breathe. If moisture becomes trapped underneath, it will be unable to dry and can lead to mold problems down the road.
Installation of drip or metal edge. Drip or metal edge should be placed under the shingles where they come off the roof, helping direct water away. Some less reputable roofers, though, won’t install drip or metal edge unless the homeowner asks.
Whether or not new flashing is to be installed. These pieces can be time consuming for roofers to make, but it’s important they be replaced. Old flashing are not designed to integrate with new shingles, and they’ll also wear more quickly than the rest of your roof if not swapped at the same time.
Shingle Type and Brand: Your roofer needs to specify the manufacturer and color of shingles they’ll be using.
Clarify the Schedule
It’s worth acknowledging that a precise schedule might be difficult to pin down ahead of time, since start and end dates can be easily affected by fluctuating weather.
Confirm the Right to Terminate or Rescind
Your contract should outline details about when you can cancel your contract without incurring a penalty. 48 hours is common, but it will vary between roofers. Don’t forget to pay attention to the details about what happens if you cancel after that window. Some roofers will opt to hold your deposit, while others will ask for a certain amount of money – whether a flat fee or percentage of the estimate – for compensation.
Read Over the Payment Terms
Most roofers require a deposit, whether a consistent amount or a percentage of your estimate. Be sure you’re clear about the details of the deposit and other relevant information, including how you’ll need to pay and when.
Find Out How Your Roofer Will Look After Your Property
Inspecting Your Property: Before beginning any work, your roofer should take time to assess the property’s condition and find out if there are any areas they need to be cautious around. Remember to be realistic in expecting any roofing project to produce debris, including some that might land on your lawn. By highlighting sensitive areas, however, your roofer can be extra careful when and where they need to.
Taking Caution while Working: Your roofer needs to take steps to protect your home – especially eavestroughs using tools like ladder or trough stabilizers. They also shouldn’t strip more than they need to. If there are any areas left open, your roofers need to cover them before leaving for the day.
Cleaning Up After the Job is Done: Your roofer needs to remove all tools, supplies, and debris to leave your property looking just as it was (if not better with its new, improved roof!) before they arrived.
Study the Warranties Your Roofer Includes
When push comes to shove, the right warranty makes a big difference. There are two kinds of warranties your contract should include:
Workmanship Warranty: Offered by the roofer themselves, this warranty covers the work they perform.
Supplier Warranties: These warranties are offered by suppliers to cover defects or issues that arise with their products. They’re typically valid for anywhere between five to fifty years.
Don’t forget to read the fine print to find out if the warranties are transferable. Alongside a quality, reliable roof, this can be an excellent selling feature if you need to sell your home in the future.