When you hire a roofer to make repairs to (or completely replace) your roof, you will typically be given a contract to peruse and sign. It's important to thoroughly read the information contained in the form because it will stipulate what your mutual responsibilities are. Here are three things the contract should contain to ensure your rights, and checkbook, are protected.
Start, Completion, and Payment Dates
One of the more important things that should be on the contracts are dates for when the roofers will start the work, the expected date of completion, and when payments are due, particularly if the project will take a long time. For instance, it can take two days or more to completely replace a roof, and longer if the company needs to order and wait for materials.
Having this information is important for a number of reasons. It ensures you and the company are on the same page and provides you (and the company) legal recourse if something goes awry. The work isn't completed by a certain day, for instance, you can pull out the contract to remind the roofer of his or her obligation.
You will also be able to plan better when you know what's going on. It's generally a good idea to leave your home for a few days while the roof is being replaced, since it may involve a lot of noise or exposure. Knowing the start and stop dates can help you make arrangements to stay at a friend's house or a hotel while the work is being done.
Lastly, knowing when payments are due ensures you have the money when it's needed. For instance, you may need to make a payment for the materials before the work is done and then a final payment after the work is completed. Having the payment dates spelled out in black and white prevents any misunderstandings and helps you budget your money so it's available when you need it.
A List of Permits Required
Another important thing your contract should cover is a list of any special permits or licenses that may be required to do work on your roof as well the name of the party responsible for securing them. This is critical because failure to obtain the necessary permits can lead to a variety of legal problems down the road. In D.C., for example, you must obtain a permit to remove metal flashing or replace the roof. This is to ensure the work is done according to the law and building codes. Failure to obtain the right permits could result in you being fined or make it harder for you to sell the home.
Most roofing contractors will take care of securing any permits required, but you need to make sure the contract you sign stipulates who responsibility it is; otherwise, you may not have any legal recourse to recover damages if the contractor failed to follow through and you suffer monetary losses as a result.
A Lien Release
Roofing contractors are responsible for paying any subcontractors they employ to work on your home. If the roofing company fails to pay the person it hired to do work, that subcontractor can put a lien on your home, which will hurt your ability to sell the property.
You can prevent this from happening by ensuring your contract with the roofer includes a lien release. This clause essentially indemnifies you against the contractor's actions. Any subcontractor or supplier who doesn't get paid won't be able to put a lien on your home, and you can use the contract stipulation to get one removed if someone manages to attaches one at some point.
For more information about roofing contracts or to have your roof repaired or replaced, contact a roofing company like Palmer Roofing.