There is no such thing as being over protective when it comes to your home and your finances. There are plenty of roofing contractors out there that are willing to bend the rules to simplify things for themselves, resulting in problems for you and your roof. Even honest contractors make mistakes every once in a while. That’s why it’s important to know these 4 simple ways to protect yourself when choosing a roofing contractor.
Problem: You hire a roofing contractor to fix a leak on your roof. One of their employees decides not to use proper safety procedures and falls, breaking his leg. The employee holds you responsible to pay his medical expenses, because he was hurt on your property.
Solution: Roofers Compensation is a type of insurance covering roofing injuries. If a roofing contractor has workers compensation, any injured employees are entitled to recover expenses for hospital bills and being out of work. Be sure that your roofing contractor has workers compensation so that you are saved the trouble and expenses of paying those bills yourself.
Problem: Your roofing contractor leaves your roof uncovered after removing your shingles. That night there is an unexpected storm. Water seeps into your home and damages your sheet rock, carpet and some nice furniture. Your roofing contractor has liability insurance, but there are exclusions preventing coverage of the interior of your building. You end up paying to fix the damages yourself.
Solution: If damage occurs to your home or building that is the fault of a roofing contractor, you want to be sure they have good liability insurance. This will cover anything from broken windows to damaged interiors as mentioned in the situation above. Some contractors have liability insurance, but their insurance company offers so many exclusions that it is almost like there is no coverage at all. Look for coverage that doesn’t exclude water damage resulting from leaving a roof open.
Problem: You hire a new roofing company to work on your roof. A few months later you notice a leak. You try to contact the company, but can’t find their information. You try to look them up by their business license and you find that there was never a business license issued for that company. You are forced to pay for the repairs yourself.
Solution: Check ahead of time that your roofing contractor has a business license. If they don’t have a license, it could be a sign that they don’t know what they are doing. The company could easily disappear or go out of business.
A general contractor is legally able to install a roof without a roofing license if they have a general contractor license. However, there have been a lot of cases of general contractors branching out and installing roofs themselves when they lack the proper training. This causes problems for building owners as well as home owners. It is ideal for a general contractor to have a roofing license in addition to their general contractors license.
If your roofing contractor is in the middle of working on your roof and you find that they have given fraudulent business license information, you have the option to terminate their service right away. You are not required to pay anything to the contractor because they were operating illegally. You can then find a qualified contractor to fix your roof and finish the job.
Problem: Your roof has been completed and you pay the contractor. However, a few weeks later, the contractor’s supplier contacts you requesting a payment for the materials installed on your roof. You discover that your contractor did not pay his supplier and that you are now responsible for that payment. This has happened and can happen to you.
Solution: Be sure to request a lien waiver when the job is completed and before you pay. A lien waiver simply states that if the contractor fails to make his payments to a supplier or employees, you are not responsible to cover them. It is ultimately in place to protect the home or building owner from paying twice. If you receive the lien waiver before you pay, it is conditional upon your payment. However, once your payment has cleared, the lien waver becomes unconditional without any additional paperwork.
Though it may be uncomfortable, it is important to protect yourself from issues like these. Ask to see proof of your roofing contractor’s workers compensation, liability insurance and business license. Also, be sure they are willing to sign a lien waiver once your roof is completed.
If you choose a trusted, experienced contractor, most of these issues will not be a problem in the first place. Find reviews and testimonials for your contractor to see what some of their other customer’s experiences have been.