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Contract and Pen

Take it or leave it: Evaluating a roofing contract

A roofing contract is a legally binding document that spells out every detail of a roof repair or replacement.

Once you sign on the dotted line, it’s difficult to go back. Although Florida has a three-day “cooling-off rule,” the law contains many complicated legal provisions.

Certainly, a roofing contract protects the contractor, ensuring the company is paid costs incurred. A roofing contract also protects the customer. However, customers must know what should be – and shouldn’t be – in a roofing contract before signing.

READ MORE: Roofing red flags: Know the warning signs

How to evaluate a roofing contract

There is no standard, templated roofing contract. Each roofing contractor develops a document based on provisions and terms applicable to the business.

When evaluating a roofing contract, it’s important to consider these seven elements:

  • Materials: A roofing contract should contain specific information about the material manufacturer, model or product number, design style, color and other elements. Not all shingles, tiles, metal panels or flat roofs are the same. Like every line of products, there are high-quality, medium-quality and low-quality materials. Know what you are buying.
  • Finances: Price is an important element of a roofing contract for both the contractor and customer. An itemized roofing contract will outline potential unforeseen circumstances, including the discovery of excessive dry rot or termites, material shortages, labor shortages and bad weather. The document also should state when payments, including any downpayment, are due.
  • Scope of work: A written narrative of what will be done is critically important. Contractors should write this in easy-to-understand, explanatory language.
  • Timeline: It’s important for contractors to specify a timeline that includes a start and end date, as well as daily working hours. This helps property owners prepare for potential disruptions. Taking a Zoom call while roofers are actively working is not ideal. Some residential communities have restrictions on working hours and that should be reflected in the document.
  • Warranty: Every manufacturer offers warranties that cover defective products. The best manufacturers offer the best warranties because they stand by the product. Roofing contractors should also offer a limited warranty that covers workmanship and installation.
  • Legal requirements: In Florida, roofing contractors are required to possess a roofing contractor license or general contractor license.
  • Exit clause: A termination or cancelation clause can allow either party to back out of the roofing contract. There are always stipulations, but it should be fair to both parties.

Although not legally required, roofing contractors should also provide the name and phone number of a customer’s point of contact. This is usually a project manager or project supervisor, not the salesperson. This individual should be able to answer questions and address concerns throughout the roof repair or replacement process.

No-pressure roofing contract

Be wary of contractors that rely on high-pressure sales tactics. Some contractors quote prices that are only valid if you immediately sign the contract, while others give 24 hours. This is why:

  • Costs: When contractors provide an estimate, the quote is based on current material and labor costs. Today’s market volatility means prices can change day to day. Contractors that require an immediate signature might be trying to protect themselves against price hikes, but they also could be hoping you sign before checking prices elsewhere. Top roofing contractors have longstanding relationships with suppliers, allowing them to purchase materials at bulk prices. Established contractors also have enough financial stability to withstand most price swings.
  • Impulse buying: Salespeople are aware of the psychology behind consumer sales, especially if they position a roofing contract as a limited-time bargain. Fear that a price won’t be available can drive consumers to buy products and services without comparing prices or reading the fine print. Reputable contractors stand behind their products and their contracts, and welcome customers who need a little time to think it over or obtain other estimates.

Customers should never have doubts when signing a roofing contract. Roof replacements can cost as much, or more, than a new vehicle. By comparison, car shoppers will spend weeks or months researching the right make, model and features for their family. Customers should not have to commit to a new roof within an hour.

READ MORE: How to find reputable roofers after hurricanes and tropical storms

Signing on the dotted line

Are you ready to work with a roofing contractor that consistently provides exceptional, high-quality roofing services? Lloyd Roofing offers a customized, easy-to-understand roofing contract that is fair to all parties.

CONTACT US: Lloyd Roofing & Restoration

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