A roofing contract is beneficial for both the contractor and the property owner for a number of reasons, including that it legally binds the contractor to the promises they make for the job. Other benefits include that it ensures the payment schedule is clear, the contractor is legally protected against claims, the property owner fully understands all warranties, the roofing business is legitimate, and that all the work will be delivered at the price it was originally agreed to cost. Essentially, your contract provides you with the terms you need to accurately perform work, defend against baseless claims, and collect rightfully owed payment. However, this is only possible if your contract is written in a manner that is clear, concise, fair to all parties involved, and designed to protect your best interests and limit liability.
For four essential items that should be included in your next roofing contract in order to guard your business against claims and ensure you receive the payment you deserve, continue reading. For a legal ally who can review the terms of your commercial or residential roofing contract for any of the following components, get in contact with a roofing attorney in Tennessee from Cotney Construction Law.
First and foremost, it’s worth mentioning that every roofing contract should contain basic details about your roofing company’s business, including your license number, physical address, and insurance information. These specific details will assure the property owner that your business is legitimate and holds the appropriate licensing and roofing insurance for the job. You’ll also want to provide proof that you are in compliance with local codes and state laws and ordinances, when applicable, in the form of:
- Licenses, zoning notices, inspections, and required permits
- Legal jurisdiction governing the roofing contract
It’s best practice to keep copies of proof of insurance for liability, workers’ compensation insurance, and bonding as well. On the property owner’s side, you’ll want to have their name, phone number, physical address, and email address included in the same section of the contract.
Scope of Work
The scope of work section of the contract defines exactly what will be done and what materials and labor will be necessary to complete the job. If the property owner ordered a complete roofing system, for example, the contract must specify the particular accessories to be used for installation. This is because there may be components on top of the shingles, including leak barriers, vents, roof deck protection, starter strip shingles, and ridge cap shingles. You’ll also want to take the time to verify that the work detailed meets the manufacturer’s warranty and installation requirements, particularly for ventilation, low slope roofs, and ice dam protection. Don’t forget permit acquisition fees, disposal services, or cleanup either. The official names of each product should be listed along with a reference to the manufacturer warranties to cover the products being used because any labor or materials left out of the scope of work present an area of liability.
Duration of Project
Property owners generally expect the work for the project to begin anywhere from two to six weeks after the contract is signed. However, this can vary greatly depending on the time of year and whether or not you have a backlog of jobs. In order to create a realistic time estimate, you’ll want to be as straightforward as possible about your availability from the start of the project. Once you’ve begun work on the project, however, the job should not be interrupted for any reason other than reasons outside of your control, such as inclement weather that leads to concerns regarding roof safety.
The time it takes to repair, replace, or install a roof will vary depending on the size of the property and unforeseen weather conditions. Something like an asphalt roof, for example, typically takes approximately one week to complete without any weather-related delays. It’s your responsibility to account for these factors as best as possible and provide the property owner with an accurate timeline for the project.
As payment schedule and deposit requirements vary from one contractor to the next, it’s important to specify the upfront payment, total deposit, and mode and period of payments in the contract. While the property owner is almost always expected to pay some kind of upfront deposit, you should never expect that the upfront payment will cover the entire cost of the job. In fact, it is recommended and sometimes regulated that the total deposit and progress payments do not equal more than 75 percent of the total job. Instead, general practice is for the initial payment to provide anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of the total contract price; although, this number can increase if you’re using custom materials. You’ll be better off, in general, requiring the property owner to pay an initial deposit, a second deposit when the roofing materials are delivered, and a final payment when the job is completed, rather than a hefty upfront payment.
Once again, if you are in search of a legal ally who can review your roofing contract for any of the following components to ensure that it protects your business against potential liabilities, don’t wait to reach out to a roofing attorney in Tennessee.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.