In the commercial roofing business, a contractor-client agreement or contract is as essential to your personal protection as hardhats and body harnesses. These contracts provide the business owner with the peace of mind that you are operating a legitimate, legal business and provide you with the terms you need to accurately perform work, collect money, and defend against claims. In today’s featured article, we’ll review just a few of the most essential elements that every commercial roofing contract should include to best protect your business and limit liability.
If you want to ensure that your contract is written in a manner that is not only clear and fair to all parties involved but also is designed to protect your best interests, you’ll want to contact a roofing lawyer to review your contract.
Before we get into some of the most critical clauses to include in your commercial roofing contracts, we’ll go above some of the basic items that you should make sure are present, such as start and completion dates and payment terms and conditions. If you need any assistance making sure that all of these items are included in your contract, get in touch with a roofing attorney with Cotney Construction Law.
Basic Contact Information of Both Parties
Although it may seem like both parties’ contact information is already mentioned in the initial bid, your contract must include this information as well in order to be legally binding. In order to get your contract to hold up in court, you’ll want to include the following information:
- Your name, company name, company address, phone, email, license number/ID
- Business owner’s name, address, phone, email
- Location of where work will be done
Scope of Work
This is yet another overlooked element in commercial roofing contracts. This area of the contract should explain the work to be performed in great detail, include details and pricing for each option discussed, specify the materials to be used, outline the schedule of work, and provide any other specifications pertinent to the construction process.
Payment Terms and Conditions
The contract should clearly define how all payments are going to be made, including deposits, interim payments, and all applicable timelines. In addition to these amounts, timelines for each payment should be established and the actions to be taken in the event of non-payment.
If you warrant your installers’ work/labor, it’s critical that you clearly describe the coverage offered, limitations, and duration of the warranty. Manufacturers’ limited warranties typically only cover materials in the case of product defect, which is why it’s incredibly important to make sure that the business owner understands the provisions and coverage provided by all warranties. You may want to consider preparing a separate document for the business owner to sign that verifies that he or she has read, understood, and agreed to abide by the terms and conditions as outlined in the contract and the warranty.
Every commercial roofer knows that understanding the provisions included in your contract is essential to the success of the construction project. Below, we’ve described a few critical provisions to include in each of your commercial contracts. If you are unclear on any aspects of your construction contracts, we highly recommend seeking the help of a roofing attorney in Florida.
Continent Payment Provisions
One of the most common concerns among roofing contractors is the risk of non-payment for work performed or materials provided. For this reason, contractors are advised to include risk-shifting contingent payment provisions in their contracts like pay-when-paid and pay-if-paid provisions. These clauses typically specify that the prime contractor has no obligation to pay the subcontractor until he or she receives payment from the owner.
No Delay for Damages
To manage the level of liability associated with delays, roofing contractors are commonly advised to include delay and damage provisions in their contracts, such as liquidated damages, mutual waiver of consequential damages, and no damages for delay. These provisions are all designed to provide a limit on the amount of recovery that an injured party is entitled to receive following delays during the construction project. They also have the potential to remove liability from either party entirely.
Generally speaking, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) governs all transactions involving the sale of goods. The UCC recognizes several warranties, including express warranties like a workmanship warranty or an NDL material warranty. The requirements for disclaiming warranties vary from state to state; however, the disclaimer should always be a part of the agreement between parties. This section of the contract should be set off by the rest via a notice of the provision like bold-facing or capitalization; otherwise, you run the risk of the court determining that your disclaimer is ineffective.
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.