You have already found a roofing contractor that you feel is dependable, fair and qualified and have negotiated what you think is a fair price. It's time to sign the agreement for the work to start.
Wait! Before you agree to anything you want to go over five things with your contractor. Trust me, taking a little extra time and checking these details will save you a lot of headache in the future.
Do Not Pay the Total Amount Up Front
It is smart to pay in stages as the work progresses. If you pay in advance you might never see the guys again (worst case scenario but it happens).
Split it up in three stages. As one phase has been created you give them a portion of the total cost of the roof. Of course it is standard practice for them to get 30% up front to pay for materials and supplies.
Make Sure Quality Materials Are Being Used
You are paying a lot for a new roof and you need to make sure quality materials that will hold up are being used. Many times a roofing company will be able to offer a lower bid because they are using inferior materials. A good installation with quality materials will equal a roof that lasts 20 years but using inferior materials could half that lifespan.
Are They Doing The Work Or Subcontracting It Out
You want to find out who will be coming to your home. If there is a problem you will be speaking with another company who was hired by the general contractor or the actual people you signed the contract with.
Ideally you do not want a subcontractor doing the work. The whole chain of command is messed up. If you have a problem, for any reason, with the people doing work at your home you do not know who to call. Everyone will say they are not the ones in charge and pass the blame.
Here is a suggestion. Pay for your new roof with your credit card so that you can get air miles. A typical rewards ticket cost 25,000 miles so a new roof will get you close. The problem is that many contractors do not take credit cards because they do not want to absorb the 2% fee they are charged.
Neverheless, if they allow it I would do it that way. If not then I would recommend you pay with a post-dated check.
Is There A Warranty
Make it a point to know what the warranty will be on your new roof. A well-built roof should last twenty years but you need to get a warranty from your contractor of at least five years. The last thing you want is to get leaks three years into your new $ 15,000 roof.