Negotiating Contracts: Things Roofing Contractors Don’t Want You to Know
While not every roofer or roofing company is out to take advantage of you, it’s a fact that roofing contractors rank in the top 10 of customer complaints at the Better Business Bureau, and many of these complaints end up stemming from the contract. When it’s time to negotiate with your roofer, make sure you have the knowledge necessary to ensure you’re getting a good deal with a reputable roofing contractor.
Some Contracts Aren’t What They Seem
It’s a common practice; you get a knock on the door, usually after a major storm, and a roofing contractor is there to ask if you’d like your roof inspected for free. They usually ask you to sign something allowing them to do the inspection, when in actuality, you’re signing a form authorizing them to contact your insurance company on your behalf. Now they can find “damage” and roll the dice that they’ll get a big insurance payout. This is also a problem for you because if the insurance company comes out, you get the claim on your record. This claim will follow you even if you sell the house, so you should only be making claims if you legitimately think there is damage there to be fixed.
Don’t sign anything without reading it over completely and you intend to hire this contractor, and don’t let anyone up on your roof unless you call them.
Not All Contracts Contain All Information
If you are involving the insurance company, such as after a storm, you need to beware of the blank contract when negotiating. This is when the roofing contractor doesn’t give you an actual estimate. Instead, they write something into the contract like “for insurance proceeds” which means that you don’t have a firm number to go off of. These contracts also often stipulate that you give the insurance money to the contractor before work begins, which means that they essentially now have a blank check for the payment.
Get a firm estimate or bid in writing, regardless of whether you’re paying out of pocket or using insurance money to cover the repairs.
You Shouldn’t Be Paying Them Up Front
Think about it; if you’re using a reputable roofing contractor or roofing company, they should have the credit necessary to order your shingles before they start work. Unfortunately, many less reputable roofing contractors are poor money managers, and are using the money from one job to float the next.
Only do business with legitimate companies, and find out during the negotiation period what the payment terms are.
You Can Ask for Extras
Particularly when you’re getting an insurance payout, it’s fine for you to ask for extras on the job, and to have them written into the contract for the price. Keep in mind that not every roofing contractor is going to say yes, or have the means to provide you with anything beyond the basic scope of the job, but you can always ask. Just be sure not to make demands, and don’t get greedy if he begins to grant you some free extras like new gutters or upgraded felt.
About Northern Virginia Roofing
Northern Virginia Roofing and Exteriors is a second generation family owned and operated company specializing in roof repair, roof replacement as well as siding, gutters, windows and doors, and storm damage restoration. We’ve had the same phone number since 1980 and have never changed our name. We’ve been doing business in your area since 1963, and many of our crews have been with us for more than 11 years.
Call today and let us help you protect the most important part of your home. We will provide you with an estimate on your roofing job free of charge!
To download a free copy of our book – How to Hire GREAT Roofing Contractors: Step by Step Guide- click here.
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