How to Choose a Roofer
Are you hiring the right roofer? There are several credentials that a good roofing contractor will have.
ESTABLISHED AND REPUTABLE:
Does the contractor have a permanent address and telephone number? Can he produce any required state or local credentials – such as a license? How long has the contractor been in business? Needless to say, longer is usually better than shorter. Ask for references from previous jobs and check the contractor’s BBB rating.
(Business, General Contractor, Roofing, etc). Not all states require contractors to be licensed. If your state does license contractors, then he might have had to pass a written examination of his specialty. A number of local cities also require professional licensing. Check with your local licensing authority for details. A contractor may say he has a business license. A business license is a tax requirement only and is not directly relevant to the contractor’s competence.
** Not all states in the USA require a Roofing Contractor to obtain a license and in some cases the State does not issue Contractor/Roofer licenses.
State Licensing Requirements
WORKMAN’S COMPENSATION INSURANCE:
This is the BIG DOLLAR insurance. It protects everyone. The Contractor is to have proof of Workman’s Comp Insurance for himself or his Subcontractor BEFORE the job starts. Unfortunately, paper proof isn’t enough. Check with the insurance company to ensure your Roofing Contractor is actively covered. Uninsured contractors will most likely be cheaper to hire as they do not have the large insurance premiums to pay. It is up to you to determine if it is worth the risk to hire a contractor who does not carry insurance.
GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE:
If a roofer’s ladder falls and hits your car – who pays? This is an example where your Roofing Contractor’s General Liability Insurance will cover the incident. Request a Certificate of Liability Insurance.
YOU could be liable for any property damage and accidents that occur during the job, so make sure your contractor has the proper credentials and insurance coverage is ACTIVE.
AVOID PAYING TWICE!
Be careful not to be exposed to possibly paying for your roofing materials twice!
Each state has its own version of a mechanics and material men lien law. These laws allow a contractor or material provider to lay claim of lien on your property if labor and materials are not paid for!
To prevent this potential problem — ALWAYS require your contractor to present you with a Final Waiver of Lien from both himself and any material supplier that delivered goods to your roofing project. Do not accept any excuses or believe that these documents “are not needed”. Doing so can put yourself in a position of having to pay twice for your roofing project. This is an area of construction law that many property owners are unfamiliar with.
Require the Final Waivers from all parties.
STATE LIEN LAW SUMMARIES