Making sure your roofing project goes off without a hitch is largely a matter of advance preparation. In this three-part blog series, we’ll break down the advance prep stage into three main sections: the papers, the numbers and the talk.
Let’s begin with the paperwork.
States have different licensing regulations for home improvement contractors, some of which seem more lenient than others. Still, every jurisdiction has a system that helps ensure consumer protection in roof installation, repair and replacement projects.
Roofers are required to have a license in more than 20 states, including:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Some states that do not require roofers to be licensed still require that they be certified by and/or registered with the state’s labor department. These include:
In Kansas, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wyoming, licensing is regulated at the local (city or county) level.
Building permits are often required for new constructions and renovations to existing structures. But as in the case of licensing, different states can have different approaches to the permit acquisition process.
Permits for home improvement projects are regulated by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), but it’s always best to check with your municipality as acquisition and compliance may involve agencies outside of DCRA.
Bond & Insurance
A contractor’s bond will ensure your financial protection in the event that your roofer fails to fulfill the terms of your contract. Bonds are strongly recommended for roofing projects that cost more than $500.
Insurance, on the other hand, will protect you against lawsuits and other financial liabilities that may result from accidents and other mishaps that occur during the duration of your project. Your roofer should have both general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
Proposal & Contract
Before you agree to work with a contractor, make sure you read up on what a roofing proposal and contract should look like. According to EverybodyNeedsARoof.com, an online resource put together by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), your paperwork should cover:
- Project scope
- Target start and completion dates
- Roof covering specifications
- Complete list of materials
- Installation methods
- Payment arrangements
- Warranty details
- Change orders
- Arbitration options
Stick around for the next installment of this series, where we’ll talk about the important numbers you should know before starting your roofing project.