Dealing With Your Contractor

Understanding Your Roofing Contract

Roofing is a process you may not be familiar with until it’s time to have your own building’s roof replaced. Even then, there is a lot to learn about which products to use and what procedures best meet your individual roofing needs. Therefore, it is vital to understand the ins and outs of your roofing contract and the procedures that may be new to you. Being confident you have selected the right Houston commercial roofing contractor will help assure that you have a quality roof overhead and that your finances have been wisely spent. Here are some important points to consider as you evaluate the terms of your proposed job contract.

Product Choices

During their visit to your property, contractors will introduce a variety of brands, styles and designs. They will offer to will assist you in understanding the difference in the aesthetics and value from one style to another. Most will try to educate you on making your choice considering not only color but also texture, style and construction, enabling you to find the best product for your building and location.

Preliminary Inspection of Your Property

Your contractor will do a free roofing inspection to establish the condition of your roof. It may take another day before you receive their roof repair estimate on the work that need to be done. During that time you should take special care to list the conditions of landscaping and equipment located on or near the building. Don’t be unreasonable in your expectations. It is not possible to re-roof a commercial building without at least a little bit of debris landing on the surrounding area.

Evaluating the Contract. Details, Details!

Regardless, if your roofing needs are simple and straightforward or difficult and complicated you should always read the all of the specific items in the contract carefully. It is in your interest that items which are important to you be stated in writing in the contract. Do not hesitate to question anything you do not understand.


Start and stop dates are difficult to pin down due to the unpredictability of the weather. Repair or replacement of a roof is done outside. But, you can control exceptions. For instance, negotiate a “no-later-than” clause. Be reasonable, but do make it clear that these terms will be enforced if necessary. Your roofing contractor will want to accommodate you and do everything possible to prevent the job from being disruptive to business.


This clause establishes a time period in which the property owner can cancel the contract without penalty. 48 hours is usually the time period given for a right-to-rescind without penalty. If the property owner cancels the job after the right-to-rescind period has elapsed, then the contractor may hold your deposit or request a certain dollar or percentage value of the contract in return.

Contractor’s Workmanship and Manufacturer’s Warranty

The roofer will warrant his workmanship. The manufacturer, on the other hand, warranties the roofing material against defects in manufacturing. Thus, two warranties will cover the roofing system. Understand them both. When selecting materials for your roofing system, be sure to inquire about the manufacturer’s warranty. Usually, problems of either workmanship or material show up very quickly. Therefore, the near-term warranty given by the contractor or manufacturer is more important than the warranty coverage during the later years of the warranty. Even if problems of workmanship arise after the workmanship warranty has lapsed, a reliable contractor usually will want to stand behind his work.

Payment Terms

Schedule terms, deposits and method of payment should be written out and fully understood. Most roofing contractors will require an initial deposit at the time of contract signing. The amount of the deposits can vary anywhere from 10-25% of the total value of the contract.


You’ll want a daily clean-up of your premises. This becomes very important if roof layer removal is necessary. You want your roofing contractor to take all the necessary steps to protect your property from any possible damage.