When it comes to residential roofing projects, homeowners should not settle for the verbal promises of contractors. There should be a clear and comprehensive legally binding agreement that highlights the scope of work, warranties, costs, and timelines. This is termed a residential roofing contract.
Every part of your roofing project should be kept in writing to understand each other’s expectations and ensure you are getting what you are paying for. In Texas, it is pivotal to understand key aspects involved in a roofing contract to guarantee a successful and stress-free project.
Let’s walk through everything you need to know about roofing contracts in Texas, including valuable insight to help you seamlessly navigate the process.
What is a Residential Roofing Contract?
It is a legal agreement between homeowners and roofing contractors that defines the terms and conditions of the roofing project. This legal document protects the rights of both parties involved and ensures the clarity of the project regarding the scope, cost, timeline, and warranty of the roofing project.
Why Do You Need a Residential Roofing Contract?
There are numerous reasons why both contractors and homeowners should insist on a contract before starting a roofing project. A roofing contract
- Provides peace of mind to homeowners that the contractor is legitimate and has put pricing and detailed work in writing.
- Ensures that a transparent payment schedule is set in the contract along with the total cost to avoid overhead charges.
- Allows contractors to get the warranties in writing so homeowners can protect themselves from future problems.
- Includes project starting and completion dates to avoid inconvenience and unnecessary delays.
- Ensures that the contractor is fully responsible for getting permits to prevent homeowners from getting into legal proceedings.
- Contains a dispute settlement clause to handle any situation between homeowner and contractor that arises from a roofing project
- Boosts the confidence and accountability of both parties involved through warranties and representation.
- Defines the duties and responsibilities of both parties, and if a dispute arises, it can be used in the course as a reference.
Must-Have Contents of a Residential Roofing Contract
A roofing contract binds a contractor to the promises and claims. While experienced contractors may deliver lengthy contracts, most roofing contracts are straightforward. Your roofing contractor should have the following information.
Every residential roofing contract should contain basic information about the contractor’s business, including insurance information, license number, and physical address. Besides, it should have phone numbers, email addresses, and other contact information for homeowners.
Furthermore, make sure the person signing the contract is an authorized company representative to avoid any disputes arising from the roofing project.
Scope of Work
The scope of work involves all the work that the contractors will be going to perform on your property. Besides, the material and workers needed to cater to that scope of work should also be mentioned.
The roofing contractor should also specify the accessories that will be used for installation. For instance, you may need some components on top of the shingle, such as there may be components on top of the shingles, including leak barriers, ridge cap shingles, vents, starter strip shingles, and roof deck protection.
Duration depends on the scope of the project, the material used, the season, the contractor’s expertise, the size of the home, and whether or not the roofer has a backlog of work. An asphalt shingle roof normally takes a few days to a week to complete, but it varies depending on the size of your premises. Regardless of the circumstances, an average project should be completed between two to six weeks.
Your contractor should clearly state the time period for the completion of the project. Make sure your contractor is transparent about his availability and has a reasonable expectation of project completion. Once the project starts, it should not be interrupted by anything except the weather. Though your contractor will give an accurate duration, there is a “no later than” clause in the jurisdiction that makes a contract null and void if the project does not start on time.
Pricing and Payment Terms
The contractor should outline the total cost of the project in the contract, including the cost of materials, labor, and permits. Besides, payment schedules and methods should also be a part of the residential roofing contract.
Every contractor requires a sum of money to be deposited before the start of the project, but the amount of the first deposit varies. In an ideal scenario, you should pay the first deposit at the start, which should not be more than 75 percent of the total cost. The second deposit should be made when materials are delivered to your home, and the final deposit on project completion.
Material & Installation Methods
All the materials and services included in the project should be added to a residential roofing contract. The contractor should also include the product’s name, along with the information about their warranties.
Besides, the installation method of those materials should also be specified. For instance, some shingles can be installed using four nails, but if the homeowner is a little more concerned about wind resistance, you can use six nails. So use all this important information about installation work in the contract.
Key Considerations and Legal Aspects
Besides this basic information that should be a part of a roofing contract, you should keep these considerations in account as well:
Legal Requirements and Permits
Before commencing any roofing project in Texas, you must be familiar with local building codes and permits in your area. Local roofing codes may involve the type of material and method of installation allowed, slope requirements, seismic resistance, and ventilation considerations.
In some regions of Texas, especially coastal areas, the building codes also include specific guidelines for wind resistance due to extreme chances of hurricanes and strong winds. Different municipalities may require different compliance needs, so you have to make sure your contractor has obtained the required permits and has specified them in the residential roofing contract.
Liability and Insurance
Roofing projects are always prone to risks and accidents. You can exempt yourself from liability in such cases if you ensure your contractor has adequate liability insurance. Contractors should come up with copies of proof of insurance, including liability, worker’s compensation insurance, and bonding, if applicable.
In case of extraordinary circumstances which prevent one or both parties from performing the contract, this section exempts both parties from liability. Force majeure events are usually referred to as “acts of God”, such as floods, fires, war, hurricanes, etc.
A contractor can invoke a force majeure provision if he failed to perform installation work on roofing due to flood or hurricane. As the circumstances were beyond the control of both parties, this clause will remove liability for unforeseeable and irresistible catastrophes.
Guarantees and Warranties
If your contractor is offering a warranty for the installation work and workmanship, it should be included in the residential roofing contract in detail, including how it would be applied, its duration, and if there are any limitations or exclusions. Keep some copies of warranties for future reference.
Change Orders and Additional Work
During the course of the project, any unforeseen issue can arise, which can substantially increase the total cost of the roofing project. For instance, your contractor may discover that the roof is water damaged. It means they have to purchase additional material, hire more labor, or perform repair work.
Similarly, change orders can also impact the overall roofing project’s pricing and workflow. So contractors should clearly mention the process of handling change orders, including how additional work will be documented, priced, and approved.
Dispute Resolution Process
As a way to handle a dispute between homeowners and contractors, a clause for dispute resolution should also be included in the residential roofing contract. It should cover any effective way to resolve disputes, such as meditation, arbitration, or anything other agreed-upon method that can possibly help. You can also consult a legal professional to select a fair and enforceable resolution process.
Termination and Cancellation
In some cases, a situation may arise where either a homeowner or the contractor would want to terminate the project before completion. It is critical to have a clause in the contracts that states the terms for the termination of the project. It may include a notice period, reason for cancellation, and associated costs or penalties. This clause will help protect the rights of both parties involved and avoid any sort of dispute.
This section stipulates whether the roofing contractor is allowed to transfer his duties and rights under his contract to third parties. Unless the consent for third-party responsibility assignment is not written in the contract, contractors do not assign any responsibilities.
Contract Review and Legal Assistance
Before signing a residential roofing contract, you should thoroughly read the contract. You can also seek help from a legal professional to ensure that your rights and interests are protected. They will help you understand the terms and conditions of the contract, identify any gaps in the contract, and make necessary modifications to meet your needs.
Can Roofing Contracts Be Negotiated?
The terms of the contract that are impacted by state law, such as legal and regulatory compliance, are non-negotiable. That said, you can negotiate most of the aspects of a residential roofing contract with your contractor. For instance, you can negotiate the price of the deal if you are paying out of pocket.
However, if an insurance company is paying for your roofing project, this negotiation can take a complicated turn as a third party is paying for the job. Besides the price schedules, you can negotiate the scope of work, timelines, warranties, change orders, and modifications. It is always wise to negotiate contract terms collaboratively and openly.
Effective communication between homeowners and contractors is pivotal to addressing the needs and concerns of both parties, which ultimately leads to successful project completion. A residential roofing contract, just like any other contract, is legally binding, so it is advisable for both parties to consult legal professionals to review the contract and provide necessary guidance. This will protect the rights of the parties involved and ensure the contract’s enforceability.
A residential roofing contract in Texas offers a framework for an effective roofing project. Putting every aspect of the project in writing helps protect the rights of both parties involved. With a well-drafted contract, by following best practices and adding every important detail, homeowners can ensure a smooth roofing project.
Project scope, timelines, payment schedule, and contractor’s business details are essentials of a good residential roofing contract. Most importantly, you should be acquainted with local building codes and requirements in Texas and make sure your contractor has taken responsibility to get the permits. If any one or both parties have some confusion regarding the terms of the contract, it is wise to consider having a legal counsel review your contract to protect the rights and interests of homeowners.