Hiring a contractor - no insurance?

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wrote:

Plenty of things not known. When I had my roof done (maybe 55x35 foot low pitch) there were 5-6 guys up there tearing it off when I went inside the house. Don't know how many nailed on the new stuff. I trusted the contractor and didn't pay attention. They were done in about 8 hours. That included the 20x22 detached garage. As far as safety, I did the family house myself when I was in my 20's. That was 2 stories up and steeply pitched. Made a chicken ladder and bought a belt and lanyard. Never felt unsafe even carrying the rolls up, but I was young and foolish. Hooked up the lanyard when nailing. Now I don't think anybody should work high without a second. When a guy about 50 years old tuckpointed my chimney recently I parked a lawn chair outside and kept company. Not because I wanted to, but just felt that was right.
--Vic
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I've found that to generally be the case in a number of places. Some places will throw out a name or three, others will just shake their heads no. This is one of the things that interests me about this OMB (one man band) - how does the guy do something that doesn't appear to make sense, but manage to get recommended, make a profit and stay in business? I don't see luck being the major player in that equation.

There are many, many companies where you wouldn't want the next guy in line finishing the show anyway. Most roofing companies are pretty small businesses, a guy and his uncle or somesuch and some hired grunts is not atypical. Which one of these guys would you want to finish your roof...?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRDKQqbsm9I

If the guy was laid up, another company/friend-roofer would finish the job. It's funny but what some are taking to be a negative - working alone - I take to be a positive in almost everything but speed.

I understand your skepticism, but drawing assumptions from the little info on the guy that the OP provided, and focusing on the negative instead of wanting more information, the OP might end up throwing out the wheat with the chaff. Aren't you curious if the guy uses roof tie- offs or freeballs it? What exactly does he sub out? Does he do _everything_ himself and it will take weeks to do the roof? How big and complicated is the roof? Does he sub out rip off and removal and just do all of the shingling himself? I'm not convinced that it's impossible for one person to work on a roof safely or reshingle an entire house by themselves. It's more of a question of how long it would take, quality and cost.
R
Apparently, this guy, and some writers here ................. have never heard of a surety bond. It is a requirement in most states. It is a bond. A payment that guarantees and backs up your contract. It covers the cost of any contractor when they cannot or will not finish a job, or when they louse it up so bad that someone else has to finish it. Very common in business circles, but then those who are not in business, or who have never been in business, or are in business but don't follow the rules are oblivious of it. And so with bid bonds, performance bonds, etc.
Steve
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Not in this state, it is required by certain cities, not by the state. It has almost gone by the wayside, except in government contracting.
BTW, I know this from being in contracting.
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I performed work at Hoover Dam. I was told that I did not have to have a contractor's license, nor provide proof of workman's comp, as I was on federal property.
Steve
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On 9/6/2011 7:30 PM, Steve B wrote:

Note that 'federal property' and 'federal reservation' are two different things. In general, state laws still apply on property the feds happen to own (like the office building I work in), but not on federal reservations, where the feds have jumped through the hoops to say THEY are the master of that turf. Most military bases are federal reservations.
As a practical matter, it seldom makes a difference, since most regs for reservations mimic state and local laws. And most federal sites have agreements with local governments for mutual aid and support.
But as to OP's question- even if local law does not require it, YOUR insurance company will be PO'd if you hire the guy, since their ass is now swinging in the wind. I had to fire a 'good old boy' tree guy this summer for that very reason. I saw that he was working beyond his skill level, and one of the remaining trees could easily kill somebody if not done correctly. I called my insurance company, and they said to get rid of him before I ended up supporting his widow for the rest of her life. (Not to mention, that even if my company paid the claim to avoid court costs, I would have a Real Hard Time ever getting coverage again.)
Hated to do it- the guy was honest and nice enough, but without his own workman's comp, I just couldn't take the risk. He told me similar stories of working for other people, but when he is on another guy's crew, he is covered by their policy.
--
aem sends...



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Odd. The three military bases I did work on in Nevada required no contractor's license, either. They did require a background check, and a clearance.
Steve
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wrote:

job. 2 guys MIGHT be able to do the job in less than half the time one guy would take. I've known a few 2 man teams that would make most 4 guy teams sweat - and they make it look easy. And I know a few guys that would do a roof alone in less time - and make a better job of it - than a lot of 2 man crews. When a guy is really good at it, he doesn't waste a move, or a shingle and the roof goes on "like buttah"
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

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*It's true that self-employed individuals working as a sole proprietor do not necessarily have to have workman's comp. However if he is incorporated and is an employee of the corporation he should have workman's comp. Regardless he should have a liability and property damage policy and you can request an insurance certificate as proof.
Tearing off and re-roofing a house is labor intensive. A lot of garbage to get rid of and a lot of materials to be brought up to the roof. I cannot imagine one man doing it alone, but I am not a roofer. I would ask if he plans to hire sub-contractors to do the work. If he does, then the subs should carry workman's comp and should provide you with an insurance certificate upon request.
If he is going to do this job solo, ask him how long it will take.
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On 9/6/2011 6:26 AM, John Grabowski wrote:

As a homeowner who has had only one roof replacement, I want the roofer in and out in one day. I don't want some guy putzing around on my roof for a month. One day I came home from work to see pallets of shingles in my yard and went to work the next day to return to new roof and all cleaned up.
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Depends on the state for working uninsured. Yes, I agree with you that he should have liability insurance for any damage he may do to OP's stuff. AND a certificate of proof should be provided. In my state of licensure, an employer had to request the certificate from the WC Board, and THEY had to mail it to the employer (in this case, the OP), as workmen were not given the certificate by the WC people to give to the end user. This prevented the workmen from falsifying them.

My suspicion is that he is going to use subs, as one man doing that much work is either foolish or impressive. Do the math. How many bundles would it take to roof the house, and how many trips up and down the ladder to schlep all those heavy bundles? How many rolls of underlayment? Any replacement of pieces of 4 x 8 decking? Heavy stuff for one man.

Old Teamster joke: How long will this job take?
"Who cares? You got a problem with that?"
This sounds like either a potential train wreck, or someone not revealing all the facts. It is impressive that he has such glowing referrals, and that is good. But some of the basic important questions, issues, and legalities are being dodged.
Basically, the owner is becoming the owner/contractor, and under law, is responsible for any accident or injury to any workman if they have not done their homework and verified that they have insurance of their own. He is the "contractor." Same insurance issues for someone who comes over for dinner or a pool party.
Steve
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Foolish or impressive, yes. The OP mentioned that this guy's name came up a lot as one of the best. I believe all of these unknown and uncredited sources. ;) Seriously, though. If one guy's name keeps popping up it's because the guy leaves people satisfied without leaving a wake of trouble behind him. The glowing referrals from lumberyards is telling.
As far as the guy's logistics, that is just a matter of asking some questions. Generally roofers avoid having bundles schlepped up ladders and use the supply house's boom truck to deliver the stuff straight to the roof. Power ladders are another possibility. If the guy is a one man band, has been around for a while, and he gets recommended, then he's going to be efficient.
The old saying probably holds - good, fast, cheap, you can get you any two of the three, but you can't get all three. It'd be interesting to know how the guy's pricing stacks up against other roofers in the area.
R
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wrote

Foolish or impressive, yes. The OP mentioned that this guy's name came up a lot as one of the best. I believe all of these unknown and uncredited sources. ;) Seriously, though. If one guy's name keeps popping up it's because the guy leaves people satisfied without leaving a wake of trouble behind him. The glowing referrals from lumberyards is telling.
As far as the guy's logistics, that is just a matter of asking some questions. Generally roofers avoid having bundles schlepped up ladders and use the supply house's boom truck to deliver the stuff straight to the roof. Power ladders are another possibility. If the guy is a one man band, has been around for a while, and he gets recommended, then he's going to be efficient.
The old saying probably holds - good, fast, cheap, you can get you any two of the three, but you can't get all three. It'd be interesting to know how the guy's pricing stacks up against other roofers in the area.
R
Apparently the flake already flaked out.........................
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*I'm in NJ and all it takes is a phone call to my insurance agent and he sends out the insurance certificates. Usually when someone requests one, I will make the call right in front of them and my agent will fax it within an hour or two or have it in the mail the same day. No fuss on my part.

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Yes, but the point I wanted to make is that a contractor presenting their OWN certificate of insurance is not SOP in some states. Whatever form it takes, the insurance company contacts the potential employer directly to provide verification of the insurance.
Steve
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Zero, in many cases. you can have a rooftop delivery as long as the truck can get near. The bundles are spread over the roof to minimize lifting.
A fellow at work did his roof a few weeks back (small ranch). He took off a Friday and it was done when he came to work on Monday. He will be 73 in January. He has also had heart surgery about 6 years ago, throat cancer about 20 years ago. More energy that any three people I know.
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On Tue, 6 Sep 2011 06:26:09 -0400, "John Grabowski"

In MOST cases, if he is self employed he cannot even claim workmen's compensation if he pays in.

roof for you - nothing to carry up the ladder except your tools.
In my younger years I did several roofs all by myself. Not easy - not fun - but when a job needs to be done - - - - - .

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On 9/5/2011 9:42 PM, IGot2P wrote:

The contractor was here this morning and just left....he will not do the job! Mainly because there is no way to get a dumpster or truck close to the home because of all the perennial flower beds and other landscaping. It simply would be too labor intensive for one person. This is quite disappointing as he definitely seemed more qualified and particular than any of the other contractors that have been here.
Other information:
Yes, the liability portion of my homeowners policy with State Farm will cover me. This is not an old home where any new sheeting will be needed as it was built in 1993/1994. Also, according to my calculations it should take approximately 33 squares. And yes, I do know something about roofing as I have helped shingle several homes.
BTW - the average estimate is right at $325 per square for ONLY labor and this is in a VERY rural part of Iowa (normally an inexpensive area).
Thanks for all of the opinions.
Don
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The difference between an expert and a hack is that the expert will give you the bad news up front! A hack won't see the bad news coming, and you'll be in the middle of the job when you both discover it.
I understand walking away from a project because of site constraints. The guy probably looked at your steep roof, all of the planting and landscaping and realized that _his_ risk wasn't worth it. If he rips the roof and ruins some specimen shrubbery, there goes his profit and maybe more.

That's a pretty big steep roof, and you're getting pretty big steep prices. It's only fitting. Best of luck with the next contractor in line.
R
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You're going to pay more for anybody if they can't get a box close. Sometimes you're best off to sacrifice some flowers. Did you tell him he can't put a box on the flowers?
--Vic
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