Will be dealing with a contractor for a roofing job.
Have never really dealt with any before on a "big" job.
Regarding insurance that they should have:
a. What papers and proof of insurance should I request that I receive a
copy of from him ?
I guess this should include Liability, and Workmen's Compensation, as
well as some other types.
Right ? What should I ask for specifically, please ?
What about insurance for Medical related accidents his workers might
have happen on the job ?
What kind of insurance should they carry for this ?
b. Also, I read about some time back about something called a "Workmen's
Not at all sure I have the name correct.
Has to do with, I think, if the major contractor does not pay any
workers he hires, they can sue the homeowner directly for lost wages, etc.
What kind of paper work or insurance coverage should I request to see
from him so that I am protected against this possibly happening ?
Anything else I should be asking here, but not smart enough to know to ask ?
"...Make sure your contractor is INSURED for both Worker's Compensation
and General Liability. Don't take the contractor's word or accept a copy of
an insurance binder from the contractor.
The only secure way is to get the name of the contractor's insurance
look the number up in the phone book yourself, then call and ask for a
Certificate of Insurance. The carrier will be happy to send you one in the
===================================Garage Door Parts, LLC
Ok, I take it he is going to fix your house.
Not you being a subcontractor fixing someone else's house under the
contractors say so.
Get the contract in writing, and make sure there is a clause in there
where he pays you if the job is not completed in full in X number of
days, for every day after X days that the job is still not finished.
And not the company owing you, but the contractor personally.
I knew of several guys that start jobs, then stick you up for more
money to finish them.
And it is really hard to find someone to take up a job that was started
by someone else.
General liability, and lots of it.
You can really wreck things big time on a construction cite.
The workers comp is a local deal, so I don't know if they can go after
you there if you have a contract showing that the guys were hired by
him and not you.
Standard professional contract around here.
I have been doing construction for years, and any job where I am the
contractor (not the subcontractor) had this type of contract involved.
If he balks at this, then he is trying to shaft you, or is incompetent
and can't even guess at how long the job will take.
After all, if he thinks "I can easily do this job in one week", then
all he has to do is make the contract for 3 months and you are both
If he can't do a one week easy job in three months, then he is shafting
And if he never finishes the job at all, you have recourse without
needing a lawyer.
Do you really want someone ripping the roof off your house who cannot
give you any idea at all how long it will take to put the roof back on?
No need for either one to trust anyone with any money.
Just do the job in 5 times the amount of time he thinks it will take
and all is well.
After all, he should be able to give you an idea how long it will take.
Multiply that by 5 and write it up.
Now if he just takes you money and runs, you have easy recourse.
If he even tries to do the job, he can finish it in 5 times the
Reference checks are worthless.
You have to ask him who to talk to, and he will only tell you the
places he wants you to see.
Never the ones where he copped an attitude and just walked off the job.
Obviously you haven't a clue.
I do construction for a living.
Do it all over the US.
And every job had the same sort of contract involved.
Now, if you only deal with shade tree guys instead of professionals,
then getting them to do this may be a problem.
But then, would you want someone ripping the roof off your house that
could not give you any idea at all when he would finish it?
Regardless of that....
If worker's comp is required in your state and the contractor isn't
carrying it, they he's a lawbreaker. Is that the kind of person you want
to do business with?
Check the worker's comp insurance for sure. Don't take chances.
I knew a roofer in my Rotary Club. (He's now retired.) He told me that
the worker's comp premiums he paid depended on the angle of the roof his
guys were working on each day and he had to keep logs detailing how many
hours they spent working on flat roofs anad also on roofs below and
above some angular threshold. He said that in severe cases his premium
rate exceeded 100 percent of the hourly rate he paid the guy doing the work.
I'm assuming yours in a standard enough residential job.
Contractors generally carry liability insurance .... if they damage
your home, it is covered. One million is lots for your type of job.
Workman's comp varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In most, if
a contractor has employees, he is required to have workman's comp to
cover lost time, job related injuries. Especially important since
they're working on a roof. <grin>
That said, I'm not convinced there is any recourse to the homeowner
except where there is contributory negligence.
The lien you're referring to also varies a bit by jurisdiction. The
contractor, or sub contractor as the case may be, has the right to
place a lien on customer's property. The employees do not, their
recourse is to their employer.
This right to lien is worthless, in my judgement. What it means is
that if you stiff me for ten or twenty grand for your roof, I can
lien your house for up to a year which is a problem for you only if
you want to sell or re mortgage.
I have to sue for judgement to collect. Which means I have to wait
two to five years for a court date .. and then I get to pay my lawyer
a few thousand more than I collected.
There are ways you can protect yourself. Since the right to lien a
property expires 45 days after completion, many projects hold back
fifteen to 20 percent for 45 days to ensure no liens are forthcoming.
Those are normal terms in industrial and commercial construction and
in major renovations projects.
Less so, in the case of a residenttial roof.
The best protection you can get is to check references. Ask for
them and check them out. Always, always, always see the job he is
working on and the last one he completed. (He cannot cherry pick
references that way.)
You will undoubtedlly get all kinds of advice .. . about demanding
this and demanding that .... understand that yours probably is a
small job. If the contractor is legitimate, he may be put off by a
show of apparent distrust.
While you're trying to decide whether to trust him, he's trying to
decide whether to trust you, and whether you're more bother than
On a ten thousand dollar roof, he probably grosses three grand, and
nets maybe a thousand, before tax.
And a lot depends on your market. Here, for example, building
permits are almost exactly double what they were a year ago. I'm
turning down good projects from good people who have been referred to
me by clients ... let alone projects from people I don't know who
treat me with distrust.
I finished my last job before you found me, but you can see that
finished job if you want.
It is over at my cousins house.
He is expecting you, and will know not to tell you that he is related.
I have several other jobs like that for you to see if you want to see
them, and none of them are the ones where I just walked off the job.
If he is a professional, he likely already has a contract written up
like this for you to sign.
I have one, and all the companies that I have dealt with for the past
10 years had one.
Him trust you?
Pay $30 to a little lawyer to mediate the job.
He gets your payment to the contractor with instructions to pay him on
completion of the job.
Now, if the contractor cannot trust the lawyer, then he is trying to
rip you off.
Why should you trust him if he is not willing to give you some sort of
show of good faith?
Then he is not a professional.
No contractor will take a job that will not allow him to be out of work
for a month after your job while he is trying to start the next job.
Professional contractors do not do the work themselves.
They have multiple crews doing the work on multiple jobs while they are
lining up the next job.
Be aware that the lowest bidder is often too low to actually happen and
will rip you off.
Know what a job normally pays, and do not drop to much under that or
you can expect problems.
You get what you pay for.
If you could not fix your roof yourself, would you let me show you my
relatives roofs, then rip you roof off without giving you any idea at
all how long it would take me to put it back on?
Would you if all you could do is try to sue me if it took me, say 25
No judge, I am not finished with that job.
He took me to court for being a slow worker.
You can't prove in court that I will never finish that job, so all you
got is that I am slow.
And you have nothing to say that this is not the time frame that we
agreed on in the first place.
Any competant contractor would be happy to have thier insurance
company mail and/or fax a certificate of insurance to you. Just
call the contractor and they will call the insurer and have it
sent. The certificate will list the contractors coverages and
companies as well as your address where the work will be done.
It's something they do everyday so don't think you are imposing
to phone up the contractor.
I just want to be clear on this. Your saying that this is std
business practice for
contractors in your area? Where is that? I have to agree with bam,
here in NJ
the contractor would just laugh at you and drive away.
Finished a job in Dec. Neosho, MO for Walmart building a new lawn and
Had one there.
Had another one for Walmart doing the same thing in another MO town and
it had that sort of thing.
15 Pilot truck stops from one end of CA to the other last year and all
had that sort of contract.
And the Pilots truck stops in AR, MI, TN, WA, TX, MS, FL, IL, IN, KY,
LA, NV, WY, and a few others that I can't remember right off the top of
my head all had them.
And the Lowes jobs in CA, AR, OK, TX, SC had them.
I own land in Oklahoma, but as you can see, I do construction all over
the united states.
Oh, I forgot the Loves truck stops that all had one too.
And the Sonics.
I am not the contractor, but the subcontractor that actually goes out
and does the work, but I know what the contract was so that I could
fulfill its requirements in the allowed amount of time.
Call up a real construction company, one that has more them one crew,
and ask them if they ever have a time limit imposed on them and if they
get a penitently if they do not meet that time limit.
Nothing unusual about that at all.
Would you want to hire someone that could not give you any idea how
long a job would take and had no reason at all to take the rest of
there lives finishing it?
As I remember from a basic course in contracts taken many years ago, a legal
contract must comer five essential elements.
1. Legally competent parties.
2. Mutual agreement as to what is to be done..
3. Mutual consideration (both parties receive a benefit -- payment vs. work
4. In a form required by law.
5. PERFORMANCE IN AN AGREED PERIOD OF TIME.
If you don't have an agreed period of time, you don't have a contract.
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