Okay, I need a new roof (tear off and re-shingle) and am getting three
bids. Two contractors were recommended by a lumber yard (not a big box
store) and the third was mentioned but not recommended so I am down to
two no matter what the price. The one that was the most highly
recommended works by himself (he is a licensed contractor) and does a
lot of work for doctors, other professionals, companies, etc. When I
asked him about insurance he said that because he worked alone he does
not need to carry workman's comp.
My home is two story and the roof has pitches of 12:12 and 16:12 so
obviously it is high and steep. It would seem to me that he should have
some kind of insurance so my tush is covered if he falls. OTOH, he is
very professional and does a lot of work for the "big boys" so maybe not.
What are your opinions?
There's another bad idea. Someone who will consider an uninsured
contractor might be construed as a "risk taker".
Never call your insurer to see if you are covered for this or that
Insurers tend to assume the damage is done (and it was your fault).
Workman's Comp covers employees. If the guy works by himself and is
the owner of the company, he doesn't need WC. At least in NY, but I
think it's the same in most states. Here's the NY State WC Board web
site's info on the matter:
Right. And proof of that insurance should be supplied.
I have a sneaking suspicion you may have stumbled upon one of the rare
ones. If the guy is really one of the old school I_Do_It_All
perfectionist guys, maybe nobody can stand working with him for
Just ask the guy to sign a "hold harmless" release form in case of
as you do not want his "one man band" type operation to cause you and
your homeowner's insurance policy any grief... He would be performing
the work at his own risk, rather than you depending on his special
skills in magically preventing an on-the-job accident...
If he doesn't want to sign a liability release do not hire him unless
willing to produce a copy of an insurance certificate covering:
personal injury (worker's comp), general liability of at least $500k
job completion surety...
Having him sign a liability release won't do
anything to help you collect if drops a hammer
on some kid's head. Or if he lets a ladder fall onto
your neighbors property, taking out his house's
window or crushing his car. Nor will it stop the
neighbor from suing you for the injuries or
damages and leaving you to pay it.
Yeah... This is why states are starting to impose insurance
requirements on licensed trade professions...
No cert of insurance to the board of licensing, no license...
No license, no legal work...
A contractor with no insurance?
A man who claims he can remove and replace your roof working alone?
What does your contractor's board say when you call them and ask if what he
tells you is true?
My opinion is that you are wandering onto a busy freeway with impaired
senses. Chances are something bad will happen.
I agree that working alone would be quite a feat and I questions him
about it and I also questioned two REAL lumber yards about his work. His
answer to how he does it was "12 hrs per day...7 days a week". The REAL
lumber yards said that he has been doing it for years and his quality
could not be beat. I personally think that the odds of something bad
happening are VERY low. I will give State Farm (where my homeowners
policy is) a call and see what they say.
Interesting. No business around here will recommend a particular business
or person. It appears to be a liability issue along with getting a bad
rapport with other contractors, which were not recommended.
Let's say good Lord forbid something would happen to the contractor, who
would complete the job? There are only 2 types of people who would roof
alone, fools & idiots. No one plans an accident, that's why they're called
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...?
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.
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