All companies pull the permits, but I separately pay for them.
Company C has this statement in their proposal: "Employees are insured
with Workers Comp and General Liability Insurance." I have to make sure
they send only employees and none of the abundant nearby Mexican day
Company C's proposal says: "A deposit is required, additional payment
due at start of job & remaining balance due day of completion." Amount
of deposit is not stated.
Company B says: "Cost of Materials to be paid upon delivery. The
difference to be deducted from the total price of job." No deposit is
required. It doesn't specifically say that balance is due upon completion.
The easiest way to verify insurance is to have whoever you pick have their
insurance carrier fax proof of insurance coverage directly to you.
Insurance companies do this all day long and all it takes is for the
contractor to call their insurance company and ask them to fax it to you.
The faxed information will say what type of insurance they have -- liability
and workers comp are the two that they need to have.
The statement that, "Employees are insured with Workers Comp and General
Liability Insurance." is just a little ambiguous in my opinion. The reason
that I mention this is that some roofing companies hire "crews" by the day
as subcontractors, and supposedly those subcontractors/"employees" are
supposed to have their own workers comp insurance coverage. I would want to
be sure that the company you hire to do the work has their own workers comp
insurance and is not relying on workers or subs who have their own workers
comp insurance. Workers comp insurance for roofing companies is VERY high
in New Jersey, so roofing companies often look for ways around having to pay
that themselves. However, it is true that in New Jersey any contractor with
a Home Improvement Contractor license and who ahs or hires employees is
required to have workers comp insurance coverage.
Personally, I would not worry too much about who they have doing their work
as long as they have liability insurance and workers comp insurance. It
wouldn't matter to me what their nationality is, with one exception. I
would want the roofing company to assure me that at least one crew chief or
person who is managing the job will be on site the whole time and is someone
who speaks fluent English. I have had 3 complete new roof jobs done over
the past few years. For various reasons, I ended up using a different
company for each one (due to the availability of the prior contractors
and/or price, and not any problem with the work that the prior contractors
did). The person who ended up doing the second roof made a point of telling
me that there would be an experienced English speaking crew chief on the job
site the whole time. I was a little surprised by that statement, but he did
do what he said. That made it very easy as the work was being done to
coordinate everything and go over any questions or concerns while the work
was being done.
On the third roof job, I didn't even think to ask about that, and I did
expect that the person I was talking to was going to be on site the whole
time during the roof job. As it turned out, he went off and was overseeing
another job and I was left with and entire crew that spoke only Spanish with
the exception of one person who spoke a little English. That was a mess.
There were things we needed to work out as the job was being done and the
communication was a nightmare. In the end, it all worked out okay and the
final job was done to my satisfaction, but it was definitely a problem along
the way. This last roof was a long and complicated story and I wouldn't do
that one again with the same company etc. The other two companies were
local and reliable and had an English experienced crew chief on the job, and
those jobs went very smoothly.
Personally, I wouldn't do a deposit -- period. And, I definitely wouldn't
do a deposit, and then an additional payment at the start of the job, on a
one or two day job like this.
In some case, particularly for a smaller company or person that is just
getting underway, I may consider paying for the materials upon delivery.
But, in those cases, I would usually work out with them that I would go with
them when they order the materials and we would order them in my name, with
delivery to me at my address, and I would pay for and then own the
But, again, for a one or two day job, I would try to avoid doing that.
Still, I can understand that some contractors do not want to have to front
the cost of materials themselves -- as long as all we are talking about is
the actual materials only, and when they are delivered I own them.
No deposit, no work for you. I'll be damned if I'm going to lay out
money for materials and bring my equipment and labor and show up to
find you've changed your mind. Easy to do since you have no financial
Yes, there are sleazy, dishonest contractors, but there are many
sleazy, dishonest buyers too.
I understand what you are saying. This conversation comes up often,
sometimes here, but more often in other forums that I participate in --
mostly real estate investor groups with people who hire contractors all the
Both sides have a point, and both sides have issues. In the past, I have
been the victim of contractors who were apparently better and more efficient
at taking deposits than in actually showing up and doing the work. In one
case, I was one of many people who ended up having to testify in a grand
jury investigation since the same contractor had done this to many people.
He was found guilty, but I never got my deposit back and he and his company
had no assets or income that I could collect on.
As a homeowner or property owner where the work is going to be done, I do
have a financial commitment in the fact that if I breach the contract and it
costs the contractor money, he/she can go after my fixed assets, attach my
income, etc. Of course, no contractor wants to be in the business of trying
to collect what is owed to them from a homeowner or property owner.
On the other hand, some (many) contractors operate as an entity which may or
may not have any assets and, in fact, may be insolvent or bankrupt. So, if
I give them a cash deposit up front, and they don't show up to do the work,
they may not have any assets or income for me to try to go after to get my
That's primarily, but not entirely, why I would not be willing to give a
cash deposit up front to a contractor.
However, I did say that I would consider (in some circumstances) paying for
the materials either directly to the supplier and having them delivered to
me in my name, or possibly to the contractor when they are delivered to me.
I am sure that you know that some contractors actually do a job and get paid
by the homeowner or property owner, but never paid their supplier for the
materials that they bought for the job using their trade credit. In those
case, the job could be done and over with and the contractor long gone, and
the supplier can sometimes go after the homeowner or property owner to try
to collect the cost of the materials.
Also, if a contractor buys say $3,000 of materials and shows up to do the
work, and the homeowner or property owner (who signed a contract) suddenly
"changes their mind" or says they don't have the money to pay for the
materials or the work, at least the contractor can return the materials.
And, yes, the contractor will have lined up a crew and brought equipment to
the job, and may have ordered and had a dumpster delivered to the site.
But, again, if those costs result in a loss to the contractor -- even though
no work was ever done on the job -- the contractor can take the homeowner or
property owner to small claims court, get a judgment, and put a lien on the
property and/or garnish the wages of the customer. And, while that is
certainly an undesirable outcome, at least the contractor has a means of
recovering his damages.
But, if I give a contractor a cash deposit up front with nothing securing
that money, I may have no way of ever getting my money back if the
contractor is a no-show.
I agree. When I was in the contracting business, some potential customers
wouldn't want to put money down. We were hooked up with a couple different
banks, and offered financing. If the potential customer would shy away
from financing, I'd bid them farewell, and to have a good day.
We had to only place a lien once, and that's when we decided to hook up
with financing options. In other words, we learned a lesson since a lien
means squat, except if someone wants to use it for collateral or it is to
If you sign a contract, really you don't have to pay anything in advance
as long as you pay the invoice within a month after job is done
properly. Contractors in good standing has one month revolving account
from supply house. Also no local roofer's association? Members usually
have good track record. BBB? they don't have any legal tooth so they are
pretty useless if something happens needing resolution. You can use lien
hold back holding part of payment from the total invoiced amount
for certain period if the job i quite big involving large sum of money.
When I had my roof redone with ceramic coated meal tiles made in
Germany, work crew was from Ukraine who was familiar with this
particular product. 2 guys took 2 weeks and they worked like ants. I
could't see when they are taking break or eating lumch, just looked like
non-stop working. They were practicing safety precautions as it should
on 2 story house. At the end I treated them to a nice dinner at
neighborhood restaurant to appreciate their work. Then I paid full
invoice amount in certified check(~25K). This roof will last much beyond
my life time I am sure value of house invcreased somewhat as a result.
Since I found out those two kids are nephews of contractor who were
brought in from his old country. He told me they are the best workers
he had. I was lucky to have them.
That depends entirely on the contract. Some contracts state clearly
balance to be pain immediately on successfull completion of the job.
Some contracts stipulate a "good will deposit" is required - and the
amount is stipulated - either dollar amount or percentage of contract.
On Sat, 21 Jul 2012 20:53:12 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Contractors want to telegraph the cost of their materials?
Cash flow problem? Aren't contractors on an invoice+30 sort of deal? I
suppose if they can't get that much credit, there really is a problem. If
that's the case, I don't think I want them working on my house.
OTOH, I don't think 15-25% is unreasonable either. If there is any thought
that the contractor will skip, perhaps a different choice of contractor is in
On Sat, 21 Jul 2012 21:05:33 -0400, " email@example.com"
It may or may not. Some suppliers offer discounts for up front
payment and that allows the contractor to bid lower than if he paid in
One roofer that has been in business since 1935 required 1/3 at
delivery of material. Of course, they do a lot of big jobs that are
far more than one day. They don't get stuck that way.
In my business, it is common to get 1/3 with order, 2/3 when tooling
is sampled. We start spending our money as soon as an order is
placed, so it is better to spend at least part of the customers
instead. As always, there are exceptions.
I did my roof myself with the help of my son and my girlfriend. Took two
days. Cost about $750 for materials. I am 63. I carried the material up
the ladder to the roof. Roofers like to take shortcuts. They only have to
stand behind their work for a year. I'll still own the home in 20 years.
The guarrantee on the roofing probably doesn't matter much. Installing it
correctly as per the manufacturers directions matters a lot. You are
talking to sales men. The people doing the work will only care about fast
not quality. A badly installed roof usually performs fine for a year or two
The project involves removal and disposal of two old layers. At age 74,
I'm not up to that, plus my back would protest at the weight of just a
single bundle of new shingles (73 pounds, and I need 102 bundles to
cover 3400 square feet). The salesman at Company C is also the owner of
the family business, located about four miles from my home.
Companies B and C are both BBB members. Companies A and C are right in
my hometown and have been around a long time. Company B is local; I
don't know how long they've been in business.
I stopped climbing on the roof when the pitch went over 8:12 (the one above me
is 15:12). ;-)
I don't like climbing on roofs either, though I did get on the back porch roof
to replace some soffit vents that popped out. The rest I was able to get to
with a ladder.
On Saturday, July 21, 2012 1:28:52 PM UTC-4, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I am 55 and dont enjoy climbing, worse i now have a bad knee from a fall on my
sidewalk, and its getting worse:(
Although I am sure its a mixed bag there MAY be advantages to contracting with
home depot or lowes for a roof. even if a problem shows up years later they will
still be around:)
although i have had some roof work done by a friend who is a roofing pro and a
nearby neighbor.. i trust him, and watched him add a 2nd story to his home. It
turned out great....
I'll be 60 in a couple of months. I have two bad knees and two worse
feet/ankles (mildish RA). I don't like climbing either but what ya' gonna do?
with home depot or lowes for a roof. even if a problem shows up years later
they will still be around:)
I'm certainly not going to do a roof again. They earn their money. I don't
think I'd go with Lowes or Home Depot, either. I see Sears does roofs. ;-)
nearby neighbor.. i trust him, and watched him add a 2nd story to his home. It
turned out great....
That seems to be the best option.
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