The failure to get a written roofing contract can lead to costly disputes and misunderstandings.

A roofing estimate is not a contract. It will state a price for the project but won’t state other details of the work to be performed or the materials to be used. As a result, your final roofing costs may end up being much higher.

Misunderstandings are more often the cause of contract disagreement rather than actual dishonesty or incompetence. It is in your best interest that items that are important to you are stated in writing. Without a written contract covering all of the requirements of the job, you have no recourse if there are any disagreements. Worse, it will be difficult to legally enforce your position.

Problems are often discovered only after your old roof has been torn off. Unless your contract discusses how potential problems will be dealt with, you are at the contractor’s mercy because you have no roof over your head and the new roofing has to be installed to prevent further problems. The roofing costs you had budgeted may increase substantially.

Get it in Writing

In order to protect yourself and make sure that you and your contractor are on the same page, you should insist on a written contract – not a roofing estimate – that includes the following:

  • Payment terms, clearly explained
  • The dates for starting and completing the work
  • Compliance with Alberta Building Code requirements
  • Compliance with manufacturer’s warranty and installation requirements
  • All material to be used, along with manufacturer’s name and brand name:
    • Shingles
    • Underlayment
    • Eave and leak protection
    • Flashing for drip edge, valleys, chimneys, wall, skylights
    • Vents
    • Details of manufacturer’s shingle warranty
    • Details of contractor’s workmanship warranty
  • Details of the exact work to be performed. Clear statement of whether the following are extras or included in the price:
    • Repair of roof deck
    • Installation of vents
    • Roof tear-off
    • Disposal of debris
    • Protection against liens placed on your property
    • A statement of your cancellation rights
  • A Reputable Contractor Won’t Mind Getting a written roofing contract covering all the above points is the easiest way to ensure you are dealing with a reputable, high-quality roofing contractor.
  • Professional contractors will be happy to answer all your questions and address your concerns.

If your contractor won’t provide the required information, you might question your choice.