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Short Guide to Getting a New Roof for Your Home - Be Careful Hiring Roofing Contractors

Buying a new roof for your home is a daunting experience, even if you know a little about roofs. But if you're like me, and you know nothing and have never been through the process before, then you should read carefully the tips I gleaned along the way on my path to a new roof.

Here is a brief check list to make sure that you are covering your liability risk and ensuring yourself of the best possible experience.

Did your contractor tell you whether he or she carries Commercial General Liability Insurance? Home improvement contractors are required by law to tell you whether or not they carry Commercial General Liability Insurance. This written statement must accompany the bid, if there is one, and the contract.

What does this insurance cover? Commercial General Liability Insurance can protect against third-party bodily injury and accidental property damage. It is not intended to cover the work the contractor performs.

Is this insurance required? No. But the Contractors State License Board strongly recommends that all contractors carry it. The Board cautions you to evaluate the risk to your family and property when you hire a contractor who is not insured. Ask yourself, if something went wrong, would this contractor be able to cover losses ordinarily covered by insurance?

How can you make sure the contractor is insured? If he or she is insured, your contractor is required to provide you with the name and telephone number of the insurance company. Check with the insurance company to verify that the contractor's insurance coverage will cover your project.

What about a contractor who is self-insured? A self-insured contractor has made a business decision to be personally responsible for losses that would ordinarily be covered by insurance. Before contracting with a self-insured contractor, ask yourself, if something went wrong, would this contractor be able to cover losses ordinarily covered by insurance?

Check Our Your Contractor

  1. Did you contact the Contractor's State License Board (CSLB) to check the status of the contractor's license?
  2. Did you get at least 3 local references from the contractors you are considering?
  3. Did you get 3-5 quotes?
  4. Has the contractor agreed to get a building permit before the work begins?
Check Out the Contract
  1. Did you read and do you understand your contract?
  2. Does the 3-day right to cancel a contract apply to you? If you don't know, contact your CSLB.
  3. Does the contract include a detailed description of the work to be done, the material to be used, and equipment to be installed? This description should include brand names, model numbers, quantities and colors. Specific descriptions now will prevent disputes later.
  4. Are you required to pay a down payment? If you are, the down payment should never be more than the legal percentage allowed in your state. In California the maximum deposit is not to be more than 10% of the contract price or $1,000, whichever is less.
  5. Is there a schedule of payments? If there is a schedule of payments, you should pay only as work is completed and not before. There are some exceptions - contact the CSLB to find out what they are.
  6. Did your contractor give you a "Notice to Owner", a warning notice describing liens and ways to prevent them? Even if you pay your contractor, a lien can be placed on your home by unpaid laborers, subcontractors, or material suppliers. A lien can result in you paying twice or, in some cases, losing your home in a foreclosure. Check the "Notice to Owner" for ways to protect yourself.
  7. Did you know changes or additions to your contract must all be in writing? Putting changes in writing reduces the possibility of a later dispute.

Before You Hire a Contractor

Ways to Ensure You Pay a Fair Price

Some of Our Top Links
Earn Money Decorating
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The Art Consultant
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Tips on Getting a New Roof
How to Hire a Roofing Contractor
Paint: Selecting Yours
Tile: Selecting Yours
Carpeting: Selecting Yours
Floor Matting: Selecting Yours


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