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Understanding your Roofing Contract

Roofing is a process you may not be familiar with until it's time to have your own building’s roof replaced. Even then, there is a lot to learn about which products to use and what procedures best meet your individual roofing needs. Therefore, it is vital to understand the ins and outs of your roofing contract and the procedures that may be new to you.

We have outlined some important points to consider as you evaluate the terms of your proposed job contract.

Being confident you have selected the right roofing contractor will help assure that you have a quality roof overhead and that your finances have been wisely spent.

Product choices

During our visit to your commercial roof, we will introduce a variety of brands, styles and designs. A Roof Maintenance.ca sales person will assist you in understanding the difference in the aesthetics and value from one style to another. We will educate you on making your choice considering not only color but also texture, style and construction, enabling you to find the best product for your building and location.

Evaluating the Contract. Details, Details!

Regardless of if your roofing needs are simple and straightforward or difficult and complicated you should always read the all of the specific items in the contract carefully.

It is in your interest that items which are important to you be stated in writing in the contract.

Do not hesitate to question anything you do not understand. For assistance with this refer to our roofing terms glossary.


Start and stop dates are difficult to pin down due to the unpredictability of the weather. Repair or replacement of a roof is done outside. But, you can control exceptions. For instance, negotiate a “no-later-than” clause. Be reasonable, but do make it clear that these terms will be enforced if necessary.


This clause establishes a time period in which the property owner can cancel the contract without penalty. 48 hours is usually the time period given for a right-to-rescind without penalty. If the property owner cancels the job after the right-to-rescind period has elapsed, then the contractor may hold your deposit or request a certain dollar or percentage value of the contract in return.

Contractor’s workmanship and manufacturer’s warranty

The roofer will warrant his workmanship. The manufacturer, on the other hand, warranties the roofing material against defects in manufacturing. Thus, two warranties will cover the roofing system. Understand them both. When selecting materials for your roofing system, be sure to inquire about the manufacturer’s warranty.

Usually, problems of either workmanship or material show up very quickly. Therefore, the near-term warranty given by the contractor or manufacturer is more important than the warranty coverage during the later years of the warranty.

Even if problems of workmanship arise after the workmanship warranty has lapsed, a reliable contractor usually will want to stand behind his work.

Payment terms

Schedule terms, deposits and method of payment should be written out and fully understood.


In the Toronto area most roofing contractors will require an initial deposit at the time of contract signing. The amount of the deposits can vary anywhere from 10-25% of the total value of the contract.

Preliminary inspection of your property

Establish the condition of your roof before any work is done. Invest in an inspection before the job - this is a service Roof Maintenance.ca provides. Take special care to list the conditions of landscaping and equipment located on or near the building. Do not be unreasonable on your expectations. It is not possible to re-roof a commercial building without at least a little bit of debris landing on the surrounding area.


We call for a daily clean-up of your premises. This becomes very important if roof layer removal is necessary. We also take all the necessary steps to protect your property from any possible damage.

Understanding the Contractor

This information serves as a guide to shopping for a good contractor and negotiating a good contract. However, you should keep in mind that your contractor is also shopping. A contractor is shopping for good jobs that will make a fair profit and bring future referrals.

Many contractors have had experiences with unreasonable or dishonest clients therefore they look for warning signs of customer problems during the initial job interview.

Show the contractor that you are an informed consumer who has both yours and his best interests in mind.

Getting a Roofing Contractor to want your Job

Many property managers or building owners have been mystified by the seeming lack of interest and response from contractors when they receive a call for a job. Make them want it!

  • When you call a roofer, tell them you are shopping around, but are only interviewing three, not ten companies.
  • Call contractors in the general vicinity. Many roofers prefer to work closer to home, just like everyone else.
  • Tell the contractor you call that you are not looking for the lowest bid, but rather the best value.
  • Ask for a Good-Better-Best proposal. You will have options to match your future plans for the building and your finances.
  • If you have seen work by a contractor in your neighborhood and you liked it, or if someone referred a contractor to you, call them. And when you do call, mention how you received the contractor’s name.

By following these tips you can help a roofer to determine that you are a good prospect and worth their effort. We hope this article will help you in making the right choice.

For additional Information contact Roof Maintenance.ca staff at: 416-999-7663.

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