So you are thinking about getting a new roof, or perhaps siding or gutters, and you call a number from a yard sign you saw. The contractor comes out to the house while you are at work, walks around, climbs up on your roof, and leaves the bid inside the mailbox. You get a few other bids as well, all done the same way. You never actually talk to anyone face to face, and very few questions are asked. You hire one of the contractors to come and do the roof and the contractor shows up to get started. It is a Saturday, so you and the family head out on the town.
STOP!!!! Does this sound familiar? It happens every day, and every day we as home owners fail to do the due diligence on the contractors we hire. Other people use them, they seem nice, all good, but you need to make sure that . . .
The contractor is licensed to do the work--and you should ask for documentation.
The contractor and anyone else working on the job are properly insured--and again, you should ask for documentation.
The contractor has the names of referrals for you to talk to.
Understand that if contractors come to your home to do work for which you hired them, then you are responsible. Don’t think for one minute that a contractor who is uninsured won’t sue you if he/she falls off the roof or the ladder. Someone has to pay. Even a contractor who is
a sole individual with no employees or helpers should have insurance--disability insurance, liability insurance, and an If-Any workers compensation insurance policy. The If-Any policy is important in case the contractor says, “No, I don’t have any employees, and everyone I use is an independent as well.” The work may require the help of another person, maybe a friend of the contractor, and if the helper falls off the roof and doesn’t have insurance, can you guess who pays for that. Yes, it’s you, the person who contracted for the work to be done. But if the contractor has an If-Any work comp policy, the contractor is liable. The If-Any policy states that if the contractor hires any employees, then he/she has workers compensation coverage for that employee.
Do your homework and use a contractor who has all the proper insurance and licensing.
Please feel free to respond with questions and or comments.