Door knockers are mostly bad news
BEWARE of roofers who come knocking at your door! Most of them try to trick you into signing a blank contract – which is against state law.
As spring approaches there will no doubt be wind and hail storms and a lot of roof damage. Door-knockers often imply they are with your insurance company and need to inspect your roof. Or sometimes they simply offer a “courtesy inspection”. In either case, they will try to get get you to sign a so-called “authorization” for the inspection. Watch out! This is where they “get you” because that “authorization” is probably a blank contract stating you have to use that roofer and if you don’t they will hit you with big penalties!
Many roofers justify blank contracts by saying homeowners have nothing to lose. They say you don’t need a detailed contract because they will do “whatever the insurance company authorizes”. But that can be a bad deal for consumers.
You see, insurance companies often don’t authorize everything needed to completely repair your roof. So when roofers make a deal to do whatever your insurance company wants, that’s not always a complete job.
Colorado State Law requires full written detailed contracts to protect you. When roofers are forced to put everything you need in writing, it gives you ammunition if your insurance company decides to cut you short.
Here are specific items that must be in the roofing contract (if the job totals more than $1,000):
- Scope of work & materials to be provided
- Cost for same based on damages known at the time the contract is entered into
- Approximate dates of service
- Roofing contractor’s contact information
- Proof of liability insurance coverage along with contact information for their insurance company.
- Contractor’s policy regarding cancellation of contract & refund of any deposit.
- There must be a rescission clause allowing the property owner to cancel the contract and obtain a full refund of any deposit within 72 hours after entering the contract.
- A statement that if the property owner plans to pay for the roofing services through an insurance claim, the contractor cannot pay, waive or rebate the homeowner’s insurance deductible in part or in whole.
- A statement that the contractor shall hold in trust any payment from the property owner until the contractor has delivered roofing materials to the job site or has performed a majority of the roofing work on the property.
- A statement that the property owner may rescind a contract for services, the payment for which will be made from the proceeds of a property insurance claim, within 72 hours after receiving notice from their insurer that the claim is denied in whole or in part.
Here are some other roofing regulations covered by Colorado State Law:
• Prohibits a roofing contractor from paying, waiving or rebating an insurance deductible for a property owner. (Nor may a contractor advertise or promise to waive, pay or rebate same.)
• Requires a contractor to return any payment or deposit made by the property owner in conjunction with the contract for roofing work within 10 days after rescission of a contract.
• A contractor may retain an amount of any payment made by the property owner to compensate for actual work performed however, as long as the work is completed in a workmanlike manner consistent with standard roofing practices.
• If a roofing contractor promises to pay, waive or rebate a homeowner’s deductible, the insurance carrier for the property owner is not obligated to consider the estimate of costs for the roofing work prepared by that contractor.
• Prohibits a roofing contractor from acting as or claiming to be a public adjuster, adjusting claims for losses or damages unless legally licensed to do so.
- Never sign anything at the door until you have been presented with a full detailed contract (as specified above).
- Don’t pay money up front. It is best to pay upon completion of the job. However, some roofers want to be paid in stages.
- If paying in stages, I suggest you make your first payment only after materials are delivered. Then pay for work as it progresses. Never pay for any work ahead of time!
- Withhold at least 15% of the total until a final roofing inspection (by your city or county) has been passed.
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