Get It in Writing: What to Look For in a Roofing Contract

So you’ve found a great roofing company, selected your ideal roofing materials, and prepared your home for the work. Your role in the roofing project is finished, right? Not quite. You still need to review and sign the contract. This is your opportunity to make sure you get exactly what you pay for and that everything you’ve discussed with your roofing contractor is covered in your agreement. It prevents disappointments, misunderstandings, and omissions. Before signing your contract, here are the things you should look for.

Scope of Work

Start by reviewing the contract to ensure your home address is correct. The scope of work should also outline what tasks your roofers will perform. It should include things like removing the old roof, replacing the gutter system, and any other work you discussed with your contractor.

Some contractors include clean-up, while others leave much of that to the homeowner. Whatever you and your contractor agree upon regarding cleaning should be included in the contract.

Permit Information

Who is responsible for getting and paying for necessary permits? Rules vary by location, but roofing contractors in Utah likely need a permit to remove and replace your roof. Ensure your contractor supplies that information to you in writing.


Your contract should include specific details about the roofing products that your roofers will install. It should include brand and product types as well as color and finish names. Likely the quantity of the roofing materials will be listed as well.


Sometimes your roofing contractor will offer a window of time during which they will perform the work. Other times, you may require a specific start date or a date by which they must complete the job. Whatever you discuss with the roofer regarding the timeline should be included in the contract. Additionally, look for an estimate of how long the project will take to complete.

Payment Information

Your roofing contract should include the agreed-upon price for the job outlined in the scope of work. That price should cover the labor and material costs. You will also want to ensure that it lays out your specific payment schedule, including amounts due and the dates or milestones for each payment. Finally, if you and your roofer have discussed payment methods or any discounts for a preferred method, look for that information. You don’t want a nasty surprise if they add a surcharge for paying with credit or miss out on any discounts for preferred payment methods. Discuss these details and check to be sure the answers are included in your contract.

Insurance and Liability Information

Your roofing contract should include copies of the contractor’s liability and insurance information. These policies absolve you from responsibility if any workers are injured on your job. Reviewing these documents as part of your contract ensures they are up-to-date and verifies that your contractor has the appropriate policies.

Change Orders

Sometimes, no matter how thorough the contractor has been, changes will require alterations to the scope of work or the total cost. If removing the old shingles reveals damage to support structures, your contractor wouldn’t have known about these problems before. Thus, they would not be included in the original contract. That type of change can occur mid-project; if it does, you will need to amend your agreement with your roofing company.

The new plan should result in a change order, which is an amendment to the original contract. A change order will outline the additional work and should include many of the same details as the main contract, including cost, materials, timeline, and anything else you discuss.

Any Other Details Important to You

Your contract should also include any other specifics you’ve discussed. If you need the contractor to cover your prized hydrangeas before beginning work or if there is a specific area you need them to park, note those things in your contract. Perhaps you need them to start work after 10:00 am on a particular day, or the workers need to provide their names in advance to be admitted by a neighborhood gate guard. If the job requires an on-site dumpster, check the contract for placement and property damage liability details. Your contract should include specifics important to you.

Without having these details included, you have no recourse if your roofers don’t follow your instructions or don’t follow through with agreed-upon conditions. When in doubt, ask that something be included in the contract.

The written contract for your roofing job exists to protect you and ensure you are receiving everything you expect. Ironing out these details before the contract is signed provides clarity for both you and your roofing contractor so that there are no misunderstandings or omissions. Don’t feel uncomfortable asking for changes to the initial contract or requesting clarification on anything that seems unclear or unexpected. A good roofing contractor will be patient with you. They want to ensure you are a happy customer on the day the contract is signed, and the day the roofing crew finishes work. Having everything in writing helps guarantee that.

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