Over our past few blog posts we at Professional Roofers believe we’ve talked you through 90% of what you need to know regarding hiring a quality roofer. By now, you should be able to pick out a true professional roofing company and create a solid contract that ensures you receive the services you pay for; however, there is one final detail that we want to discuss with you before we close this topic. In hiring a roofing contractor, as well as for any business dealing, you need to know your rights. In the event that something doesn’t quite go as planned, or you find out that you have chosen the wrong roofing company, you need to know what you can and cannot do – what the government protects you from, and what it does not.
First, and most importantly, we want to stress how important it is for you to read your roofing contract in its entirety and ensure you understand all the terms and conditions within it. If you would like, consider having your lawyer look over the agreement and details of the contract, including the fine print, with you. Ensure all the conditions are agreeable to you and fair.
It is illegal for a business to lie or misrepresent information to you, claiming you need repairs done that are unnecessary, or that they have licenses, warranties, or insurance when they do not. You can pull out of any contract with someone who has misrepresented themselves or their business within one year of contract date.
If the work on your roof costs more than $50 (which it more than likely will), then you are also covered under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) of Ontario. Under this act, if you signed a contract on-the-spot at home, then you are allowed a 10-calendar-day cooling off period. You might realize after a day or two have passed that you were a little impulsive in your agreement – or perhaps you finally got around to reading that fine print and realized that the terms were disagreeable for you. Whatever the reason, you can cancel the contract during this 10-day period easily by providing a written cancellation letter to the business; however, bear in mind that if work has already begun, you will still need to pay for any services or goods rendered. Any additional money or unused deposits should be returned to you within 15-business-days.
Additionally, under the CPA, as long as there is a written estimate included in your contact, there is a limit to your final bill total. While costs are variable and the unexpected event may crop up during building, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your final bill won’t be any larger than 10% more than your initial estimate – provided you have not agreed to any additional work or a new price. Legally, your contractor cannot bill you for any more than 10% above the initial written estimate. If new work crops up and is deemed necessary, then your contractor should discuss the issue with you and ask you to sign and approve changes to your contract, including the new estimate.
Once the work on your roof has been completed, you are still partially covered financially for up to 45 days after the work finishes. According to the Construction Lien Act, you are allowed to retain 10% of the contract price for 45 days, which protects you in the event that the repairs or new roofing construction fail soon after work is completed. Additionally, if your contractor fails to pay some of their subcontractors, this protects you from having to pay out twice.