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Question DetailsAsked on 5/29/2011

Should I pay roofing contractor up front?

ve come to an agreement with a contractor I found on the list to replace my roof. He has an A rating. He is asking for half of the agreed upon price up front. Is this an acceptable practice?

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24 Answers

Voted Best Answer
8
Votes

Any roofer worth using should be able to do the roof with NO MONEY DOWN.


The only scenario I would ask for a deposit is on a crazy odd ball shingle that had to be special ordered.

Answered 5 years ago by Onlythebestbuilder

5
Votes

I would be cautious on this. Are you purchasing materials yourself? If not, then if you pay the 1/2 down so he can purchase the materials. Instead, I'd offer to pay 1/2 the amount of the materials only as a deposit and have them dropped at your site with the other 1/2 material cost paid on delivery. Then another 1/2 of the labor when the job starts, and the final balance at completion/inspection. That would be my first offer. If the company needs the $$ for material purchase, offer to pay the supplier directly under your contract as the deposit.

This is the most conservative approach.

Answered 5 years ago by gadgetgirl

0
Votes

Hi spwalker75,


Paul from Angie's List here. Gadgetgirl makes some good suggestions. Typically, we recommend prepayment between 10-15 percent of the total value of the project, but it can vary. Whenever possible, avoid paying for a project with cash. If you can, use a credit card instead so you recourse in case something goes wrong. Before you sign off and make a final payment, check to be sure the work is complete and to your satisfaction.


Good luck with the project!


Answered 5 years ago by Paul from Angie's List

-3
Votes

Paul,

What is this 10-15% based of? Industry standard is, and has been for quite sometime, a downpayment be 1/3 to 1/2 of a project. I would say that this standard applies to about 90% of home improvement projects.

If you look at other industries, including "business to business," it is customary to require a 50% downpayment to retain someone's services. You would be hard pressed to outsource a computer programmer to work on your website with a retainer of 10%.

On average, 50% of a home improvement project is material costs. If a contractor is requiring only 33% upon deposit then they are taking financial responsibility for 22% of the material costs. Putting material costs aside, there is plenty of preparation going on prior to physical work at the client's home - designs, flow charts, the ordering and handling of materials, scheduling, etc. This is all done in "good faith." The client has faith that the contractor is going to abide by the contract and the contractor has faith that the client is going to abide by the contract as well.

If you don't have faith in your contractor, then don't do business with them. As a contractor, if someone comes to me with a 10-15% deposit that not only says to me that this person doen't feel comfortable doing business with me, but it also gives me the impression that I should not have faith in this person as a client.

If you are just a concerned person and has a hard time with trust then I recommend using your credit card for your purchases. And in all cases, do not pay for the complete project upfront, nor pay the final bill until all work has been completed.

Answered 5 years ago by Stephanie Bullwinkel CBD

1
Vote

If its for materials, then consider making a check payable jointly to the supplier AND the contractor

Answered 5 years ago by smketer

4
Votes

If you listen to a U Build it. When you hire a contractor their bid is based on 1/3 materials, 1/3 labor, and 1/3 the contractors profit. If that is so then I would offer to advance no more than 1/3rd until the materials are delivered with progress payments set out during the construction project with that last 25% at the end, once the job has it passed all city/county inspections, a occupancy permit is issued and all sub contractors have been comfirmed to have been paid, so you don't get an unexpected lien put on your property by an unpaid sub-contractor. Also protect yourself from worker compensation claims by ensuring that the contractor has sufficient insurance covering any workplace injury on your property.

Answered 5 years ago by Jay

1
Vote

Hi spwalker75

Paul from Angie's List here. Just wanted to chime in. GadgetGirl makes a good suggestion. Typically, we recommended pre-payment between 10 and 15 percent of the total value of the project, but it can vary. Whenever possible, avoid paying for a project with cash. If you can, use a credit card so you have recourse in case something goes wrong. Before you sign off and make the final payment, check that the work is complete and to your satisfaction.

Best of luck!

Answered 5 years ago by haley

-9
Votes

Just a note that was a very nice attempt but when putting in fugures and percentages that affect ones abilities to provide shelter and food for their kids pleas be more specific and detailed .Ive added a few comments to the responses please be a little more responsible with your writing and advice in the future.. Dont forget that Jesus was a carpenter

Answered 5 years ago by ahrextreme

-2
Votes

Industry standard is to provide enough deposit and subsequent payments for the contractor to pay for permits additional insurance equipment and labor till the next scheduled deposit too small a deposit is asking for just as much trouble as paying too much to someone you dont really trust your gut instinct is usually a good guide to follow if your gut isnt happy before you start you will never be happy . Get someone you trust but dont be afraid to shell out some money these workers sweat and bleed to improve your living space frequently for much less than they need to survive . Most are very honorable people working in the last of the honorable professions on earth so you have a nice safe warm dry home to raise feed and bath your children in . Treat them with respect and pay them accordingly or move into an empty refrigerator box.. Dont forget Jesus was a carpenter

Answered 5 years ago by ahrextreme

-1
Votes

thats just ridiculas a credit card can be processed by anyone regardless however most contractors today dont have the accounts or equipment everyone wants quality work for a low price and dont care who suffers to get it always save at least a portion of the bill untill satisfied but only the amount due or at least a reasonable percentage agreed on before started or you are in breach of contract and legally liable their are workers and suppliers who need that money to feed their kids a 10-15 percent deposit works for a two day labor only job this person is giving horrible advice

Answered 5 years ago by ahrextreme

-1
Votes

I've been a contractor doing new construction restorations and remodeling in the Philadelphia are for almost 20 years now.half of the agreed on price for a job as small as a roof isnt unheard of a rule of thumb is enough for material most contractors will want half up front for a job under 5000 dollars thirds up till 1000 then fifths to 20,0000 I actually provide the first day with a crew of up to five workers before first payment of course the nature of work and price of equiptment and material also specialized insurance certificates permits etc..can make that first payment seem a bit high if you dont trust your contractor dont hire them a so called "A" rating means absolutely nothing ask for their business license and Dunn and Bradstreet (wallstreet) account number being a BBB member means they paid for a membership and shows nothing about their reliability or competence. Unfortunately references arent very reliable everyone has friends and even the worst contractors have done one or two good jobs use your best gut instincts and always treat them with respect remember they sweat and bleed to provide you with warmth a leak free roof a kitchen to cook for your kids in a bathroom to wash them in before bed in the room built buy that same tradesman.You cant judge a book by its cover some of the dirtiest filthy long haired overweight tattoo covered workers are the finest people you will ever know many Military Veterans providing for you so they can provide for their families... Dont forget Jesus was a carpenter

Answered 5 years ago by ahrextreme

-1
Votes

There is absolutely not a reason why you should not consider giving a down payment to a contractor whom you have checked out and trust. Don't only checkj out angies list, but check other sources as well.


I require 33% on my typical residential job. It is not unusual for me to request 25% on commercial, and 25% at material delivery on commercial. In theory that's nearly the same thing as 50% down. Anything less than $1,000 or for past customers I usually require nothing down.



Your contractor is making a major investment in you. On a typical roof 50-60% of the cost is materials. Perhaps negotiate with the contractor to gfollow the 25%/25%/50% guideline I outlined above.

Source: http://reliableamerican.us/index.php

Answered 5 years ago by ReliableAmericanRoof

-1
Votes

In regards to credit card payments, keep in mind the contractor will be paying 3% to his bank, so you may be able to negotiate a slightly reduced contract valueation if paying by check. Yes you give up some power should things go sour, but if you don't trust your contractor he/she shouldn't be YOUR contractor in the first place. I find it's all about TRUST!

Source: http://reliableamerican.us/index.php

Answered 5 years ago by ReliableAmericanRoof

-2
Votes

Hello Iam a contractor, So here is the REAL dope on contracting. For what ever the the job (s ) consist of or for what ever the job is for . First off, Isuggest you use a contractor that has a proven track record , like checking others whom have used the contactors services , this is paramount . Educate yourself by doing some research into what the job takes to complete say using some search engine off the internet, or for example talking to other contractors , or observing "this old house " . you know educate yourself ., so you have some insight to whats happening . being informed to what the job takes to complete . Yoy get the picture ...right !?. ...So with that said , in my own defence and all other stand up ...contractors , beware of web sights whom claim to have the answers in areas they judge but don't really "do it " for a living . They sound good but have no REAL experience in the day to day ,month to month , year to year .of what it takes to run a successful contracting business in any of the trades > So in fact it gets down to you and your contractor thats it ! Me , Iwould'nt take a job for less than 50 % down and maybe more . In contracting for work theres plenty of risk and responsibility on both sides of the equation . Think about it !

Source: 

Answered 4 years ago by nbentemp

4
Votes

No. Emphatically no. You should pay for materials yourself or at time of delivery. Then installments during the job, holding back at least 15% at the end, until the work passes inspection. The last thing you need is some contractor running off with your money and the incredible hassle of trying to chase him down. Most (not all) roofing guys are the low-end of the contractor's world. Make sure that you have an iron-clad contract that YOU write-up. A good contractor won't care - since he knows that his work is solid. A bad contractor who balks at the T's and C's - He is doing that for a reason!


Also make DARN SURE that you have PROOF that they are insured. Otherwise, if someone gets hurt, your life can be turned upside-down by lawyers.


I have a metal roof and hired a guy a few years ago to prep the surface (power wash, scrape, etc), prime and then paint. After starting strong for 1 day, he became very unreliable. So I fired him. And he was like "I have a contract" - and I was able to say "oh yeah - and I'm the one who WROTE it, along with each phase and that the work needs to be done to my personal satisfaction. Good luck with that". I then hired a few other guys who busted their butts to get the job done and were more than pleased to have the work.


Unfortunately, MANY contractors are just that - they are "contractors" - not PROFESSIONALS.

Answered 3 years ago by Jefferson

0
Votes

A deposit is required in most instance when contracting a large project weather it's a roof, siding, addition, windows. I can say is payment terms, if your not comfortable giving a 50% deposit upfront then counter offer the deposit. In the state of Illinois no inhome contract is vaild with out two things 1. an exchange of value meaning money and 2. is a consumers rights form. I can say I have done several jobs without a deposit or even a post dated check, because I wanted the consumer to feel comfortable with my company. Do I do it all the time no, if it's a cash project not insurance work or financing then I would usally ask for what ever makes you comfortable if it's $100 ok. My reason for that is I am so positive that you will be happy with the work that you will be chasing me to pay me. Good Luck with your project - Richard Jeziorski - www.LIBERTYROOFING.info

Answered 3 years ago by LibertyRoofing

1
Vote

With 40 years of experience as a general contractor in California, I can say to all contractors from other states that here we are not allowed to accept more than 10% up to $1,000 prior to physical start of work. Unfortunately, after that, payment scheduled is between the contractor and owner. I believe an owner should be holding no less than 5% of a very large contract, and up to 20% on smaller construction tasks

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9406809

2
Votes

My answer to this is NO money down. My husband was a roofing/siding contractor and not once did he ever ask for money upfront. Most respectable contractors have accounts at building material companies so they can charge the material amount then pay for it after job is done. There were some people that insisted he be paid in advance but I still don't recommend that. The one time I paid a "so-called" contractor payment before a cement job was finished was the last time I saw him......he never came back to finish what he started so I was really in a bind. Don't learn your lesson the hard way like I did. The contractor may seem like the nicest, sweetest, most trustworthy person on earth AND maybe he is BUT maybe he's not. THINK before making your decision.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9278407

-1
Votes

You guys may be "stereo typing", so it seems. I've been in he roofing business for 15 years, in manufacfuring, distribution and now contracting. The cost to pull a local building permit, The cost of gas to measure the roof, the time in Los Angeles, traffic, tear off if necessary, clean up nails, fascia, disposal of roofing debris, man power to tear off, unforeseen dry rot (wood) repair seems to be a norm along the coast line of California and then rooft top loading 80-90 lb shingle bundles, is the majority of the entire project. Typcially after that, the sheathing goes down (50-100 sheets per a e home), your base flashings, and then the shingles. im sorry but I totally disagree with the prior answers. Roofing Contrsctors are a specialty C39 license in the state of CA. You must carry a license, insurance and workmans comp. if you believe roofing contractors are a bank and bunch of scammers, your incorrect. Why should roofers carry owners, leaving them dependant upon paying for all I listed above, your insane. Persoanlly, my experience stems in the business secfor of the industry, first, and then contracting. If we (contractors) were in busienss to work with zero down, no operating costs, etc, no project would be complete in a timely manner and no roofer would be profitable.


it takes my crews 2-3 days per roof complete efficiently and we are more competitive than anyone licensed in Orange County, across the board. Once the shingles or materials land, your already 75% done with the complete project. Has anyone ever run a profitable busienss? Ever heard if the term operating costs? Cash flow? The owner is going to pay for the roof anyways of they'll end up with a "Mechancis lien" on their property and be without a house faster than they can sneeze. My point is this. You hire someone to do something, you know nothing about and want to hang em out until the end, which makes zero sense. I suggest you hire someone you can trust, someone that's been in the busienss and knows the proper ways to protect your home, your shelter, maybe even your income investment. I'd pay them 4 times or 50% up front 25% more upon delivery of shingles ane two daye later later the final quarter. If everything goes on schedule without one day past schedule, we are lucky to make 500-800 dollars profit. all it takes is an owner that's extremely picky who doesnt know hinge anything about rodong, the process, or costs of labor and Materials, think again. I take one job, a small budget and work with owners that pay. You'd be amazed how many times we come across owners that simply don't want to pay. You hired us, now please honor your commitment and allow us to compete your project effectively and efficiestly. Thanks😃

Source: Just a man trying to earn a living.

Answered 2 years ago by RelaxItsJustRoofing

1
Vote

No!! Absolutly not!! You can give him half but only after the material is deliverd. If he dosen't have the credit or capital to put the material on the job he needs to be working for a company who does instead of trying to run one.

Answered 2 years ago by climateright14

1
Vote

Been in Roofing business 45 years 1/2 up front is standard. Anyone who says no never has or never will own or run a successful Roofing Company!

Answered 2 years ago by RRS

1
Vote

I'm a GAF Master Elite contractor in Charlotte and have spent the last 13 years doing residential re-roofs. My reputation for being knowledgable and doing high quality work is second to none. I do not take deposits...I collect payment the day that I complete the work. IF A ROOFING CONTRACTOR CAN'T DO THE JOB WITHOUT A DEPOSIT...THEN THERE SHOULD BE MAJOR RED FLAGS. If the company is reputable and financial secure, they won't need cash up front. Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies that are in financial troubles that need your deposit to buy materials for another job that isn't yours. I've met the people too many times that were at the end of this Ponzi scheme and were left without a deposit or a roof.


Even if their online presence seems reputable, I still advise against a deposit. There are several "reputable" companies in my area that take deposits and are in extreme financial problems. One of these companies has been cut off at all but one supply house for non-payment and is only surviing by collecting deposits on jobs that are 10+ installations out.


If you do have some expensive components that your contractor can not return after delivery, then I can understand why they would want a deposit for those items...I would not personally ask for the deposit but it is completely understandable why others would.


I hope this information helps you out.

Answered 2 years ago by OldeSouthRoofandHome

0
Votes

Yes, most people do paid, however call for references. Also give the money on a gift card or paid on your credit card from a National Bank. It's easy to have a bank assistance in case problems occurs.

Answered 2 years ago by Chaellis2

0
Votes

It's always 50% when the material is dropped at the home and the rest when complete. ... there are plenty of homeowners who decide to keep the insurance money after the work has been done. How do roofers protect themselves and the hard work they perform? Homeowners get a check from the insurance companies, anything over $9500 has to be signed by mortgage company to keep home owners in check, making sure the work gets done. A lot of homeowners decide to keep the money which is insurance fraud. You can not profit from a insurance claim home owners! What ever money is left over should go back to insurance company. Homeowners giving roofers a bad name when really they are committing more fraud. As far as cash bids for roofs.. it's the same thing 50% once material is at the home and the rest when complete.

Answered 9 months ago by Gerry

0
Votes

I have a contractor that is suing me because I didn't give him my insurance ck up front for do my roof. I ask him for a estimate and all he'll broke lose . What should I do

Answered 6 months ago by Candace8




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