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Question DetailsAsked on 2/7/2015

Roof replaced - Should I make final payment to a roofer who refuses to give me any warranties until final payment?

We paid half upfront for roof replacement and interior damage, plus additional monies. However, the roofer refuses to give us our warranties unless we make final payment first. The roofing company subcontracted the interior work to a person who's finished work we find questionable to say the least. Since, we may have issues with either the roof and/or done interior work in the future, we want the warranties before a final payment is made. Without our warranties we have no real recourse if problems occur now or later. Is this customary not to receive any warranties for roof replacement and/or interior work before a final payment is made?

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2 Answers

Voted Best Answer

Separate the issue and I think it is pretty simple - if there is a problem before the work is done, you simply put that item on the punchlist of items needing correction before the job is considered complete - and he is not paid final payment(s) till the punchlist is complete.

Warranties (other than appliance and manufacturer warranties that come with the materials/product at the time they are bought) are not in effect till the work is done anyway. Granted, if the job involved many components and say the appliances or an HVAC system were in and working AND you considered them accepted, then if that phase was paid for then you should sign an acceptance/completion document for them and receive their warranties at that time.

But for contractor warranties, very simple - he prepares a Paid In Full final invoice with the contract/job name/number on it showing the total amount due/paid, ready for you and him to sign (and each keeps a signed original) and collects up the signed lien releases and filled-in warrnaty documents and any required proofs of payment from suppliers and subcontractors and such, and you both sign the paid in full invoice and you receive the signed lien releases and warranty documents as you hand over the final payment - a simple simultaneous excchange of documents, same as if you were buying a house.

Granted, if he does not have the money to pay the subs and such until he receives your final payment, gets a bit more complicated - though I have seen several cases where the subs and GC and owner all get together at the job site or a coffee shop early in the morning before everyone goes off to their current jobs and owner provides certified checks, all made out to the GC but in amounts equal to what he owes each sub (plus one for him), and everyone exchanges the paperwork as he endorses over the individual checks to the subs.

Granted, does not work so well these days with banks not liking secondary endorsements on checks - which is why more and more significant jobs like this are going through escrow companies who receive all the payment and paperwork from all parties, signed and ready to go, but do not disburse them until all the paperwork and payments and such are in hand and correct. That is becoming common practice when you have a construction loan, where the bank escrow department holds the funds till the paperwork is all in order and everyone agrees the job is done. Of course, you pay for that service.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


Sounds like either you do not trust the roofer, or the roofer does not trust you.

Having several rental properties, I do business with reputable companies and fully expect them to complete their jobs as promised and provide warranty information if promised.

I do not "withhold payment" if the job is complete. I uphold my commitment.

IF the roofer at that point does not provide paperwork or documentation for a promised warranty, I would post this to Angie's list, BBB, Yelp, Google reviews, Facebook, etc.

If the roofer is not trustworthy, you shoud not have hired him.

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_9121352


Guest 9121352 reiterated a great point that has been posted on this site a number of times before - the contractor/vendor experience, integrity, and professionalism is a far more important factor in achieving the desired result than the products selected (as long they are acceptable quality) or the bottom-line price being cheapest.

Unfortunately, while we in the building trades or property management businesses pretty quickly develop (sometimes after a few false starts, but usually not badly so due to using word-of-mouth recommendations in the trade) a list of go-to contractors and vendors - commonly being on a first-name basis and direct-to-technician or direct-to-salesrep call basisto one's favorite individual for service.

Unfortunately, most of the AL users are just Joe (or Jane) Q Public, have little or no experience in dealing with the trades or with building science, and unless they have resided in the same area for a long time have not developed these relationships - so all they can do is use sites like AL to check reviews, get word of mouth recommendations from coworkers or neighbors, and hope for the best - learning about dealing with vendors and how to avoid problems as they go.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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