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Question DetailsAsked on 11/10/2017

what documents do i need from the roofer

does the roofer have to give me a materials list with cost, a warrenty, a lien waiver, the actual work order? I can't get anything from him and he pulled off the job because i told him he couldn't get back up there until i got what i needed for the corporation. what do i do? helllllllp!

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5 Answers


Depends partly on what you specified in the contract, and whether the contract is cost-plus (in which case he needs to submit a materials estimate list and backup invoices when billing you).

You also don't say if you are in bidding or construction or final payment phase.

In bidding phase you need a well-defined scope of work plus listing of specific materials selected by brand/model/color/etc, and of course a specific bid amount if a fixed-price contract (much to be preferred to a cost-plus contract whenever the scope of work is well-defineable).

Before (some do this at bidding phase but contractors prefer to only have to do it once they know they are the successful bidder) or at signing of the contract at latest you should also get from him copies of his license if doing work requiring a contractor's license (roofing is in most states), a copy of his business license, copy of bond certificate, and copy of certificate of insurance for general business and liability insurance and (unless a one-man outfit) worker's compensation insurance as well. And check state website that license is current, and contact insurance and bonding companies to be sure still in effect (unless he gave you a current-dated certificate) and what the unencumbered by claims amount is on the bond because he can be bonded but have the full face amount tied up in potential claims so that would leave no coverage for your job. More on licensing, insurance and bonding here -

If any changes in scope are proposed, and approved by each party during the course of the contract, a Change Order (or for contract as opposed to materials or scope changes a Contract Amendment) should be dated and signed and received by each party BEFORE the proposed changes / work are started.

When work is done (including any final punchlist of deficiencies or omissions to be corrected for true completion) you should receive a final invoice or statement, showing the total contract amount and payments to date (including final payment), with him signing and dating and marking PAID IN FULL when you give him the final payment. At that time, before final payment (usually exchanged at final payment) you should be getting signed and dated lien waivers / lien releases (terminology varies by state) from him, from any significant subcontractors (not usual on a reroof job), and from his primary materials suppliers - showing they have been paid.

Plus of course you should receive contractor warranty, manufacturer warranties on the materials (inclluding any required contractor certifications or signatures needed to validate the warranties), and copies of any invoices for the materials needed to prove the installation date.

If you read through some of the prior questions with answers in the Home > Roofing link, under Browse Projects, at lower left, you can see common issues with roofing jobs, potential contracting pitfalls (especially when dealing with insurance claims or storm-caused damages where there are storm-chaser contractors going around, typical costs, some specific roofing brand recommendations (or disrecommendations - and yes Virginia, that is a real word) by contributors to this site, etc.

Talking with neighbors or relatives or coworkers who have had prior dealings with a contractor doing significant work about their experience, pitfalls they ran into, what your scope of work needs to look like, etc might be of great help too.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


Dear LCD, The roofing crew is now gone. The boss called them home. Here are some of the details:

1). Beginning in early September. My husband called around to find a roofer to put a steel roof on a house belonging to the farm. We live 15 miles out of the only town and 1/2 in a county of 1500 people.

2). Called roofer 9-25-17. They said be out the next day.

3). 9-26-17 Salesman showed up. Took measurements. Looked around. Did his thing.

Roofer went over an estimate with my husband. The estimate had the word Estimate printed in big, bold letters in the top right hand corner. Under description was a very generic list of things that this LLc. would install. There were no measurements or quantities on any line. The last line written is "Estimate includes all material, labor and equipment for the above scope of work."

Signed and dated the estimate 9-26-17. The salesman did not sign the estimate. Above my husband's signature in big red letters it is written "A 50% deposit is required before starting the job. Final payment is due upon job completion." AFTER my husband signed, the salesman wrote in pen, "Billed ________ for Total.

My husband then electronically signed to open a ________ Program Loan Account to be used IF we used his bosse's services and refused to pay the remainder of the bill. My husband stated three times we did not need the account and would be paying with a check before the work would start.

A start date was not entered anywhere on the estimate (another reason I eventually decided this was NOT a contract). The salesman however, did say he would be back on the following Monday (10-01-17) and bring the crew. The salesman then left.

My husband and I discussed all of this. We discussed the use of eave trim and drip trim and what these were, why do I want that on my house, is it a good thing, what is a ridge cap and so forth. We also discussed the cost, which I thought was too much but, the roof needed done and we are far out in the boonies.

We eventually had it all talked out and I agreed with my husband that we should use this roofer and we would finalize everything on 10-01-17. This included correcting the name on the actual contract, the house belongs to the corporation, the EIN number since it had been entered as my husband's SS number, I am assuming to check his credit and the phone number. At that time I would ask for the materials list, the warrenties, the guarantee, a complete spelling out of the work that was to be done and the number of sheets of metal, also the type, etc. and get an estimated end date. My husband would also sign in his capcity as President of the corporation.

3). 10-01-17 came and went. Nothing happened. No call, no anything. At the time my husband was in the field working against a crop insuarance deadline. He worked from before sunup to way past sundown. When I asked about the roofer, he said well maybe he decided not to pursue the job and he would take care of it as soon as he could.

4). 10-20-17 My husband finally came out of the field. We discussed the problem with the roof. Came to the conclusion that we would have to take care of it somehow ourselves- cousins who are construction workers, friends and employees who had helped put on the previous roofs. My husband began bidding on steel roofing on Purple Wave. Won two auctions. Sixty sheets of 29 gage roofing steel. Paid out close to $1800.00. Went looking for the rest we would need. Spoke about asking a cousin for a list of things we would need.

5). 10-31-17 Roofing crew showed up. No salesman. My husband said we have already begun making other arrangements. The crew boss got on his phone told the boss what was going on. He put my husband on the phone. My husband asked where were you? You were supposed to be here almost 5 weeks ago. His response was he was behind and the weather had hung him up, besides, he said I called and left a message on your answering machine. Long story short the contractor told my husband that he had a signed contract and we HAD to let him on the roof. My husband backed down. I immediately went to my cell phone provider and checked every call between 10-01-17 and 11-01-17. I checked every call and text. No calls from his number except the one on 10-25-17. On top of that he couldn't leave a message, the voicemail was full. I then told my husband we needed all the afore mentioned documents for the accountant and the insurance and that I would catch the crew at the end of the day to remind their boss of what I needed. Crew left early, I missed them.

6). 11-01-17 Bad weather no one came out.

7). 11-02-17 Roofing crew came back out. My husband went out to talk to the crew and keep an eye on things. Talked to the crew boss about documents, he said he knew nothing. I tried to call the roofing company. I got an answering machine, twice. Missed him. (we are on Mountain time, they are on Central).

8). 11-03-17 The roofing crew came out. I called my insurance to ask what they would need from the roofer to cover my roof on the farm insurance. Went out to get the mail and recieved a bill from ________ Program Loan Account with a balance of $24,192.30. This balance includes an interest charge of $474.17. The account was opened and charged on 9-28-17. That was all I had. A bill for $2,842.30 more than the estimate. I am ashamed to say I blew up! My husband immediately called the roofer. The roofer said "That is not a bill." Long discussion ensued (again I am ashamed to say I had a lot to say in the background) ending in an agreement for the boss himself to come out on Monday 11-06-17 and bring everthing that was signed plus all the other docements mentioned before and we would straighten everything out. After my husbands call, my insurance agent called and talked to the salesman and told him what she needed. He said he would fax the information to her.

9). 11-04-17 The crew came out and worked on the roof, late.

10). 11-05-17 Sunday- no one came out.

11). 11-06-17 Roofing crew shows up but no boss. My husband calls the roofer and asked what happened. The roofer says, "You made me mad and I didn't want to come out because you don't want to see me mad!" I took the phone from my husband and introduced myself as representing the corporation. "You're the one that was yelling in the background. Well I hope your husband won't be yelling". I apologized for my anger. I proceeded to try to explain why I needed the documents I had asked for and he proceeded to be not so much a gentleman. Speaking to me as if I had no right to ask. Further in the conversation I was asked, "Are you going to cry now?" This then degenerated into an argument. He told me I had to let the crew on my roof and I said not until I get the documents I had asked for and we get the contract corrected and signed. He ended up threatening me with lawyers if I didn't pay ________ Program Loan Account. I told him I had an "Estimate/Contract" with him and not ________ Loan Program account (I still didn't conceede that there was a contract, only an estimate but that we would honor it and pay him $21,350.00 IF he would honor the contract and put everything up, pay off ________ Loan Program account himself. He proceeded to tell me to give a check to the crew boss and I said NO. I was then hung up on. I spent the rest of the day online.

I waited to the end of the day and made sure to get outside after the crew had finished for the day and was getting ready to leave. The weather the next day was to be very cold and a chance of snow. I politely spoke to the crew and told them I had nothing against them. I had an issue with their boss and since the next day was to be bad I told them to please not show up on 11-04-17 on my property. That we would all get this all straitened out and they would be back to work.

I wasn't in the house two minutes (seriously) befor the boss called raging that we didn't have the right to tell his crew anything. He also accused me of stopping work, telling the crew to get off my property and not come back, and that I was holding his equipment illegally and he was calling the sheriff, I told him go ahead. He threatened me again with "World War Three". The boss told me to get a lawyer. I was hung up on again.

12). 11-07-17 No one showed up. No one called. I started calling lawyers and looking up everything I could online. I now know more about estimates, contracts and shady roofers than I ever cared to.

13) 11-08-17 The roofing crew showed up and handed my husband a sheet that was exactly the same as the "estimate/contract" with a zero balance due and Workorder in the upper right hand corner where before it was written "estimate", the second page were directions to my house. I told the crew hold on ten minutes while I talk to your boss. I first called my insurance to see if he had faxed her the papers she needed. The answer was no. This was after 2 requests.

I called the roofer and asked why my insurance had nothing, while i was on the phone I heard him tell someone to get the fax done. I said I would call back as soon as I talked to the insurance again. The insurance agent got the fax and told me the only thing on it was 26 gage steel on the roof. Nothing else. (The roofing crew had already told us more than once that the steel was actually 29 gage). I called back and told him what the insurance had and that I still needed all the other documents. The boss told me I had everything. I said no I didn't. He then said I had to let the crew finish and I told him as soon as we get things straight. He hung up and called the crew boss and told him to get their "as..." up there on that roof or else. This is what one of the crew told me. The crew came in and had coffee while my husband went to town to get someone to tell me what gage the sheet metal was. The crew and I talked until right before my husband got home. I went to the door to see what was going on. The crew was packing everything up and leaving. As soon as they got down the mile road we got a call. The boss told my husband he was calling the cops because my husband pulled a shotgun on them and told them to get off the property. Which he did not do. I was right there.

And so... Here we are. I am calling lawyers and researching everything I can about contracts, estimates, roofers and everything in between and around the bend.

Now you know most everything. What you got? Thanks so much for your time and patience to get through this. Terryw

Answered 3 years ago by terryw


You certainly provided a detailed timeline, which should help you if this goes to legal. You are in a mess to put it simply, but you already knew that about the time the shouting started, and nothing I can say here will "solve" it. I will throw out some thoughts, but I would be on a phone to an attorney Monday. And if the roof sheathing/planking is partly exposed I guess you will have to either get the husband or the contractor to temporarily cover it till this is solved, or get another contractor up there to put temporary cover on it, which is a lot more difficult with metal roofs than with shingle roofs because of the inability to nail into them and the fact they tear tarps so easily, plus dangerous to walk on. You did not say if the roofing is going over existing roofing (which might provide needed protection till the new roof is finished) - and many underlayments (especially full-sheet uninterrupted synthetics a lot more than tarpaper can act as normal rain/snow protection for a couple or weeks to as much as a month or so- though may need to be tacked down with firring strips to prevent flapping and tearing in the wind.
My take-away on this, other than the documents-needed summary I gave before, is unless you can resolve this with the vendor pretty quick you are headed to legal trouble for certain and I would say you do not have terrific odds on winning, and given the personality conflict in process now sure looks like that may be the end result - at least as things are going. Lack of a detailed scope of work, firm contract price, and contractual requirements on providing proof of insurance, bonding, licensing, etc BEFORE signing the contract, or at least before starting work, put you in a bind. But I understand - homeowners or farmers/ranchers like you are not expected to be contract experts, so the school of hard knocks is how they ordinarily learn. You let him start work without the documents - that was your second mistake - the insurance probably being the one your insurance company is most concerned about, though unless there is an accident on the job the Bonding might turn out the most important to you. Letting him continue without them would get the job done, but at more risk to you and your insurer if something happens - and unfortunately knowlingly letting him continue after this time without at least the insurance proof could result in YOUR carrier denying any coverage for you if something happens while the contractor has not provided the coverage proof. You did not say if this is being done under insurance coverage or just a normal reroof - that could make a difference somewhat too, especially if the contractor was a storm-chaser who came to you about the job, rather than vice-versa. LOTS of previous questions with answers about that in the Home > Roofing link, under Browse Projects, at lower left. You did not bark when he did not start work ASAP as promised and let it drag on - what - a month or two - the contract should have had a start-by and latest acceptable completion date on it to help make it enforceable. But you let him delay and start work, which uyou see now was a mistake, so that is implied acceptance of that condition - probably no recourse or recovery by you for that unless you can prove the start-work date he promised AND damage to the property occurred because of the late start (like your roof was being redone because of damage). Legal issues of note will include whether it was an estimate or firm bid, whether it is actually a legitimate contract (though since you let him start work there is at least an implied contract with some uncertain terms), whether you actually thought it was a contract or expected formal contract documetns to come through to be sighed (with attached documentation you have been discussing),, whether the contractor is operating legally (licensed, insured, bonded as required by law in your state - which affects legality and enforceabilitiy by him of the contract, and in some states also affects his ability to collect on the job). Financial issues include the cost of materials (including if he is putting on thinner steel or lacking flashing or drip edges that was contracted for so may have to remove and replace it at his cost), the contract price (including the loan issue), and significant crew lost time and travel costs for the days you sent them home or told them not to show up. Also, assuming there is no argument about existing roof removal/disposal or about sheathing or underlayment materials (you did not say on that), what the contracted roofing thickness should be. 29ga is the thinest normally available in steel and normally not recommended except in mild climates - heavy wind/tornado/hurricane or heavy snow or hail areas generally get 26 gauge at least, and 24ga in tornado alley or mountain thunder storm areas or if the roofing structure is not the best so it will span some possible weak spots - like over widely spaced plank substrate. And maybe an argument about flashing and drip edges ? Those should have been specified in the contract in the scope of work or an attached materials breakdown. Whether you can tolerate the 29 gauge or demand thicker (if uyou can prove that was the intended thickness) is a critical decision you will have to make, because stay with it and flashing/drip edges as they are now and the contractor may settle pretty easily and finish the job without excessive legal cost by you. Demand tearoff and redo with new material and that is a LOT of out-of-pocket $ to him and a major loss for him on the job (he has already lost a bunch because of the crew lost days unless he can recover from you for that), so in that case he would be real unlikely to settle readily. There may be an issue with weather due to the delay too - if snow/ice is coming soon would cost more to clear it off and deice the existing metal roofing before they can start work again, once work does get restarted. My recommendation, because based on what you said it sounds like the contract was weak and may not even be a legal contract, or at best not definitive - is talk to an attorney, and he may advise as I do that you should probably offer to go to arbitration to resolve the outstanding issues (which may not go your way if the scope of work was apparently not definitive). Or you could talk to an attorney and file a claim against his Bond (assuming he is bonded) for non-performance, to get his bonding company to pay another contractor to come on the job and replace any substandard or not to spec work (specs / scope per the original contract, which if unclear or not covered does not help you much) and finish the job. If they agree to cover it, you end up paying (not counting legal advice fees) the original agreed-upon contract amount, and the bonding company covers any additional cost needed to finish the job per contract. However, if the contract scope/price is not definitive, ESPECIALLY if the original documents can be construed to be an estimate rather than a firm price (though the work order might help you there), they may refuse to cover it on the grounds the contract was not such as to enablethem to determine a definite scope of work that has to be completed - hence the importance of appropriate scope or work/plans/specs in construction contracts. The loan agreement issue is pretty much a separate issue - whether you actually signed up for it or not (did you sign something agreeing to it), and if so did you understand that was a construction financing contract. The attorney should look closely at whether you understood that, intended to sign up for it, and whether all the legally required disclosures were provided at the required times for it to be legal - you might, from what you said, have a pretty good leg to stand on on that matter. It should also probably be formally rejected in writing to the lender (lawyer should handle the format and letter on that) so they are on notice that you deny you signed up for it in the first place and deny it is a liability of uyou or your corporation. Depending on the circumstances, you might even have a basis for a fraud complaint against the contractor (civil or criminal and/or with the state licensing board) if he tried to sneak it in on you (he typically gets a cut of the interest plus the contract $ amount out of it), which would REALLY put pressure on the contractor to come around to a reasonable settlement. Who dealt with the contractor might come into it too - who signed the contract / estimate on behalf of the corporation and who talked to or communicated with the contractor about the contract could also affect your personal/corporate status with respect to the contract - and if uyou and your husband said different things or one agreed to something without the other knowing about it leaves the contractor's attorney the possibility of loopholes in the client's position big enough to drive a truck through in some cases. Lawyer will have to assess the strength of your position, as well as how much a legal claim would cost versus just negotiating a settlement both sides can live with, though obviously not happily on either side at this point in time. Lawyer will also have to deal with the likelihood of a lien from the contractor - and possibly from the materials supplier(s) if they have not been paid yet, or from the Lender if they provided funds from the "Loan" for the materials payment. One other thing - be sure anything you do is in the corporation's name not your own (assuming the original document listed the corporation as the client) - though what is on the documents, like husband's SSN, might already have personally exposed you to liability for this job. Advise attorney on the corporation situation and status and how the documents were signed. You will also probably have to do some explanatory letters to the credit reporting agencies (possibly wrt the corporation and your individual names as well) so the lawyer needs to consider phrasing in the settlement that all debts and disputes are settled AND that the contractor agrees not to file any adverse credit information in the case (as well as removing any liens), and to retract any filed to date. This can be VERY, VERY important because a bad debt notice on credit report could cause acceleration (immediately due and payable) terms on mortgage, equipment loans, operating loans, business accounts or credit cards, etc. - even credit cards, student loans and any peronsal or car loans potentially if filed against your individual names. This can be a major part of the legal work in some cases where liens or bad debt reporting has been filed by a contractor. Good Luck

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


Sorry about the massive run-on, the Angies List computer removed all the paragraph breaks AGAIN - looked OK when I checked the response after submitting it. Guess you could just print it out and mark in logical paragraph breaks for readabilitiy. Sorry - it does that at time.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


Dear LCD, Sorry so much time has gone since I got back to you. The loan company is taken care of, I hope. Called this morning, everything is zero and the account closed. Now all I want from the roofer is a lien waiver and him to never darken my door again. We of course know he is entitled to be paid. Contract/estimate called for eave trim and drip trim. No eave trim, no drip trim, about eight holes at the end of 4 sheets of steel where they mssed the roof edge(right at the eave line), peak ridge caps missing and the roof isn't completely done on the south. Now we have to negotiate a reasonable payment. We figure at least half because we will have to finish the roof. The job we were trying to avoid in the first place. My husband is 65 and I need him tomorrow, I have things for him to do, he doesn't have time to get dead. Thanks for all your advice. It came in very handy. I appreciate it. This may not be the end but if it is HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND MERRY NEW YEAR! Okay, I don't know how I made this so big and bold sorry. terryw

Answered 2 years ago by terryw

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