So when should you pay a roofer? Are you getting some roof work done soon? Perhaps you need some minor repairs or a completely new roof laid down. Either way, you’ll probably be weighing up your options with regards to different roofing companies.
You might already have a few different quotes from competitive firms. Choosing the right roofer is an important decision, and one you should take carefully. There’s a big difference between a good roofer and a great one.
When Should You Pay a Roofer?
One factor that might play a role in your decision is payment. Alongside the overall cost, some roofers might ask for part or even all of the payment upfront. Is this something you should accept? In this article we’re going to have a look at the subject of prepayments in more detail. Is this something you should ever do, and what are the circumstances and issues surrounding paying upfront? Keep reading to find out. Let’s have a look at when to pay a roofer…
Never pay the entire amount upfront
Some roofers might ask for complete payment upfront, but this is normally a complete no-no unless there are very specific reasons and you know the roofer very well. Roofers might offer you a discount for upfront payment, but this is still something you should avoid unless you are absolutely desperate to save money and have protections in place.
Good roofers shouldn’t normally ask for complete payment, before any of the work has taken place, it’s not standard practice. If they do, you have to wonder why. Not only do you risk them disappearing (especially if they aren’t a well-known firm), but even if they don’t—you aren’t properly incentivizing them finishing the job quickly and efficiently.
While complete prepayments should be avoided, it is normal for roofers to ask for a deposit or partial payments as the work progresses. Just like you wouldn’t want to pay all the money before work has started, they don’t really want to do all the work before anything has been paid. So working together on a payment structure where both parties are happy is normally a good idea.
Find a reputable roofer
If you’re looking for someone you want to be able to pay partial payments upfront in good confidence, then it’s even more important that that you find a reputable roofer. If you do your research effectively, you should never really come across someone who asks for all the money upfront, but you may be able to find someone you’re happy agreeing to partial payments and deposits with.
To find a good roofer, start by asking friends and family in the local area if they’ve had any work done and would recommend someone—or tell you someone to avoid so that you can cross them off your list. Nothing really beats personal recommendations from people you know, but failing that you can try some online review sites.
Make sure you read the actual reviews rather than just go by overall scores as you might find information that’s relevant to your situation rather than just an arbitrary rating. Pay close attention to comments about how and when payment was handled, and if this went smoothly—both when reading online reviews and when talking to people you know who might be recommending a roofer.
When you have a couple of potential roofers, speak with them and ask for competitive quotes. See how long they think the job will take, how much it should cost and what they expect with regards to payment. Don’t just go for the cheapest quote, go with the best roofer that mixes value with professionalism.
Check to see their portfolio of completed work, and be wary if they don’t have one. If you can, visit actual completed jobs and speak with homeowners to ask their real opinions.
To have more faith paying some money upfront, stick with a roofer that’s been established in your area for a long time. Some roofers pop up and disappear within months, and these are the sorts of firms you’ll want to avoid.
Deposits can be acceptable with a reputable roofer
Once you’ve found a good, established roofer that you trust—you shouldn’t be put off by paying a deposit. While roofers shouldn’t ask for the whole amount up front, a deposit is acceptable. Make sure you’ve agreed the terms of the deposit and that they will start work immediately. A deposit could be around 20% of the full quote, but don’t pay too much more.
Look at payment insurance
You might be able to take out separate insurance to cover incomplete or faulty jobs that you’ve already paid for. You might want to look into this if you want additional peace of mind.
Don’t pay with cash
Many roofers will offer discounts if you pay with cash as they want to avoid paying tax. While that’s their business, you won’t have much comeback if something goes wrong. Make sure there are receipts and documentation just in case.
Consider credit card payments
Cred cards companies might cover some of your payments in certain circumstances, so this might be the right way to pay if the roofer offers it (not all of them can accept credit card payments).
Consider paying in installments
While a deposit is ok, you shouldn’t pay it all upfront as we’ve already discussed. However, you should discuss a steady payment stream in installments, like paying an amount after every milestone of the job is complete.
Hold some payment back until the job is finished
If you do agree to pay in installments, make sure there’s a sizable amount that’s always held back until after the job is complete. You want to keep an incentive for the job being finished in good time and to a good standard, rather than completing payments when there’s still a bit of work left to do.
Hopefully, you now know a bit more about when to make payments with your roofer so that you can get the job done without worrying about having paid too much upfront.