Avoiding Complications when Hiring Contractors

As a homeowner, consumer and professional in the roofing industry, I have to confess that hearing a version of this exclamation and question causes a grin and a shaking of my head. It’s so often the case that there is a disconnect between what a roofer believes to be a “roof job” and what a homeowner expects when he hires roofing contractors in NYC. The most recent example that makes me grin is one where a client purchased a new roof from an excellent contractor we work with regularly. This contractor is one of the most conscientious, reliable, professional and competent roofing operations I’ve had experience with in 30 plus years in the business. If this outfit was on my roof, I’d sleep like a baby every night.

However, in this case the owner is now thinking that this excellent roofer is trying to “pad his estimate” by “adding in things” that “should be included.” I’m afraid I’m sympathetic to both sides in this matter – but cutting this baby in half won’t solve anything! The questions arose about sight conditions that no one could have anticipated, and now there’s suspicion on both sides. When a roof has no features to speak of, the chance of a dispute is next to none and most of these jobs go without a hitch and everyone parts company singing each other’s praises.

However, add a few elements that deviate from “simple” and the opportunity for animosity grows quickly. In this case, there was a old, client-installed skylight that was posing problems; an adjoining wall attached to a neighbor’s building that had been a drainage issue for years but was now being highlighted thanks to the new roof job, and some old gutters that were unlike anything anyone had seen before and were literally constructed into the framing of the roof.