How Binding Are Roofing Contracts?

Julia Pelly
Written by Julia Pelly
Updated July 7, 2022
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  • A roofing contingency contract is a legally binding document.

  • There’s usually a grace period after signing, but you should discuss that with your roofing pro.

  • Make sure you have a termination clause in your contract before signing. 

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When you’re hiring pros to make major home repairs or renovations, you can expect to sign a contract. Contracts protect you as the consumer and the pros who will be completing the work. Roofing contracts, sometimes known as roofing contingency contracts, are legally binding documents that do just that. Let’s take a look at how these roofing contracts work, as well as when they can be broken.

What Is a Roofing Contingency Contract? 

When you hire a roofing company, you’ll likely sign a contract or a contingency contract to reserve your project’s start date. In this instance, the word ‘contingency’ indicates an insurance company's role in the process. If insurance is involved in your project, the contingency contract will include the entire scope of work that’s approved by your insurance company.  

If, for any reason, your insurance claim isn’t approved before the roofing pros start working, the contract becomes void. If your insurer approves the claim, by signing a roofing contingency contract, you agree that these pros are the only ones who will tackle the approved work. 

The Pros and Cons of a Roofing Contract 

Signing a roofing contingency contract has its pros and cons. Before you sign on the dotted line, ensure you understand every aspect of the agreement. 

Pros of Signing a Roofing Contingency Contract 

If you sign a roofing contingency contract, your roofers will be very invested in ensuring that your insurance claim is approved. By signing the contract, you give them the chance to take on a project with a guaranteed paycheck, plus it’ll guarantee that the quality of work will be sufficient enough to get approved by the insurance company.

Cons of Signing a Roofing Contingency Contract

Entering into a contract means you and the roofing team agree to work together, but, unlike other contracts, it means that your roofers have the right to turn down the job. They may refuse the job if the insurance company doesn’t approve the entire claim or agree to pay the price they have quoted. 

Signing a roofing contract means that you agree to let the roofing company handle the entire scope of the approved project. For example, if a tree falls and leaves a hole in your roof and a crack in your driveway, the roofers have the right to subcontract the pro of their choice to repair your driveway. The roofing pros will talk over subcontractor options with you in most cases, but they aren’t legally required to.

What’s Included in a Roofing Contingency Contract?

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Prior to signing your contingency contract, discuss the details with your roofer and ensure your roofing contract includes the pro’s name, business address, contact information, and insurance information. A legitimate roofing company will provide copies of their workers' compensation insurance, liability insurance, and an insurance bond. 

If the job requires any licenses or permits, the contract should include this information as well as a scope of work, materials list, and projected timeline. The roofing contract should also include detailed descriptions of how any installation is going to take place, the payment schedule, the due dates of any deposits, and a list specifying accepted payment methods. 

A good contract also includes a termination clause. A termination clause specifies when or why either party may terminate the contract. It’s important to spend extra time reading this section of the contract to truly understand your options. 

When Can You Break a Contract With a Roofer?

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When you sign a roofing contingency contract, you are legally bound to work with that roofing contractor. Many contracts include a grace period that gives you the option to pull out a certain amount of time after signing, but you’ll need to review your specific agreement to clarify.

While you can’t typically walk away from a contract for no reason, there are some situations in which your contract may become null and void. These situations include:

  • Your insurance company denies your claim in full

  • Your insurance company partially denies your claim 

  • Your insurance company approves your claim but does not agree to pay the quoted fee

If you break your contract without grounds, the pro could sue you for loss of profit or contract violation. That’s why it’s essential that you review all aspects of your roofing contract before agreeing to work with a roofing service. 


Is a signed roofing proposal a contract?

Proposals, invoices, and estimates are most often used as marketing documents and are not legally binding. Contracts are legally binding documents that detail the service offering, project considerations, and signatures from all parties.

If you signed a proposal for discussion purposes while requesting a quote and you decide to hire them, make sure the contracting party follows through with a legally binding contract to protect both parties.

How long is a roofing contract good for?

Generally, you can cancel a roofing contract within 72 hours of signing the contract without incurring cancellation fees. That said, you should pay attention to and note the terms and conditions detailed in the contract—or ask your roofing contractor for exact dates—before signing any official documentation.

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