Building Safety Month is an international campaign by the International Code Council that takes place in May to raise awareness about building safety.
After a storm passes through our area there can be lots of roof damage from hail and high winds. When this happens, Bryan is likely to have an influx of contractors from other areas to help meet the demands of the repairs. Here are some tips and requirements to make sure you find a reputable contractor and to help insure the repair work is done well and by-the-book.
- A building permit is required in the City of Bryan for replacing a roof finish (shingles, metal roofs, etc.). This is required to make sure a contractor registers with the City and to require a final inspection for roof repairs.
- A roofing contractor can only place a contractor business sign on private property that has a valid roof repair permit.
- Shop around for contractors, check references, and obtain at least three comparable “apples-to-apples” itemized bids.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if a contractor is a member and check for complaints.
- Make sure you have a signed contract for the work and or bid proposals.
- Do not pay the contractor for the entire job up front or let a contractor use your credit card. Make a small down payment only if contractor asks or payments are agreed to in a contract. Normally down payments are 10 percent of the job.
- If the contractor does not have the credit or cash flow to buy materials they will need, that is usually a red flag to keep searching for the right contractor.
- Obtain copies of the contractor’s insurance coverage. Contractors should have liability, workers compensation, and property damage coverage.
- A roofing contractor is responsible for obtaining a building permit from the City for roof repairs. Make sure the permit card is posted on your house or in a window visible from the street before allowing the contractor to start work.
- Ask about the contractor’s warranty policy, always try to get at least a one year warranty for the work.
- Make sure you have an agreed timeline for completion of the work with the contractor and it is in the contract.
- Get everything in writing. Make sure you feel comfortable with the contractor. If you think someone is suspicious, don’t hire them.
- Don’t make final payment or sign off on the job until you are satisfied with the work and you know that all suppliers have been paid. Material suppliers could place a lien on your property if not paid by the contractor. Don’t make the final payment even if there is just a “few little things left to do.”
- A contractor is required to call for an inspection. The city will issue a green tag if the work is acceptable or a red tag when work is not acceptable, with corrections needed noted on the tag. The tag will be posted on the house by permit card.
- A city inspector may need access to your attic to confirm the contractor did not try to eliminate roof vents by cutting the vents off in the attic. Plumbing waste stack vents are required to terminate above the roof per code. The city inspector and contractor will need to coordinate with the home owner to arrange a time for an inspector to come out when the owner or owner’s representative is present to allow access to the home.
Remember, most contractors are honest, and chances are good that you will hire a reputable contractor anyway. But using even a few of these tips can increase your odds for a successful project and help protect you from the unethical or incompetent contractor.
If you have any questions about permits and code requirements, please contact Development Services at (979) 209-5010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.