Roofing Services
April 08, 2014

The Better Business Bureau suggests that you contract with only those roofing companies that employ certified roofers. Always receive at least three bids for your work, ensuring that all are quoting the same scope of work and specification.

ROOFING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA IS DIVIDED INTO TWO SECTIONS:

COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL work is carried out by Certified Tradespeople or Registered Apprentices under the Compulsory Trade regulations of the Apprenticeship Act. Roofing carried out in this sector can include all types of applications on Steep or Flat roofs in either new construction or reroofing of an existing building. Roofing companies engaged in this sector must comply with the Compulsory Trade Regulations and employ only Certified Roofers or Registered Apprentices. A journeyperson roofer would hold the Inter Provincial Red Seal Certificate. The majority of the work done by contractors in this section is flat roofing (Tar and Gravel or other Asphalt products) and other forms of sheet roofing. Some do work in the steep roofing area, including residential contracts. They cannot under the law employ untrained and non certified workers.

RESIDENTIAL work is not part of the Compulsory Trade regulations. The roofer doing the work is not required to be trained and certified. Anyone can purport to be a residential roofer without any proof of competence. Many are highly skilled and competent, with experience gained over the years, despite being left out of the certification process. Some, however, are not. They are here to-day gone tomorrow. Work is being done to correct this situation but at this time the consumer has absolutely no protection against fly by night contractors and untrained workers in the residential portion of the trade. Residential roofing can be new construction or reroofing and includes all types of installations, but the majority of this work is STEEP roofing (Asphalt Shingles or Cedar Products).

FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN DEALING WITH ROOFING CONTRACTORS FOR BOTH NEW AND REROOFING PROJECTS THE BBB OFFERS THE FOLLOWING CHECKLIST. MAKE SURE, BY REQUESTING DOCUMENTATION, THAT THE COMPANY:

- has a business licence for your community. 
- employs certified roofers or apprentices (for commercial industrial work only). 
- carries adequate liability insurance. 
- has proof of current Workers Compensation Registration. 

Good roofing contractors will supply you with a specification as written by the manufacturer of the products they intend to install or a copy of the correct specification for your work as prepared in the Roofing Contractors of British Columbia Roofing Practices Manual. These specifications are available to all contractors, architects, and consultants through the offices of RCABC. They can also be accessed on the web by searching www.rcabc.org. With proper specifications the contractors will then be quoting on the same work and hence their pricing will competitive and accurate.

A professional contractor will not ask for deposits or funds up front for materials, etc. He will have checked your credit and will either do your work or not depending on the results. He will expect to be paid in full, minus a holdback upon satisfactory completion of the work.

You must withhold 10% of the total cost upon completion of the work for 55 days. This will protect you, should liens be placed against your home. Check with the Land Title Office for liens before paying the remaining 10%. There is a fee for this service and it cannot be done over the telephone.

The contract will be in writing on a tender form prepared by the contractor or it may be simply a reference to an attached specification with the price and terms contained within the text on the company letterhead. Do not sign any contract that fails to clearly state all the terms and conditions.

Prior to receiving the price from the contractors you have selected, ask them to supply you with the names and phone numbers of customers they have worked for in the last 90 days. Call these people and find out whether or not they were satisfied with the work done.

You have 10 days to cancel a contract signed in your home with a direct seller. If you have doubts after signing, do not permit the work to start until after the 10 day cancellation period has expired. You must cancel the contract by registered service to the contractor within the 10 day period.

It is up to you to do your pre-contract checks to assure yourself of a quality installation.