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Hire a licensed and insured roofer.
A number of problems can arise during a roofing project, from poor workmanship to worker injury to the damage of power lines.
If these problems do occur, they’re generally the responsibility of the insured and licensed contractor. However, if you hire an unlicensed or uninsured contractor to handle the project, you'll be the one responsible if something goes wrong.
For example, if a contractor's equipment breaks a power line, you're the one responsible for anything that goes wrong. If the roofer's equipment breaks a power line, you're the one left footing the bill. If a roofer falls and gets hurt and cannot work for an extended period of time, you could end up being the one responsible for their lost wages and medical bills.
In addition, your homeowner's insurance most likely won't cover you in the event that this occurs. Most policies do not include damage caused by the knowing use of unlicensed or illegal contractors.
Make payments as work is completed.
If your roofing project is relatively extensive, set up a payment schedule that reflects the amount of work being completed. Don't be pressured into paying for work that isn't done or that you are not satisfied with.
Asking for a small deposit or a payment schedule are commonly accepted practices, but never pay for the entire project upfront. If your roofer asks for large upfront payments, don’t sign the contract.