After a harsh winter and wet spring, many Ontarians may be considering replacing their roofs. Before you sign a contract with a roofing company, make sure to see a copy of their current Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) certification and workplace insurance with liability coverage. By law, roofers must be trained in fall protection and also must wear fall protection equipment when working at heights above three metres.
“Renovating the roof of your home can be a stressful process. Doing your homework, asking the right questions and knowing what your contract should include will help you make good decisions when hiring a roofer. Make sure the work is done safely and always get your contracts in writing.” said David Orazietti, Minister of Government and Consumer Services
Here are more important tips from Consumer Protection Ontario:
Do your homework – Before hiring a roofing company, check references and consumer resources like the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services’ Consumer Beware List. Ask how many layers of old roofing are installed on your home. Building codes limit how many layers may be installed.
Ask for a written estimate – Have at least three companies view the job and provide written estimates with a clear description of the work to be done and an itemized list of products, services and prices. If a contractor says your roof is damaged and needs urgent repairs, ask them to outline the damages in your estimate.
Get a written contract – Once you select a roofing company make sure they include the estimate in your contract. Under Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act, a company cannot charge you more than 10 per cent above the estimated cost, unless you have agreed to new work or a new price.
Understand your warranty – Warranties on roofing materials are often the responsibility of the manufacturer, not the contractor installing them. Some roofing products must be installed by certified or trained staff for the warranty to apply.
Be aware of common scams – Keep deposits to a minimum (about 10 per cent) and avoid tax-free deals. No receipt means you have no legal proof of purchase.
Visit Ontario.ca/HomeRenos to learn about your rights and responsibilities before you get started.
Consumer Protection Ontario is your source for advice on protecting your rights as a consumer and filing a consumer complaint. “Ask the Right Questions” before you decide to buy a product or sign a contract.
Consumer Protection Ontario offers information on consumer rights and public safety, and lets you know who to go to if you have a complaint or dispute with a business.
From January 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015, the ministry received over 400 complaints and inquiries about roofing. The most common topics were quality of service, warranties, and services not being provided.
If you sign a home renovation or repair contract worth $50 or more in your home, you have the right to a 10 calendar-day cooling-off period, during which you may cancel this contract for any reason and without having to pay any cancellation fees.