Write a Roof Repair Proposal That Protects Your Business From the Unexpected

Author: Linda Light
April 8, 2020

Proposals and contracts are essential to your roofing business. But what happens when a surprise disaster means you need to go back on a contract's terms? Making sure you have certain key elements in every roof repair proposal and contract can help protect your roofing company in an emergency.

contractor in winter coat speaks on a phone standing next to a window

What to Include in a Roof Repair Proposal: The Basics

Any roofing job starts when you provide a proposal to a client to help sell your work. When a customer accepts a proposal, it's followed by a contract — a legal document that confirms exactly what will be done, by when and for how much.

Once signed, contracts are legally binding agreements that protect the rights of both parties. Specific language and contract elements make sure a contract covers both the contractor and the customer, especially when the unexpected arises.

In general, your proposals and/or contracts should include:

  • A detailed description of the project (scope of work, materials to be used, installation methods, itemized pricing, scheduling, etc.).
  • Payment terms and conditions.
  • Insurance and license details.
  • Warranty terms.
  • Options to terminate.
  • Provisions to cover unforeseen circumstances.

Does Your Contract Include a Force Majeure Clause?

One way to cover unforeseen events in a contract is to include a force majeure clause. This segment specifies that under certain circumstances, one party may be excused from upholding the contract terms or timeline if work is delayed or stopped completely due to a situation outside of their control. Unforeseen, unavoidable circumstances covered by force majeure include severe weather, wildfires, scarcity of supplies and sometimes even pandemics.

If you don't have a force majeure clause in your contract, it is advisable to add one. Be specific and clear in the language used (because the scope of it can vary) and address the following:

  • What events are considered force majeure?
  • Who is responsible for suspending performance?
  • Who is allowed to invoke the clause?
  • Which contractual obligations are covered by the clause?
  • How is the inability to perform determined?
  • What happens if the event continues for an extended time period?

If your contract already contains a force majeure clause, you should review the language used and ask a legal counsel to review it, too. (You should always have a legal advisor review documents like contracts and proposals.) Talk to your legal partner about including language such as "pandemic," "epidemic," "public health emergency," "project suspension," "project cancellation," "termination provisions," "price acceleration provisions" and "frustration of purpose."

A roof repair proposal, and the contract that hopefully follows it, outlines work that may not occur for several months. That timeline opens a window for future situations to prevent the job from being completed. A properly crafted proposal and a contract with a force majeure clause can protect your roofing business when forces outside your control arise.

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