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ROOF TALK: Service Contracts Can Help Keep Crews Busy During Slow Periods

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, August 19, 2019

Courtesy of: Trent CotneyCotney Construction Law, WSRCA Legal Counsel

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Roofing season is well underway, and your crews are likely beginning to feel the heat; both literally – from the summer sun – and instinctively – from an ever-growing backlog of work. However, sooner-or-later the weather and economy will render full roof replacements temporarily unrealistic for both your workers and your customers. When this occurs, your outfit cannot afford to sit idle as your competitors find ways to profit. Alternatively, you should consider offering servicing and maintenance options for you customers.

If you decide to offer service contracts as an option for your customers, your company will essentially agree to make repairs after a request has been made. Essentially, your company will be “on call.” A service contract should define the types of repairs that fall within its scope, dictate that the relationship is exclusive in the sense that the customer must come to your company when the customer’s roof is in need of repair, and whether payment is due upon completion of a repair or upfront. A service contract could enable a small crew of your workers to stay busy during the slow season, while not overcommitting your entire outfit should repairs become necessary during peak season. Additionally, a service contract can provide your customer with the peace of mind that any necessary roof repairs will be completed in a timely fashion by a reliable contractor.

By offering maintenance contracts as an option for your customers, your company will essentially agree to ensure that the customer’s roofing system is working in the proper manner by inspecting the roof system on a regular basis. The maintenance contract should define the specific types of maintenance included, the term of the agreement, and at what interval inspections and necessary maintenance actions will take place; for example, a 3-year term with bi-annual inspections and maintenance occurring in the spring and fall. Again, this could provide your company with steady work opportunities without encumbering your entire operation.

Both of these options can supplement your standard warranty and can be marketed to your customers as a form of value engineering; whereby you demonstrate that servicing and maintaining the roof during its lifecycle will save your customer money by increasing the roof’s longevity, and decreasing replacement costs by ensuring that the customer’s roof remains in a condition that accommodates issue-free roofing work. As the roofing industry becomes more and more competitive, incorporating service and maintenance offerings into your business model can help set your company apart from its competitors.

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Trent Cotney is the founder of Cotney Construction Law, a law firm that specializes in roofing and construction law. He is also Legal Counsel to the Western States Roofing Contractors Association

As a Member of WSRCA, you'll receive the following:

• 15-Minute FREE consultation with the Cotney Construction Law Firm.

• Legal support on all aspects of construction litigation and arbitration.

• CCL specializes in OSHA defense, lien law, bond law, and bid protests.

• CCL also specializes in construction document review and drafting.  CCL routinely represents contractors in the roofing industry.

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

Tags:  BUSINESS  LEGAL 

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