Courtesy of: Trent Cotney — Cotney Construction Law, WSRCA Legal Counsel
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.
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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