Just a piece of advice.
Before signing a contract with a contractor, make sure the final cost is going to At Least be in the same ball park as the estimated cost given up front.
If the contractor/sales person did not walk the roof and visually inspect all the individual parts of the system (sheathing - eaves - gutters - ventilation - etc) than any issues in those area's that occur will mean added cost for labor, material & profit, later on.
(So the estimated cost Was $9,000.00 and the final cost Is $19,000.00.)
The unforeseen clause is used by all contractors and for good reason, because not all issues are detectable until you start removing the existing materials.
Unfortunately, some contractors "far to many" use this as a bidding tool.
They train their sales persons to measure for materials, structure slopes, etc., from the ground, thus allowing them to overlook/ignore signs of other issues such as wood rot (which is a detectible issue, at least in part), so they can give competitive estimates up front, but than tack on thousands of dollars later by utilizing the unforeseen clause...
At this point, you can pay now or pay later, but you will pay....
And don't let "time and material" bids scare you off.
Sometimes it's hard to bid a job that requires tearing into unknown territory.
If a contractor bids something, then runs into problems, he may take shortcuts in order to finish the job on time/money.
If it's an hourly bid, you can expect the proper amount of time will be taken to do the job right.
As long as you get a "worse case scenario" estimate, they're won't be any unexpected expenses.
Some things there is just no way of knowing what will be involved, so the contractor can't give you an informed estimate.
And if you pick a reputable contractor, he's not going to "milk" the job for more time. He'll want to get it done, right, and go on to the next job.
I agree Sly.,My contracts do have the unforseen clause.But like you said it is to protect the contractor from "Unforseen" issues.But like you said people misuse that clause for everything other than hindsight coverage.
I also recommend that contractors use this unforseen clause with layers unforseen.Too many times contractors have to eat multiple layers.A while back I was soooo glad I had that clause.The roof was 3 layers (Supposedly) but turned out to be 11.
Some say I should dig into the roof and find every single layer.But I handle a very large volume of insurance claims.The insurers want you to find out true but they don't want you to possibly create damage to the roof trying to find out.I pull the rake back and the gutterline.What I see is what I charge for.But the layers unforseen is now in effect.We all know that extrordinary lengths are taken to hide layers.
A solid honest contract IMO will consist of a price per sheet and a price for footage when dealing with decking issues.Another thing I recommend homeowners as well as contractors do is this.
Homeowners; tell your contractors to contact you immediately when finding rotted decking.Have them take pictures if you are not present and put the rotted wood to the side so you can inspect the rotted wood.Intentional damage is easy to spot.So if pictures are taken before the decking is replaced and after the decking is replaced and is also set to the side for you then that IMO signifies an honest contractor.Also a look into your attic is also important.
Contractors; Contact your homeowners the second that any rotted or unsuitable decking is found.Take pictures before the decking is replaced and after the installation.Also set the decking aside for the homeowner to inspect the unsuitable decking.And never let a customer talk you into roofing over rotted wood just because of their financial limitations.Incorporate a interest free payment plan.Never subject yourself to any manufacture specification disputes.Your job is to build a roof that complys with manufacture specs and building codes for suitable decking.
The same goes with multiple layers.Stop and contact your customer.
The last page of my estimate also explains that all materials are to be a specified.All installations will be installled according to local building codes and manufacture specifications.Any deviation or alteration involving extra cost above the listed price will be done so in writing by the homeowner.
If your estimate/contract contains the price per foot or sheet of decking replaced.,A price per square and per layer with unforseen layers.And the statement about no hidden cost then I feel both the contractor and the homeowner are covered.
The pic below shows a roof that was 11 layers.
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