Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

How Much Should a Down Payment on My Roof Be? (Myrtle Beach)

May 30th, 2024 | 3 min read

By Jeffrey Linta

Counting lots of money

Are you ready to have your roof replaced, but you’re unsure about the initial financial commitment? Writing a check for work you haven’t seen yet can make anyone feel apprehensive to get started on a roofing project. And we’ve all heard horror stories about faulty contractors who take a deposit and disappear into the night.

Having grown up around seasoned contractors, I was never sure why homeowners were rigid about how much and when they should pay for their home improvement projects – until I got out in the field myself. 

The stories are true, and it’s fairly common for contractors to take advantage of homeowners, especially homeowners in an emergency situation. And to that I say, there are times when you should be very cautious about paying a contractor before any work is completed. Because of the stories I’ve heard, I do not ask Linta Roofing customers for a down payment on non-specialty roofing projects. But not every roofing contractor is able to do this, even if they are trustworthy and reliable. Which begs the question, how much should a down payment for a roof cost?

How Much of a Deposit Should You Give a Roofer?

It is important to note that roofing deposit amounts can vary from state to state. In some states there are laws around how much a roofing contractor can charge for an initial down payment. In South Carolina the laws are a bit more loose for residential projects in comparison to other states like California. But the bottom line is that you should never pay more than a 50% deposit for your roofing project.

Up to a 50% deposit is reasonable because it can cover costs to pay for materials and any other necessities for your roofing project. If a roofing contractor asks you for 60% without doing any work, you can be pretty sure that they’re asking for more than just material costs. This is not necessary for a roofing company that is financially stable, which could be a red flag about their business practices. 

While down payments in general are not a sign of a fraudulent roofer, it is important to know when and what conditions may warrant a down payment before work is complete on your home.

In What Situation Will I Have to Make a Down Payment on My Roof?

As previously mentioned, a down payment is pretty common practice in the roofing industry, even on non specialty jobs. But there will be times when you can be certain that you will make a down payment. For instance, if you choose specialty roofing materials for your project, your roofer is highly likely to require a deposit. At Linta Roofing we ask for a deposit on specialty roofing jobs because the materials are more expensive and difficult to return than shingles. Some examples of specialty materials are special order shingles, metal or tile. For these projects we ask for a down payment because if you change your mind about having us complete your roofing project the down payment will at least cover the material costs. This deposit can be between 30% to 50% of the cost of the roofing project.

sasun-bughdaryan-GQ5uX_BlfmY-unsplashOn the other hand, if you have a project that will take over a week to complete, you may be asked to make progress payments. Progress payments will cover materials and labor as the project continues. Contractors typically pay their labor workers each week, this ensures that the people completing the work on your home are paid at the appropriate time. If you are having a shingle roof replacement, it is unlikely to last more than 1-2 days, meaning it’s unlikely you’d be asked to make progress payments. 

What Should Happen Before I Make My First Down Payment on My Roof?

If your roofing materials are not being ordered right away, it is unreasonable for a roofer to ask you for a down payment. If a roofer asks for a down payment but your materials are not being ordered for weeks, it should make you question why they need the money right away. 

This ensures that you see what you’re paying for and helps provide you with some proof that the contractor intends to complete the project in full. You’ll definitely want to take note of what your roofer has done prior to making a down payment. Looking at these things can give you an idea of whether your roofer is “robbing Peter to pay Paul” so to speak. 

Ensuring the Down Payment on Your Roof is Used Appropriately

An unstable business may use funds from previous projects to start new roofing projects. When a roofing company is having trouble staying afloat, they may collect deposits to front other jobs. Not only is this practice questionable, it also tells you that your roofer may not be totally organized in the way they run their business. 

At the end of the day, a roof is a vital component of your home. You want to know that your roof has been installed properly by a roofing company that completes honest business dealings. Now that you know some of the subtle signs to look out for regarding your down payment, you may want to look into other contractor scams to avoid. This can include a roofer covering your insurance deductible or providing you with a significantly lower roofing estimate than other contractors. 

And if you find yourself with additional questions, please feel free to explore our Learning Center or give us a call. We’re here to provide you with honest answers to all your roofing questions.

Jeffrey Linta

Jeffrey Linta is a 3rd generation roofer who grew up working in his family's roofing business (Linta Roofing, Inc.). He got his start tearing off roofs during the summer while attending North Myrtle Beach High School. Now running one of the most successful roofing businesses in the Grand Strand area, Jeffrey has lived and breathed roofing for his entire working career. Some of his accolades include GAF Master Elite Contractor, SC Safehome certified contractor, Group 5 SC Licensed Commercial Contractor, and GAF Master Commercial roofing contractor. Under his leadership, Linta Roofing, Inc. has served thousands of homeowners and business owners in the Grand Strand area. Linta Roofing achieved awards like the Sun News’s “Best of the Beach” and A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau all while receiving hundreds of 5-star reviews year after year. Jeffrey is a Grand Strand born and raised local. When he is not running Linta Roofing, he spends time fishing with his wife Erica and walking the beach with his dog Dixie.