Does your roof need repair? Is it time to replace your roof altogether? If so, you’ve probably called a few contractors and received estimates based on your project. Often, roofing contractor estimates can look similar, causing confusion in your choice. Before you choose the contractor with the lowest bid, there are things you should consider.
10 Things to Consider When Comparing Roofing Contractor Estimates
Even though the estimates you’re considering appear to be identical, not all estimates are created equal. To find the best mix of value and quality workmanship, you’ll need to read between the lines.
To get started, first consider the warranties offered by your contractors. What kind of warranty are they offering? What are the lengths of the warranties? For example, some warranties cover the materials themselves and some cover the workmanship of your new roof. Since most damages can be linked directly to poor installation, it’s important that the warranty covers both.
2. Proper Licensing
Which contractors are using subcontractors? A lot of roofers use subcontractors that aren’t truly legal subcontractors, putting you at risk. These subcontractors are not covered by workers’ compensation or insurance, leaving you potentially responsible if an accident occurs. You’ll want to choose a contractor that uses either licensed subcontractors or employees covered by their own insurance.
3. Minor Materials
Contractors often use the same shingles, but roofing requires the use of many minor materials such as vents, flashings, and starter course. It’s important to compare all materials each contractor has listed to compare quality and price, so you can better understand what you’re getting.
4. The Contract
Which contractors use a fully detailed contract? Which ones use a general contract with simple verbal promises that certain things will be done? You’ll want to choose a contractor that stands behind their work with a detailed work contract to help protect you should something go wrong. Vagueness is not what you want in any home improvement contract – it can lead to disputes down the road.
Out of the contractor estimates you’re considering, which ones take proper ventilation into consideration? Proper roofing ventilation is critical to protect the life of your roof and reduce your energy costs. Poor ventilation can cause humidity build-up resulting in mold and mildew in your attic, plus damage to your shingles.
6. Job Site Management
The contractor you choose should have a handle on jobsite management, especially when working in and around your home. They should be tidy, have reasonable work hours and be involved in final reviews of the roofing project. Proper jobsite management ensures quality work that’s delivered on time.
Which contractors have been timely and thorough when responding to you? For example, if you’ve reached out with further questions regarding their estimate and have received a slow response, communication will likely be the same when the project starts.
8. Reputation & Longevity
Anyone can quickly earn a few reviews online. But, the contractor you choose should have many great reviews for their business. You’ll also want to choose a contractor that has been in business for a longer length of time, ensuring the longevity you need for a quality roofing project now and in the future. You can’t use a warranty if the contractor goes out of business a couple of years after installation.
How thorough is the contractor’s estimate? Did they hit all necessary checkmarks on your project list? If the contractor fails to be thorough in the estimate, it’s a good indicator of the service you may receive during your roofing project.
10. Excessively Low Pricing
Even the lowest estimates should be within 5-to-10% of the average. A price lower than that is not a gift—it’s a red flag. Some contractors use low estimates as a way to negotiate their way to the top of your list. But they may hit you with a higher unexpected cost after your project gets underway. If a quote seems too good to be true, it likely is. Most commonly, an excessively low price means a) an inexperienced roofing contractor, b) short cuts in the installation process, or c) a company that likely won’t be around in a year or two.
Roofing Contractor Estimate Not Making Sense?
Roofing contractor estimates can be difficult to understand, especially when you need to make a fast choice for roof repair. To learn more about estimates, send us a message.