If you own a home long enough, you will eventually need to call a contractor to estimate roof repairs or a replacement roof. Your roof is a vital structural component, so you want to be sure that any work performed on it is of sufficient quality to justify the expense. You may already know that it is best to secure estimates from at least three different roofing contractors, but you may not know how to compare their estimates to help you select the right contractor for your roofing work.
What Is the Best Way to Compare My Roofing Estimates?
What Is the First Thing Homeowners Need to Do When They Need Roofing Estimates?
When they need roofing, homeowners often rely solely on internet searches to find contractors. If possible, you should first ask neighbors, coworkers, relatives, or friends for recommendations. Ideally, you should seek advice from those who have had roof replacements or repairs similar to what you want or need. For example, if you’re going to replace your current roof with a metal roofing system, prioritize the contractors who installed metal roofs for your acquaintances. If you need a roof inspection for insurance purposes, ask whether the contractor performed such a service for your friends. If you need to repair a few shingles that blew off your roof, give a higher priority to contractors who handled that type of work for your friends than you give other recommended contractors who only installed new gutters. Once you have a list of three or more contractors, contact each of them, and communicate what you need their estimates to include.
What Should an Estimate for Roofing Work Include?
Insist that all contractors provide a written estimate that itemizes everything involved in the job. The assessment should show the brand, style, cost, and quantity of every material that the contractor will use, but it should also include the total number of square feet that the roof covers. The estimate should list labor costs separately. Every incidental cost, including dumpster rental, permits, and disposal fees, should appear as a separate item. If there are potential costs that might arise after the contractor begins work, the estimate should show how this could affect your total cost. For example, after removing an existing roof, contractors sometimes find hidden damage to the deck. The estimate should state the material that the contractor will use to repair the deck and the material’s unit cost. When it comes to materials, be sure that the estimate is specific. How thick is the insulation? Will the contractor use OSB or plywood for the deck? How many new roof vents will the contractor install?
Does the Roofing Estimate Include Information About Warranties?
There are two types of warranties that your contractor should include with your estimate. The first is offered by the company that produced the material, and it covers materials that fail due to a manufacturing defect. However, if the contractor does not apply the material as the manufacturer instructs, this warranty may not be honored. Therefore, it is good to choose a licensed roofing company with certifications or training from the manufacturer. The contractor offers the second type of warranty, and this warranty covers his work. Naturally, the warranty will be worthless if the contractor goes out of business. Before you commit:
- Investigate how long the roofer has been in business under the same name.
- Find out his rating with the Better Business Bureau.
- Search third-party sites such as Angie’s List to see what former customers are saying about him.
Besides the Roof Repair Cost or Roof Replacement Cost, What Should an Estimate Contain?
A licensed roofing company will often attach a list of references for you to call, proof of their insurance coverage, and a statement verifying that all workers on your property will be employees of the company. Either within the estimate or as an attachment, reputable contractors communicate the steps they will take to protect your property and clean up after they finish the job. For example, if your contractor is installing asphalt shingles, he may advise that his workers use a magnetic sweeper to find and collect any nails that might have fallen in your yard.
Once Homeowners Collect Several Estimates for Roofing Work, How Do They Compare Them?
If you have communicated your needs and wants to each contractor, you should have estimates that will allow you to compare each line item on each estimate. Although there may be minor variations, each estimate should show the same quantity of each material. The brands and types should be identical or at least equivalent. The total work hours should be very close, but a contractor with highly experienced employees may have a slightly higher hourly rate to offset their salaries. Check off each line item as you go to ensure that you are not comparing oranges to lemons. Look for costs included on some estimates and omitted on others. For example, does every estimate address permit fees? Do four estimates include a price for new flashing that does not appear on the fifth? If one estimate is substantially lower than the other four, resist the temptation to choose that contractor without digging deeper. There could be a perfectly logical explanation, but it could also be a red flag that the contractor plans to substitute an inferior product, cut corners, or use poorly trained installers.
At Alpha Roofing, We Would Like to Provide You With a Free Quote
Alpha Roofing is a respected roof contractor with professional, highly trained employees. We offer residential and commercial roofing services, including roof repairs, metal roofing, flat roof installation, asphalt shingle installations, chimney repair, flashing installation, damaged roof inspections, maintenance programs, and moss and debris removal. We are based in Round Rock, but we serve most counties in Central Texas. We are known for our craftsmanship, the level of our customer service, and our integrity. You can submit the online request form or call 512-777-1086 to receive a free quote.