Finding a roofing contractor like that has your best interest at heart isn’t going to be easy. But, it can be done if you know exactly what you are looking for. Replacing a roof is unquestionably one of the largest home renovation investments you will make in your lifetime. It is therefore critical to pay attention to what is listed in a roofing proposal.
Remember that replacing a roof is a fairly labor intensive process. There are a number of costs involved in it that either gets explicitly included in an estimated or added on top of things. This may include many expenses that a homeowner may not consider part of a contractor’s cost, such as the labor cost of removing the existing roof, the massive amount of debris produced, the dumpster rental to store the debris from the roofing job, and the cost of delivery of new roof’s material such as shingles and underlayment to the job site.
It is your responsibility to get the contractor to explain the details of any additional charges listed on the job estimate. The more willing and transparent the contractor is with details of each charge the more likely it is that the numbers are not padded. At American Construction, we always follow the best practices and we will treat your project like our own.
It’s An Estimate:
No matter how sincere and ethical your roofing contractor is, it is impossible to know everything that will need to be addressed with your roof specifically. Whatever the quote says, take it with a grain of salt and as a projection of what lies ahead. A good roofer however, would thoroughly inspect your home, understand what they are working with and communicate that to you when they provide you with an estimate. A truly professional roofer will also make recommendations of products that will fit your unique need and budget. He may also show you samples of what they are going to use for your roofing project. The more thorough the inspection and less the selling and trying to get you to sign a contract, the more comfortable you will feel towards a roofing contractor.
Do Your Homework:
Before a roofing contractor arrives to provide you with an estimate, you should proactively gather some information and try and educate yourself about your home a little in order to not be taken for a ride. Here’s what you’ll need to get a realistic and accurate estimate:
- Budget: If you’ve read our (insert link here) article, you may have done some ground work as to calling various roofing contractors and getting their per square foot/yard cost of roofing. This is just a starting point of figuring out a ball park figure of what you should allocate for your roofing job. However, please understand that your roofing cost depends on several factors aside from just the plain cost of shingles. Also, the roofing cost depends on both the square footage and the pitch of your roof.
- Material Used: It is essential to understand that even within the category of asphalt roofing there are several qualities of material and respective life of those materials used. If you’re jumping altogether from asphalt roofing to metal or ceramic tile, you’re talking about a whole different ball game. Share your vision of the roof you would like to install and let them help you with the process. However, you need to be your own best advocate and do independent research on what you are going for and what to expect in cost structure for your choice of material.
- Timeframe of the Project: Roofing by its nature is a short project with a timeline of up to a week. However, if you have other projects dependent on the timeline of your roof being replaced, make sure you discuss that with the contractor representative that comes in to discuss the project.
- Existing Problems with your roof: It is critical that you list all the issues you are having with your roof and the timeline of when it occurred (approximately). Problems like leaks, ice dams and other issues that lead you to believe you need to replace your roof. This will be of enormous help to the estimator to provide you with an accurate estimate of job at hand. Based on the weather if certain problems have disappeared or have corrected themselves, does not necessarily mean they have gone away for good. A good roofing contractor would appreciate having all the details at hand before providing you with the estimate.
How to gauge the estimate you are given?
Now that you have done your homework and provided the roofing contractor with all the pertinent details of what you are looking for in replacing your roof, it is time to closely examine what your estimate states:
Each estimate you get should mention exactly the material that would be used on your roof along with manufacturer, style, grade and color of the shingles. This is not only to educate you about the tendency of various roofers and their pricing structure but also how the pricing changes from vendor to vendor.
Explanation of Liabilities and Warranties:
It is critical that you look at these two parts since if the contractor does not have liability insurance you could be sued for any accidents or injuries that the crew suffers on your property. Your roof comes with two kinds of warranties. One on the material from the shingles manufacturer and another from the contractor on work performed to install the roof. Both warranties cover separate events and you need to read these and understand what is covered and how to claim it.
How the waste will be removed?
Roofing is a messy project that will not only produce the debris from the roof being removed but a whole lot of nails and other metal debris that is either being removed or used to install the new roof. You need to know how the waste will be removed and who is responsible for the costs associated with the removal, such as rental cost of a dumpster that is commonly used to collect all the debris in.
Other items that you need to look at closely are payment terms, additional costs and licenses and permits being issued for the work.
In conclusion, a roofing estimate is a detailed document that holds you liable for not only the payment for the roof but associated costs, liabilities and warranties. You need to read it in its entirety and understand it completely before you sign on the dotted line.