When you are in the process of buying a new roof, you should never settle for the first roofing contractor that gives you an estimate.
To make sure you are receiving the best products and prices for your budget, every roofing contractor should recommend that you get three to four estimates before deciding which contractor is right for you.
But receiving multiple quotes doesn’t mean the work ends there. There are still key elements to look for in each estimate that will tell you which deal is the best for you.
We can’t all be roofing experts. It can be confusing and off-putting to compare quotes on your own.
Here at Rescue My Roof, we have spent over a decade in the roofing industry helping homeowners make the right decisions for their homes. That’s why we will tell you the three key elements to search for in a roof estimate.
By the end of this article, you will be prepared to tackle your roof replacement and find the right contractor by looking at their estimate.
What Should You Compare for Different Roof Estimates?
Looking at multiple roof estimates can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to walk you through the top three things you should compare so that you can find the best deal on a roof replacement.
Here are three things to consider:
1. Line by Line Items
A roofing estimate should include the entire scope of work that will be completed. This means including all of the materials and labor needed for the project.
If it impacts the price of your roof replacement – it should be included as a line item. Everything from the underlayments and flashings to the shingles themselves should be listed out.
As different roofing contractors have different product manufacturers with varying grades of materials, there may be differences in the prices of products.
When looking at your roofing estimates, go line by line and compare the different materials. Ensure that they have the same specific information that fits what your roof needs, and determine why companies may be charging a lower or higher price.
Some of the key differences you will see are differences in overhead costs or higher labor costs. But you may notice that certain contractors leave off necessary materials like flashings to cut down their costs.
You may see that they plan to reuse flashings or use 3-tab shingles instead of the quality hip and ridge caps to keep prices low. If this is the case, you may not be getting the high-quality roof you deserve.
2. What Happens if the Crew Stumbles Across Rotten Decking
One of the biggest unknowns going into a roof replacement is how much rotten decking there may be.
When moisture seeps through the shingles and to the base layer of your roof, it can cause a lot of damage. Leaks in the home can cause drywall damage, while wood in the attic can warp and rot if not ventilated properly.
Unfortunately, with all of the shingles and underlayments still in place on your roof, it is difficult to tell the state of the decking until all of the materials are torn off.
If all of the decking on your roof needs to be replaced, it can add up to $2,000 to your roof replacement. That’s a big pill to swallow if you are blindsided by it.
That is why contractors must include the price of replacing rotten decking in the roofing estimate. Many contractors will add up to 100 square feet of decking into the estimate to be cautious. However, there isn’t a way to know what shape the decking is in until they tear off the roof.
Adding in key details like this is essential so you know everything that could potentially happen during a roof replacement. Extraordinary additional costs should blindside you during the process; you should know all the possibilities up-front.
If a roofing contractor does not include anything about rotten decking in their estimate, it’s probably a hidden fee. This is a sign that you should steer clear of that company.
3. The Workmanship Warranty the Roofing Company Offers
When you purchase a new roof, there are two types of warranties that you may be getting. One is a manufacturer’s warranty on the materials themselves that will cover the cost of materials should they need to be replaced. The second is a workmanship warranty offered by the roofing company.
Workmanship warranties cover the labor costs of future repairs and replacements due to workmanship issues. If anything were installed incorrectly, it would cover the cost of the repairs minus materials.
Every estimate should include information on the warranties you get. But the most important one to focus on is the workmanship warranty.
The length of a workmanship warranty varies from contractor to contractor. If any of your estimates offer a lifetime warranty or a warranty beyond 25 years, that would be the most ideal.
If your estimate does not include a workmanship warranty, that is not a company you want to work with. You want a company that will take care of you even after the work has been done.
Additionally, workmanship warranties are only valid if the company is still in business. So find a company with a good reputation, and has been in business for over five years. The longer their track record, the more you can trust that they’ll be around when you need them.
What Should A Roof Estimate Include?
When looking at multiple roof estimates, the top three things to compare are line items, rotten decking policies, and warranties. But when you’re going through those things, how do you know if what you’re seeing is good?
This can be a challenging question for homeowners to answer on their own. A new roof is a significant investment, and you want to be educated through every step of the process.
A roof estimate should include home protection, rotten decking, roofing system components, roof vents, clean-up fees, and warranties.
If you want to learn more about the roof replacement process before work begins, you can check out “Is Your Roof Damage Covered By Insurance” and “7 Tips to Prepare Your Home for a Roof Replacement.”
If you’re ready to take the plunge and get your first roofing estimate in the greater Milwaukee area, Rescue My Roof is here to help. You can contact us today to schedule your free roof estimate appointment.