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3 Hidden Costs in the Roofing Industry

February 1, 2022 | 4 min. read

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Buying a new roof is a significant investment. Roof replacements can cost upwards of $8,000, and while they are necessary to keep your home and family safe, spending that much money can cause hesitancy. 


When you’ve made other big purchases like a phone or a new car, you may have noticed some extra fees that are slipped in with the final cost.


Service fees, activation charges, and other hidden costs associated with big purchases can add even more fear into the roof buying process.


For over a decade, Rescue My Roof has been helping homeowners just like you to find the best roof for their homes. To do the same for you, we need to be transparent about the top three hidden costs you may encounter in the roofing industry. 


They may not look the same as the service fees you are used to finding, but hidden costs in the roofing industry can add thousands of dollars to the final price of your roof. 


In this article, we will be talking about the top three hidden costs so the next time you encounter them in your estimate or final bill, you’ll know how to spot them. 


The Top 3 Hidden Roofing Costs


When you’re making a big investment, you don’t want to spend more money than you have to. 


Quality roofing companies won’t have hidden costs. All of the factors that will impact the price of your new roof will be laid out in the roofing estimate. 


However, some companies aren’t as invested in your happiness as others. They will try to increase the prices on materials or charge extra warranty costs that you won’t find elsewhere.


Here are three factors you can spot and avoid:


1. Overpriced Materials


Some roofing contractors may increase their profits by charging more for lesser-quality materials. 


Everything from flashings to underlayments to shingles should be included in the line items in your roof estimate. 


It is recommended that you get three to four roof quotes from varying contractors so you can see the average price of the materials used. If one estimate is much lower than the others for the same materials, you may not be getting the quality they promised. 


When this happens, it is often the result of companies charging for flashing and shingles while actually ordering cheaper materials or reusing existing roof materials. 


This can lead to the need for early repairs or another roof replacement in the future. 


When comparing material prices, it’s crucial to ensure all needed materials like flashing and hip, and ridge caps are included. Additionally, you will want to be cautious of any prices that are much lower or higher than the others. 


2. Additional Warranty Costs


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.


This warranty covers the labor cost of future repairs and replacements due to workmanship issues. If anything were installed incorrectly, it would cover the cost of the repairs minus materials. 


Warranties are fantastic because they mean you’ll either pay very little or nothing at all with any repairs or replacements.


However, warranties come at a cost. When you install a new roof and are offered a warranty, you could be paying an additional $500-$1,000 up-front depending on the one you choose.


This can be an additional cost that may blindside some homeowners. You must communicate with your roofing company to know if there are any additional costs associated with the warranty before purchasing a roof. 


3. Damaged Decking


Rotten decking can be a hidden costs in the roofing industryOne 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.


Additionally, there will be repair costs for the damaged drywall, and it may be necessary to upgrade your roof ventilation system.


Make sure to talk to your roofing contractor about any upgrades that may be necessary to keep your roof in good condition. 


If you communicate your needs with them, any additional costs can make it into the estimate, even if they may not be necessary in the end. 


Ensuring communication during the roofing process and knowing the policies and prices surrounding rotten decking will help you avoid hidden costs. 


What Do You Do When You Find Any Hidden Fees?


All of your roof replacement costs should be laid out in the roofing estimate. But what happens if they are not?


Not all roofing companies can be good. There are some out there that will attempt to maximize profits by taking advantage of homeowners.


If you ever stumble across a cost that is not in the estimate, like extra decking fees or overpriced materials, the best way to handle it is to talk to the roofing company. If it’s not included in the estimate or the contract, it is not something you should have to pay for.


Additionally, make sure to review your estimates and compare them thoroughly. If there are any estimates where the prices are higher or lower than their competitors, that may be a red flag. 


Overall, the best way to avoid hidden fees is to be communicative and cautious. 


Want to learn more about roof pricing and warranties? Check out our articles “The Benefits of a 50-Year Roof Warranty” and “Six Ways to Pay for a Roof Replacement.”

Are you located in the greater Milwaukee area and are ready to get your first roof estimate? Start here with Rescue My Roof by contacting us to schedule your free roof estimate appointment.