Roofing Estimates

Finding quality roofing estimates is an important step in the replacement process. Armed with 3 to 4 comprehenisve roofing estimates will insure you hire a quality roofing contractor and get the job done right. Here is what we recommend.


Step 1: Get Multiple Roofing Estimates

Your best bet in looking for a top notch roofing contractor is to get multiple project quotes. Different companies may specialize in certain types of roofs, others may gravitate towards certain types of materials. Finding the right company, i.e. one that is experienced, professional and one you feel comfortable with, is certainly important as you sit down to write a check for $10,000 (or throw it on your credit card). The bids should be free so there is no risk to you, plus you will learn more about the project specifics, costs, timelines etc as the process unfolds.


Step 2: Compare The Roofing Estimates

Roofers can bid out a project at whatever price they want and you will be amazed at the variation of quotes you receive. (For sample project pricing, check out our roofing cost calculator and estimator.) Take your four roofing estimates and set them side by side. Any that deviate more than 20% from the others (either on the high or low side) should be examined closely (or simply thrown out). Any companies that gave you a “bad feeling” should be thrown out as well – if you don’t trust them now, do you really want them working on your home for a week?


Step 3: Go Online & Double Check

Take the remaining bids and visit one of these roofing sites, www.roofingtalk.com, www.contractortalk.com/f15/, www.roofing.com. Plug in all of the project specifics, including the size of the roof, the materials they will use, the cost, etc. (the more specific you are, the better response you will get). Contractors will get back to you and let you know whether the bids seem in line or whether you should continue to seek out more bids.


Step 4: Vet The Companies

Look for overall experience. Specifically, what kind of experience do they have with your type of roof and the material you are considering. This is especially important for higher end projects such as slate and copper roofs. Quality roofing estimates should be broken down into different component parts – is the cost inline with the other quotes and does it seem reasonable. Check on the company using yelp.com (unbiased reviews), Angie’s List (a paid for service), Google Places (local listings) and the BBB to make sure each roofing contractor has a solid history and reviews from past customers.

Makre sure they have the proper state licensing and insurance (bonding is a plus but not a must). Get 2 to 3 references from past customers and talk to the homeowners to inquire about their project, whether issues came up and whether they were resolved to the their satisfaction. If possible, get a reference from 3 or 4 years ago in order to make sure that the work has held up over time.



Step 5: Negotiate On Cost

Take the roofing estimates and look them over – this is where the cost breakdowns come in handy. Which parts, if any, seem too high – contractors may have a set dollar figure for certain services like demo. Perhaps your demolition is minimal, this is a good place to work down the price. Remember, it is easier for a contractor to come down on a specific part of the project if you give them a good reason to do so.