What to look for in a Roofing Estimate

Before you hire a roofing company to replace your old roof, you should familiarize yourself with a roofing estimate. A roofing estimate is a broad overview of what you can expect from the roofing service and how much you are going to pay for the job. The more you know about what to look for in the estimate, the more empowered you will be to make a smart decision.

A roofing contractor that is bidding for the job should go over the details of the estimate in a way that answers your questions and addresses any possible concerns. So, a good starting point for choosing the right contractor is evaluating how well they explain the estimate before they begin the job – not after.

If you are unfamiliar with roofing estimates, below is a short guide that helps you through the finer points. These are the basic elements that you should expect in any roofing contractor’s estimate.

Project Start Date and Completion Date

The date of the roofing project begins when the crew arrives on-site with all necessary materials and starts work on your roof. The deadline for completion is the day that you can expect the crew to finish the work, remove all materials/equipment and clean the job site.

How long should a roof installation or replacement take? On average, a roofing company can complete a single job in three to five days. How long it actually takes primarily depends on:

  • Roofing material
  • Roof removal or repair
  • Florida weather conditions
  • House size
  • Roof design

Keep in mind that Florida weather is unpredictable and it rains an average of 120 days per year. As such, a roofing contractor accounts for the weather when estimating the completion deadline.

A Complete Work Description

An estimate should outline a detailed description of the job so that you know what work will be performed. The description may include:

  • A list of all roofing materials
  • Type and thickness of roofing underlayment
  • Location of the flashing
  • Size of the nails and fasteners
  • Type of sealant used for waterproofing
  • Ventilation
  • Specified manufacturer products

Costs and Payment Schedules

An estimate should include a complete list of all costs including labor and materials, permits and clean up or removal of any debris. The total of the job should include all costs with no surprises, hidden fees or sudden changes. That being said, a contractor may have to switch products depending on availability (which can affect the cost of materials) or they may have to adjust the cost if they have to perform an unforeseen job such as repair or replace a part of the roofing system.

When it comes to payment terms, each roofing company has structured payment schedules. They range from month-to-month financing to full payment upon completion. A contractor may require a deposit of up to 30 percent up front, 30 percent at a given benchmark and then the remainder when the job is done.

Clear and concise costs and payment terms should be included in the estimate so that you can anticipate exactly what to expect before the contractor begins work.

Manufacturer and Workmanship Warranties

Manufacturer Warranty

A manufacturer warranty is a guarantee that backs up all roofing materials the contractor used in the roof installation. All roofing manufacturers guarantee quality craftsmanship, durability and performance in their warranty. The manufacturer warranty does not cover the installation – just the materials.

Workmanship Warranty

The workmanship warranty covers the labor and guarantees that the roofing installation meets or exceeds all job specifications, industry standards and building codes. It may also guarantee that the materials were installed according to manufacturer specifications.

Some contractors will combine warranties and assume responsibility for both the materials and labor. Keep in mind that warranties are limited to conditions outlined by the manufacturer or contractor. It is imperative that the contractor goes over these conditions and that you understand what your warranty covers and what it does not cover.

Insurance and Licenses

Contractors must carry a contractor’s license and certification that meets all Florida state requirements. They are also required to carry liability insurance that protects their employees from injury and compensates you in case they inflict damage onto your property.

A reputable roofing company will be ready to provide this information along with the estimate or per your request. As a homeowner, it is wise to request these credentials so that you can hold the contractor legally accountable if they fail to install the roof according to job specifications or local or state building codes.

Questions to Ask Roofing Contractors

Although most estimates are comprehensive, they do not cover all the specifics of a job. No matter how thorough your contractor is in explaining the details of the job on paper, there are still concerns you may want to address. Therefore, you may want to ask the following questions:

  • Is there a provision for you to withhold the final payment until the work is complete (in case of delays or problems that arise)?
  • What are the specifics on the materials being used (manufacturer or quality/reputation of the products)?
  • Are there provisions for sudden job changes or add-ons that may result in increased costs?
  • If the contractor fails to pay all associated entities (employees, subcontractors, material suppliers), is there a lien release that protects the homeowner?
  • Is there a termination clause in the event that you and the contractor decide to end the agreement without a penalty?

Get a Free Roof Estimate from Quality Roofing Solutions

Quality Roofing Solutions offers premier roofing services for homeowners in Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Gulf Breeze and the surrounding Gulf Coast area. To find out more about our roofing replacement solutions, call 850-378-3757 or fill out the quick form on our contact page.