When you are looking at replacing your roof, many people may think that all you have to do is to call a company and get an estimate.
However, there are specific items that should be on roofing estimates. In addition, there are things you should expect when meeting with a contractor and important questions to ask.
The more you know, the more likely it is you will choose wisely and create a relationship with a reputable company.
Roofing Estimates Look Different
Depending on what company you are interviewing you might get a proposal that’s handwritten on one sheet of paper or a several-page document. It’s best to treat this like an interview. When interviewing several companies, make sure they can all provide:
- A complete estimate that includes all known costs including permits if required and all clean up and disposal costs.
- A breakdown on the type and brand of underlayment, flashing, ventilation, shingles and any other type of materials to be used.
- A line item including of the type of product and workmanship warranties being offered.
- A breakdown of any out of the ordinary or special requests that may be in addition to your typical roofing job and if requested which trade will complete the work.
- Start and completion dates.
- Payment terms.
- Proof of licensing, workman’s comp, and liability insurance.
When hiring a contractor, pay attention to the same cues you would use to create a relationship with anyone else. If the contractor looks you in the eye and answers your questions honestly, it’s probably someone you want to work with.
It helps if you focus more on how they historically do their work and how they get high-quality workers to stay with the company than the colors and shapes of material they have to offer. Asking open-ended questions will help you suss out the quality. If the guy says they have never installed a roof that leaks, he’s probably sugar-coating.
When you have compared all the bids and have a company you would like to hire, make sure both you and the contractor sign a contract. This ensures you both have protection and the rules are agreed upon. There should be:
- Payment specifics: Down payments, progress payments, and final payment should be spelled out so there are no surprises. You should be able to withhold final payment until you are satisfied with the job if it comes to that.
- Specifics on the material: This includes what was outlined in the initial bid. Be sure it includes provisions for add-ons that might result in a higher bill at the end.
- Lien Release: A lien release protecting you from liability if your contractor fails to pay his subcontractors.
- Termination Clause: Be sure it there is a termination clause. It allows either of you to end the relationship without penalty if the contract is violated.
It’s best to take all guesswork out of getting a new roof put on. Make sure you know the ins and outs of the whole job. Get comparable information from every company you interview before you make your decision.
If there’s an outlier – a company that doesn’t want to provide some of this information – don’t be afraid to say no. And if you don’t like what you hear, you are the customer. Send him packing!
As always, we at Renovations Roofing & Remodeling, Inc. would love to help you with the new roof or remodel you need.