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How to Compare Roofing Estimates

Inspector looking at a home

Comparing roofing estimates an important stage of roof replacement planning. This is the point where you choose one contractor among many that will turn your plans on paper into an actual roof. In today’s post, deck and additions contractor VillWell Builders, LLC share a guide on how to compare roofing estimates.

Important Parts of a Roofing Estimate

A roofing estimate can be a detailed document several pages long, or a one-page summary with several attachments to it. Whatever kind of estimate your prospective contractor sends you, they will have many things in common. The following are the parts you should compare:

List of Materials  The list of materials is a breakdown of all the materials that will be used in the installation, from the outer roofing material to the smallest fasteners. Part numbers should be present when applicable. Contractors may offer products from different manufacturers, so make it a point to look up part or product numbers, and make sure they match what you want. The same logic also applies when reviewing kitchen and bathroom remodeling estimates. The list of materials may be labeled “bill of materials” or “BOM” on the estimate.

Scope of Work  The scope of work describes the scope of work the contractor will perform on your roof. In addition to labor (which may have its own section), it should describe in detail things start and expected completion dates, the number of installers, and changes that will be made to the roofing structure. It may also include plans for unplanned repairs, clean-up work, and disposal of discarded materials.

Payments — Beware contractors who ask for full payment upfront. Reputable roofing and siding contractors will provide a payment schedule as part of the estimate. A typical payment schedule starts with a downpayment—usually 30% of the contract price—followed by a few installments after certain milestones like material delivery. A final payment is expected after satisfactory completion. Note that payment schedules may not include cost for “incidentals” such as unplanned repairs and waste disposal.

Warranty — Most roofing products come with a factory warranty. However, not all contractors offer workmanship or installation warranties. Those who do are willing to stand behind their workmanship and are willing to correct any installation error. Some credentialed roofing contractors may provide both factory and workmanship warranties backed by the manufacturer. In our case, as a GAF certified roofing contractor, our workmanship is backed by GAF in addition to their industry-leading factory warranties.

Questions to Ask Roofing Contractors

Reputable siding and roofing contractors will allow time for you to review and compare estimates, ask questions, and make revisions to it before you sign the dotted line. During your interview with your prospective contractors, make sure you ask the following:

What Kind of Insurance Do You Have? Every contractor worth their salt has some kind of insurance coverage. However, there are two types that they must have: general liability insurance and workers’ compensation (or “workers comp”). They provide coverage for accidental property damage and worksite injuries, respectively.

Are You Licensed? The Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection requires licensure and/or registration for all contractors performing major contractor work including roofing and deck and additions. They should have no problems sending you a copy of their license information. Take the time to verify their license and make sure it’s not expired.

Will You Obtain the Proper Permits? Contractors are the ones who apply for permits, and the contractor should clearly state in the estimate that they will do so. If your contractor asks you to apply for it—which should only be done if you’re working on a DIY project—then it means they won’t be responsible if their work doesn’t comply with building codes. Correcting such mistakes, if not covered by workmanship warranties, will be out of your own pocket.

VillWell Builders, LLC is your leading provider of home improvement services, including roof installation and kitchen and bathroom remodeling. Give us a call at (475) 271-1242. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.

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