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Going Beyond the Total: Comparing Estimates

If you are in need of a new roof, it is likely that you are considering multiple different roofing contractors and will receive multiple written estimates that you need to compare.

When given an estimate, it is tempting to just go directly to the ‘Total’ cost at the bottom of the estimate, compare that one number across estimates, and choose the cheapest. However, this can be a mistake. Here’s why:

  • You may be getting what you pay for. Choosing to go with a roofing contractor just because they are the cheapest may mean that you are also paying for subpar workmanship and materials. A cheap contractor likely does not use quality materials and may be underpaying their workers.
  • You may be missing important details. What type of material is being used? Is one contractor providing an estimate on regular architectural shingles and the other providing an estimate on hail-resistant shingles? Are the labor charges outlined (e.g., tear-off or steep-roof charges)? Are you clear on exactly what you are getting?
  • You may not be considering things not listed on the estimate. You want to make sure that you are choosing a contractor that stands behind their work with an extended workmanship warranty. Since the warranty is not necessarily included on the contract, you want to be sure you ask the contractor what type of workmanship warranty they offer and consider this when making your decision.
  • You may be overlooking financing options. If you need to finance your roof replacement, you want to be sure the company offers financing and that you understand what the interest rates are and what conditions apply.

In addition to comparing estimates from multiple companies, you also want to do further research. Read online reviews of the company and ask to see examples of their prior work. Replacing your roof is a big investment, and you want to be sure you are choosing a roofing company that not only offers a fair price, but also provides you with quality product and service.

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