How to Compare Roofing Quotes
Article by Brent Virkus – President and CEO of Motor City Design Build and Member of Team Virkus
Q: I am replacing the roof on my home. I started the process by receiving multiple quotes on the project. The problem is that the quotes vary wildly in price. How am I supposed to compare and choose the best contractor?
A: Comparing contractor quotes for a roof replacement can be confusing even to someone who works in the construction industry every day. The prices you’re receiving from roofing contractors should be broken down into two parts — labor and materials. I’m assuming that the contractors will be supplying the roofing materials for the project. If the roofing contractors are giving you a lump sum cost, it can be very difficult to figure out which is the best price — a very low estimate may have left something out, but a high estimate may have miscalculated something or perhaps they’re just looking for a good profit.
My suggestion is to make sure all the contractors are pricing the same roofing material for your project and then ask them to break their estimates down into material costs and labor costs. If they’re all pricing the same material, the quantity needed and its total cost should be about the same from each of the roofing contractors. If one is much lower or higher, there’s a pretty good chance they didn’t calculate the number of roofing squares needed for the project correctly.
That leaves labor costs and this can vary a bit between contractors quoting a roof installation. You want to make sure they have all the appropriate licenses and insurance required to work as a roofing contractor in your city — contractors without these very important items can sometimes charge lower labor rates. You also want to make sure the roofing contractors have included clean-up and doing all appropriate roof flashing in their labor estimate.
It can be very tempting to take the lowest estimate for your roof replacement, but it may end up costing you more in the long run if something was left out of the price. Carefully compare contractor quotes and make sure that if you’re choosing one that came in lower than the others that it has included everything and the roofing contractor is capable of high quality work.