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4 Things to Compare When Looking at Your Multiple Roof Estimates

July 7th, 2021 | 5 min. read

4 Things to Compare When Looking at Your Multiple Roof Estimates

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Every roofing contractor should recommend getting multiple estimates for your roof replacement. It helps you find the right roofing contractor, lets you compare prices, and even tells you if your roof actually needs to be replaced. 

But after getting your multiple roof replacement quotes, you need to know exactly what to compare, other than price, when looking them over. 

Here at Bill Ragan Roofing, we take pride in helping you and other homeowners make the right decisions. That’s why we’re going to give you the 4 things to compare when looking at roof estimates from different roofing companies.

By the end of this article, you’ll be better prepared to hire the right roofing contractor by looking at their estimate. 

1. The line by line items included in the roof estimates 

The first thing you need to compare is each roof estimate’s line-by-line items. These items are everything that will be included in your roof replacement, from the roofing materials to the roofing contractor’s labor and more. 

If it impacts the cost of your new roof, it should be included as a line item. When comparing the line items, make sure they include the same specific information to see why the different roofing companies charge a lower or higher price. 

Most of the time, it’s because they have different overhead costs or one has a higher labor cost. But some roofing contractors leave off necessary materials or use a different material to cut down on their costs to beat out the competition. 

A common one we see is using 3-tab asphalt shingles at the ridge instead of ridge capping. That’s not to say a lower-priced estimate is wrong or a roofing company is trying to take advantage of you. 

However, if the line items are different on the lower-priced estimate, there’s a good chance something was left off, or it will show up later as a hidden fee. 

2. The fine print in each roof estimate

Anytime you’re about to sign a contract, you need to read the fine print. Your roof estimate is no different. 

The fine print on your roof estimate includes crucial information that tells you a lot about a roofing company. That’s why you should always compare the fine print details on your multiple roof estimates. 

One of the most important things to compare in the fine print is how the different roofing companies handle damage to your property. Some companies have in their fine print that they're not responsible for damage to things like your gutters, light fixtures, sprinkler heads, and even things hanging in your home.

The fine print also includes exclusions that usually revolve around protecting your property, like covering your pool and landscaping. If they exclude protecting your property, they're leaving out a crucial part of the replacement process.

They usually include these exclusions to bring down the price of the estimate to win your business. But if a roofing contractor has to hide things in their fine print, they’re probably not the most reputable company in your area. 

3. How the different roofing companies handle rotten decking

Roof decking is a crucial roofing component that is the foundation of your entire roof. If any of your decking is rotting or the integrity is compromised, it’ll have to be replaced. 

rotten roof decking

The problem is that it’s really difficult to see the full condition of your roof’s decking until your old roof is torn off. When comparing your estimates, you should always check to see how each roofing company handles rotten decking. 

Some roofing companies include it as a line item that specifies how much it will cost per sheet to replace if rotten decking is found. If rotten decking is found, the roofing contractor should give you a heads up and let you know it’ll show up on your final invoice. 

On the other hand, some companies automatically include replacing decking in their estimates. In this situation, you’ll pay for the decking materials whether they use them or not. 

Both ways are fine, as long as you know upfront what will happen if they find rotten decking. But if a roofing contractor doesn’t have anything in the estimate about decking, it’s probably a hidden fee to keep their price lower than the others. 

4. The workmanship warranty each roofing company offers

There are two types of roof warranties you have for your replacement. You'll have one on the roofing materials themselves and another on the workmanship of the roofing contractor you hire.  

All your estimates should include information about the warranties you get. But the one you need to compare on your roof estimates is the workmanship warranty. 

The length of a workmanship warranty varies from contractor to contractor. But you should always look for one that offers a lifetime warranty or close to it (25 years).

Every roofing contractor should offer a workmanship warranty. If your estimate doesn’t include one, don’t even think about using that roofing company. 

Be aware, a contractor’s workmanship warranty is only as good as the paper it’s written on. That’s why you need to do your research and find a roofing company that has a history of standing behind their work and takes responsibility for any problems. 

What should your roof estimate actually include?

Now you know what you need to compare when looking at your multiple roof estimates. But when going over your estimate line by line, how do you know if it’s right?

This is a huge question that every homeowner needs to know the answer to. After all, you’re about to invest your hard-earned money in a new roof. 

That’s why we wrote another article breaking down exactly what you’re paying for when getting a roof replacement. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners like you in Nashville and surrounding areas with all of their roofing needs since 1990. We don’t try to hide anything in our estimates and are proud to offer a lifetime warranty to our customers. 

Check out What Your Roof Estimate Should Include to learn everything you’re about to pay for when your roof is replaced.

roofing contractor questions checklist

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