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Roof Replacement

How Many Estimates Should I Get for a New Roof?

November 10th, 2023 | 5 min. read

How Many Estimates Should I Get for a New Roof?

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Getting a new roof is a huge and expensive project, but a necessary one. That’s why you can’t just trust anyone to handle it without doing your due diligence.

This takes us to a very common (and great) question many homeowners ask, “How many estimates should I get for my new roof?” It’s easy just to say one as a roofing contractor myself. 

However, this makes it easier for bad roofers to take advantage of homeowners like you.

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided honest and transparent roofing information to combat the industry's bad reputation. That’s why I’ll break down what you need to know about getting multiple estimates for your new roof. 

This article answers the following questions:

  • How many estimates should you get for a new roof?
  • What should be included in every new roof estimate?
  • What should you compare when looking at multiple new roof estimates?

How many estimates should you get for a new roof?

I recommend getting at least 2 and a maximum of 3 estimates for a new roof. This isn’t to say getting an estimate from one roofer is bad. 

If you’ve worked with them before or they come highly recommended by someone you trust, that’s completely fine. But if you’re starting from scratch, getting 2 or 3 estimates for your new roof is a good idea. 

It’s one thing for me to say this, but it’s another to know why it's recommended. 

You’ll learn if you really need a new roof

By getting multiple estimates, you’ll learn if you actually need a new roof. This is especially important because bad roofers try to sell new roofs no matter what.

If you get an inspection from one roofing contractor, you have to take their word on everything they say. But you get different opinions on your roofing needs when getting multiple estimates. 

If one roofing contractor says you need a new roof and two others say you only need repairs, it’s a safe bet that you don’t need a new roof. That’s why it doesn't hurt to get a second opinion even if you trust a roofer and they come highly recommended.

You’ll find the right roofing contractor

Choosing a roofing contractor is a huge decision, so it makes sense to get it right. Because of this, you have to find one you can trust and who has your best interest in mind. 

By getting multiple estimates for your new roof, you get a feel for each contractor that comes to your home. You’ll be able to ask them all the same questions, learn more about each individual company, and see how they interact with you during the process. 

After talking with them and reviewing their roofing estimates, you’ll be able to determine which is the right fit for you.

You’re able to compare prices to find the best quality roof

A new roof isn’t cheap, which is why it’s considered an investment. Getting multiple estimates for your new roof simply allows you to compare prices.

However, comparing the different prices isn’t about finding the lowest one. While I understand everyone has a budget and some people are price-driven, it’s crucial to invest in quality over trying to get the cheapest roof possible

With multiple estimates, you get to choose a new roof that fits your budget without affecting the final quality. Just know that your estimates could have drastically different prices, so it’s important to dig into the reasons why.

What should be included in every new roof estimate?

No matter how many estimates you get, each one should have the same general information. It should be as specific as possible, with an itemized list of everything that will be done during your roof replacement. 

Every roof replacement estimate should include a line item for each of the following:

  • How your property is protected (tarps, boards, etc.)
  • Layers being torn off
  • Installation method
  • An itemized list of all materials and components being replaced
  • Roof vents
  • Roof flashing
  • Dump fees
  • How replacement decking is handled
  • Warranty information
  • How long the estimate is good for
  • Your right to recession

If it’s being replaced, protected, installed, or anything else during the project, a reputable roofer will include it in an estimate.

What should you compare when looking at multiple new roof estimates?

Now you know what should be included in every roof estimate. But looking at multiple estimates means nothing if you don’t know what to actually compare. 

Below are the main things you should compare on your estimates:

Obviously, you’ll also compare prices. But if an estimate lacks any information related to the list above, there’s something else going on.

Most of the time, this revolves around property protection, leaving off necessary materials, and/or using a different material to cut down costs to beat the competition. If your estimates don’t match up, these things tell you why. 

What red flags should you look for when comparing your multiple new roof estimates?

Now you know how many and why you should get multiple roof estimates, the information that should be included, and what to compare. Unfortunately, a roof estimate can look great on the surface but can actually be hiding problems you won’t notice until after signing. 

This happens way too often in the roofing industry. But luckily, these problems can be easily found. 

That’s why I wrote another article breaking down the red flags to look for in an estimate.

Check out 5 Red Flags to Look Out for on Your Roof Estimate before signing on the dotted line of any new roof estimate. 

roofing contractor estimate checklist

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