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Roofing Estimates vs. Quotes: Understanding Your Contractual Agreements

Understanding the Need for a Quote

Every structure has a unique roof that’s customized to its shape. Although roofing professionals always install the materials with a certain strategy, no two roofs are exactly alike. With this fact in mind, every repair and replacement project requires an estimate. These cost breakdowns are rough at first, and then they’re slowly refined. As a homeowner, knowing how this process works will make you more comfortable with roofers and roofing best practices. Read on to learn the difference between an estimate and a quote so that you’re clear on all project costs.

Understanding the Rough Estimate

A roofing estimate comes from a cursory glance at the surface. The roofers discuss your options when it comes to material choices, such as asphalt shingles or metal. They create an estimate based on the desired materials and the rooftop’s square footage. You use this estimate to understand if the roofing costs are within your budget. In most cases, the charges cannot be negotiated because each roofer bids at their lowest base price. A new roof will typically cost several thousand dollars.

Refining the Estimate Into a Solid Quote

Once you approve the rough estimate, the contractor will then inspect the rooftop even further.Some structures have overlays, which are multiple layers of shingles that have been installed over the years. Although shingles do overlap by several inches, you shouldn’t have stacked materials from overlay projects. If the roofers encounter this scenario, they’ll refine the estimate to account for the added cost of removing the extra material. Typically, rough labor estimates won’t rise much for homeowners without overlay materials or other major issues on the rooftop. With a completed evaluation, the estimate turns into a roofing quote that’s nearly finalized.

Considering Contractual Additions

Be sure to read over the roofing quote as it’s refined and make an effort to examine the fine print that includes plywood additions. As the roofers remove the old shingles, they’ll expose the wood sheathing. It’s not uncommon for this wood to be damaged in certain areas. Any rotted or cracked wood must be replaced. Your roofers will quote the wood pricing in the estimate, but no totals can be calculated until the old shingles are pulled from the roof.

Disclosing the Findings

Your contractor documents any sheathing damage with either handwritten notes or a quick photograph. The information goes into your quote, and the cost changes based on the materials needed. If the numbers and quantities are confusing, don’t hesitate to speak up. You have a right to know how much damage is involved.

Finalizing the Project’s Cost

You won’t have exact costs until the job is completely finished. Most contractors, however, will try to stay within a reasonable range of their estimates. Reputable contractors also work to keep you informed so that you’re not hit with any surprise costs.

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