A roofing project is a major investment that you make toward the beautification and weather protection of your home. As with every home improvement undertaking, roofing projects need to be managed closely to ensure successful completion.
One of the essential details you have to familiarize yourself with is the roofing proposals from your prospective roofing contractors in Seattle. Since you’ll probably be comparing a few estimates, knowing what to look for can help you eliminate some options.
What’s a Roofing Estimate?
When you’re encountering problems with your roof and need to know how much it will cost to repair the issue, you’ll start by contacting several roofing companies asking for an estimate. A roofing estimate provides a line-by-line itemization of the labor and material costs as well as the target timeframe of for the project.
Pro tip: Treat the roof proposal phase as a preview of what it would be like to work with that specific contractor. Are they thorough? Courteous? Direct and confident, yet respectful of your preferences? How a roofer acts before you’ve hired them can tell you a lot about their work ethic. Be wary of contractors that try to get you to buy certain products before even asking about your budget.
Some roofing companies such as Seattle’s Klim Roofing & Construction offer free estimates, while some will ask for a fee. Any contractor that wants a fee just to take a look at your roof should be met with skepticism.
What a Proper Roofing Estimate Should Include
When reviewing several estimates, start by making sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Some roofers will provide a very simple estimate without a detailed breakdown of the costs. You should always insist on seeing a detailed breakdown of the costs.
A legitimate roof estimate should include all the details of the project such as the key persons for each aspect of the project and the schedule including the start date and target completion date. Will the roofing installation or repair project require the services of subcontractors or third parties? There should be a clause in the estimate regarding that.
In-depth information about the types of flashing, underlayment, roofing materials and ventilation to be used should also be specified along with the brand, dimensions, measurements, warranties and placement of each product.
While roofing bids are not to be confused with contracts, both documents should include payment terms. In a roofing proposal, the payment terms should be stated. The specifics such as the total amount of the entire roofing project, down payment and final payment should be included as well. There should also be a provision stating that you can withhold the final payment until the satisfactory completion of the project.
You can ask for an itemized list of labor and material costs. The estimate should also account for the costs of permits needed, as well as if the amount stated includes cleanup services. Provisions for other contingent costs or additional fees should also be stipulated.
Contractor Bond and Insurance
You should be made aware of the license, liability insurance and worker’s liability insurance of the roofing company. Note that there should be a clause stating that you will not be held responsible for compensation should the principal contractor fail to pay their subcontractors.
Well-drafted roofing estimates include clauses specifying that either party can terminate the agreement if any of the stipulated conditions are not met by either party.
What to Be Wary of
The budget is always a top concern for homeowners. However, don’t make the mistake of prioritizing price over quality. While many cost-conscious homeowners are tempted to go with the lowest bid, think twice before making that choice. In short, be wary of roof estimates that are too good (and too low) to be true.
Here’s how to know if the lowest bidder is a scammer just waiting to cheat you out of your hard-earned money and leave you with a subpar roof.
Unbelievably Low Costs
The truth is that roofing projects are rarely inexpensive. However, the difference is that honest roofers will be transparent about their pricing, while unscrupulous contractors will give you a low estimate at first but jack up the prices as the project progresses. This is known as the elevator ride scam, where the costs start low but will keep riding up, sometimes ending up being pricier than the other estimates you rejected. If a roofer’s bid seems too good to be true, then it probably is! The best thing to do is move on to the next bidder.
No Detailed Price Breakdown
A roofing estimate with no itemized list of costs most likely means that the roofer will cut corners. As a potential client, it’s you’re right to see a detailed cost breakdown. A reputable roofing company will be happy to provide this.
How to Protect Yourself Against Roofing Scams
It’s important to keep in mind that while many roofers are hardworking and honest, some are deceitful and won’t hesitate to lie to your face. Having said this, you can take measures against these so-called roofers and roofing scams by:
Asking for specifics. Ask how certain unforeseen issues will be addressed. Often, you’ll be able to spot a scammer by the way they try to solve roofing problems. That is, they’ll try to get you to spend more and more.
Being firm about what you want. Don’t get pressured into picking a more expensive option if that’s not what you want, especially if you have budget restraints.
Doing research. Confirm the authenticity of their license with your local licensing board, read customer reviews from reputable websites (not just the roofer’s website) and ask around for references. Check for their physical address or brick and mortar office as well.
Withholding full payment until the project has been completed to your liking or as agreed upon.
Refraining from paying a large amount upfront or paying in full before the job has even started.
Klim Roofing & Construction has a track record of providing excellent roofing products and services. Whether you need work done on a commercial or residential roof, you can count on us for high-quality workmanship at fair prices. We take pride in our processes and accountability. Call us today at (425) 485-5546 to get your roofing project started! We offer free roofing estimates to homes and commercial properties in and around Seattle, WA.