Getting an estimate for your roof repair needs can be a scary prospect. The looming cost even causes some homeowners to avoid necessary repairs until it's too late, and the damage has become far, far worse. It's worth remembering though, that an estimate is not a contract. You can even call several roofing contractors in your area to request quotes, and then sit down and compare the numbers. This allows you to identify the differences, and choose the best company based on several important factors, rather than just choosing the first one that comes to mind, or the one that offers the lowest price.
All roofing estimates are certainly not created equal, but if you're looking at a legit estimate from a trusted roofing contractor, here are the things you can expect to find:
Work Description: Any good roofer will lay this out for you. This will include specifics on the work your contractor expects to do, so you can have a clearer picture of the scope of the work that needs to be done.
- Materials: Here your contractor will give you specifics on the materials they are planning to use and the components that will be needed to complete the repair.
- Warranty Information: Most roofing companies will warranty their repair work for a certain amount of time, and the materials themselves are usually warrantied, although the specifics and term of that warranty vary by manufacturer. You can expect to find this information in most repair estimates.
- Payment: You should be able to find all the payment information you would need in a roofing estimate. Roofing contractors should include accepted payment methods, downpayment, and the terms of any payment plans they offer.
- Provisions: This part of your estimate is going to cover anything that may change the final cost, such as add-ons or order changes.
- Termination: Also referred to as "Means of Exit" - this is an extremely important thing to look for in an estimate. An estimate should include the contractors termination clause, which allows either party to end the agreement in the case of a breach of contract.
It's important to remember that before you get an estimate, a roofing contractor will have to come out to your home and perform an inspection. This is the only way a roofer can truly get an idea of the scope of the work that needs to be done, and provide you with a well informed estimate they can stand behind.
So, the inspector has come out to take a look, and now you have your estimate in hand. Here are the things to keep in mind when reviewing your estimate (or estimates) to make sure you understand what you're looking at, and help you make an informed decision.
1. Review The Costs
The first thing you probably want to check out once you have your roof repair estimate is what the cost is going to be. Cost is going to be broken down into two main parts, materials and labor. You should have a list of several materials with the inclusions and specifications for each, depending on the work you need done to your roof. (ie: sealing a vent won't have very many different types of materials to choose from, whereas patching a hole could have several options)
The second part of your cost estimate is your labor. Labor costs will also vary depending on the scope of the work, how many workers are needed (this is something you can ask about) and how quickly the job will need to get completed. Keep in mind an estimate may look cheaper, but it could actually exclude things you probably want, like permitting and cleanup costs.
2. Familiarize Yourself With The Payment Details
Whether you are looking to pay in full for your project or break it up into installments, make sure you understand the payment details outlined in the estimate and that your roofer offers payment plans if you are looking for one. Also familiarize yourself with the repayment terms, whether or not there is interest, and be aware of any due dates, late penalties, or potential work delays that can be caused by not properly adhering to the payment guidelines.
3. Be Aware Of Potential Additional Costs
You won't always run across extra costs in your roof repair, but be mindful it's definitely a possibility. When you receive your estimate, there should be some provisions outlined that let you know if and when you might expect to see extra charges. Some examples of this might be if your roof requires special cleaning, or if the work that needs to be completed ends up being far greater than what was originally anticipated, like in the case of extreme damage that went undetected in the initial inspection.
4. Check Out The Warranty And Guarantee
Contractors who do quality work will almost always guarantee their work for a period of time. This is your peace of mind that at the end of the day, if for some reason your roof leak comes back or your patch doesn't hold up, you aren't looking at hiring a whole new contractor and paying them for a new job. Make sure you find out exactly what is covered by the company’s warranty, and what isn't, so that you don’t accidentally invalidate it. Also make sure to check this for the material warranty should you have one.
5. Don't Be Afraid To Ask Questions
It's important to make sure you understand exactly what you're looking at before you sign any kind of contract. While an estimate is not yet a contract, it's your first outline of what a contract will look like should you sign one with a given company. If there's anything you are unsure of, any verbiage you don't understand, or just anything you'd like clarification on: ask questions! We can't stress this enough: trusted and reputable roofing contractors will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and walk you through anything you don't understand. They are not trying to hide behind cleverly worded clauses and loopholes, and any company that can't or won't answer questions should you have them is one you should steer clear of.
If you've got damage that needs a repair, and you'd like an estimate, Colony Roofers can start by providing you with a free 30 minute inspection. One of our dedicated team members will come out, assess the issues you're having, and follow up with a detailed and comprehensive estimate outlining what needs to be done and what it will cost. We pride ourselves on being a name you can trust in the roofing industry, and we've been cultivating relationships with home and business owner's alike in the Atlanta area for years. Call us today!