10 Tips to Help Understand Your Roof Estimate

When it comes to roofing repair and replacement in Los Angeles, homeowners are most concerned about the price. Keep in mind that costs vary depending on the scope of work required, so knowing what to look for in a roofing estimate can help you choose the most cost-effective option.

The following is a strategy to help you easily and confidently sift through several contractor estimates and pick the right roofing company for your needs.

Why Do I Need a Roof Repair Estimate?

Roof problems are more likely to get worse if they aren’t fixed quickly. However, some homeowners postpone or delay repairs because of the associated costs. While a valid concern, it shouldn’t prevent you from requesting a service quote.

Roof repair estimates allow you to compare total project costs between potential contractors, rather than accepting the first company that comes to mind or offers the lowest price. By stacking up the quotes against each other, you can identify the differences, which are often significant. For instance one roofing contractor might have lower costs but no warranty on the work, while another roofer costs a bit more but offers a 2 year warranty. That’s why you want to have all the information on paper to help inform your decision, whichever option you decide to go with.

What Should a Roofing Estimate Include?

Before a roofing contractor provides a written estimate, they will perform a comprehensive inspection of your roofing structure to determine the extent of the damage. They will provide you with several options to address the problem, explaining the costs and benefits of each.

Roof repair estimates vary for every contractor, but they often include the following:

  • Full Work Description: This includes specifics on the work to be done so you’ll have clearer expectations on the scope of work.
  • Materials Installed: Contractors specify the materials and components they’ll install to ensure that homeowners understand how their money will be spent.
  • Warranty & Guarantee: Warranty on the materials used should be mentioned in an estimate, along with the period of coverage and exact terms. On the other hand, the guarantee pertains to the contractor’s quality of workmanship.  
  • Payment Information: This covers accepted payment methods, down payments, and progress payments. If the contractor offers financing options, they will include the terms, interest rates, and installment amounts.   
  • Provisions: Contractors often have provisions for add-ons and order changes, which can impact overall costs.
  • Means of Exit: An estimate must contain a well-defined termination clause, allowing either party to end the contract if there’s a breach in the agreement.

Know What to Look for in a Roofing Estimate

1. Check the materials

The biggest expense of roofing repairs and replacement is the materials. Go through the materials list attached, and compare the inclusions and specifications of each. If you notice significant pricing differences, look at the brands—high-quality brands often cost more than mid- or low-tier options.  

2. Don’t forget the labor cost

Next to materials, labor is another significant expense. Inquire about the number of workers assigned to the project and whether they can complete the job by the deadline. The more hands on deck, the faster the job will be completed.

Labor costs also vary based on the services included. For instance, an estimate may be lower if it excludes permit requests and cleanup services.  

3. Take note of how quickly you receive the estimate

Besides scrutinizing the estimate’s contents, take into account how fast a contractor provided their service quote. If they took a long time getting back to you, you may want to search elsewhere. Punctuality is often linked to a company’s professionalism and work ethic.

4. Know the kind of roofing contractor you’re looking for

Not all roofing companies have the same specialties—some are experts in green roofs, while others only focus on asphalt shingles. Before requesting a service quote, have a list of roofers with the specifications you need or prefer to save time and effort.

5. Get multiple estimates [if you feel it’s necessary]

This is your roof we’re talking about, so ultimately the final decision maker is going to be you. Get however many estimates you need to feel comfortable. At the end of the day, go with your gut and choose a contractor that will do quality work at a fair price. 

6. Pay attention to payment details

Whether you choose to settle project costs in full or staggered payments, always be aware of payment deadlines indicated on the estimate. This is important, especially when you’re working on a tight budget. Ensure you have the funds to pay due amounts if you don’t want unnecessary delays and expenses.

7. Look at the warranty and guarantee

When a contractor offers a guarantee on their job, it shows that they are confident in the quality of their work. As a result, they’re more willing to make minor repairs in order to maintain their good name. Find out exactly what is covered by the company’s warranty so that you don’t accidentally invalidate it. The same applies to the warranty on the materials.

8. Ask questions

If you do not understand some of the details in your estimate, never be afraid to clarify them. Asking questions clears out misunderstandings and helps you set clear expectations about the project scope.

9. Prepare for hidden costs

Provisions in estimates allow roofing contractors to add extra charges that may come up along the way. For instance, your roof requires deep cleaning or has a more extensive underlying issue. But before they proceed, they often notify you of the additional cost. In California, it’s normal to allocate as much as 10% of the contract price for added costs. 

10. Determine extra services you may need

While discussing the work to be done, don’t forget to tell the contractor about the services you require. If you want them to handle permit requests and post-cleanup, expect to pay them for their effort.

Questions To Ask The Inspector

As a homeowner you don’t have a passive role in this process. You should ask questions, get clarifications to help you understand the problem, and weigh the pros and cons of each repair option that the contractor gives you. Here are some questions that you should ask the roofing contractor:

  • Was it the only issue that my roof had?
  • How long will the repair take?
  • Will that issue lead to other more serious ones further down the line?
  • What kind of weather conditions are favorable for the repair?
  • How can I be sure that I won’t need a second repair after this?
  • Do you provide a warranty to cover labor or materials?

How to Get the Best Price Possible for Your Roof Repair

So, what does a roof repair cost? With so many factors in play, the estimate for your roof is going to be different from your neighbor’s. 

When you need a roof repair estimate, our team at Roof Repair Specialist in Burbank, California can assist you. We’re able to provide you with a detailed quote right on our website. And if you have any questions about our estimates, we will gladly explain them to you.