I received three significantly different proposals from contractors. How should I decide which contractor to select?
Clearly written proposals that are detailed and broken down into separate line items are a good sign that the contractor is being thorough and has prepared an accurate estimate.
The following is a partial list of items your estimate or proposal should include:
- The type of roof covering, manufacturer and color
- Materials to be included in the work, e.g., underlayment, ice dam protection membrane
- Scope of work to be done
- Removal or replacement of existing roof
- Flashing work, e.g., existing flashings to be replaced or re-used, adding new flashing, flashing metal type
- Ventilation work, e.g., adding new vents
- Who is responsible for repairing/replacing exterior landscape or interior finishes that are damaged during the course of the work
- Installation method
- Approximate starting and completion dates
- Payment procedures
- Length of warranty and what is covered, e.g., workmanship, water leakage
- Also, be sure to read the recommendations listed in Buying a new roof and getting your money’s worth and Selecting An NRCA Professional Roofing Contractor (Steep-slope Residential) for more information.
If one estimate seems much lower than the others and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many fly-by-night contractors’ below-cost bids seem attractive, but these contractors often are uninsured and perform substandard work. If an estimate is confusing, ask the contractor to break down the estimate into items/terms you can understand.
My contractor is offering a one-year warranty on my asphalt shingle roof system – is that the industry standard?
Before answering the question, a clarification needs to be made about the different warranties you will come across during your roofing project. First, there will be the asphalt shingle manufacturer’s warranty. In general, this warranty covers defects in the manufacture of the shingle. The period of coverage can range from 20 years to a lifetime. Please read NRCA’s consumer advisory bulletin addressing roofing warranties for more information. Once the project is complete, be sure the contractor provides you with a certificate for your records.
Second, the roofing contractor will provide you with a warranty on his workmanship. Typically, this will cover installation and related issues. The warranty should contain what items are covered and what will void them. The industry standard warranty time is 2 years.
What should I look for in a reliable roofing contractor?
- Is the contractor licensed and insured? (Ask to see proof & verify w/ the insurance company on the certificate)
- Is the contractor a member of roofing industry associations & listed with local BBB’s?
- Does the contractor have referrals or testimonials?
- What kind of warranty does the contractor offer?
- Is the contractor accessible 24 hours a day / 7 days a week?
- What kind of material does the contractor use? We are a GAF Master Elite contractor -GAF is North America’s largest manufacturer of commercial and residential roofing.