Modernize knows that 63 percent of homeowners compare three to four contractor estimates ahead of roof repairs and replacement projects. That’s because comparison shopping is one of the best ways to ensure you are hiring a trusted roofing contractor. But to make the most of this process, it’s important to understand how roof replacement quotes work and why they may vary.

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The Difference Between Estimates and Quotes

The terminology used for your home improvement project is important. You may receive estimates, quotes or bids from roofing contractors, but these each contain different information.

A project estimate details roughly how much a contractor believes the job will cost. A contractor will use their past experience and expertise to make this estimate. The actual cost of the project will be included in a quote, or bid. Most roofing contractors will gather information for their roof replacement quote by completing an onsite inspection. The resulting quote should be a very detailed document that outlines all aspects of the project.

How to Evaluate a Roofing Replacement Quote

A smooth roofing quote process should begin by establishing great communication with your contractor. Let them know about your budget constraints up front. This will help them estimate the most realistic way to reach your desired end result.

Once you have received multiple roof replacement quotes, carefully consider each. As you compare quotes, take note of any price outliers. All quoted prices should be relatively similar between each contractor. Extremely low bids can be the sign of a scam, and extremely high bids could be just as concerning. It’s important to understand why an estimate or quote is extremely high or low. Don’t be afraid to ask your contractor to explain any outliers you see.

Your roofing quote should be a transparent, thorough and even lengthy document. Every detail of the project should be noted, including materials, labor costs, start and finish dates and hourly rates. Your roofing contractor may also include a buffer budget to cover unforeseen costs that regularly come up during roofing replacements.

It’s also a good idea to take into account how the numbers on your quote are presented. A good contractor will make sure the information is organized and easy to understand. If your roof replacement quote is not properly itemized, feel comfortable asking for a revised quote before signing a contract.

Elements of a Roof Replacement Quote

How much is a roof replacement? The average cost is between $8,000 – $17,500, but prices vary widely depending on your region and home. When accepting bids from roofing contractors, expect to see several basic elements, including:

  • Roofing Materials: Roofing material prices range from very affordable options like asphalt ($150 to $550 per square) to options like slate (close to $385 to $800 per square). Other building materials to consider include, but are not limited to, boards and plywood, fastening, roof underlayment, flashing and sheathing.
  • Labor: Labor costs will vary depending on the size of the crew, their experience, and the scope of your roofing project.
  • Disposal: In most circumstances, your roof replacement will likely entail the disposal of your current roof. Shingles must be disposed of properly, so your contractor’s roofing quote will budget for a dumpster and haul away fees.
  • Permitting: Depending on where you live, your roofing contractor may need to secure permits to complete a roof replacement. The cost of a roof replacement permit may be a flat rate, or it could vary based on your home’s size or value.
  • Warranties: These include both manufacturer warranties, which covers the roofing materials themselves, and workmanship warranties, which cover your roofing contractor’s work. Be sure quoted warranties are clear in what they cover or don’t.
  • Wiggle Room:Construction may uncover additional costs that are beyond you or your contractor’s control. Especially if you live in an older house, it’s wise to be prepared.

Other Factors That Will Impact Your Quote

Roof Dimensions
The complexity, slope, and size of your roof will have a significant impact on the cost of your roof replacement. The higher square footage you have to your home, the more materials you will need and the longer the installation process will take.

Season

If there has been a recent hurricane or storm, demand for home improvement contractors will be higher. The same will be true during the spring and summer when demand for roof repairs is greatest. Cost will typically be higher during these times of high demand. Consider doing roofing repairs during cooler months when laborers’ time is in less demand. The price of new shingles can also be lower during the off-season.

The quote evaluation process can be challenging but will end with finding a great contracting partner for your home renovation. For more help, check out the Modernize Contractor Checklist. It’s a great tool to help vet a roofing contractor, so you can relax knowing your roofing repair or replacement project is in good hands.