As a general rule, never hire a Roofing Contractor who offers an estimate without actually inspecting a roof. A Professional Roofing Contractor will want to take a look, to know what the project will involve. Once you have a written estimate, take your time and read everything!
A Roof Estimate Must Include:
A reputable Roofing Specialist should include pictures and provide a detailed report of the current state of the roof in the written estimate. He will ask questions and take his time inspecting it. Only then can he determine the situation and move on to recommend a course of action.
Recommendations and Scope of Work
This should contain a complete description of the work proposed. When you have a timeline and a process description, you’ll know what to expect.
It serves to mention that a Professional Roof Specialist will not only describe the “what” he wants to use, but also the “why?”. He should be able to help you not just name the problem, but understand the basic mechanics of it. This enables you to make the best decision.
Costs and Payment information
This section should always consist of an itemized explanation of cost, quantity of materials, as well as labor costs.
Payment terms, tax , permit cost if applicable, as well as accepted payment methods should be clear. It must also answer how much down payment is required to start. When is the rest of the invoice is due? What is the interest charge involved for overdue payment?
Materials cost can also change during the year. For this reason, it should have an expiration date. How long will this estimate be valid for? How long will you have to decide if you will accept it?
Labor warranties need to be specific. From start dates to exclusions, it must all be outlined in the estimate, which usually becomes the contract once signed.
Manufacturer Warranties on the materials used is included, but can actually be separate paperwork. A full copy ought to be made available for your records.
Changes in the Work
Who can make changes and how will it affect cost adjustments?
Responsibilities of the Parties
These terms can easily help you avoid frustration. The Owner may be responsible to remove or protect any personal property including any driveways, lawns, shrubs, etc.
You should specify to your contractor where he may park the company vehicles, or the waste containers for larger projects. The contractor should leave the premises in a neat and broom clean condition.
What Happens If There Are Delays?
A Professional Contractor will start and diligently pursue work through to completion. But he is not be responsible for delays for any unforeseen/uncontrollable reasons. When and how would the project continue?
Some roofing projects depend on dry weather, others can be done under light drizzle. Ask the roofing contractor what would constitute a reason for delay due to weather. It will help you plan accordingly.
In the event there is any litigation or arbitration arising out of the agreement, the prevailing party should be entitled to reimbursement of reasonable attorney fees and costs. Why should you have to go thru extra expense and strife for some else’s mistakes?
Asbestos and Hazardous Waste
What would happen if during the roofing project, the Roofing Specialist finds such hazards? Asbestos and other hazardous wastes, require special procedure, precautions, and licenses. Therefore, this generally calls to immediately stop work and allow you to obtain duly qualified asbestos and/or hazardous material contractor to perform the work. Only then can the roofing project continue.
A written estimate is more important that you think. Asking for a “ball park” number will never truly give you an answer to the important questions.
A free estimate is actually a great starting point for you to understand the scope of what your roofing project will really entail.