When you get a roof estimate – the amount that your roofing company quotes you to either repair or replace your roof – you’ll most likely want to know how the inspector arrived at that number. It’s important that you know that proposals definitely differ between contractors. So what goes into an estimate for a roof replacement or repair?
What Goes Into a Free Roof Estimate?
One thing’s for sure: When you ask a professional roofing contractor (one with a good reputation in the community) for a quote, the contractor should be able to break it down for you to explain the costs of materials and labor. This is exceptionally important, because a roof – whether you’re having it repaired or replaced – is a big investment that most homeowners have to make at least a couple of times.
A good roof estimate includes all the information you need, but if you don’t see it, feel free to ask. You need to work with a contractor who’s willing to go into the details with you. Some of the factors that go into an estimate for a roof replacement or repair include:
- Project details
- Cost of materials
- Cost of labor
- Cost for permits
- Cost of cleanup and removal of debris
- Information on the type of materials the contractor recommends or that you’ve chosen
- The types of product warranties that come with your materials
- Information on workmanship warranties
Pro Tip: If a contractor wants to give you a quote without “crunching numbers,” that’s not the right contractor for you. Likewise, if someone gives you a verbal quote without writing anything down, choose another roofing company.
Your contractor should outline the project’s details for you, including when the project will start and end, payment terms and who’s responsible for what. You need to get that contractor’s estimate for a roof replacement or repair in writing – that way, you’ll know exactly what to expect from the project.
Cost of Materials, Labor and Permits
Your materials and the contractors’ labor should be listed and estimated in your paperwork. The cost of the permits (every locality is different) should be in your estimate for a roof replacement or repair, too.
Cost of Cleanup and Removal of Debris
Cleanup and debris removal, which is especially important for large roof repairs and complete roof replacements, has to be included in your new roof estimate. That way, you’ll know the complete cost of every phase of the project.
You and your contractor will talk about the materials you want to use, whether you’ve chosen synthetic slate, asphalt shingles or other materials, as well as underlayment, flashing and ventilation components. That way, your roofer can give you an accurate cost based on how much you need – and it’ll all be listed in your estimate for a roof replacement or repair.
If the products you’ve chosen come with warranties, your contractor can give you all the information you need. Workmanship warranties and guarantees are important, as well. When a good contractor provides you with a free roof estimate, he or she will be able to put all this information on paper.
What Many People See On an Estimate for a Roof Replacement or Repair
Often, contractors submit bids with very little detail. Sometimes you’ll only see the total cost without the price of materials or labor on your estimate for a roof replacement.
While proposals can differ quite a bit between contractors, your estimate for a roof replacement or repair should tell you everything you need to know. If you’re not clear on what figures made up the estimate you received, you can ask the contractor to provide more detail. However, if the contractor isn’t willing to do so – or if he or she provides numbers that don’t make sense to you, it’s time to get a different estimate for a roof replacement; choose someone who understands your concerns and who will give you the details you need to make an informed decision.
How Do You Know if You Need to Get an Estimate for a Roof Replacement?
It can be difficult to tell that your roof is failing, but you should watch for these ten telltale signs:
- Your shingles are curling, cracking or blistering. These unsightly shingle issues typically start happening toward the end of a shingle’s lifespan, and if you see any of them, it’s time to get an estimate for a roof replacement. In some cases, you can put off a replacement by making repairs – and your roofing contractor will explain your options as part of your inspection.
- You have missing or loose shingles. Occasionally, a shingle pops loose from its fasteners. If that happens, it’s okay – it likely just needs repair. However, if several of your shingles are missing or loose, or if you find shingles in your yard (even if you can’t see where they came from), it’s time to call out a professional for a roof inspection.
- Your roof looks saggy. As your home ages, things begin to deteriorate. The good news is that if your roof is sagging, you may simply need repairs – but you could need a complete roof replacement to protect your home. If you don’t act soon, either way, your roof could collapse.
- You notice shingle granules in your gutters. Shingles are only made to last a finite amount of time, and when they begin to lose granules (they look like very tiny pebbles or grit from sandpaper), they’re not protecting your home as well as they used to. That means it’s time to get a free roof estimate from a local contractor.
- You notice dark spots or mildew on your roof. It’s definitely time to schedule an appointment with a roofing pro if you see dark spots, which signal algae or moss growth, or notice mildew growing on your roof. Dark spots and mildew mean that there’s moisture building up on your roof. If you address these issues too late, you’ll almost certainly have to schedule an estimate for a roof replacement – but if you catch them in time, you may just need a little roof maintenance to protect the materials up there so they can continue protecting your home.
- You see exposed nail heads on your roof. When your house settles, it’s normal for a few nails to move from where they’re supposed to be – but on your roof, they need to be repaired. That’s because over time, those out-of-place nails make your roof susceptible to water penetration. They can even lead to significant leaks in your roof. If you notice exposed nail heads on your roof, you need to schedule a new roof estimate. (Don’t worry, though – if there isn’t any serious damage, you may just need a few minor repairs.)
- You see water damage in your attic or inside your home. Water leaks never get better with time. If you find water in your attic, or if you see mold or mildew growing inside, it’s imperative that you schedule an estimate for a roof replacement or repairs immediately. Likewise, if you find water leaking into your home and there’s any chance that it came from the roof, you need to call out a team of local roofing experts
- Your roof is missing flashing, or the flashing is damaged. Flashing is the sealing material that roofers place around the objects that stick out of your roof, such as your chimney, skylights and vents. If that sealant is cracked, missing or otherwise damaged, you’ll need to call and set up a free estimate for roofing repair. Remember, though, if there’s already significant damage, you may need a roof replacement rather than repair.
- Your roof is old. Most asphalt shingle roofs are built to last between 20 and 30 years, which means the protections they offer taper off – and eventually, the roof system fails. If your neighbors are getting their roofs replaced, or if you simply know that your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, you should get an estimate for a roof replacement as soon as possible.
- Your energy bills have gone up, and you can’t figure out why. If your energy bills have recently skyrocketed – or if they’ve been steadily increasing (more than they would due to price hikes) – it may be time for you to get an estimate for a roof replacement. Sometimes poor attic ventilation causes energy bills to go up, but in other cases, the roof just isn’t doing its job of protecting the home any longer.
What About an Estimate for a Roof Replacement?
When you call a local roofing contractor out to inspect your roof, he or she will let you know exactly what’s wrong with it. If there’s nothing wrong with it, great – just make sure you keep up on its maintenance and you’ll be fine. However, if your roof has issues, such as leaks, missing or damaged shingles, or other problems, your inspector will tell you and provide you with an estimate for a roof replacement or repair.
Your inspector will also let you know whether the damage can be repaired or you need a full roof replacement. If you catch problems early, you can have your local roofing experts address the issue right away – and that means you can put off roof repair until it’s really necessary. However, sometimes roof damage is undetectable (unless you’re a roofing contractor). When damage goes untreated for too long, the problems only worsen; they never get better on their own. If you set up a free roof estimate and the damage is too severe to repair, your inspector will give you a quote for replacement and talk to you about all your options. He or she will go over roofing materials that may be a good fit for your home, talk about project timelines, and outline the cost of your project, which will all be listed in your estimate for a roof replacement or repair.
Are Roof Repairs Cheaper Than Roof Replacement?
If your roof can be repaired, you’ll save money over a roof replacement. Additionally, you’ll be able to put off a roof replacement – sometimes for several years. The longer your roof last, the more cost-effective it becomes.
Most asphalt roofs are designed to last for 20 to 30 years, so as long as yours hasn’t been severely damaged, repairs may get you through until the natural end of your roof’s lifespan.
When Should You Get an Estimate for a Roof Replacement?
As soon as you notice issues with your roof, it’s a good idea to call a professional for help. You may not need to get an estimate for roof replacement – you might just need repairs – but it’s better to err on the side of caution by bringing in a team of local roofing experts.
It’s especially important that you talk to a professional if you see any leaks inside your attic or worse, inside the living areas of your home. Water leaks never get better on their own; they only become worse with time. Even a small leak can quickly spiral out of control and cause tremendous amounts of damage. If you address a leak as soon as you discover it, there’s a good chance that the damage isn’t too severe – and you may be able to save a lot of money by having it repaired.
Do You Need an Estimate for a Roof Replacement or Repair?
When your roof isn’t doing its job of protecting your home, it’s time for a free roof inspection. Call us at 469-327-8622 today. We’ll work around your busy schedule and set up a time for a professional inspector to check out your roof’s issues, and we’ll provide you with a roof estimate that helps you make the best possible decision.
About Burton Hughes with New View Roofing
Burton Hughes is a senior project manager and roofing specialist for New View Roofing, a family and veteran owned North Texas roofing company. We feature Owens Corning and CertainTeed premium roofing systems and are GAF Master Elite certified contractors, with a complete line of commercial and industrial roofing solutions. We present clients a variety of options and provide free roof inspections and detailed estimates.