If you are a home or business owner searching for a new roofing contractor, you might have read a few reviews which proclaimed that the contractor in question offered “competitive pricing.” We have had quite a few reviews like that ourselves.
However, when is a roofer competitive? When is he lowballing? When should you be downright skeptical?
First, understand national averages.
The average cost of a brand new roof is $6,789. However, the most expensive roofs can go as high as $25,000. Some smaller homes may even manage a $2,000 install, though that would be highly uncommon.
Understand the factors that go into the price quote.
A metal roof will be more expensive than an asphalt one. A home with a steep slope and plenty of gables will cost more than a home with a relatively easy-going slope. Small homes cost less than palatial ones.
The same goes for businesses. Most businesses have flat roofs, but size and materials do play a role in determining the amount of the final roofing quote.
Compare apples to apples.
Thanks to the vast number of considerations that go into offering a roofing quote it’s impossible to make any serious determinations about whether or not prices are competitive without first doing a little homework. This really does mean calling 3-4 roofing companies to get estimates on the same type of work.
Once you’ve ensured, to the best of your ability, that there are no hidden fees in any of the quotes you’re looking at then you can begin to make some determinations about which quotes are truly competitive. It’s easy to rule out the person who charges 25% more than everyone else, for example.
However, if all of your picks are really reputable and honest there really shouldn’t even be that much variation in the quotes.
Run away from low ballers!
If you see a quote that’s 25% to 50% lower than everyone else’s, then you may be tempted to hire that roofer on the spot.
Instead, ask yourself why this roofer can afford to keep prices so low.
- Are they cutting corners somewhere?
- Did they decide not to carry the proper insurance?
- Will they use knock-off products?
- Will these roofers come back later with some kind of “gotcha” fees that triple the price of the work?
At the very least, you should triple-check the roofer’s reputation and ask for some kind of an explanation.
Don’t choose a roofer on the basis of pricing alone.
Once you’ve determined a roofer’s prices are competitive (but not alarmingly low) then it’s time to think about all of the other reasons why that roofer might make a good fit for your project.
- Were you impressed by their professionalism?
- Did you find it easy to get someone on the phone?
- Do you feel like you’ve been treated with respect?
- Have third-parties ever verified this roofer’s workmanship?
Remember, your roof protects your home, which is the single greatest investment you will ever make. It’s good to have a sense of how to evaluate pricing, but it’s even better to understand how you should evaluate the roofing company itself.
Image credit: Kurhan