By Vickie Sharples, RCS Partner.
There are a few basic reasons you’re getting different prices on each bid for your new roof. Continue reading to discover what these reasons are and how to find the best contractor to install your roof.
The first reason is that they are all measuring differently. I have been in this business over 30 years and have NEVER seen three bids on the same house come up with an estimate for the same amount of material. Contractors might measure differently or eyeball it, or they use different figures for waste — every project has a certain amount of waste as the shingles will need to be trimmed around the different roof planes and edges.
Two, they are not all providing the same services. Perhaps one contractor is proposing a better-quality underlayment and is putting in new roof vents. It’s important to compare apples to apples across the board.
The third and final reason is that they may not be licensed and insured. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. Legitimate contractors are paying a significant amount for insurance to protect themselves, their employees and you. If you have a bid that is substantially lower than the others, then something is most likely off. Ask the contractor for his or her insurance certificate.
Keep in mind when you hire the unlicensed and the uninsured you may be saving money now, but you pay for it in other ways, such as higher taxes and insurance. They also are unfair competition for licensed contractors who operate with bonds, insurance and other reputable business practices. You will have no recourse if the installation is inferior and the roof fails. Know what you are buying and who you are buying it from.
I once hired a contractor because he said, “I will not be the cheapest, but I will be putting on quality vents and I will be at your job every day until it’s done. Here are three addresses for you to look at my work.” That guy turned out to be the best contactor I have ever met. I didn’t get any other bids. Sometimes it is not just about price, be a smart shopper.
"The person who buys on price alone is this person's lawful prey.” – John Ruskin
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