If the time has come to replace your roof, the first step you should take is to get an estimate. We often recommend homeowners get several estimates from different roofing companies. This way, you can compare and contrast the estimates to determine which company offers the best value. As you review your estimates, keep in mind: the cheapest option is only sometimes the best. Instead, you want to dig into what each estimate includes and the value it offers.
So, what factors affect the estimates you receive and the final cost of your roof replacement? Here are the key factors:
The materials used play a considerable role in roof costs. Asphalt shingles are more affordable than other roof materials, such as tile or metal. But there is also variation in prices between different brands and types of shingles. If one roofing company gives you a higher quote, it could be because they use a better-quality shingle. Is it worth paying more for those better shingles? If you can afford it, the answer is usually “yes.” High-quality shingles require fewer repairs and tend to last longer.
Your roof deck is the structure that forms the base of your roof under the shingles. If your roof deck needs work, your estimate will depend on the type of materials your roofers use to make those repairs. One company might use cheap plywood, while another may use composite deck tiles.
When roofers create an estimate, they have to estimate how long it will take them to replace your roof. The length of time for roofing will depend on several factors:
- The size of your roof
- Your roof’s pitch
- Whether your roof deck needs work
- The complexity of your roof design
Larger, steeper, and more complex roofs require more labor to install, which means a higher estimate. If the labor estimates are different between two companies, it may be because one company pays their roofers more or because one company has more educated, skilled roofers. You want skilled roofers working on your home, so don’t let a higher labor estimate alone turn you off to a company.
Soffits and Fascias
In what condition are your roof soffits and fascia? Often, these parts need to be replaced or at least repaired when you get a new roof. The materials used for your soffits and fascia will affect your estimate. The sizes of your soffits and fascia also play a role.
It’s important for roofers to be safe while working on your roof. The steeper your roof, the more safety precautions they’ll need to take. They may need to wear harnesses, as required by OSHA. They may also need to wear specialized shoes, hard hats, and vests. Some of the cost of this equipment may be passed on to the homeowner and included in an estimate.
Roofing is risky. Even when roofers are as safe as possible, accidents do occasionally happen. As such, roofers need good insurance to pay for any injuries which may occur when they’re on your property. This contractor’s insurance protects you and your homeowner’s insurance from having to pay these costs. Roofers also carry insurance that will pay for any damage they may accidentally cause to your home and property. Responsible roofers are very careful, but again, accidents happen.
Of course, roofing insurance comes at a cost, and your roofers need to account for this cost when writing up an estimate.
Fuel and Other Vehicle Costs
Roofers have to drive their vans and trucks to your home, and those vans and trucks consume a significant amount of fuel. There are also other vehicle-related costs, such as loan payments, auto insurance payments, and registration fees. Most roofers won’t note vehicle costs as a separate line item on an estimate, but these costs are built into the fees they charge. If you live further from the roofing company’s home base, they may charge you more because they have to travel further to reach your home.
Roofing contractors may not require as much equipment as other contractors, but roofers absolutely need equipment. Roofing hammers do a much better job than everyday hammers and are faster. Oftentimes, roofers need scissors lifts to access the roof safely with heavy shingles. They need shingle shovels to strip a roof, belts to hold tools, and magnets to collect dropped nails. These equipment costs are accounted for in your estimate, and complex roofing jobs which require more equipment often cost more.Hopefully, this post has given you a better idea of what costs are accounted for in a roof estimate and why estimates can sometimes be higher than expected. If you’re looking for a roofing company in the Arlington area, contact S&S Roofing. We offer free estimates and are happy to answer any questions you may have.