Roof repairs and replacements can be very costly. No one could blame you for trying to save a few bucks here and there. Obtaining multiple bids for roof work can be a helpful way to find the right roofing contractor for the best price. But what should your decision be based upon? The lowest roofing bid always looks the most attractive, period. But how low is too low? A roofing bid that’s low for the wrong reasons can wind up costing you a lot more in the long run if it fails prematurely. Here’s what to look out for when you are offered a low roofing bid.
Generic, Poor-Quality Roofing Materials
Watch out for roofing contractors who offer low bids by selling YOU low-quality roofing materials. Using low-quality, generic roofing materials is a way to offer a low cost up front on a roof that will look fine until the shingles begin to fail shortly thereafter. Always ask who manufactured your roof shingles and how long the warranty lasts. Additionally, request that your roofing shingles be wind resistant, algae resistant, and impact resistant to avoid outside influences that could cause premature roof failure.
Underhanded Business Tactics
Roofing contractors can also save money by ignoring the costs it takes to run a safe and professional roofing business. They may not keep the proper insurance, leaving the liability on the homeowner. They may not have obtained proper licensing. They may not have the proper safety procedures in place. Always ask to see verification of license and insurance, and ask questions about their business practices. Also, be wary of a roofing contractor who does not have a physical address. This could be an indication of a fly-by-night contractor who could disappear at the first sign of a problem.
Remember, nothing is final until it is in writing. A roofing contractor may offer a low bid up front, only to raise the price after the project has been started. This is especially true if your existing roof layer(s) have already been torn off, as this tactic leaves the homeowner with few options. Always make sure you have a detailed estimate of all labor and material costs in writing before work begins.
A good rule of thumb is that you should always ask questions about roofing bids that are 15% more or less than the other roofing bids you obtain. A roofing contractor with a solid reputation using high-quality, industry proven roofing materials will cause you far fewer headaches in the long run.