What to expect and tips on how to get the most out of your free evaluation.
Most roofing contractors offer free evaluations, estimates, and quotations. Knowing what to ask and what to expect can help you from a very educated decision both in the job you want to have done and the contractors you want to hire. Consider free estimates as sort of a dress rehearsal and a quick way to gauge how a potential contractor operates and conducts business.
Investing in a new roof or replacing or repairing existing roofing can become very costly. Choosing the right contractor and proper materials could not only save you money but a whole lot of grief and stress as well.
A lot of homeowners make the common mistake of just hiring the first contractor that comes along. This might not always be the best way to go about finding the best contractor and more often than not, they do not offer the best prices. Doing your due diligence and researching will assure that you find the perfect fit for the job you need to be done.
But First, What Are Free Evaluations Anyway?
Quite simply, it is an estimation of the costs of both labor and materials that a contractor will present to the client before any actual work is done. Contractors visit the site to do the proper inspections in order to give an approximate costing of the entire job to the customer.
What Should Be In An Evaluation?
Homeowners should be wary that there are some less than reputable contractors that would just give you a piece of paper with an ending figure on it – a flat rate. This is not what you would want. An ideal quotation or evaluation should include an itemized list, which should include:
- Materials Costs
- It is best that you have previous knowledge of market prices of the materials because this is where most contractors inflate their prices and add markups to cover for some of their expenses in operating their business. Having competitive market prices beforehand can lend you an upper hand when haggling with materials’ prices or just knowing if you’re paying way too much for something.
- Labor List and Labor Costs
This should be itemized according to every single job involved in the entirety of the contract. For example; the price of removing old shingles should be separate from the price of installing new ones. It is also good practice to discuss each item on the list with your contractor for you to gain a better understanding of what each item really is.
Added Charges That Might Catch You By Surprise
These are added costs that could not be as obvious as the rest of the other items. Commonly added charges could include:
- Dumpster Rentals – To store all waste and debris from the worksite.
- Transportation of materials – getting the materials required for the job to the job site could sometimes cost a little extra. The price could depend on the retailer, transporter, and distance of travel.
- Debris Removal – Worksites accumulate waste and debris, and their removal is a service on its own which will, of course, cost money.
These charges can depend on the type and scale of the job, make sure to discuss all the added charges with your contractor before signing any contract and moving forward with the project. You can always gauge contractors’ honesty and professionalism by their willingness and openness to discuss anything with their clients.
Don’t Settle With One Estimate
Shop around and seek other contractors to compare and find the best price and service out there. Think of this process as part of educating yourself in roofing options. The worst mistake any homeowner can do is not to look for other options and opinions. Ask friends, family, or neighbors who had experiences with roofers – this is a great way to get a lead on great options.
Know Which Factors Your Contractor’s Estimate Will Be Based On
During the inspection, there are a few key things your contractor will be looking at to make their assessment and estimate. It is best that you also know what they are looking for so that you can agree or disagree with their estimate. Contractors often look at:
- Roof size – The area of the workplace
- Roof Pitch – The inclination of the roof
- Materials Needed – Shingles, Steel Roof, etc…
- Amount of Damage – This could be to the roof itself or to the frame which is usually water damage.
An Estimate Is Never Exact
Estimates are, well, estimates. Do not cling to the initial number given to you by the contractor after the evaluation. By the time the job is over your estimate could be more, it could be less. A lot of unforeseen spending can arise from construction jobs, it is best to plan for contingencies.
Never Start A Project Without An Inspection First
This goes without saying. Any agreement you enter, it is always best that all the details have been discussed and agreed upon. Starting work with a contractor without ironing all the details first will only lead to avoidable grief and piling costs.
Lastly, Hire Reputable Roof Contractors
It is very tempting for homeowners to opt for the cheaper deal, but more often than not, this could also mean the end result is of less than desirable quality. Check on the company’s websites, seek testimonials, and reviews. Gather as much information as you can on the company that you wish to hire before you enter and sign a contract with them. Quality Discount Roofing & Construction has been the trusted name for over 10 years, providing quality exterior services to homes & businesses including roofing, siding, gutters & insulation. The company prides itself on offering the best customer experience at the best prices in Jacksonville, Florida. Learn more to get a free roofing estimate now by visiting our website.