The Way to Avoid a Shakedown for Roofing Costs

dont scammed by texas roofer

Your roofer’s work and own fiscal responsibility should be your biggest concerns.

No quote is a deal if your roof leaks, seems terrible, or is never installed at all (that happens). But as soon as you have identified roofers that measure up on quality factors, cost becomes crucial.

Contract to own roofing work done on a fixed-price basis, after a quote.

Undercover shoppers worked with three homeowners to get bids on roofing jobs for their homes in an independent study. Roofers almost always bid on exactly the same specifications.

The results of the study would look shocking to the average property owners, unforunately, we were a little less than surprised.

The roofer-to-roofer cost differences on the same project were striking. For a single job, prices ranged from $13,796 to $17,975–a gap of $4,179. For another job, estimates ranged from $9,482 to $12,510–a gap of $3,028. For the next, costs ranged from $11,136 to $13,455–a gap of $2,319.

The message: get several bids.

Get at least three bids from companies rated high for quality.

Do not assume a low bid signifies you will get lousy work: For each of those three tasks, the shoppers received low prices from top-rated outfits. And do not get bids only from companies that offer the lowest price. Our experience with roofing bids is that there’s often no consistency: Contractors charge high prices for some tasks and low ones to many others.


Go Broad

Invite more businesses than you would like to see: Some will not appear for weeks, if ever. When you’ve seen enough, call the rest of the contractors and cancel. During some periods, especially after roof-damaging storms, then you might have to invite many builders to get even a few to appear.

Use estimators as your advisers. Until you receive your first few bids, you probably won’t know exactly what work you want. Ask each contractor for its recommendations and the reasons behind these, then consider the arguments and settle on your specifications.

Once you have a tight description of your specifications, ask the contractors who have already bid on your project to correct their bids so; give a copy of the specs to any extra businesses you want to bid.

You typically don’t have to be at the property when estimators arrive – unless you need to point out water damage inside your house. If you won’t be there, email your specifications in advance or leave duplicates of these.

Get more bids on bigger projects.

A 20 percent saving on a $500 project is just $100, but if you can save 20 percent on a $10,000 job, that is $2,000.

Get additional bids if:

  • You can find significant differences between the first couple of bids.
  • The quote has more tasks (cost) associated with labor than materials (and the major driver of price).

Contractors cover approximately the same amount for materials, but there might be significant differences in their hourly rates for labor and just how much their employees accomplish per hour.

Get more bids if it’s simple –for instance if you will be home anyway or may arrange to get the roofer to come over while you’re gone.

For minor repair jobs, some contractors work on a time-and-materials basis. If at all possible, avoid this arrangement; you’re much safer with a fixed-price contract. But if you must pay by the hour, then determine the hourly labor rate, how many workers it includes, the minimum charge, whether you’re going to be charged for traveling, and how partial hours are rounded.

A lof of this is common sense, but with the influx of out-of-town roofers coming into Texas due to all the storm damage, it’s good to remember the basics.