Hiring The Right Roofing Contractor – The Roofing Quote Process

Well summertime has finally arrived! With long stretches of clear blue skies and sunny days there is no better time to have your roof replaced. In this news article I would like to discuss the process of getting a quote from the right roofing company. What to look for and what you should expect from your potential roofing contractor.

#1 Research
Do a little research before you pick up the phone and start calling the first company that comes up on google. A little research goes a long way. So what should you look for? Well look for a company which has an informative website, accreditations such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), reviews on google or others such as Angies list for example. Taking 5 minutes to look up a few of these things will give you some good understanding on your potential roofing contractor. For example, some companies which may come up first on google could have many bad reviews from people just like you. Google reviews are one of many helpful tools to assist you with your decision.

#2 Making the Call
When you call a roofing company to get a quote on your reroofing project be prepared to answer a few questions. The most common questions you will be asked are: How old is your roof? Is your roof leaking? What kind of roof do you currently have? If it’s flat then it’s most likely tar and gravel or torch on. If it’s sloped or pitched then will have either an asphalt shingle roof, cedar, metal, concrete tile or some type of composite shingle. These kind of questions are asked so the roofing contractor can send the most knowledgeable representative for the type of roof you have. After gathering your contact information a date will be agreed upon which is convenient for you to have the representative meet with you at your home.

#3 Meeting Day
The day before the company’s representative comes to your home you should compose a list of any questions or concerns you may have. When the representative arrives at your home he/she should sit down with you and go over your wants, questions and concerns. He/she should explain to you what is to be expected during the entire duration of the reroofing project. Everything from material storage to disposal bin placement to clean up procedures. After all your questions are answered and roofing procedures are explained it’s time to measure the roof.

#4 Roof Estimate
Depending on the size of your roof, type and complexity the estimator should spend a minimum of 20+ minutes measuring and assessing your roof. Sometimes this may take up to an hour. It is very important the estimator takes this time to address any possible issues or problems with your current roof which may have led to premature failure. Addressing any issues at the time of reroofing is key. Important components of your roof such as soffit venting/attic venting, flashings, decking, drainage and roof components/vents all need to be working in unison in order for your roof to meet its life expectancy. Once the estimator has thoroughly inspected and measured the roof he/she should inform you of what they found. Hopefully there is no major issues and you can move onto the next step, roof product and colour choices.

#5 Product Choices
The roofing contractor should give you options and show you samples of different products available. When it comes to flat roofing you’re limited to a few options. Most common product used today on residential reroofing in Vancouver is called torch-on. Torch-on is a modified bitumen roofing system (SBS) which comes in a roll and is applied using a controlled flame. Torch-on comes in the basic colours of shades of black, grey and brown. The other options would be TPO or EPDM rubber. These options are a single ply system. Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is more commonly used on commercial buildings. It is a great heat-reflective and energy efficient roofing system. Single-ply EPDM roofing system is a synthetic rubber compound that is more commonly used on commercial buildings. It provides great weathering characteristics. It takes specifically trained individuals to install TPO so make sure your contractor is capable of installation.

When it comes to sloped/pitched roofing material options the world is your oyster. Asphalt shingles some in a large variety of designs, sizes, colours and durability. There is a variety of cedar shingles and shakes from perfections to hand split. There is the option of the lifetime durability of metal roofing. Concert/ clay tiles is another option. And with the growing number of rubber composite shingles coming into the market which mostly come with 50 year warranties I really do mean the world is your oyster when it comes to sloped roofing options.

Once you have decided on a product to be installed on your roof (you have all the time in the world to do so) the roofing contractor can put together a quotation for you.

#6 The Quote
Once you have received your quote there is a few things to look for. Make sure all the company information and your contact information is correct. There should be a detailed description of the Scope of Work. The Scope of Work should explain the work to be completed and the products being used. Make sure everything discussed with your estimator/salesmen is in the written quote. There should also be an estimated start/completion date and warranty information. One more thing to look for is the charge for any unforeseen work. For example, if the contractor finds a ventilation pipe or duct work venting into the attic oppose to venting through the roof the contractor must extend that pipe/duct through the roof and have the proper vent installed. This would be an unforeseen situation which would be an additional cost to the contract price.

If all the ducks are in a line at this point and you are happy with the quoted price then its time to sign the quote/contract and let the roofing company work their magic. Following these simple guidelines can potentially save you major headaches and most of all money. Most people don’t know how much roofing in Vancouver costs so they tend to go with the cheapest quote which is not always the best decision. For example, say you get 3 quotes which range from $4100, $5200 and $5600. You decide to go with the quote for $4100 thinking you are saving $1100-$1500. The company quoting $4100 might be using subpar material or is not addressing important issues with your roof which could have led to premature leaks or just simply cutting corners to save costs. I have personally dealt with people in these situations. Their new roof starts to leak after just a couple years so what do they do? They pick up the phone to call the roofing contractor who installed their roof only to find out his phone is disconnected. Now they are stuck with the cost of repairing a roof only a couple years old! Unfortunately there has been times where the past “roofing contractor” did such a horrible job there was no other option but to replace the entire roof or a large majority of it. This was due to their obvious inexperience in the trade.

Do a little homework and be prepared to pay for the job to be done right the first time. You will get a roof with a full warranty which will last its expected lifetime and save money in the long run.