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Getting Roof Estimates and Working With Roofing Contractors

photo of my roof upon inspection

If your roof is in bad shape, you may be looking to get some roof estimates so you can replace it. Learn tips for getting great roof estimates and finding the perfect contractor to work with.

As many of you may have noticed, I’ve slowed down the extreme pace of DIY/renovation for a chance to actually enjoy my new home. It’s nice to just relax and get settled in my new place, have friends over for dinner, or even watch a TV show… hooray!

This is a sample of what a proposal may look like. I could also ask the contractor to line item these pieces if I think it’s necessary.

Plus, my partner-in-crime (dad!) is recovering from an injury and I really want to wait for him to feel better before we start working on the house again. I love working on everything with my dad, so continuing without him wouldn’t feel right, or be as much fun. Get well soon dad!!

However, a slower pace doesn’t mean I’m not planning for the future.  So, we decided while he’s healing that I’d work on getting estimates for some work that we’ll need to hire out for, specifically roof replacement and window replacement.

Here are my tips for getting the best roof estimates.

Review your Home Inspection Report

My home inspection noted some observations about the roof. The front part of the roof has shingles that are deteriorating a little bit. The back looks better, but still not great, as the shingles are a bit uneven and don’t look like they are staggered properly. The report stated that the roof has the potential to leak of the shingles aren’t replaced.

My roof before (in need of a new roof)

They really try to scare you in inspection reports. My best advice is to get a professional to look at anything that comes up in the report.

Get a Roof Certification (if necessary)

What I did was hire a roof contractor to take a look at my roof and give me a “certification” that it was not actively leaking and that it was in sufficient condition that it would last at least 2 more years.

Turns out, my contractor didn’t even make me for this and it really helped to give me peace of mind, as well as pacify my lender and the insurance company underwriter who were concerned about the condition of the roof. So, it was definitely time well spent and money… well… not-spent.

Home Advisor notes that a roof inspector costs about $200 on average for this service. Make sure if you pay someone to come to the house, that you get their results in writing.

Get a Minimum of 3 Quotes

My rule of thumb for any kind of project requiring a contractor is to get 3 quotes. You don’t necessarily need to go with the cheapest option. But, I find that 3 quotes will give you a really good idea of what it should cost. If there’s an outlyer… you may need to get 4 quotes to see.

Cost of a New Roof

If you’re wondering how much an asphalt roof will actually cost… according to Home Advisor the average cost of a new roof replacement in 2021 is $450 per square.

The average cost to replace an asphalt roof is $7,211 for an average 2,000 square foot home. This price includes old roof removal, new roofing materials and professional installation.

Factors that affect the cost are the roof’s size, pitch, materials used, where you live and local building codes. You may also need to pay extra for removal if you have several layers of shingles already on the roof. Replacing the plywood can also affect the cost. Additional features on the roof, like chimneys, skylights, and ventilation pipes can also affect the cost.

Head over to this post for more tips for working with contractors.

Here’s what my new roof looks like

See more pictures of the finished roof.

Wrapping Up

Doing the work to get complete and clear roof estimates from multiple contractors will help you to avoid a disaster later. Start by reviewing your inspection report and making notes of what was written.

After this, you may want to ask a trusted contractor to do a roof certification for you. This was required by my mortgage company, but even if it isn’t this will give you some idea of how bad your roof is.

Don’t have a trusted contractor yet? Ask friends, family, and coworkers who they would recommend for the job. Don’t forget to check the contractor in an online database to make sure that they have proper insurance and no complaints.  Once you get some names, try to get at least 3 roof estimates and get clearly documented contracts so that it’s easy to compare your options.

If you run into problems later, make sure you keep diligent documentation when you remedy the problem.

Take photos before and after any repairs have been done.

Make sure that you document the date, time and circumstances. Even write down who you spoke to on the phone. This will save you time and headaches in the future.

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19 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips for getting a new roof. We want to get one in the near future because our shingles are starting to peel. I’ll be sure to ask for a roof certification to see if it’s free, like yours was! That peace of mind would definitely be nice.

  2. Heavy spring rain may exploit any small cracks or problem areas on your roof. Look for any signs of moisture in your attic, as well as interior areas of your home. Repairing small leaks now will help prevent bigger problems down the road.

  3. My fiance and I moved into our new home recently only to find that we may need to call a roofing service. We want to make sure that we are doing everything correctly to keep it in good condition. I will be sure to review the home inspection report too while looking for a service.

  4. We have had a lot of problems lately with our roof. We didn’t really know how to take care of the problems so we needed help. Luckily my uncle is a professional roofer so he solved our problems for us! And like you mentioned, he helped us understand the different warranties and pricing related to roof repairs.

  5. I liked that you had mentioned that it can be important to be very careful while working on a roof to avoid injury. My wife has been wanting our roof redone for a while now and I believe that it’s something that I’ll be able to handle myself. I’ll have to make sure that I’m careful when working on the roof to avoid injury. I’ll also have to make sure that I have the right roofing supplies to make sure it can be handled correctly.

  6. Here the blog has dealt with the info regarding the average roof estimates that a contractor may push at the time of roof installation or roof remodeling. But in this context I would like to tell that the average overall cost of roofing will not be same because proposals can differ significantly from one roofing contractor to another. But the most important thing is that one will have to get multiple proposals, so that he can compare apples to apples. After all, putting a new roof is one of the biggest investment that he is going to make in his home, which I think is one of the biggest risk factor just because a minor miscalculation may become a nightmare for him. So, do some manual task and plan everything perfectly before going to hire a contractor. Thank you.

  7. My wife and I have been talking about replacing our roof this summer. We moved into an older home a couple years ago and have noticed that there might be some roof damage due to the weather. I appreciate your tip to ask family and friends on who they have used and would recommend we hire. I’ll have to start asking around to find the best one.

  8. I agree with the tip about documenting everything on paper for roof estimates. My sister and her husband had some roof work done last summer and were sure to get a copy of the agreement. I will definitely keep these roof estimate tips in mind for future use.

  9. I really like what you said about getting three different estimates for your roof. We recently had a wind storm that did a bit of damage to my already old and beaten up roof. I’ll make sure that I ask a couple of contractors how much they plan on charging, and see which one fits my budgets. I really liked these tips, thanks.

  10. I would agree that getting a roof certification brings a peace of mind. My roof has been having leaks lately. I think it’s because my shingles are heavily damaged. I’m going to hire a roofer soon to come check it out. I hope they offer a free consultation.

  11. We are in the process of shopping around for a roofing contractor to replace our roof. We are definitely going to get everything in writing and document the work with photos. Thanks for all of the advice.

  12. I really like your advice to make sure you are getting a contractor that is trusted and experienced. One of the best ways to be sure that you are doing that is to ask for good references. The last thing you want to do is cause unneeded stress when it comes to your home. Do you have any other advice about finding a good roofing contractor?

    1. Asking about a warranty is a good tip. Some roofs will come with a 1 year warranty. I asked for some extra shingles too when they were finished with the job. That way if a couple blow off in a storm I have ones that match.

  13. Great tip about getting a written contract. That way you can be sure both parties follow through with what they agreed to do. My husband and I need to hire a roofing contractor to replace our roof, so I will be sure to get a written contract. Thanks for sharing!

  14. You have some great advice here for anyone looking to remodel their roof. Most of these tips can be used for any kind of remodeling project, they’re that good! I agree, finding a trusted contractor is vital, and getting other’s recommendations is a great method of finding one.

  15. I agree that getting a recommendation from friends is a great way to go. I would feel a lot better getting a referral from someone with in person experience working with the roofing contractor. My husband and I need to hire one, so I will start asking a few friends and family if they have any suggestions. Thanks for sharing!

  16. It is crucial to find the right contractor for your roof. You should find a contractor that is worthy your investments. In choosing the roof contractor they should have provide a list of satisfied clients for your convenience and for you to have a worry free renovation of your roof.

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