Getting your roof replaced is a big project. Not only is it expensive, but it’s critical to get right the first time. Hiring a contractor that does a shoddy job and doesn’t stand behind his work will get you into a mess down the road. When hiring you’re bound to get price estimates all over the place. The question is…what are you paying for?
Obviously with all things equal, you should definitely go with the low price. However, if a contractor is going to deliver higher quality work or better products, it would be good to know! The reason a contractor may be a couple thousand dollars higher could be because he delivers more value that will save you money now and in the future. To help you see where differences between contractor’s may be, here’s the 3 main things that determine how much it costs to replace a roof.
COST FACTOR #1 – PRODUCTS USED
Like everything, in roofing there are a range of quality and prices when it comes to the products used on your roof. The quality you get will change how much it costs to replace your roof. If you hire a contractor that buys bottom-of-the-barrel cheap materials it’s going to be much less expensive. If you hire a company that uses only quality products it’s going to cost more, but the result will be better.
Like the old adage says, “You get what you pay for…” Just like if you’re looking to buy a new digital camera, prices range from $30 – $1300 and higher. The $30 camera will still take pictures, but it’s going to wear out faster and the quality of the end product isn’t going to be there. It’s up to you to decide what quality is worth what $$ amount.
To see which products we recommend, check out our guide to the best roofing materials to put on your home.
Roof Replacement Cost Factor #2 – Workmanship
What makes the $30 camera so cheap? Not only are the parts cheap, it’s on an assembly line where the cameras are tossed together at break-neck speed by low-wage, non-skilled workers. The higher end cameras? No way! The labor put into a product is one of the big determinants in many products, and a roof replacement is no exception.
In fact, the labor that goes into a roof may be an even bigger deal than the products used.
Because just a small mistake made in your roof by the installer’s can result in huge headaches and repairs in the future. I’ve seen an entire bathroom ceiling get destroyed because the roof installer’s missed one small step that resulted in a pinhead sized hole for water to get through. Since the day it was installed it started soaking his insulation, and slowly made it’s way down to the drywall ceiling where it puddled and traveled all over the ceiling.
Obviously it’s going to cost a lot more to pay a skilled installer to take their time and make sure your roof is installed right, than to pay an apprentice to slap some shingles up on your roof. Do you want a $12/hour guy or a $30/hour guy installing your roof? Do you want him to work as fast as humanly possible or take the time to make sure things get done right?
Roof Cost Factor #3 – Warranties
The warranties included with your roof overshadow everything else that goes on. A warranty could be considered the proof of what a contractor is telling you. Many companies and their salespeople talk a good game, but you can see how much they mean it by the warranty they offer.
If a contractor tells you they use the highest quality materials and most-skilled labor, but then won’t guarantee your home won’t leak, would you trust him? Obviously, if he was truly using the best materials and labor, he should back up what he says with a warranty to match.
Also, don’t be fooled by a contractor that says you get a “lifetime warranty” as he may just be talking about the manufacturer’s warranty. If something goes wrong with the workmanship, you may not be covered at all! Check this guide for more information on what a shingle roof warranty covers.
How Much Will It Cost To Replace YOUR Roof?
These 3 things – products, workmanship, and warranties, are the main factors that will determine how much it will cost to replace your roof. When interviewing contractors, be prepared to get prices all over the board, and don’t just go with someone because they talk a good talk. Ask them what they are really offering, get everything in writing, and don’t give up when they brush off the question!
Keep reading the other articles on this blog to learn more so you can be equipped to make the best decision for you. If you’re just starting this whole process and aren’t sure what to do, read this first – My Roof Is Getting Old, What Should I Do?