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Question DetailsAsked on 4/14/2012

If a bid to replace a roof is $3400 over 3 other bids close together for the same materials, is it possible roofer incorrectly measured?

I know this must be an unusual question. I was stunned at the bid and disappointed because guy seemed very prof. with company folder with references, awards. etc. He did best presentation and I was sold until he gave me a price. The other guys were prof. also but not as polished. I asked why the diff. for same materials. His answer was quality of workmanship. Really? Is that possible? I wondered if he could have incorrectly measured to warrant this price or what could he be doing so different that maybe I should be asking the other bidders about. Would it be out of line to mention price difference in hopes to get him to change bid or could his bid just be too much.

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3 Answers

Voted Best Answer

There is always the option that he did not properly measure. Ask each of your contractors how many squares they think the roof is. So all is a level playing field, ask for squares before waste and accessories.

- Price should never be the sole deciding factor to hire or eliminate a contractor. - I like to tell people that quality of materials and scope of work will dictate price, but truth be told there is more to it than that.

On any given average single family residential home I will be $2,000 higher than the average roofer. But I don't consider us to be average, and though we may use the same shingle as others, a roof is a system comprised of more than just the shingles. There are the underlayments, the flashings, the ventilation. But what I sell my customers is more than just a roofing system, I sell them a roofing project. The setup and protection, the cleanup, the permit. I am also including a rock solid guarantee from myself and often bundle in upgraded manufacturer warrantys as well. So on the surface it may appear as if we are doing the same thing, but that is almost never ever the case.

You said the guy was very professional. Right there if he truly is professional he deserves to be compensated as such.

Is quality of workmanship a factor? Absolutely! I recently inspected a roof less than a year old and half the roof needs to be replaced. On paper they did everything right. In reality they did alot wrong. Valleys installed backwards to catch water instead of shed water. Nails too deep so it's like not having any nails at all, already some shingles have blown away. Chimney flashing improperly installed. ALL the other flashings were reused. Oh yeah, most roofers will reuse flashings we will NOT. The clean up was terrible, there was STILL garbage in the bushes and sharp metal scraps in the back yard.

So yeah, quality of workmanship counts. Let me tell you some other ways unscrupulous roofers may save money. They may insteall a "minimum code roof", a roof that meets the code but doesn't exceed it. Do you want the minimum on your house? They may use a quality shingle, but use cheap underlayments. I can buy generic ice shield for less than half what I pay for CertainTeed Winterguard ice shield. They may use an architectural shingle but then use field cut 3-tab shingles on the hips and ridges. They may not address your ventilation and improve if necessary. They may reuse old flashings. They might not protect your property from dust and debris generated from the roofing tear off.

There are truly soooo many variables involved in a roofing project that one would really and truly need to put all the proposals side by side and see what is being done. Then there is reputation. I charge more because I deserve more. We are all human and we all make mistakes from time to time and we've made mistakes but we fix them. I feel like a donkey when we do make a mistake, but the customers are always ultra happy we actually came back to honor our warranty.

Truth be told this is one industry where it's not hard to stand out when so many of my competitors are just plain garbage. In other words for every 10 roofers only 2 or 3 may be truly honest and reputable good people who truly care about a job well done and take pride in what they day. These 2 or 3 deserve to be paid more for their professionalism, honesty, education, training and so on.

Take a look at the link in the "sources" below to learn more about all the components involved in an asphalt shingle roof. If I assumed wrong and maybe it is not a shingle roof, take a look at the low slope options page.


Answered 8 years ago by ReliableAmericanRoof


There is much to be said about the price. I would NEVER make that the only reason you chose someone. I will tell you that I am not the cheapest guy in my area. The reason why is I pay more for my labor to do the BEST job, I use all the RIGHT materials, I have the RIGHT insurance and I offer superb customer service.

The size of your roof has a lot to do with the price. I will say the the "BIG BOX" stores charge WAY more and give you total crap. But a true professional has expenses that the pickup truck guy doesn't have.

Go to the NRCA ( National Roofing Contractors Association) website and look for the Choosing a Contractor section. If any of the bids you have MEET or Exceed that criteria, chances are the other guy was just over priced.

The Dirty Secret in the roofing business is MOST people use SUB CONTRACTORS to do the work. So the prices are usually in the same ball park. It doesn't matter who you "Buy" it from, you probably have the same crew or a family member of another crew come and do the job.

If like me you have your own Employees..the cost to do the job is extremely higher due to Workers Comp and General Liability insurances.

Also make sure that who ever is doing it HAS current insurance by calling up the agent and ASKING if they have insurance to do roofing. Another gimmick is contractors don't tell the insurance company they are doing roofing because it is WAY more expensive,

A roof is a long term investment. NRCA statistics show that 70% fail due to poor workmanship. Make sure you do your homework..

So as you can see... The price IS NOT EVERYTHING!!

Good luck..


Answered 8 years ago by Onlythebestbuilder


Illegal employees, differences in insurance coverage, local reputation for years, price/quality of materials used.

Ask why, and after you get every one's insurance certifical CALL and find out the codes being used and what the difference in liability is. This also applies to worker comp which I imagine is very expensive if you have workers with valid SS#s.

Answered 8 years ago by help1968


You got a lot of good information from the other responders.

The important thing to remember with roofing is it isnt the materials, it is the installation, that makes a difference.

A roofer who has been certified by the shingle or roofing product to install it means they were trained or verified to install the product per manufacturer requirements. Why does this matter? Because if you do have an issue with your roof, the material warranty is worthless--they will almost always respond to your warranty request with a response that says it was installed incorrectly so they do not have to honor the warranty.

This trained roofer is worth more than a willing body who just wants any job.

Roofs rarely leak in the middle. They leak around protrusions and at the edges. This is where you need a roofer who knows flashing, curb work, vent thru roof details, etc. Experience and training is worth paying for if you have a roof with a lot of valleys, ridges, changes in slope, vents, chimneys, etc.

Lowest bid on a job like this is not recommended. Look at references, and visit sites that have had work done. You want to see a recent installation as well as one 6 months or longer out. You also want to know how they left the job site (nails & scrap all over the yard?) as well how they did on meeting their agreed upon completion time (did they tear the roof off, then come back 3 days later?).

Good luck!

Answered 8 years ago by Kenny Johnson

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