Roof Quotes: Homeowner’s Guide

Learn how to understand your roof quote and get the best value for your money: Everything you need to know, from the scope of work to the workmanship warranty.
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Reviewed by JC Sanjuan — General and roofing contractor with over a decade of experience in residential and commercial construction. He specializes in project management, quality workmanship, client satisfaction, and solving roofing challenges.

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If you’re considering a roof replacement, you’ll likely receive several quotes from different roofing contractors. It’s important to understand these quotes carefully before making a decision. A good roof quote will be clear, concise, and comprehensive. It should outline the scope of work, the materials being used, the workmanship and manufacturer warranty, the payment schedule, and any other important details.

In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about understanding roof quotes. I’m a roofing contractor with over a decade of experience, and I’ve seen my fair share of good and bad quotes. I’ll share my expertise to help you make the best decision for your home and your budget.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:

  What is a roof quote?
  Why is it important to understand your roof quote before signing a contract?
  How to read and understand a roof quote
  Common roofing terms you need to know
  Different types of roofing materials
  What to look for in a roofing contractor’s workmanship warranty
  Common payment schedules for roof replacements
  How to avoid scams and get the best value for your money
  What to do if you have a problem with your roof after the replacement

I encourage you to read this article carefully before signing any contracts with roofing contractors. By understanding your roof quote, you can be confident that you’re getting the best possible deal for your home and your family.

What is a Roof Quote?

A roof quote is a written estimate from a roofing contractor that outlines the cost of a roof replacement or repair project. It should include the following information:

  • The scope of work: This is a detailed description of all the work that will be done, such as removing the old roof, installing new shingles, and repairing any damage.
  • The materials being used: This includes the type of shingles, flashing, and other materials that will be used on the roof.
  • The workmanship warranty: This is a warranty that covers any defects in the installation of the roof.
  • The manufacturer warranty: This is a warranty that covers any defects in the roofing materials.
  • The payment schedule: This outlines how and when you will be expected to pay for the project.

Why is it important to understand your roof quote before signing a contract?

A roof replacement is a significant investment, and it is important to understand your roof quote before signing a contract to ensure that you are getting the best possible value for your money.

Here are some of the reasons why it is important to understand your roof quote:

To make sure that you are getting the services that you need

A roof quote should include a detailed description of all the work that will be done. This will help you to ensure that the contractor is going to do everything that needs to be done to repair or replace your roof.

To compare prices from different contractors

It is important to get quotes from multiple roofing contractors before signing a contract. This will help you to get the best possible price. When comparing quotes, be sure to compare the scope of work, the materials being used, the workmanship warranty, and the manufacturer warranty.

To avoid surprises

A roof quote should be clear and comprehensive. This will help to avoid any surprises down the road. For example, if the quote does not include the cost of removing debris from the job site, you may be surprised with an additional charge after the project is complete.

To protect yourself in case there are problems

It is important to get everything in writing, including the roof quote. This will protect you in case there are any problems with the project. For example, if the contractor does not complete the work on time or to your satisfaction, you will have a written record of the agreement that you can use to resolve the dispute.

Roof Terminology

Here are some common roofing terms you need to know in order to understand your roof quote:

Roof pitch: The steepness of the roof, measured in degrees.

Roof shingles: The flat, overlapping pieces of material that cover the roof.

Underlayment: A waterproof material that is installed under the shingles.

Flashing: Metal strips that are installed around chimneys, vents, and other openings in the roof to prevent leaks.

Roof valleys: The areas where two roof planes meet.

Roof ridges: The highest points on the roof where two roof planes meet.

Square: A unit of measurement equal to 100 square feet. Roof quotes are typically given in squares.

Here are some tips for reading and understanding your roof quote:

  • Make sure the quote includes all of the work that needs to be done, such as removing the old roof, installing new shingles, and repairing any damage.
  • Ask the contractor to clarify any items on the quote that you don’t understand.
  • Compare quotes from multiple contractors before making a decision.

Different types of roofing materials

The type of roofing materials used will have a significant impact on the cost and lifespan of your roof. It is important to choose materials that are appropriate for your climate and budget.

Here are some of the most common roofing materials:

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in the United States. They are relatively inexpensive and have a lifespan of 15-30 years.

Metal roofing

Metal roofing is more expensive than asphalt shingles, but it has a longer lifespan of 40-70 years. Metal roofing is also more durable and energy-efficient than asphalt shingles.

Slate roofing

Slate roofing is the most expensive roofing material, but it has a lifespan of 50-100 years. Slate roofing is also very durable and fire-resistant.

Concrete tile roofing

Concrete tile roofing is a more affordable alternative to slate roofing. It has a lifespan of 40-70 years and is very durable.

Wood shingles and shakes

Wood shingles and shakes are a popular choice for homes with a rustic or traditional style. They have a lifespan of 15-30 years and require more maintenance than other roofing materials.

When choosing roofing materials, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Climate: Some roofing materials are better suited for certain climates than others. For example, metal roofing is a good choice for climates with high winds and snow.
  • Budget: Roofing materials vary in price. It is important to choose materials that fit your budget.
  • Style: The type of roofing materials you choose will affect the overall appearance of your home.

It is also important to make sure that the roofing contractor you hire is experienced in installing the type of materials you have chosen.

Scope of Work

The scope of work is a detailed description of all the work that will be done during your roof replacement. It should include the following:

  • Removal of the old roof
  • Installation of new roofing systems (roof covering, underlayment, etc)
  • Repair of any damage to the roof deck
  • Installation of new flashing
  • Clean-up of the job site

Some contractors may also offer additional services, such as gutter cleaning or repair, as part of the scope of work. Be sure to ask about any additional services that are included in the quote.

It is important to make sure that the scope of work is clear and comprehensive. This will help to avoid any disputes down the road. If you have any questions about the scope of work, be sure to ask the contractor to clarify them before you sign the contract.

roof quote scope of work
roof quote scope of work

Here is an example of a common scope of work for an asphalt shingle roof replacement:


  1. Tear-off (1) layer of existing roof & underlayment to bare wood sheathing. Additional layers aren’t included. Shingle :$XX/square, Underlayment: $XX/square
  2. Re-nail all roof wood deck sheathing per fl bldg code. In case bad wood is found cost to replace plywood __$XXea____ , 1x – 2x ____$X-Xlf_
  3. Install new underlayment paper
  4. Install new leading edge starter strips shingles
  5. Install new ice & water shield at valleys and chimney crickets. Cost to replace damaged angle flashing __$XX/lf___
  6. Install new roof shingles in choice of color
  7. Install new ridge & hip caps, and/or CAP sheets if flat roof is being installed
  8. Replace roof air vents. Cost to install additional 4′ off-ridge vents ___$XXX/vent___ and ridge vents ___ $XX/lf ____
  9. Replace roof lead boots and goose vents ( does not include gas-related vents)
  10. Replace metal drip edge ( white color unless otherwise noted )
  11. Excludes installation of new gutters or re-installation of existing gutters.
  12. Excludes installation of other fixtures such as water heater, solar panels, a.c, plumbing, cable/satellite, etc.
  13. Excludes painting of replaced wood and/or any stucco repairs where detoriated flashing had to be replaced

Here are some tips for negotiating the scope of work:

  • Be prepared to walk away from the contract if you are not satisfied with the scope of work.
  • Ask the contractor for a breakdown of the cost for each item in the scope of work.
  • Be clear about your budget and your expectations.
  • Get everything in writing.

Once you have agreed on the scope of work, be sure to get it in writing. This will protect you in case there are any problems with the project.

Roof Quotes Inclusions and Exclusions

A good roof quote will clearly state what is included in the scope of work and what is not. Some common inclusions in a roof quote include:

  • Removal of the old roof
  • Installation of new roofing system (underlayment, metal drip edges, roof covering)
  • Repair of any damage to the roof deck
  • Installation of new flashing
  • Clean-up of the job site

Some common exclusions in a roof quote include:

  • Permitting fees
  • Inspection fees
  • Removal of debris from the job site
  • Repair of any damage to the interior of the home caused by a leak

It is important to carefully review the inclusions and exclusions in your roof quote before you sign the contract. This will help to avoid any surprises down the road. And, once you have agreed on the inclusions and exclusions, be sure to get them in writing. This will protect you in case there are any problems with the project.

Here are some additional questions you should ask the contractor about the inclusions and exclusions:

  • What type of shingles are included in the quote?
  • What type of flashing is included in the quote?
  • What type of warranty is included on the shingles and flashing?
  • Will the contractor remove all of the debris from the job site?
  • Will the contractor repair any damage to the interior of the home caused by a leak?

By asking these questions, you can make sure that you are getting the best possible deal on your roof replacement.

Workmanship and Manufacturer Warranty

A good roof quote will include a workmanship warranty and a manufacturer warranty.

The workmanship warranty covers any defects in the installation of the roof. The manufacturer warranty covers any defects in the roofing materials.

It is important to choose a roofing contractor with a good reputation and a strong workmanship warranty. The workmanship warranty should be at least 10 years long.

Some manufacturers also offer extended warranties on their roofing materials. These warranties can be up to 50 years long.

Once you have agreed on the workmanship and manufacturer warranty, be sure to get them in writing. This will protect you in case there are any problems with the project.

Here are some additional questions you should ask the contractor about the workmanship and manufacturer warranty:

  • How long is your workmanship warranty?
  • Is your workmanship warranty transferable?
  • What does your workmanship warranty cover?
  • What is the manufacturer warranty for the roofing materials you are using?
  • Is the manufacturer warranty transferable?

By asking these questions, you can make sure that you are protected in case there are any problems with your roof replacement.

What to look for in a roofing contractor’s workmanship warranty

When choosing a roofing contractor, it is important to consider the workmanship warranty they offer. A workmanship warranty covers any defects in the installation of the roof. It is important to choose a roofing contractor with a good reputation and a strong workmanship warranty.

Here are some things to look for in a roofing contractor’s workmanship warranty:

  • Length of the warranty: The workmanship warranty should be at least 10 years long.
  • Transferability: The workmanship warranty should be transferable. This means that if you sell your home, the warranty will transfer to the new owner.
  • Coverage: The workmanship warranty should cover a wide range of defects, such as leaks, faulty installation, and damage to the roof caused by the contractor’s negligence.
  • Reputation of the contractor: It is important to choose a roofing contractor with a good reputation. You can check the contractor’s reputation by reading online reviews and asking for references from previous customers.

Common payment schedules for roof replacements

  • Down payment with progress payments: This is the most common payment schedule for roof replacements. The contractor will require a down payment, typically 10-30% of the total cost of the project. The remaining balance will be paid in installments as the project progresses.
  • Full payment upfront: Some contractors may require full payment upfront before starting the project. This is less common, but it may be required for contractors who are new to the business or who have a limited number of customers.
  • Financing: Many roofing contractors offer financing options to their customers. This allows customers to spread the cost of the project over a period of time.

When choosing a payment schedule, it is important to consider your budget and your comfort level. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to choose a payment schedule with progress payments. If you prefer to pay upfront, you may be able to negotiate a discount with the contractor.

Here are some additional things to consider when choosing a payment schedule:

  • Make sure the payment schedule is in writing: The payment schedule should be outlined in the contract that you sign with the contractor. This will protect both you and the contractor in case there are any disputes.
  • Be aware of any late fees: Some contractors may charge late fees for payments that are not made on time. Be sure to ask the contractor about their late fee policy before signing the contract.
  • Make sure you understand the terms of the financing: If you are financing the cost of your roof replacement, be sure to read and understand the terms of the financing agreement. This includes the interest rate, the repayment term, and any other fees that may apply.

By following these tips, you can choose a payment schedule that is right for you and your budget.

How to avoid scams and get the best value for your money

Here are some tips on how to avoid scams and get the best value for your money when replacing your roof:

  • Get quotes from multiple contractors. This will help you to compare prices and services. Be sure to ask the contractors about their experience, licensing, and insurance.
  • Be wary of contractors who ask for a large down payment upfront. Most contractors will only require a small down payment, typically 10-30% of the total cost of the project.
  • Get everything in writing. This includes the contract, the scope of work, the payment schedule, and the warranty.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate. If you’re not comfortable with the price or terms of the contract, don’t be afraid to negotiate with the contractor.

Here are some additional tips for getting the best value for your money:

  • Consider the materials you use. Some materials, such as metal roofing, are more expensive than others, but they also have a longer lifespan.
  • Ask about discounts. Many contractors offer discounts for seniors, military members, and first responders.
  • Look for financing options. Many contractors offer financing options to their customers. This allows customers to spread the cost of the project over a period of time.

Here are some additional red flags to be aware of:

  • Contractors who pressure you to sign a contract immediately.
  • Contractors who offer a “too good to be true” deal.
  • Contractors who ask for full payment upfront.
  • Contractors who are not licensed or insured.
  • Contractors who have negative online reviews.

If you see any of these red flags, it’s best to move on to another contractor.

What to do if you have a problem with your roof after the replacement?

If you have a problem with your roof after the replacement, the first thing you should do is contact the contractor who installed it. Most contractors offer a workmanship warranty that covers defects in the installation of the roof. The contractor should inspect the roof and make any necessary repairs.

If the contractor is not responsive or refuses to make the repairs, you may need to contact a different roofing contractor to fix the problem. You may also need to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or your state’s attorney general’s office.

Here are some additional tips for dealing with a problem with your roof after the replacement:

  • Document the problem. Take pictures and videos of the damage, and keep a record of all your communications with the contractor.
  • Be clear and concise in your communications with the contractor. State the problem clearly and concisely, and let the contractor know what you expect them to do to fix it.
  • Be prepared to negotiate. If the contractor is not willing to make all of the repairs that you need, be prepared to negotiate with them. You may be able to agree on a partial payment or a credit towards future work.
  • Don’t be afraid to take legal action. If the contractor is not responsive or refuses to make the repairs, you may need to take legal action. You can consult with an attorney to discuss your options.

Conclusion

Understanding your roof quote is essential before signing a contract with a roofing contractor. By following the tips in this article, you can ensure that you are getting the best possible deal on your roof replacement.

Here are some key takeaways from this article:

  • Make sure the scope of work is clear and comprehensive.
  • Carefully review the inclusions and exclusions in the quote.
  • Choose roofing materials that are appropriate for your climate and budget.
  • Make sure the roofing contractor you hire has a good reputation and offers a strong workmanship warranty.
  • Get everything in writing before you sign the contract.

By following these tips, you can be confident that you are making a wise investment in your home.

 

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