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Roofing Estimate Comparisons

I can’t even count how many times a customer says my price is way too high & he had 2 prices 10-20% less.

Am I just rediculously  expensive?

Am I just greedy?

Well here is the scoop, at least for me.

I use a spread sheet we created( I do mean we as it was a collaboration) This spread sheet is super accurate & encompases virtually everything you can think of. And if it doesn’t, then it also allows us to change it. It works on percentages & allows for all overhead costs ( something most roofers know very little about).

Overhead: depending on the company overhead can be anywhere from 10%-35%. Most 1 – 4 crew companies run around the 12%-14% range( a lot comes into play here)

Profit: This is a must & business managers tell you that you want 10%. Realistically I have found 7% or 8% is reasonable to expect. Most construction companies make about 4% or less

So how can someone be 20% less? And not go broke? 75% of all roofing companies fold every 2  1/2 years. Most roofers are just that “Roofers”.

Starting a business seemed like a good idea at the time. After all you just need a truck & ladder & a couple tools & a business licence. They forget about the yearly WCB payments, insurance, phones, truck & tool expenses, accountant, taxes & employee taxes,CPP, EI premiums, lawyer, certifications & the fact you need a reasonable amount of credit from banks & suppliers before you get paid.

Materials: What are you getting? Cheaper asphalt shingles with a poor warranty. Cedar shakes(Premium? #1? #2?) with #3 starter coursing & #2 or #3 ridgecap. Are they replacing flashings? (have seen the old ones go back on many times) Nails believe it or not are a good way to save a couple bucks(EG are $17 & HD are $60 & Stainles are $120/box) D grade plywood(I have even seen 1/4″ used) or OSB or do they use a standard exterior plywood. I have seen hidden gutters where the drains were all left in. Also seen them just caulked together or an asphalt mastic used. 30 gauge or 26 gauge flashings. Asphalt ridgecap(High profile or 3 tab which is 1/3rd the cost) I generally get better pricing because of the amounts I purchase. Smaller companies do not.

Installation:Does the roofing run into the gutter 1 1/2″? Are the shingles at the correct exposure? ( see this one a lot-no warranty on this) Is underlay on the whole roof & does it overlap properly?Are the nails driven properly( too high & overdriven- too low & exposed- not enough nails) Is a proper flashing holding out the water or just caulking? Are the vent holes actually cut & to the right size & are there enough of them? Replacing flashings appears here as well as it is a time saver to leave in those chimney chase or siding flashings.

So! Yes they are cheaper. Lots of these problems don’t come up for several years & by then they are out of business & you have to pay again.

My Advice: Get a detailed quote, ask questions, have the items that concern you written into that quote. Inspect the roof or have someone else inspect it looking at these details. Get a copy of their up to date WorkSafe (WCB) & insurance documents ( had a neighbour sued for $100,000 because the roofer had no insurance & a crew member broke his arm-remortgaged his house to pay up) Do not pay cash! As this is not traceable.

Generally if its too cheap they need to cut some corners or they are out of business.

Dale Chomechko

DC Roofing Inc

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