What Should A Roofing Estimate Include? 10 Essential Items

Residential | August 20, 2021  | By: John Esh

As you’re looking to replace your roof, it’s vital to receive multiple estimates. Do your research to narrow down which companies you want to obtain estimates from! 

Make sure to plan ahead! The process of obtaining a finalized quote could take up to 2 weeks depending on the time of year and availability of sales representatives and inspectors. 

Viewing quotes from multiple companies is challenging! Because they’re not all in the same format and don’t use the same exact terminology, it’s confusing to compare 1 to 1. 

For each quote you receive, there are X number of things you’ll want to make sure are addressed to ensure your roof is installed with best practices. 

You’ll want to make sure that specifics are spelled out, because most times if it’s not on the quote, it’s not included! A good quote should answer your questions and list everything that will be done and supplied. Never assume that the contractor will include something that’s not on the quote. 


1. Tear off and dispose of existing roof materials

You may think this is a given! Most times, it is included as part of the roof replacement process. What will be the most important point to clarify is that it is included in the total fees! Disposal of roofing materials is typically charged by weight for the companies. You just need to make sure you won’t be hit with any surprise fees following the job because of tearing off materials! 

The pricing may vary on this too if your current roofing system has two layers or more. 

Be very wary of a contractor telling you that they don’t need to tear off the existing materials before installing the new roof system. It is highly important that tear off is a part of the process. This ensures that the new roof system is not compromised and warranties remain valid. 


2. Brand, style, and color of new roof material

Most roofers have a specific brand they work with. The most popular manufacturers in south central and southeastern PA include GAF, Tamko, Certainteed, Atlas, and Owens Corning. Manufacturing was limited during COVID-19, so not all colors of each brand are available! If your sales consultant doesn’t provide you with color options, ask before signing the quote. If you have an HOA, only certain colors may be allowed. Consider metal roofing for increased energy efficiency and curb appeal! 

Be aware that there are color options for roof trim such as drip edge and flashing as well. If you don’t like the standard white color of these materials, ask to see other options. 


3. Underlayment

During the tear off process, the underlayment is going to be removed. To further protect your decking and home from potential water damage, it’s critical to install underlayment. You can ask further questions about the type of underlayment and why they think it would be the most effective for your home based on weather conditions and shingles getting installed. 


4. Roof decking (as needed)

You can’t know the status of your entire roof decking until the tear off portion of the reroof has been completed. At this point, the project supervisor and foreman will determine which pieces of decking need to be replaced and which are in good condition. This cost is determined per piece of plywood, or linear foot of boards, and is typically added to the final invoice. A good roofer will supply you with pictures of the decking needing to be replaced, so you can be confident they’re not just over-charging you. 


5. Flashing

Step flashing and base, or head-wall flashing are applied to all areas where the roof meets a vertical surface, such as a chimney, wall, or dormer. Including this in the estimate ensures the roofer is following best practices by properly inspecting each piece of flashing and ensuring that it is either in usable condition, or replacing it if otherwise.  Make sure that the contractor’s price includes any necessary flashing needing to be replaced. 


6. Ventilation

Ventilation ridge vent and intake vent) which is an integral part of any roof system and MUST be addressed on the quote. The ridge vent and intake vent  So many roofers breeze over this because they either aren’t familiar with how proper ventilation should work, or they are afraid that they’ll lose the bid by including it. It’s a huge disservice to the customer because this affects the warranty, the lifespan of the materials, and even the health of the inhabitants (mold, condensation, etc in the attic).


7. Course of action for current roof penetrations or their addition / removal

Any roof vents should be accounted for! This includes plumbing, bathroom, dryer, etc… If they need to be replaced, check to ensure this step is included in the quote, and the necessary flashing components are included.

Should there need to be more vents added to improve air ventilation, have the items and plan written in your quote.

For other items like a satellite dish, details about it being removed and potentially reinstalled should be explained. 


8. Manufacturer & workmanship warranty information

The roofing material manufacturer provides warranties on their products. The length of the warranty and its proration period depends on:

  • Manufacturer
  • Roofing company installing it
  • System being installed

A big decision factor when selecting a roofing company to work with is if they stand behind their work. At Joyland Roofing, we offer up to 25 years full coverage on our workmanship for shingle roofs. Make sure you ask to see the fine print of a company warranty. Some companies may boast a long warranty, but it may be weakened in scope or coverage in some way. 

A company which is manufacturer-certified is important. This indicates that the company has undertaken training with material manufacturers to ensure that they are following best practices. In these cases, it’s not just a salesperson telling you that his or her company will uphold the warranty; it’s the manufacturer telling you this as well. 


9. Building permit

Building permits aren’t required for all roof replacement jobs. If there is structural work to be done, a building permit IS required. The price of a permit varies depending on the cost of the job and what township you’re in. This final permit cost is added to the final invoice which ranges between $50-$150 for a replacement project. The quote should state whether or not the permit is included in the price.


10. Additional options

Aside from the essential pieces of the roof system, other elements exist that could add to your roofing project.

  • Gutters & gutter covers

You may not need to replace your gutters, and your home may not be a great fit for gutter covers! Nevertheless, it’s important to have the conversation to establish if you will need the gutters replaced or not. You don’t want to run into an issue where you need to replace the gutters next year. It’s best to replace them at the same time as the roof. 

If you have problems with your gutters getting clogged with leaves and debris, the time to solve this issue once and for all is when you get your new gutters installed. A gutter guard will relieve you of this hassle.

  • Sun tunnels & skylights

If you’ve been dreaming of more light in your home, sun tunnels and skylights could be great options!

  • Solar panels

You might also want to invest in a greener future and consider installing solar panels. Not every roof is a great fit for solar, so it’s best to discuss with your roofer if it could work for your home.


Scheduling Your New Roof Installation

Once you’ve signed the quote and are ready to get on the schedule, the lead time to install the new roof ranges widely from company to company. Here at Joyland, we really do our best to keep that waiting period under 6 weeks. The wait could be a longer wait based on the size of your job and if you chose to install special or custom materials.

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    Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor License (HIC) # PA124258