In Part One of this three-part blog series, we discussed the different paperwork essential to a roofing project: licenses, insurance and bond certificates, permits, and contracts. Today, we’ll find out more about the numbers involved in a roofing project: how much the project will cost, how long it’ll take to complete and more.
Part of ensuring the success of your roofing project is making sure that you have the resources to see it through to completion. This is because roofing work isn’t something that lends itself well to cutting corners and why getting an accurate estimate for your project is vital.
The most accurate quotes will always come from a roofer who’s done a thorough on-site assessment of your roof. The good news is that many contractors offer free roof inspections and estimates because they’re good for business. And if you want to get a ballpark estimate even before the inspection, there are a number of free online tools at your disposal, such as:
- Get-A-Quote.net – lists detailed cost breakdowns for various home improvement projects, including prices for common building materials, man-hour and crew estimates, and labor costs.
- org – a roofing-specific calculator that claims up to 98% accuracy on estimates; takes into account a lot of project specifics such as house dimensions, roof slope and complexity, and regional pricing.
Here in Washington, roofing project costs tend to run higher than the national averages. The upside is that recoup percentages here are higher, too. The takeaway for homeowners—wherever you live—is to keep your cost expectations reasonable. Set aside a decent budget, but with enough wiggle room for emergencies.
Expect your roofer to provide workflow and scheduling details for your project that will answer these questions:
- How many days will the project take from start to finish?
- How many phases will the project go through until completion?
- How many people should I expect to be at the project site on any given day?
- How do I check the progress of each phase and verify whether the work is on-schedule?
- How do we address delays due to late deliveries, inclement weather events, holidays and other causes?
Keep in mind that while contractors do their best to achieve each milestone on time, not every eventuality can be prepared for in advance. Small delays are usually nothing to worry about, but if your project ends up dragging on for weeks or even months, you’re well within your rights to file a dispute.
Other Contract Provisions
Since a contract puts everything you’ve agreed on down in writing, it should clearly outline all the details relevant to your project, such as:
- Materials and installation. Examples of important numbers that should be listed include R-values of insulation products and fastener gauges, lengths and spacing.
- Most roofing contractors offer at least two years of workmanship coverage. As for manufacturer warranties, you’ll want coverage for both labor and materials. Important numbers to keep an eye out for with respect to your warranty include the roof’s expected lifespan, the length of the coverage period and maintenance stipulations.
- Payment schedule. Your contract must specify how big a down payment (if any) will be given and which milestones are linked to which payments. Many construction projects follow a three-phase payment scheme: 1/3 upfront, 1/3 when the project is at its halfway point and the rest upon completion. However, most experts advise not paying anything exceeding 15% of the project’s total value upfront.
Stay tuned for the final installment of this series, where we’ll cover tips for “The Talk”, or your initial consultation with your contractor.