New Roof Estimate Tips
New Roof Estimate Tips
If you are in the market for a new roof then you are going to be reading a lot of New Roof Estimate. The comparison problem starts when you try to do a “Apples vs. Apples” with each of the New Roof Estimate. We are going to try and break down a few New Roof Estimate Basics for you to think about before signing with your chosen roofer.
The whole idea behind a well written roofing contract is that the job be completed to your satisfaction as explained to you by the roofer.
The New Roof Estimate should not be some standardized prefab document that is mostly vague or lacking in some important details. Below we have a few suggestions that should be in every New Roof Estimate for your home.
When it comes to get an estimate for your new roof you should have plenty of input to make sure the New Roof Estimate contains every last detail of the job.
The details should go all the way down to the kind and size of the roofing nails to be used on your job and even the number of roofing nails to be used for each shingle or tile.
First of all, assume nothing and never sign a vague New Roof Estimate or incomplete contract. A New Roof Estimate should be typed out and not hand written.
The #1 reason you do not want any hand written notes is because there could be small print on the back of the New Roof Estimate that says “hand written changes or notes are not valid or a part of this Contract”.
This is helpful and necessary for the Contractor so that the Owner can’t simply write a change on his copy and say the sales rep or employee wrote that. Therefor any hand written discount or concession may not be valid or legally enforceable.
Before having a roofer over you should walk the perimeter and get to know your home detail by detail and make notes of any concerns that you want addressed. You’ll want to repeat this process with each potential bidder. This will help keep the New Roof Estimate consistent.
Make sure you know what you need and indicate with words or pictures exactly what areas of the roof are to be covered. Below are a few questions to ask yourself when going through the New Roof Estimate process.
- Is it the whole roof you’re replacing?
- Is the garage included?
- Do you want one or more layers of the old roof removed?
- Does the roofing contract state how many layers of felt (or tarpaper) is to be laid down and indicate the weight to be used.
New Roof Estimate and Contract Basics
Your New Roof Estimate or contract should say when the work the work should begin and when it should be completed. Use dates not number of working days.
This way, if your contractor drags his feet on starting, you have the opportunity to get your down payment back and choose another roofer
Start Dates – The Contractor’s State License Law requires that work “substantially commence” within 20 days from the approximate date specified. The New Roof Estimate should include a description of what constitutes substantial commencement of the work.
If work is not commenced by that time as stated in the estimate or contract in CA the contract is Null and Void and your contractor will need to either refund your down payment or write a new contract or addendum with a new start date.
Get a Copy of the Manufactures Installation Directions. Your New Roof Estimate or Roofing Contract should spell out in detailed language what roofing materials are to be used and the manner in which they will be installed.
Below are a few link to some of the most used roofing manufactures for your convenience:
- GAF – Timberline HDZ Shingle Installation Basics
- Owens Corning – Duration Max Shingle Installation
- Certainteed – Landmark Series Shingle Installation
- Pabco – Literature
If you do a google search of whatever your looking for will as far as manufacture literature or installation instructions should yield plenty of reading material.
Read the material manufacturer’s instructions and warranty conditions on the roofing shingles roof tiles you have selected.
Make sure that the manufacture’s application instructions are included in the contract. If your roof is installed improperly your manufacture’s warranty may be voided.
Every New Roof Estimate or Contract must include the following clause.
“All materials will installed as per manufactures specification and in accordance with local building codes”.
I think it is safe to say that you the “Consumer ” should assume that the job and roofing materials used are going to be installed as per the manufactures specifications. After all, if it is not then applicable manufacture warranties may not be valid.
Permits – Specify that your contractor is responsible for obtaining all roofing permits from the city and for arranging all required inspections. Know exactly what you need as far as permits are concerned and make sure the contract spells it out. If you are unsure you can always contact your local building department and they may even have some reading material for you.
If you contractor does not pull a permit you will not have access to a city inspector to help with quality issues that may arise.
Furthermore, never pull permits yourself for your contractor. Whoever signs for the permit becomes liable for all kinds of damages.
Did you know that roofing felts come in many weights and grade? Standard roofing felt for a asphalt shingle roof should be one layer of 30lb ASTM Roofing Felt. Standard felt for a tile roof should be Two layers of 30lb ASTM roofing felt.
If you have a very water proof conscious contractor he will be using “Ice and Water Shield” at all your critical flashing areas of your roof such as valleys, crickets, chimneys, and skylights.
Roofing Contract Details That Need to be Written
- Do flashings need to be replaced?
- How about the gutters?
- Is there rot in the fascia’s?
- If you are replacing the flashings, indicate what material is to be used and what weight they will be.
- Spell out the exact price for the work and the terms and conditions of payment.
Know that California law requires that your down payment may not be more than $1,000.00 or 10% of the contract price, whichever is less. Finance charges are not included in this limit.
Labor Warranty – The labor warranty is a separate warranty issued directly from the Contractor to you the consumer and this needs to be written into the contract. This is not the Material or manufacture’s warranty.
Press your roofer for at least a one year workmanship warranty on any roof repairs and at least a four year workmanship warranty for a NEW ROOF.
In California’s drought-prone climate, it may take that long to get a few good soakings in to test the job.
Debris: Make sure that you aren’t left with it. Give detailed clean-up instructions and state your contractor is responsible for hauling all the trash away. You may not be to concerned with this detail because you can see if the trash has been removed or not.
But, what you may not catch when the roofer replaces broken or cracked roofing tiles on your roof the left over small pieces gets shoved under your existing tile roof in the gap between the tiles and the deck.
That is a huge problem. It dams up the water under the roof and causes dirt, leaves, and debris, to collect and rot.
This in turn causes the tar paper to rot and causes roof leaks!
If you makes sure the above items are written into your roofing contract you will have a leg to stand on if needed.