When you find yourself in need of a new roof, it is always a good idea to get several estimates. This way, you can compare the estimates and go with the company that offers the best value. How do you know which company offers the best value? Well, to make that determination, you will need to look at each estimate closely and probably also ask a few of the following questions:
1. Does the estimate include the tear-off?
Usually, a roof replacement involves tearing the old roof off and putting a new one on in its place. However, some roofing companies prefer to put a new roof right on top of the existing roof instead. This saves labor and is cheaper, but it can cause some problems in the future if there's any moisture in the old roof. Always ask whether a roofing estimate includes a tear-off so you're not comparing apples to oranges.
2. Does the company carry workers' comp insurance?
A good roofing company will carry workers comp insurance to ensure that costs are covered should any of their workers become injured on the job. You do not want to hire a company that doesn't have this coverage, as that could mean you or your homeowners' insurance company are responsible for paying any medical costs that come up. If an estimate comes back significantly lower than the others, check to ensure it's not because the company is operating without a workers' comp policy.
3. Will they use a drip edge?
Drip edge is plastic or metal sheeting that is installed underneath the shingles along the edge of the roof. It should be used in all climates, although some roofing companies will skip using it in dryer, warmer climates. Either way, you want to know whether or not this cost is included in your estimate.
4. Is new flashing included in the price?
Flashing is the metal barrier that is placed around chimneys and vents. Some roofing companies will try to reuse your old flashing if it is in decent shape, so this may not be included in your estimate. However, it's often best to have the flashing replaced, even if it costs a little more, as this makes you less likely to run into problems like peeling or rusting flashing in the future.
When you are trying to compare roofing estimates, it's important to ask the right questions. If one estimate is lower but does not include flashing or drip edge, for instance, it may not be the best value overall.