Why Cheaper Isn’t Always Better
Are you considering a new roof? Before you get started, check out these tips.
Often times, homeowners get “sticker shock” when presented with a roof estimate. And, who can blame them? Doesn’t a kitchen makeover sound more useful and enjoyable than a new roof?
It is this sentiment that drives many homeowners to select the contractor with the lowest price. Unfortunately, more than 65% of the roofs we repair or replace were installed by another contractor fewer than 10 years ago. Why? The roofer cut corners on installation to give the customer a lower price.
The lowest bid is the best value.
This is the # 1 home improvement myth. There is a saying among quality roofers that the most expensive roof you will buy is the one you have to purchase again. In other words, a roof that doesn’t last as promised is more expensive in the long run.
Estimates vary from roof contractor to roof contractor with many of the lower estimates cutting corners in one or more of these areas:
Be wary if the material costs are significantly lower than other bids as materials are typically similar across the board.
Some contractors use lower quality shingles that don’t hold up to weather as well.
Some only use three nails instead of the six nails, negating the manufacturer’s warranty.
Some hire untrained people who cost less, but don’t know how to install a roof properly.
A poor installation can lead to leaks, poor ventilation, even structural collapse.
If you’re a homeowner in need of a new roof, you may feel uneasy about how much it will cost you. It’s true that projects of this size tend to be good investments. But the good news is you can generally avoid cost overruns, ensure you’re working with a transparent contractor, and secure financing to cushion the impact on your household budget.
Often, the lowest bidder doesn’t carry comprehensive liability or adequate workmen’s compensation.
This leaves you as the homeowner responsible for potential lawsuits and increased costs should an accident occur.
Are you considering Doing It Yourself?
In effort to save money, we commonly see homeowners taking on roof repair work themselves, wanting to extend the life of an old roof. This is commendable, but it’s crucial to know your limitations. Taking on a big project beyond your skill level can increase your costs, the likelihood to get hurt and the time it takes to complete. Structural work like major roofing projects often requires the expertise of a professional.
Avoid future worry and cost
A roof is comprised of many components that protect your home from the elements. It’s critical to repair or replace your roof before weather damages your home, or worse, creates an unsafe environment for your most valuable asset, you and your family. If you are considering going with the lowest bid, you should ask yourself: Is it worth the risk?
Our advice is to seek a roofer that is local, responsive, accountable and maintains a consistent level of quality of work and customer satisfaction (see their reviews and ask to speak with one of their customers.) They should be able to offer a 50 year full material warranty with 10 year labor warranty for your roof and provide proof of insurance to ensure they are properly covered, even if they cost a bit more than the lowest bidder. Ultimately, you’ll get a better return on your investment, and, peace of mind.
One of the best ways to ensure roofing contractors give you a square deal is to know what to look for when they give you an estimate. It’s like checking the weather before a picnic.