What to look for in a roofing estimate?




Trust is a big deal when it comes to employing roofing contractors. Everyone has heard horror stories from friends, family, and acquaintances about residential or commercial roofers who took them for a ride. Ouch. 

But there are definitely plenty of good guys out there (hi, nice to meet you!) and they will be recognizable by both their working practices and their results – but you can also spot the good guys before the work even begins, during the stage when you are looking for an estimate on a roof replacement.

So what exactly should you look for in a roof replacement estimate?



Let’s start with the item that will vary the most from one contractor to another – labor is the most variable item in your roof replacement estimates, and that’s because different companies have their own costs to factor in. But, no matter what the costs for labor are, they should be clear – some businesses include them in the items on the estimate, and some list labor separately. One clear way to see what your hard-earned money will be spent on is to get at least three estimates to compare easily. Here at Agave Roofing, we can talk you through the labor costs on your estimate. 

Removing your old roof


If removal of the old roof is not even on your estimate, you either need to speak with the roofing services company or consider looking elsewhere right away. The cost to remove your old roof, including the number of layers that need to come off, should be one of the top items that appear on the replacement estimate. If the contractor has done their research they should be able to tell you about this part in detail. They should be looking for things like how many layers there are and be factoring in anything that they couldn’t see in the inspection too. If they don’t do these crucial things, they could be trying to keep the quote down to beat the competition – and there could be some nasty surprises down the line.



This is quite a technical part, but it is just as important as the business and money-oriented elements of the estimate. It is very important that you know what options are on the table when it comes to the materials for your new roof – for example, whether you are looking for asphalt shingles, metal, or ceramic tiles. Good commercial or residential roofers will talk to you about these options from the start, then list the costs on their calculation – but by discussing this with you in the first place, it will be clear that they want to build a rapport with you, and of course you will get a much better idea of how much you need to spend. 

Protection, insurance, and warranty

Before any negotiations take place, the roofing services you are talking to must be able to tell you about their licensing and insurance, and in addition, what warranty their materials come with. Without legal certifications and financial backup in case of emergency situations, you are in a vulnerable position.You need to know what the company is liable for and that they can deal with their own damages, as well as the quality of their materials. 



The more details, the better the estimate! Reputable residential roofers should be able to tell you exactly what method they plan to install your new roof, to help you understand your estimate. Things like underlay, flashing, ventilation, and tiles will be itemized as per any conversations you have had or recommendations from the contractor. They should even list the number of nails they will use unless they are using the air nailing method – in which case that should be mentioned too! 

Expect the unexpected


Very often, a roofing contractor does not know whether something has been rotting away under the roof, such as the decking until they begin to remove your old roof. But how do you deal with something you cannot even see yet when it comes to getting a roof replacement estimate? The answer is actually pretty straightforward. The company should include the cost to replace anything that they think they could discover is beyond repair, then simply remove it from the bill at the end, if they did not need to carry out that work. 

Openness and communication


You might have already gathered this from our previous points, but the ability to speak to someone at the business, from the person planning on doing the work to the owner, president, or general authority is super important. Access to the person who calls the shots shows company transparency and legitimacy and counts as a serious brownie point. 

If you are not sure about anything at all on your estimate, you should have access to someone who can explain the items, change anything that needs changing, alleviate concerns, and understand exactly what you need. You are, after all, the customer – who will be parting with money from your hard-earned paycheck for a new, safe, and attractive roof! 

We hope that has helped you understand how to estimate a roofing job cost – if you would like to know more, click the button below to talk to our friendly team.

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