We're in the process of getting estimates to strip and re-roof our
house. All companies asked to provide an estimate are licensed
constractors and in most cases approved by at least one major shingle
The difference in price has been substantial. I think I'll throw out
the highest and lowest bidder, but does anyone have any suggestions
about what criteria I should use to pick who does the job? Also are
roofing estimates ever negotiable, or is that just something that is not
done. If it is negotiable, how should I start? I am a neophyte with
this kind of work.
Hey Chris. Well, you could reinvent the wheel and try to come up to
speed on negotiating construction contracts, or you could do a more
effective form of homework. Is it safe to assume that some of the
contractors that provided bids had been recommended by friends and
neighbors? Did you ask the contractors for recent and not so recent
references and checked up on them? Have you checked with the licensing
board and the BBB? It's also good to ask a couple of people (counter
help and outside) at the local roofing supplier for someone who is
reputable and does a reasonable volume of work.
Of course you have to make sure you're comparing apples to apples. You
need to make sure that all the contractors are bidding on the same
thing. Same shingles of course, whether they're reusing or replacing
the flashing, drip edge, type of underlayment, how they deal with the
valleys, type of ridge venting, etc. You should also ask about how
they deal with protecting your property and clean up.
After you have done all your homework and gotten bids from your short
list, there will usually be one or two guys that start standing out
from the crowd. They'll make you feel comfortable with their ability to
do the job and stand behind what they say. That doesn't mean that
you'd necessarily want to hang out with them, but that they are
straightforward and the type of person you like to do business with.
As far as negotiating prices, that will depend on the contractor. Some
might have built in some wiggle room and won't mind flexing a bit.
Others might feel that you're trying to chisel them down and that
you'll be a "problem" customer. If you want to open up the discussion,
ask them if there's a way to bring the price down a bit, and where you
might save some money. You didn't go into details about your project,
and roofing doesn't have a lot of unnecessary steps or wasteful
techniques, but you'll find that some contractors have a preferred way
of doing things and that the price goes up pretty quick when they can't
do it their way.
good luck with it
You got different prices so they may or may not have already given you
their best. You can ask if they will come down, they may or may not.
Check their insurance with their broker and lisence with the city. Check
and see jobs. Check court records to see if suits have been brought. I
hired a hack and found out after the fact he looses 2-3 cases every year
and owes 60000 + to everyone 1200 to me and I cant collect. Best is deal
with someone well known and established. Prices will vary this time of
year as in my area it is still cold out and those that need work, or
are new, bid less. Dont give a down payment till they actualy arrive
with equipment, material and start work. Take out a permit, this will
get you free ongoing inspections if you ask and a final inspection and
clean up. Do not pay in full till it is finaly inspected. Chimney
flashing is the most overlooked and easy way for a roofer to screw you.
Also locate any rotted wood first if possible from the inside, this can
add up and be an area you can be overcharged or cheated by it not being
done. One roofer knew all rotted wood and agreed to replace it but when
I saw the roof going on I stopped the job, got on the roof myself and
busted all the rot wood so he only then would replace it. And He again
tried to cheat me by bringing up a cheaper roof while leaving bundles of
the good roof on the ground. And he isnt the guy I took to court, I paid
him but was pissed.
Your chimney should be looked at first as often tuckpointing is
necessary, do this first before the roof
On Mon, 28 Mar 2005 22:52:35 -0500, someone wrote:
Why throw out the lowest too, are you scoring Olympic skating? If the
lowest is qualified and meets the specs why would you throw them out
and pay more?
Reply to NG only - this e.mail address goes to a kill file.
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