Central California's Roofing Expert

Why is a new roof so expensive?

As you evaluate bids from your prospective contractors, you might want to consider the
findings of a Consumer Reports study on home improvements. In a survey of nearly 12,000
homeowners that obtained multiple estimates, the 40% that accepted the lowest bid were less
satisfied overall with their projects than those who were willing to pay more for the job.
The old saying, "
You get what you pay for," really applies to home improvement.  Consider the
following factors that play a part in the cost of roofing your home:

  • Workers' Compensation Insurance

A contractor should carry workers' compensation insurance to protect you in the event of an
accident on your property.  If a worker is injured on your property, you might be held liable for
all costs unless the employee is covered by workers compensation insurance.

Companies who carry the proper insurance and follow the Insurer's guidelines for safety will
have higher job overhead costs.  These expenses could be the cause of price variations
between contractors who follow the standards and those who ignore them.  Roofers who do not
carry insurance will most likely be cheaper to hire as they do not have large insurance
premiums to pay, but hiring them brings substantial financial risk.

  • The Complete Roof System

Roofing manufacturers will not warrant their products unless they are applied as part of a
complete roof system  A complete roof system includes the roof surface (shingles, metal, slate,
etc.), wood decking, underlayment (felt), moisture barriers, flashing, ventilation and hip/ridge
capping.  All parts of the roof system must be considered and included if not currently
adequate or reusable.

Not all contractors will include underlayment and moisture barriers in there bids.  Some will not
flash properly or will use 20 year hip/ridge cap shingles on a 30, 40, or 50 year roof.  A
contractor who cuts corners in these areas will offer a much lower bid, but the end product may
not protect your home and may not be warranted by the manufacturer.

  • Workmanship

Studies indicate that more than two/thirds of the problems that people experience with their
new roofs are due to the contractors workmanship not the roofing materials.  A contractor that
stands behind his workmanship must take the time to train his employees in the proper
installation techniques for each type of material used.

This training increases the overhead costs that are associated with your new roof.  
Consequently, the employees of contractors that provide lower bids may not have the
necessary knowledge and training to properly install your roof, resulting in poor water
shedding performance and future repair bills.

  • Home Design

The design of your
home also plays a
part in the cost of
your new roof.

The difficulty of
installing your
roof increases
with steeper
pitch, number
of hips, length of valleys and ridge, quantity of flashing, and number of dormers and roof

Therefore, two homes of equal size may have drastically different roof bids because of the roof

Make sure that your final choice of a contractor is based on the "sum of all parts"; including
professionalism, an understanding of your vision for the project, and a compatible personality
instead of on a single factor such as price.
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your roofing project?
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