It can be unwise to place too much value on low price when choosing a roofing contractor. You don’t need a philosopher’s stone or other device to know why this is so. It’s dead simple really and we wrote this article to explain why.
How to Calculate the True Cost of a Roof
All roofing contractors work with similar labour and overhead costs. That’s assuming they don’t hire casual workers off the street, or work from a rented panel van. Therefore, the only way to come in cheaper is to cut the input cost of the job. Consider this first before you jump in, and accept the lowest offer.
The job will cost a whole deal more if you have to repeat it after ten years, or do an overhaul to extend its life to fifteen. The true cost of a roof is the capital cost divided by the number of years it gives good service. Run the numbers and calculate the difference five more years could make to your budget.
To Cut Cost You Have to Leave Something Out
Most clients are away at work or business during a roofing replacement. And even if they are not, they can’t spend days in the garden watching details that would only be clear when close up on the roof.
Cut price roofing contractors take advantage of this lack of customer oversight, and regularly get away with these old tricks:
1… Hire semi-skilled labourers who just want to get the job done and be paid. Those folk seldom know how to do the job properly, and they don’t know what to look for either.
2… Salvage the old underlay and drip edges and recycle reusable sections. Use second-grade off-cuts to fill awkward corners and save on waste. Use cheapest available underlay to cover remaining gaps.
3… Fit low quality shingles that won’t withstand weather as long as decent quality ones would. Save on material and labour by using less nails in violation of the manufacturer’s guarantee.
How to Stop a Cowboy Roofer in Their Tracks
Read the roofer’s terms and guarantees carefully. Insist on three referees from jobs at least three years old. Visit the sites, inspect personally, and speak to the property owners. If you like doing business that way, call Valiant Exteriors in Calgary on (403)829-1661 and put us to the test.
Image: Underlay Sheathing in Progress © Valiant Exteriors