Roof replacement is not unlike auto tune-ups or legal representation. Unless you're an expert in the field, you may have no idea how much you should expect to pay. However, just because you are a novice in home repair does not mean you should let professionals take advantage of your roofing ignorance. Understanding a few key concepts will go a long way when you are negotiating with your local roofing contractor.
Just as with auto mechanics and lawyers, it pays to do your research.
Roof Replacement Cost: Starting with the Basics
The best place to start your research is with DIY resources. After taking accurate measurements of your roof, visit your hardware or home improvement store to speak with experts about the dimensions, materials, and time frame of your roof replacement project. You're not committing to anything – you're simply researching information for the overall landscape. You can use an online calculator or software program to help you estimate the raw cost, too.
Roof Replacement Cost: Bringing in the Big Guns
After you have a general idea of what it would cost "you" to personally replace your roof, you are better equipped to assess the premiums that contractors charge. Acquire quotes from five to ten professional roofers. It's wise to get referrals from friends, family, and neighbors, since these contractors have a vested interest in not disappointing.
Roof Replacement Cost: Analyzing the Results
Lastly, create a spreadsheet of all the estimates:
- Column 1: Name of contractor
- Column 2: Percent difference between your own DIY quote and the contractor's estimate.
- Column 3: Your personal assessment of the contractor's previous projects (on a scale of 1 to 3, with 1 being the best).
Multiply Columns 2 and 3. The contractor with the lowest numerical score can potentially offer you the best value for your money.