Are You Getting A Fair Price From Your Roofing Contractor?
Negotiations with roofing contractors to get a fair price can give homeowners the best value for their money…if it’s done correctly. A negotiated fee can be a higher cost up front, but the end cost can be lower than in a competitive bid as there are typically less change orders and the project is completed faster and with smoother project administration. A successful negotiation is a win-win for both parties.
Competitive bidding is one method that is used for selecting contractors, and is often a good choice if low cost is your top priority. It is a time-honored way of selecting contractors, and works well in some situations. A major downside to bidding is that the low bidder isn’t always the best choice, and choosing a contractor based solely on price often leads to disappointing results.
Replacing your roof is a major investment for your home and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. So, you’ll probably need to get at least 3 bids from reputable roofing contractors to ensure that you’re getting a fair and reasonable price for your project.
In doing so, you need to do an “apples to apples” comparison of all benchmarks related to your project. This can be accomplished in a couple of ways.
Compare the roofing companies on every level. This should include:
- years in business;
- reputation throughout the community;
- BBB rating;
- testimonials from past customers;
- percentage of their business from referrals;
- knowledge of local zoning, building codes and ordinances;
- insurance and licensing, etc.
Explore the website of each contractor you are considering; if they don’t have a website or a physical company address, cross them off your list immediately!
Compare the written estimates/contracts. Often times, this is where a low-bid can get you in trouble. You must be sure that every single detail of the estimate from each contractor contains the same information. This should include:
- specific materials to be used (type, model number, color, etc.);
- details regarding their clean-up policies;
- warranties they offer;
- how they respond to problems during your project;
- how they handle change orders, etc.
Arriving at a contract price that is fair to both parties is often a give and take process, and negotiation can be good. But you must take the time to do a thorough comparison to be sure you are getting a fair and reasonable price. In most cases, a lower bid translates to lower quality and you’ll end up paying more in the end.