Replacing a roof is a big project.  There are a lot of factors that a roofing contractor considers when preparing an estimate for a homeowner.

  • Size:  Roofers measure in “squares” which is equal to 100 square feet.  The more squares, the more material, labor, and so on that will be needed to complete the project.
  • Pitch: Pitch is how steep the slope of the roof is.  A steep roof will require more safety precautions, more preparation and staging, and more or different equipment.  It will also determine the types of materials used to ensure the roof is watertight and long-lasting.
  • Existing Roof Type:  The type of roof that is being replaced also affects the costs as well as how many layers of old roofing materials are there.  Time and costs to remove and dispose of the old roof are a factor in the total roof replacement quote.
  • New Roof Style:  The materials and style of the new roof play a part in the final estimate.  Asphalt shingles are a cost-effective material and come in different styles and prices.
  • Other materials:  In addition to the shingles, there are other materials needed to complete a roofing project.  Underlayment, replacement decking, ventilation system, insulation, and types of fasteners needed all come into play.
  • Access:  How easy is it to get to the roof?  How high is the roof?  Are there obstacles to accessing the roof?  The more difficult it is to access the roof, the more the cost may be to replace it.  Some contractors have special equipment that makes access easier and safer.
  • Finishing Details: Finishing touches that result in a good-looking roof, details such as painting and neat flashing might also be taken into consideration by a roofing contractor when preparing the estimate.
  • Permits: If special permits need to be purchased to complete the job, these will also factor into the final cost.
  • Repair: Is there damage to the roof, deck, or soffit and fascia?  If these will need to be repaired before a new roof can be installed there may be additional notes on the estimate sheet.
  • Chimneys, Skylights, etc:  If there are chimneys, skylights, or other roof obstacles these will need to be inspected and determine if they will need new flashing, repair, seals, and if they make it difficult to work around when installing the new roof.
  • Gutters & Downspouts: Are the gutters and downspouts in good condition?  This is another possible cost to replacing a roof that the contractor and homeowner can discuss.
  • Taxes: Depending on where you live, there may be taxes on materials and labor costs.
  • Other: A reputable, honest roofing company will carry all the proper insurance and licenses.  These can be very expensive and may influence a contractor’s labor costs as well as the experience of the company and its crews.

When you are reviewing your roofing estimate keep in mind that price isn’t the only factor.  Do you feel comfortable meeting with the contractor and feel they were knowledgeable?  Do they have a solid background and reputation?  If so, then they may be the best choice, even if not the lowest total price.

Craig Gouker Roofing has been installing quality residential roofing in South East Pittsburgh since 1991 and is the expert in shingle roof replacement.