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Replacing Your Shingles?

Posted May 16th, 2019 under pitfalls, renovations and repairs, money matters.

Spring is probably the most active time for replacing roof shingles. If your shingles are curled or have lost a lot of their grain, it may be time to call the roofer.

Unless you have an active leak, this is not a “must do now” project. Rather, you should take the time to carefully select a roofing company. A referral from a family member or friend is a good start, though it is not always available. Even if you have a referral, you should always get a minimum of three quotes.

Here are some points you should look for: First, make sure the quotes all refer to the same type of shingle with the same warranty. Confirm how many feet of ice shield will be installed (three feet is common), and whether underlayment will be applied to the rest of the roof.

The quote should include removal of old shingles (don’t be tempted to save money by putting new shingles over old ones) and full clean-up of your property afterward.

If the plywood needs replacing, this is usually charged per 8'×4' sheet, and may or may not be included in the quote, so be sure you compare carefully.

Even when all materials are identical, quotes from different roofers will sometimes be wildly different. For the same roof, prices can vary as much as double or even more. It stands to reason that if all materials are the same in each quote, it can only be the cost of labour, the overhead of the business, and the profit that make the difference.

My bet is that the cost of actual labour is the same in many quotes, with a moderate difference of perhaps $500 to $1,000 from one company to the next. There would be no reason for one company to pay its workers double what another pays.

Similarly, the fact that one company has been in business longer is not, in my opinion, important. Just because a company is new is no reason to eliminate them. Instead, ask how much experience their crew has (remembering that they may have worked for other companies before joining this one).

Finally, ask for addresses that the company has recently roofed. Legitimate companies will gladly share this information. Even if you don’t go look, you at least know they&rsuqo;re being up-front with you.

When you eliminate other factors, the only remaining difference is overhead and profit. Doing your due diligence can save you thousands of dollars for the same quality of work and materials.

Want to know more about roofing options? Just ask me, I'll be happy to help.


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