This week we dip back into the Aspenmark Mailbag and take a question from Chuck in Wiley, TX who writes:

“I’m a homeowner that has a hail damaged roof from the last storm that rolled through. I’ve started the (roofing) process but have hit a snag. I had two contractors submit estimates but one is substantially higher than the other. Why is this? I certainly don’t want to pay more if I don’t have to. Can you help me make heads or tails of the discrepancies in cost?

Excellent question Chuck! This is a common question we receive from homeowners. The whole Dallas roofing process can be confusing, even if you’ve been through it before. We’ll do our best to help clarify the differences!

Basically, the differences in the quotes reflect how each contractor chooses to install the roofing system. One Dallas roofing contractor, call them Company, A is a GAF Master Elite contractor and approaches the roof as a total system, each component designed to work harmoniously with the others. They outline precisely which products will be installed to create the system and also offer the GAF Golden Pledge warranty, the top warranty in the industry.

The other Dallas roofing contractor, call them Company B, does not clearly state what they are installing or how they are installing it, which usually means they’re using shortcuts, such as using cut up 3-tab shingles in place of starter strip, among others. This is a red flag because they may verbally tell you they’ll be installing one product, then install something completely different - without you ever catching on.

Other notable differences include:

1. Ventilation – your roof is under ventilated on the exhaust, Company A addresses the issue by adding 4 power attic vents. Company B doesn’t mention ventilation at all in their estimate (red flag)

2. Starter Shingles – Company A uses GAF ProStart starter shingles. I am guessing Company B uses cut up 3-tab shingles since they did not specify a starter product (red flag)

3. Drip Edge – Comply B makes no mention of Drip Edge in their quote. Company A shows that they will replace with 2”x 2”

4. Company A specifies that they will use Synthetic Underlayment vs. Company B’s 15 lb felt paper - watch this video to learn more about felt differences

5. Company A will install painted vents to match the roof. Company B? No mention of vents, let alone ensuring they match the roof color.

6. Company A specifies they will install Ice and Water Shield at all penetrations and valleys. Company B? You guessed it, nada. Learn more about Ice and Water Shield here

7. Hip & Ridge – Company A spec’ed Impact Resistant (IR) ridge shingles, not the cut up 3-tab shingle that Company B says they’ll use.

Finally, remember that no matter how big or small the estimate, your out-of-pocket expense is always the same - your policy deductible. Don’t get fooled by contractors who say they can do the job ‘cheaper’ or at no cost. There is no such thing, at least that’s legal. Find a contractor that follows Company A’s practices and who offers financing options to help with the out-of-pocket deductible expenses.

Thanks for your question, Chuck!

Have a roofing question? E-mail and we may answer your question here in our blog!