What are Some Red Flags to be Aware of When Evaluating a Roof Repair Estimate?
Not Providing it in Writing or Professional Advice and Being Rushed
Red Flag #1 – You don’t get the quote in writing
It is just standard process to provide quotes in writing so that the customer can agree upon the work at a specified price. A written quote will contain details on the work involved including materials and the outcome.
Receiving and taking an estimate only verbally is just asking for trouble, and don’t be surprised if they turn round later and whack on more costs.
Red Flag #2 – No professional advice for your roof
A professional should give you clear and concrete advice on how to resolve the issue long-term, as repairs are only temporary.
Ultimately if the roof turns around and leaks again 2 days later, there is no guarantee or cover on a repair. A serious contractor will give you this feedback whilst not trying to upsell you.
It will be clear they have the experience and knowledge to give a transparent opinion on what’s needed for your specific situation.
Red Flag #3 – They are late or rushing your survey/inspection
It’s a show of professionalism to show up to a survey/inspection on time so that you can spend time with the customer, understand their needs and provide a suitable estimate.
Turning up late – or worse yet – rushing the inspection, is a sign that they will not give due attention to the final estimate.
Promising to Fix Everything in the Blink of an Eye
When you’re checking out a roof repair estimate, keep an eye on the timeline they’re throwing at you. If they’re promising to fix everything in the blink of an eye, that’s a red flag. It might mean they’re rushing the job, and you don’t want your roof to suffer because of that. Look for an estimate that gives them enough time to do things right. A solid, detailed plan with a reasonable timeline means you’re more likely to get a proper, long-lasting fix for your roof hassle.
Decking is Included
The biggest red flag for roof estimates that always has me paying attention is when decking is included. Decking is the plywood underneath the shingles. It’s a very easy markup item because it’s hard to know if it’s needed. That’s especially true if a home owner is not willing to walk on the roof. Whenever decking is included I walk on the roof to find the soft areas, and I ask for pics before committing. Oftentimes it’s just a board or three that need to be replaced and not the entire roof. Decking is also why it’s critical to get multiple estimates and inspections.
Lack of Detail, Price That’s Too Low, Upfront Payment, and High-Pressure Sales Tactics
One of the main red flags is the lack of detail in the estimate. A good roof repair estimate should clearly outline the scope of the work, the materials to be used, the timeframe for completion, and a breakdown of costs. If any of these components are unclear or missing, it should raise some concerns about the contractor’s reliability and professionalism.
Another warning signal is if the price is too good to be true. Roofing work involves labor, materials, and overhead costs. If the estimate is significantly lower than others you’ve received, it’s likely corners may be cut—with materials, labor, insurance, or licensing—to make that price point. These shortcuts can lead to inferior workmanship and further problems down the line.
A significant upfront payment request could also be a red flag. Most reputable roofing contractors would require a deposit but beware of those demanding a large percentage, or the full amount upfront. It’s normally not the way the industry operates and may suggest cash flow problems or a potentially unscrupulous operator.
Lastly, be wary of high-pressure sales tactics. Any quality roofing company will respect your need to gather multiple estimates and take some time to make your decision. Pressure to sign a contract immediately should be taken as a red flag. Understanding these red flags can save you from potential future difficulties, additional repair costs, and disappointment.
It is essential to thoroughly scrutinize estimates and do your due diligence when hiring a contractor. Not all lowest bids will provide you with the best value in the end.
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