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Podcast: Why Does My Roof Life Bid Seem Higher Than Others’?

Posted July 12, 2018 by Daniel White

In this episode, we talk to Daniel about why a Roof Life bid can sometime seem higher than another company’s, and how that upfront “lower cost” from the other contractor can be majorly deceptive.

Podcast Transcription: RoofLifeB035-223

Shayla: You are listening to the Roof Life of Oregon podcast and I’m talking with Daniel today. Daniel, why would a homeowner sometimes get a bid from Roof Life of Oregon that is that few thousand dollars higher than the next roofing company down the street?

Daniel: You know, there’s a few different reasons why. We’ve talked about it in the past. Some contractors pay their teams by the square versus by the hour. Those are some cost driven things. Pay them by the piece, the incentive is to go fast. It’s going to drive their costs down. If you pay them by the hour, the incentive is to go slow and put the roof on right.

But there are some other things that can make the bids seem lower when they’re really not. There are hidden things that you may not be aware of. Let’s say we get to roof and the deck is bad, and let me explain what the deck is. The way a roof is put together, you have the trusses, and then you typically have plywood, and then you have the paper, and then the shingles go on top. Some of these older homes don’t have plywood. They may have old shiplap or tongue in groove or just straight boards. The manufacturers don’t allow you to put modern architectural shingles over that. The old style of three-tab you could do that. Modern architectural you cannot. And so to do it the right way, you have to add plywood. So you tear off the entire roof, you get down to the wood deck, you put the plywood on top, new paper, new shingles. A lot of contractors don’t put the cost of that plywood in their bid. What they say is, here’s the cost to tear off the roof and put the new roof on. They don’t give you that plywood cost. So our bid looks like it’s three, four, five thousand dollars more. That’s because we’re including everything that needs to be done, rather than tearing off the roof, getting the contract all signed, getting it all working, and then mid-process after you tear it off, calling the homeowner and go, oh, by the way, we need to add plywood to your roof, and here’s that additional cost. And so the homeowner is blindsided by this two, three, four, five thousand dollar change order, that the roofer really knew about before he even started the job, but it’s their way of sneaking the lower bid in and then getting you on the backside.

We want to let you know what your cost is going to be. If we get to a roof and we know that there are leaks, we know there’s going to be rot, we’re going to have to pull that out. That’s why we do an attic inspection. We go in an attic, see everything we can. We may miss things, but we’re going to do our best at seeing everything. We can give you an idea of a percentage. You know what? I know we’re going to have to replace some plywood, 20%, 30%, 40% of plywood. We want to give you that cost upfront. I would rather be the more expensive contractor because that’s the real number versus, well, here’s the bid and when we dig into this, we’ll call you with what the additional charges are. It’s just the difference of the way the roofers do it, and having that real number up front, versus the, well, here’s the number, but that’s going to change.

Shayla: Are there times when you give a bid and then you do find additional things at Roof Life? Or is that cost that that you give upfront the cost that it is?

Daniel: There are times where there are some things that we just can’t see. I mean, if we get into a roof, let’s say they don’t have an attic space. We know it’s a vaulted ceiling and we can’t see anything, then it’s going to be one of those things where you go look, I physically don’t know what I’m going to find when I get in here, you may have a change order. So it does happen where we can’t see everything, but we do our best to see everything that we can. It’s very rare that it happens, because of that attic inspection. We would still know if you have shiplap deck. We can pull up on the edges and look inside and see that. So that’s one of those things we would know. It’s the rot issues that we just sometimes can’t see. But as far as the deck issue, that’s something that the roofer, he knew.

Shayla: So if someone’s listening and they’ve gotten a bid already for their roof from someone else, can they call you all and come out and can you look at that bid and look at their roof and kind of compare the two and tell them the difference of why yours may be a little more?

Daniel: Absolutely. We have what’s called Apples to Apples. We actually will do a bid and we have a client that says, “Hey, I’ve got a roof that he says he’s doing the exact same thing you guys are, and you’ve got this Apples to Apples Guarantee. Can you go over that with me?” And then I just had one of those about two weeks ago where we sat down and went over it. It was amazing how different they were. This contractor, in his bid, we’re going to use their underlayment, which is either felt paper or synthetic, he actually wrote “30-pound felt or synthetic.” Well, which one are you using? Is it whichever is cheaper at the time you’re going to do the roof? There are so many ways to tell them apart. Do the Apples to Apples. Look at them. What are the paper? What’s the nails they are going to use? There are different styles of nails. So yeah, we would love to give you a bid. If someone has already give you a cost and you want to do a comparison to what we would do, we can go line by line on all the parts.

Shayla: Alright, so if you’re listening and you’d like to get that Apples to Apples comparison, make sure you reach out to the team at Roof Life of Oregon. Thanks, Daniel.

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