All too often we hear of these horror stories from homeowners about “the last guy we hired”. There can be a lot of situations that lead to this ultimate result, however, we have noticed a glaring trend- the company offered the lowest bid for the project.
It is extremely tempting to get the work done and save a little money doing it. Not to mention, “they all do the same things anyway!…. Right?”. Well, that is where we need to pump the brakes.
Although a roofing repair job can appear to be the same from the outside, what is going on under those shingles and in the structure itself is an entirely different story.
We wanted to highlight some of the most common misconceptions, and reasons why the lowest bidder is often the lowest quality, and why it matters.
Reason 1: The Lowest Bid Can Be Deceiving
About a month ago we arrived at a new home in Myrtle Beach and noticed a few things right off the bat. For starters, the flashing was clearly not done with care as it appeared to actually directing water into the vent it was designed to protect!
Then the details came in- the roofing company took only a half a day to complete this job which should have taken 1 to 2 days minimum. Therefore, it is important to consider the time that the company takes to complete a job- after all, you are paying a fixed price and leaving it up to them to do the job on time. All things being equal- wouldn’t you want your roofer to spend a little longer doing the job right?
Reason 2: Materials
Ok, let’s assume the actual craftsmanship was great and the roofing company you hired took the proper amount of time sealing every pour- what about the materials they used? There is a huge discrepancy between shingle quality, as many companies are inferior to the GAF shingle company that is known for their quality.
GAF shingles come with various warranties from 10 years to a Lifetime guarantee. That means that if your roofing company used some cheap knockoff shingles- if they fail then you would be stuck with doing the project all over again! If you had gotten the lifetime warranty with GAF shingles, then that is one less item to worry about.
Reason 3: Roofing Without A License
Let’s say you received three bids for installing a new roofing system, and one company came in at $1000 less. That would surely get you wondering what the reason was for this quote coming in so much lower. The truth is, quotes are for more than materials and labor.
They are also estimated by the overall cost of operation- which includes licensing and insurance. Insurance and workman’s comp for a roofing company can be exorbitant given the dangerous nature of the work.
Therefore, many roofers go unlicensed, and thus uninsured. The problem with this is, if someone gets injured on the job, you could be at fault! That is not a risk you want to take. Do the right thing, and check for a proper license from your state, like the one for South Carolina contracting licenses that we send our customers to.
Conclusion: You Get What You Pay For
Excuse the egregious cliche, but this saying holds especially true for the roofing business. Our company, Right On Top Roofing, has had to overcome several projects where we cleaned up the mess left by the lowest bidding roofer.
These were not our favorite jobs- not because we don’t like playing the role of savior, but because the homeowner was visibly shaken from the experience and could only have so much trust in us. That is the difference, really.
The trust you have in your contractors will ultimately determine whether you had a pleasant experience. And it is such a shame when you lose that trust from simply trying to save a few bucks.