Roof Estimate Question


#1

I got a few estimates for my cedar + 2 Layer asphalt roof tear down and replacement and the estimates run as pretty wide range…

The problem, is that one of the guys that was recommended is the lowest price, by quite a bit.

he has on his estimate sheet that the owner needs to get the permits.

is this a normal practice for roofers to ask the homeowner to get the permit?
I’m in essex county new jersey if that makes any difference.

thanks for the help.


#2

It’s for everyones good if you use a roofer who is 100% above board. Our industry keeps receiving black eyes because of the unlicensed and uninsured wanna be roofers who rip off homeowners like yourself.

Your roof is your most valuable asset for your home. Roofing is the most difficult trade work and it’s crafted under the most demanding of conditions. The legitimate roofer who is priced higher must pay business liability insurance, workers Comp, his office expenses, his tools, his vehicles, his gas plus he has to keep skilled workers busy and be able to pay them a living wage or they will go somewhere else. His price is not as high as you may suspect. He must remain competitive or he will not get work.

Who recommended the guy who wants to have you pull your own permits?

Obviously you know something is not legit or you would not be here. Go with your gut on this one. Hire the real roofer.

Good luck.


#3

Red flag


#4

I agree.

If they were referred, go take a good close look at their work, more than one job if possible.
This could be a case of someone just starting out in business, it is possible that they do good work.
The odds are against it but we all had to start out at some time…
If they are new to the business they still have to prove themselves and build a reputation, they just need to get their foot in the door.

Are they properly insured?
This is very important.
I assume they don’t have a license, this raises a flag also but the proper insurance is more important.

Your best bet is to go with a local established company, that is a safe bet, usually…
This guy could be a diamond in the rough but going with him is taking a chance.
Get references and check him out.

look at the “EPDM with bubbles” thread, the OP says that was an established company…
So it is a gamble either way sometimes.


#5

tell them you dont want to get the permit
and if you could pay a grand extra to have them get a comany to do it and then they do the work through the company.
thats one way.

but make no mistake
one roadk,
i would bet everyone here has done a roof for a homeowner,through a homeowners permit.
for what ever reasons.
it is not a crazy notion.

gweedo.


#6

We secure all the permits for our jobs, most people don’t want to do it because it’s a pain. There’s also a matter of paying for the permit which is normaly a flat percentage rate of the job in question and sometimes there are deposits which can be anywhere from 500-1500 dollars in my area for “right of way” and such.
Regardless of who gets the permit, the building dept. will require copies of the contractors insurance/s and contracting license (among other things).

We get the permits done because it’s easier for everyone. If the homeowner gets the permit then we need to play phone tag with them and wait untill they secure the permit before we can even schedule their job. If I get the permit it is fast and easy because I do it all the time. I even became a Notary Public because most of the permit type papers require notarization. I come straight to your house/office, we are done in 5mins and I am straight to the building dept. Effeciency is key in all things.

While I would not say someone is not “legitimate” for asking that you secure your own permit it is a sure sign that you’ve hired one of the big dogs when I show up at your house, on time, with my notary stamp. Heh.


#7

thank you everyone for the great info-

i spoke with my town permit board, and they told me that in NJ, the person doing the job needs to apply for the permit.
if i were to do it, then i could apply for the permit myself.

so that being said, i called the roofer.
even though his estimate form states : ‘the homeowner is responsible for a acquiring all necessary permits’, he only means that the homeowner must pay for them.

he fills in all the necessary paperwork, and then i would either submit it for him, or he could do it.

the bottom line was that it was about the permit fee only.

thanks again for everyone’s help
a great forum. keep up the good work.


#8

[quote=“gweedo”]tell them you dont want to get the *****


i would bet everyone here has done a roof for a homeowner,through a homeowners permit.
for what ever reasons.
it is not a crazy notion.

gweedo.[/quote]

[P]

I roof in Florida. I have never offered that choice to a homeowner. With our complex codes and stringent standards in the High Velocity Wind Zones that I am accustomed to working in, I would never consider offering that option either.

Regardless of location, in my experience as a roofer, and now as an estimator and salesman the potential risks compared to the potential gains in savings they may enjoy, by pulling the permit themselves are very lopsided towards the house’s (Roofer’s) favor.

The homeowner runs a full gambit of potential risks even though he lives in a much less wind prone area of the country than I do. Substandard workmanship is only one risk. Bigger risks are, unpaid suppliers or workers. The path to prove an ‘Account Stated’ credit and debtor relationship is very easy to show with a homeowner pulled permit.

An even scarier thought would be that this budget roofer needs the homeowner to pull this permit because his insurance has lapsed. Roofing is just slightly less risky as crab fishing in Alaska. It is not a matter of ‘someone may get hurt’ instead it is just a matter of when and how bad someone gets hurt.

We receive, maybe 2 invoices a month for injured roofers medical expenses that we will pay out of pocket in order to keep our Comp INS. premium lower. If someone gets injured on this job it’s even money they will make a claim against the home owner’s insurance. Once again you have an owner pulled permit that would just be sweet icing for some personal injury attorney. The irony here is that even the roofer who owns the roofing company could get hurt and make a claim against this homeowner.

All for what? The problem this homeowner is facing is he is comparing 2 bids and seeing a giant price difference with only the permitting issue as the difference. That price gap is for a reason and the reasons are the risks involved.

I would get another bid and insist it reflect that the roofer will pull the permits and include the fees for doing so. Or ask this roofer to reprice his bid with that same criteria.


#9

The OP is in New Jersey…

Florida is a whole different world… :roll:


#10

[quote="-Axiom-"]The OP is in New Jersey…

Florida is a whole different world… :roll:[/quote]

I noted the location differences in my reply.

The risks of a homeowner pulled permit is universal, regardless of location IMHO.

Looks like the customer received the info he needed and has made a choice. Hopefully he will come back and let us know if the cheaper priced roofer did a good job.


#11

[quote=“scampf”]

[quote="-Axiom-"]The OP is in New Jersey…

Florida is a whole different world… :roll:[/quote]

I noted the location differences in my reply.

The risks of a homeowner pulled permit is universal, regardless of location IMHO.

Looks like the customer received the info he needed and has made a choice. Hopefully he will come back and let us know if the cheaper priced roofer did a good job.[/quote]

Permits are not required everywhere.


#12

scampf,
i’ve yet to make my final decision, as something inside tells me that i should always toss the cheapest option…perhaps it’s something my father taught me years ago.
but the cheapest might be the best.
it might not be. who’s to know?

the roofer came as a recommendation.
because of that, his estimate stands towards the top of my pile, even though it was cheapest.

i have 3 more estimates coming and will let you all know how it goes.

i appreciate the continued help, and will post my results.

-thomas


#13

all i know is ,
if one of my customers calls me and says
" gweedo ive got some shingles to lay and ive got
my own permit",
you know where ill be.

gweedo.


#14

[quote=“gweedo”]all i know is ,
if one of my customers calls me and says
" gweedo ive got some shingles to lay and ive got
my own permit",
you know where ill be.

gweedo.[/quote]

riding your winged unicycle?


#15

i do have a flapping wing thing.
at www.myspace.com/gweedosongwriter

gweedo.