Are you using an escalation clause in your contract?

With the rapid rise in material costs, labor and fuel, bidding a job can now be hazardous to your health.

Hopefully, everyone is using an escalation clause in their contracts. If you don’t know what an escalation clause is, visit the following link: … x?A_ID=586

Now that you know what it is, USE IT. Remember, roofing can be hazardous to your health if you bid it below cost!

Good post and very timely Don.

I think everyone should copy/paste that article and the sample contract phraseology into a Word Document to save and have their attorney review before actually inserting them into their own contracts.

Remember, if you use an escalation clause, the amounts must be benchmarked on real figures, preferably an actual written quote from your supplier, to justify what the exact amount of the increase will be.


Looks better IMO to just make the contract good for a set period of time like 30-90 days.

I agree with Tar Monkey! Just Make your proposal good for a specified time.

It looks Better.

From a consumerstandpoint I have to go with Tar Monkey and say that I wouldprefer to see a timeframe.

One contractor bidding on my project must have mentioned a dozen times in two conversations that prices were going up and that if I wanted the lower price I would have toump on it…felt like high-pressure tactics to me.

Other contractors just had a “bid is good for 21 days” thing in them.

The one I went with had a dash in his contract where it said how long the bid was good for…and he ended up being the best overall price…maybe he is shooting of his own foot doing that, but it helped in my decision in selecting him.

If you are solely shopping on price you will get what you pay for. Wonder if this guy has a cell phone for a business phone???

Not sure what having a cell phone has to do with it…

Yeah, he gave me a cell…he also gave me his home number.

Look, as a small contractor in the video business myself, I have a cell and a home number and no brick-and-mortar storefront…so that doesnt’ bother me.

I have dealt with some “professionals” who charged higher prices becaue they had dedicated phones in dedicated offiuce space and they SUCKED. SOme of the best work in video that I haveseen has come from small independents who keep expenses light.

I am not one of those sheep consumers who believe that just because a contractor has a storefront somewhere that he MUST be great.

Like I had said earlier, I had 5 or 6 estimates…this guy seemed the most detail oriented and had the best references…I went and saw his work as well and it is gorgeous…

Price wise, his price was very much in line with the other 5 estmiates. I just got the best vibe from him.

the “tactic” contractor was absolutely right… my prices are only good for 5 days and i am not even comfortable with that.

I have been getting emails from the manufactures left and right lately and they say they probably wont even be annoucing price increases that are coming up.

…so i sell you a roof at $x and in 2 weeks i order it…it costs me $x times 2. Now i lost money and run the risk of going out of business.

Maybe he approached it wrong, but he is absolutely correct to try to inform you. I am giving all of my customers highlighted copies of the emails.

expect 30 year shingles to cost close to $100/ square by this time next year, and possibly close to $70/square by the fall of this year.

Nails just went up 50% overnight, luckily i bought a few pallets the day before the price hit.

Good luck with your project.

WOW! Talk about crazy price hikes, eh?

I understand why one might do it…

Good luck with the fly-by-night low baller.Hope this site has helped you to help him.

LOL :smiley: Thanks for the constructive advice.

You obvisouly didnt bother to read all of my posts to get the wholestory.

Ok, one more time for those who are a little slow. or who have not taken the time to read all of my posts to get the whole story…

  • I had 6 estimates done…this guy’s was NOT the cheapest…but his WAS the MOST concise and detailed, with product names and grades…prices for my skylights CLEARLY listed out and not just buried in a one-price-for-all deal. I know what I am paying for each thing.
  • ALL estimates were in the same ballpark on the roof…I went with one of the middle guys.
  • One of the guys who had a higher price, I went to look at his work and it was TERRIBLE.
  • The lowest price guy 's work was OK but he was $1,000 more for the 3 high-end skylights I am getting.
  • This “fly by night loballer” has been around for a documented 10 years under his own name at the same address and is listed on the BBB as satisfactory with no issues…provided me references from 5 years ago as well as a few months ago…And every one of the contacts LOVED this guy’s work. I saw 5 of this guy’s previous roofing jobs, one of which is his own personal home which he builtfrom theground up.

I really wish I could see the references and estimates you guys slamming this guy would give me.

I have found that its usually the guys who slam the others that are the ones who have the sub-par work or the truly shady business practices, for all the high and mightiness they have.

I have seen the very same exact behaviour in the video production forums I participate in…these so-called “professionals” who have a storefront somewhere that have to price themselves high in order to keep that storefront and complain that the smaller guys like myself who work from their homes, have low overhead and can in turn charge lower rates are somehow bastardizing the video industry and cheapening it. Like THEY are the only TRUE professionals because theycharge more. Meanwhile their work is barely on par, themselves.

Just the fact that I continue to feel good about my choice in contractor at this point after all the haranging I have gttoen over him indicates to me (a very paranoid sort) that I made a good choice.

I wont be truly happy til the roof is done and I see what I get, but I am as comfortable as Ican be at this point.

Frankly, I find criticizing and condemning someone you have never met, basing your opinion of him on just a couple pieces of the story to be about the most UNprofessional and bigoted way to behave I could imagine…those offering such pithy comments as “fly by night lo baller” have offered no realy advice or help. Kind of makes me wonder about THEM to be truthful.

I have done my homework on this guy to the best of my ability…I put each of 6 contractors under the microscope. AT least if I get screwed I can say that I did my best.

But a pro will never ask for cash thats my reasoning. Ever

So, what if I had insisted on paying cash? Would that be the same issue?

touchee, Shadango
I did just chime in without hearing "the rest of the story"
This guy sounds a lot like me. Small, middle of the pack pricing, and an extensive long list of satisfied customers, I also read where you felt unconfortable asking for insurance certificates. Do not feel bad doing this I actually love it when homeowners ask for this because it lets me know they are going to weed out the fly-by nights and everyone “should” be on a level playing field.

Thank you Don.

Luckily, I deal with a great Design Build Firm and if for some reason any incidentals come up, they have no problem in cutting me a bigger check.

But this info is definately good to know.

In my area costs are skyrocketing…shingles will be 75.00 by july 1st. guys are still charging 165. for 1 layer walkers…I am small contractor and I refuse to stoop to less than 250. for same job. gas is 4.00 per gallon, and I vave my own dump truck, and I can’t seem to make a profit at that…Very discoraging!

Agreed J.

I’m getting $200./sq for just re-roofs.

I can’t touch a tear-off for less than $350./sq.

If they cry, I thank them for their time and wish them luck (of course after I discuss the benefits of having a “Roofer” doing their Roof with “Roofer’s Insurance”.

Gas, Insurance, good crews, equipment, etc…

I’ve finally learned that it’s better to not work at all than to work for free.

I wont disagree with making as much as you can in a given market for a given job.

Even in my profession its the same…and if you can charge a premium prioce and still get enough jobs to pay the bills, great…its always smarter to make the same money doing fewer jobs if you can.

On the other hand, while costs are skyrocketing for you, keep in mind that you are not alone in that…ALL consumers are feeling the pinch and if you overprice yourself there is always someone cheaper…

There is a REASON Walmart is doing so well right now and the rest of the stores are losing sales…

I didnt chose my contractor based solely on price…I looked at what I was getting for the price…But not all homeowners are that way…some are just looking for the fastest-cheapest-easiest route…

But like I said, if you can charge more and still keep a positive growth or at least a solid flat line sales level on your sales then more power to ya.

I agree 100%, But we all take/took cash jobs at some point.
That doesn’t mean the quality has to suffer.
I would never ask for cash payment, but will gladly accept it… :smiley:
All warranties will remain in full effect.

It is a very big red flag if a contractor asks for cash payment.

Thanks for Escalation Clause Link…Contract Expiration is probably my choice too, though.