QUestions on bids I am getting

Hi folks…

New to the forum…new to roofing too. Just looking to put this out there for comments.

I have a 1960s split entry home with a 23 year old roof and 3 31"x56" VLUX skylights and it is time to replace them. Southwest PA area.

Have gotten a few contractors out here and I am rapidly finding that the prices seem to be about the same…its just the specifics that change.

The one guy we are leaning toward right now is offering us the following:

21 Sq of Owens Corning “Oakridge”, “Palisades” synthetic underlayment (he insists this is better than felt), ice/water shield on eaves, two valleys, around skylights, new ridge vent and power roof ventilator to replace the ones already there…$6300

3 VLUX VSE308 electric skylights with venetian blinds…$4450 installed

He is recommending that we replace our gutters with the roof-apron/j channel style (ours are actually OK but I dont like the current color anyways)…including downspouts, $1200

Soffit/Facia (all aluminum alcoa heavy gauge)…$3500

Seems like the prices are pretty much similar to the others we have gotten…

Does this like a fair deal? He keeps telling me Alumimun is sky high now and I suppose thats true…another quote I have for soffit/facia is only $2300 but that guy is higher on the roof and skylights so the end result is the same price…

Its a lot of money.

Plus, we have a huge shed that needs re-roofed and all the guys say about $1000 to do it…gutters, soffit/facia extra.

I was considering going with just the roof and skylights for now. But this guys says that the roof apron is really important and it cannot be done once the roof is done. ANd if I do the gutters, they wont match the facia, so in my mind it all needs done at once…

So I am kindof at wits end deciding what to do.

Can you folks tell me if this sems like an OK deal or if it is average or if I am getting hosed?

I went and saw a few of the guys past work and it is very nice…cant say that for one of the other guys.

Also, all these guys seem to want 50% or more up front and then the balance later at some point…is this fair/normal? What do I need to ask to see in writing in the contract?

Thanks for any comments.

Prices don’t sound out of line, for roof anyway…I also get 1/2 up front, and balance upon completion.I also get permits and schedule inspections…haul away debris,all the leg work. You should get a written contract for all work to be done, products to be installed,manufacturers warrenty, and cont. warrenty. and trash removed, get a certificate of insurance,and you can also check them out w/local building code official to find out what kind of work they do.I never have a problem getting dep. for the simple reason that the customer knows exactly what they are getting…before I ask for a penny.

ditto jwoolf.

i try to get the second half before im done too.
i would just rather owe the h/o work than the h/o owe me money.



The prices seem good. If the past work checked out make sure they use the same crew that did the houses(s) you looked at.

As far as payment goes it depends on a lot of things. Half down on start is normal in the roofing industry.

I do it differently though and have had good luck with my way for about 10 years now. The home owners pay for the materials when they are delivered and pay the rest when they are 100% satisfied with the labor performed.

I don’t like getting paid for work I have not done. Some home owners though in the past have paid for the entire job prior to start, I don’t like this.

On insurance jobs they usually have enough for materials with the first check and after invoice and bank clearing they pay the rest. Some final payments are made within a week others take months. It helps to have a nice cash flow when doing insurance work.

It’s actually nice once in a while to do a “out of pocket” roof because payment is made very quickly. Every 10-12 roofs it’s nice to squeeze one in.

Those skylights sound really nice!!!

Thanks for the feedback so far.

Yeah, the skylights are pretty much the top of the line in that brand (VLUX)…which means they are also top-o-the-price…LOL

But for as long as I have lived here I have always wanted to be able to open the skylights to let the hot air out…and since I dont trust myself to be sure to close them manually, the electrics with their rain-sensor auto closing feature got the nod. The 3 skylights, with labor to install are almost as much to do the roof itself…OUCH…but they say you only go around once I guess.

I feel kind of funny asking to see certificates of insurance…I did ask all the contractors if they had insruance and they all said yes…

WHen I setttle on the contractor, will I get a new contract or is the “proposal” they have all given me “it” once I sign it? if the latter is the case, I also figured I would want completion start date and timframe on there…yes?

In 2006 I did a roof for a guy who was in his 80’s retired from the building industry. His job was overseeing contracts and the legal side of things.

When my father, cousin, and myself showed up at 7am that morning he stood in the doorway of the front door and said he needed to see a few things prior to starting,

  1. A contract
  2. A copy of the permit
  3. Certificates of workmans comp and liability insurance
  4. Engineers report for repairs to be made

The job was subbed to me from a huge insurance restoration company and I said they were a good company. He said he knew as he checked with the BBB prior to signing with them!

What happened was the job cordinator failed to pull the permit the day before and drop it off with all the paperwork. My salesman had him smiling which got us smiling and on the roof in a couple minutes. By 10am everything he wanted was on site.

We got it torn off and shingled in a day, three guys 30sq 5/12, he was very happy. My father called him Ronald as he resembled Mr Reagan. He must have been a republican as he smiled whenever he was called Ronald. The resemblence was remarkable!!!

The contract should explain time frame. If no changes were made in the proposal you saw it should double as the actual contract.

Never heard of skylights those nice. Velux is my number one choice for skylights.

The items of pricing, are these preferences by you?
Or is their a reason for the quotes? such as bad fascia wood, etc. Or just Suggestions by the roofers? To me it would depend on what the reasoning behind the work being quoted is for.

Where the skylights a preference ?, or are they actual replacing the same type you already have?. I would maybe compare this to where they are actually at on the Roof, Consider they have to be wired by an electrician, do you already have electrical junction boxes where they are being installed, this would be cost factors. It seams a little high to me?

The pricing on other items seams fair.

I would Look at where your higher priority of work needing done is, if it all needs to be done soon?, then Getting a bundle price for all the work by one or two Company’s would save you time and effort in the long run, providing they do this type of work as a constant.

Typically Roofers these days do require partial payment prior to the order of materials and the balance when the job is completed. This helps in providing a confirmed Deal in having them do the work, as well as a signed acceptance by the owner.

hope this helps

Thanks Awargodess…

I got 5 or estimates, with them breaking down thecosts to roof and skylights.

The roofing cost seems to be pretty muct he same across the board…one guy was $600 more for the Oakridge shingles versus everyone else…

The skylights were about the same as far as the actual materials…I lso pricedt hem at Homedepot…ended up buying them their and saved $150 plus I was able to get 12 months free financing on them…The contractor I am going with was very much OK with that route.

He gave me the best price on installation.

We already have 3 skylights…fixed Velux units…they are leaking after 23 years and we have always wanted units that OPEN and have blinds…so we are going from a fixed unit at like $280 each to an electric unit that is pushing $1100.

OUCH. But its a luxury we have wanted.

They are the same type and size…should pretty much be drop-in, aside from the wiring…the plan is to tap power from the boxes in the nearby attic that feed the lights…The guy is charging me $600 to install/wire the 3 skylights…which seems pretty reasonable comapred to the others…one guy was charging me a cool $500 EACH to install.

We ended up going with the whole package…new roof, skylights and soffit facia…including our outbuilding…Its a lot of cash but at least it will be DONE! :smiley: