Xactimate Estimate contest?


I really like the labor productivity loss line item.
*I am getting this line item paid for in FL on almost every claim. I simply state that OSHA is cracking down on contractors nationwide and that we will have an onsite supervisor making sure that we adhere to their guidelines. *

Are you really going to detach and reset the overhead power?
*Probably not, however this is present on the roof and in the event it is needed to be done. A cost is involved with this. *

Why the double laminated starter?
I use this line item to negotiate down to the regular starter strip line item. Most adjusters say I am crazy when requesting this but they tend to fold and just pay on the regular line item.

Why the high profile ridge?
I just like the look no other reasoning.

Why did you use valley metal? Did you know waste was already calculated in the line item? You can check in the components list and it will show you how much is being allowed…
I didn’t realize waste was applied. This is another line item I use to negotiate with. The adjuster will call and say that valley metal is only paid for if present. I ask if he/she took a picture of it, knowing full well that he/she didn’t as I am present during the adjuster meeting and observe what they are looking at I then send them a picture of what I found and they pay for either I&W or Valley. I used Valley here to make my estimate price higher :slight_smile:

Why Gutter apron? Waste….
This line item pays more then the regular drip edge line item. I see alot of independents using it so I started to. I always use waste because you will typically see an adjuster pay for example 237.86 LF of drip. I am not going to buy 237.86 LF of drip I am going to buy more. So I ask for waste. This is one of those line items that can go either way.

What is the additional step flashing for? Step flashing is included in the chimney flashing line item.
No answer here just thought I would throw it in.

All of these line items were painted. You could improve your estimate by a few hundred dollars with just the paint line items.
I didn’t even notice this and will definately start looking for this in the future.

Why did you use a dumpster in addition to the removal of shingles line item?
*We order dumpsters from a local company. The line item for removal of shingles accounts for a typical roofing crew using their onsite roll-off dumpster. If you submit a “PAID” invoice to the insurance carrier for a dumpster you should be reimbursed for this expense. We have had no trouble getting this paid for. *

Really nice job on using the tarps to protect shrubs windows etc. I will be using this in the future…
*This one works all the time. *


I think you will find in actuality that this state is not completely accurate. In a perfect world where contractors estimates were all right near the average price for the market it would be.

There are multiple methods which are typically applied to determining how a claim is paid. The most common is the Broad Evidence rule which allows the freedom to use parts of some of the other rules along with common sense to set the loss and determine ACV.

thismatter.com/money/insurance/indemnity.htm - here is a decent article that explains some of these concept to keep me from having to type them all out.

Fair Market Value is one of the methods. Most easily explained would be in the example of auto insurance. To determine the cost of the car thats totaled you try to calculate what the car pre loss would fetch on the market. This would already have depreciation factored in.

There is alot more that has to be considered than the contractors estimate. Would it be reasonable for an insured who had a total loss to stick built dog house to have a Architect design and build a new one? This may be a bit of an outlandish example but it does make the point. They may have a contract but the final price is more than what most people would pay. More than went into the original and more than the policy owes.

Unless your one of those billionaires that have a 3 bedroom 1 bath dog house custom built with to scale interior finish out. In this case yes the proffessional design is warranted because of the nature of the original product.

Hopefully I can get some more looks at the other estimates in here and give some opinions on them. Love the feed back on mine. This really was a great exercise.


[quote=“ALLTEX Roofing”]Dstew,
Why did you use high profile ridge shingles? What about the labor to install those Ridge shingles. Would you agree that there is a considerably more labor involved in installing the ridge shingles than there is the field? [/quote]

I used Xactimate’s line item descriptions.

RFGRIDGC – Ridge cap - composition shingles: Quality: This item uses the assumption of 25 yr 3 tab shingles being cut for ridge cap. For average weight composition shingles. Note: Ridge-cap shingles are cut from field shingles by the installers.

RFGRIDGC+ – Ridge cap-High Profile - composition shingles: Quality: Precut ridge cap shingles. Note: This item is generally used with laminated shingles.

This roof had laminated shingles on it so I used the appropriate Xactimate line item based on their description. While ridge cap can be cut from bundles of 3-tabs, laminates also come with pre-cut ridge shingles. It is hard to really tell from the photos but these appear to be pre-cut ridge shingles. CertainTeed’s are easy to tell as they have rounded corners. O.C.’s are straight. We use the pre-cut ridge cap when replacing a roof so that is how I price it. It is one of those items that it won’t hurt if I get the lower one, but like Larry said, if you don’t ask you won’t get it.

I actually did include the labor. I used two separate line items and some how the drip edge got between the two. I used the install line item for labor at the actual length of hip and ridge. I calculated how many bundles would be required to cover that length of ridge and priced that separately at 8 bundles of material. 8 bundles x 30LF/bundle = 240 LF of material. Install was at 212.28 Lf. The extra material still has to be paid for.

Code book.

R905.2.8.2 Valleys. Valley linings shall be installed in accordance with manufacturer’s installation instructions before applying shingles. Valley linings of the following types shall be permitted:

  1. For open valley (valley lining exposed) lined with metal, the valley lining shall be at least 24 inches (610 mm) wide and of any of the corrosion-resistant metals in Table R905.2.8.2.
  2. For open valleys, valley lining of two plies off mineral surface roll roofing, complying with ASTM D249, shall be permitted. The bottom layer shall be 18 inches (457 mm) and the top layer a minimum of 36 inches (914 mm) wide.
  3. For closed valleys (valley covered with shingles), valley lining of one ply of smooth roll roofing complying with ASTM D224 Type II or Type III and at least 36 inches (914 mm) wide or valley lining as described in Items 1 and 2 above shall be permitted.

RFGVMTL Valley Metal. Includes: Valley metal and installation labor. Labor cost to remove valley metal and to discard in a job-site waste receptacle. Quality: 24" wide galvanized metal, 28 gauge.

It’s not something that we actually use but I like it. I thought it would be nice for this project. Probably if I would incorporate it into my presentation we would use them on a regular basis.

This is not something that I have to deal with so I’m a little green on what is involved. I knew enough to check if there was a fee and to call and find out what it was, but the other things did not occur to me. Just seems like another way to tax people.

Thank you. I have found with the painting line items that you have to come up with every conceivable line item to get the price where it needs to be if you are going to bid it that way. Plus, if you paint just the drip edge it is likely not going to be uniform with the old paint. (Notice my avoidance of the word “match”).

Ventilation is one that is easy to add several hundred dollars to an estimate. A great majority of homes do not have proper ventilation. Even the newer homes are lacking. It is code required in every jurisdiction that has a code.

Air Vent has a PAV Course book you can download. It is a great study and gives you all the ammunition you need to become proficient in attic ventilation. It even explains how to calculate it if you don’t have the calculator. You can download it here. You can download the calculator here.

On this roof I certainly would recommend a different system to the homeowner. Ridge vent will work on this roof.

I guess because that is the way I have always seen it done. I know they can be removed and factored in. It is not something that I have studied in depth although sometimes I do manipulate them to see what it does to the overall cost of my estimate. I have concentrated my fight primarily on the O&P because that is the most important item on an insurance estimate, IMO.


[quote=“ALLTEX Roofing”]

I find it interesting that you said that. When an adjuster tells me the can find 10 different companies that will do the work for what his estimate is, I immediately let them know that “those companies must not know what they are doing then” If they did their estimate would be in line with mine. This is a major proplem. It is excercises like this that will get more of us on the same page and not just out trying to lowball to try to get work.[/quote]

By the same token I could find 10 contractors who would charge more than me. It’s a big country. My whole point in that statement is exactly what Xactimate states. There’s is a median price and each company has the option to modify it to fit their business model. What do you suppose the result would be if all given contractors in an area had exactly the same price? Does price fixing ring a bell? That is exactly what it would amount to if insurance companies were allowed to price our work. Why is it legal for one industry to price fix and illegal for another? Better lobbiest, perhaps.

In this exercise the average, eliminating the highest and lowest, was $14,887.48. The deviation based on the 6 the average was taken from was 17.65% to the higher side and 11.23% to the lower side. The numbers jump to 29.6% higher and 21% lower if you figure the 2 eliminated ones. As I mentioned before, 3 of the estimates were within $200 of each other and 2 were only $17 difference. That gives validity to your statement that if all contractors knew what they were doing their estimates would be more in line with yours. I could easily see some of the hacks around here pricing this at under $10k. In those situations you are going to get what you pay for. That goes back to my argument on value. I’m sure there’s even one on here that would do it for $5k, but I’m not mentioning any names.


I read that to include the 4/12 as requiring 1 layer. The first line states “up to four units” which would not include the 4.



The biggest thing I noticed is that you have some policy definitions on your estimate which can get you in a lot of trouble if you are not a PA or attorney. I would be careful about that.


All of this chatter is completely irrelevant. I have looked at all the estimates and while the effort with each was very good, I have judged I’m clearly the winner. Alltex, send the trophy and prize money to me ASAP. Thank you! :smiley:

In all seriousness, once again, I thought this was one of the best things I’ve seen on this forum. I think we should do it again in a month or two, try a different type of roof and maybe add siding, gutter, fencing and some interior. While I don’t agree with all the different line items people used, I picked up several that we will be definitely be using and I believe will be paid on a consistent basis. Great job Ray, thanks again for putting this together and thanks to all those who contributed with your participation.


I ran into that exact argument with State Farm and after consulting with their attorneys, the adjusters stated that I was correct. Two layers of felt was required in a 4/12 pitch. With 4/12 can be a bit misleading because it can go either way. With the ambiguity in the code it could easily be argued that 2 layers of felt ate required.




I see estimates from contractors from nearly every state. As do I. Many times submitted well before the adjuster gets involved. In those cases (before adjuster involvement) those estimates are given by inexperienced contractors unfamiliar with most or all of the detail of the processes discussed here. They are typically the same contractors who bid themselves out of business in five years by competing for retail business at low profit rates. Taking the low, mid and high range of those who estimate rather than “negotiate” and averaging out a MOR price would likely give P&C ins an edge - XM8 pricing, perhaps? That estimate of yours will put you in the top .00000000001% of the market.

The policy does not owe that price regardless of what agreement you have with the homeowner prior to the adjuster involvement. *Considering the fact that the CEO’s from Allstate, SF, Farmers, AmFam, Nationwide, Met Life, and others have agreed with my logic from above and below and have paid similar to what I proposed (remember, I always allow some room to slightly negotiate downward, if need be), their approvals of and full payment of my “estimates” conclusively defeat your argument. *

HO-0003 Policy-Section I Conditions-3. Loss Settlement -

b) Buildings under Coverage A or B at replacement cost without deduction for depreciation subject to the following.

  1. …(80% requirement) …we will pay the cost to repair or replace, after application of deductible and without deduction for depreciation, but not more than the least of the following amounts:
    a) the limit of liability under this policy that applies to the building;
    b) the replacement cost of that part of the building damaged for like construction and use on the same premises; or
    c) the necessary amount actually spent to repair or replace the damaged building.
  2. We will pay no more than the actual cash value of the damage until actual repair or replacement is complete. Once actual re-pair or replacement is complete, we will settle the loss according to the provisions of b.(1) and b.(2) above. (b.2 refers to policies that are under insured and therefore ACV only)

One could reasonably content that that estimate is more than necessary based on the fact that it will be the most expensive bid in the market by far. *But, in the case where a contingency agreement contract is signed with the insured, it will be the only “bid”. Now, as just an example, if three pro ins repair experienced contractors (not free estimators) who understand the value of making a profit, understand economics, market value, doing top quality work they can stand behind, understand the process also from an insurance industry perspective as well as construction, etc. “bid” on the job, my price might end up in the middle or even the lowest of the three. Because I reject the specious arguments P&C insurance makes for their repair pricing being “fair” (not more than neccessary), and instead, base my pricing on the fact that P&C ins bases their premium pricing on future costs for full demo and rebuild which logically includes 100% O&P and code upgrades, my prices may appear higher, but in reality, all things considered, there are where they should be.

If the insured is paying a premium to cover a claim that would cost the ins co $30,000 2.5 years from now that would cost $27,500 today - and my price was $27,500, I would be right on target. But, that’s not how P&C ins wants to pay. They know the current repair price based on the premiums paid is in fact $27,500 - that’s what they owe - but then they call $22k, $24k and $26k the low, mid and high ranges and attempt to pay the MOR at $24k - or $3,500 less then owed per the insured’s premium. Even if they pay the high range, they are paying $1,500 less that they owe per the premium paid. That would suggest that my logic which the above mentioned CEO’s agreed with would bring the average price quoted on the “contest” estimate somewhere around $16,250 or there about. - *

If insurance were taken out of the equation no reasonable homeowner would ever pay that when there are many other perfectly good contractors who are significantly less.

Before I quit doing retail a few years ago, I was usually the highest bidder and I usually got the jobs and made good to great profits. Some guys may have contracted more jobs but for less money. I slept well, did they? Must have had some unreasonable customers, I guess.

You could have an insured that signed the contract with a team of lawyers present in front of the local judge and it would not hold up. No offense, but…you’re sounding like you’re reading from an insurance adjuster manual…

And same insured agreed to assist you and was willing and eager to pursue litigation on your behalf after the supplement that was turned down after much haggling and re-inspections it would still likely not hold up.

If the supplement was not valid, I would not have turned it in.

The lawsuit would likely be filed for breach of contract and bad faith. In the early stages a motion would be file for summary judgment for the insurer based on
While I applaud your creativity and well thought out explanations to back your price I do not see how this price could be something that will get through often enough to be an effective way to base a business model.

The policy does not owe a price just because a contractor has a signed sealed contract. It owes based on reason, market value, and the law. And it is on that reason, market value (RTA as opposed to ISO below market value) and the law that I base my pricing.

In the situation of this exercise if your estimate was the signed airtight contract and the others were merely comparison bids I do not believe there is a court, judge, insurance commission on this planet that would agree that the policy owes that price. see above…


All that being said I see a lot of interesting points in all these estimates (even yours LMB ) please feel free to give me any feedback or opinions on mine.[/quote]


[quote=“ALLTEX Roofing”]

What can I say!!! Your estimate is very thought provoking, but I will say this you do raise a lot of questions that need to be answered. (SPALLING IS NOT A COVERED PERIL)
Our roof estimates are very close. It all depends on the user. Xact can be a friend too…[/quote]

Fading and old age deterioration, for instance, are also not covered but, if the material that has faded or deteriorated over time becomes damaged by hail, it is. I applied the same logic to the brick on the chimneys. The deteriorating chimney materials themselves, like faded, paint flaking, siding or curled up roofing, are not covered, but when hit by hail and damaged, they become a covered peril and are therefore a legitimate line item, IMO anyway - what the heh, Ins paid for both of them at good money!


[quote=“prop.adjuster2011”]You are correct on a couple things.

First off I was unfair in my response to LMB. That chimney does make a big difference. While i still believe that price is rather high removing the chimney does bring it at least in the stratusphere of the others.

LMB I apologize. Lets just say its been a long couple days for this adjuster.

Apology accepted! :slight_smile:

Like I said the first estimate is one you will see from many field adjusters.

I wrote the second more from a contractors position perhaps after the initial conversation when a price is trying to be determined.

I wonder is part of this little exercise could include actually pricing everything out and trying to find what the exact cost for labor and materials would be. With that factored you could see what each estimate has left of for O&P.

Actual labor and material prices are going to be different for every region - premiums, maybe not so much - excluding considerations for higher premiums in higher risk areas.

My second estimate has no bsc’s and only the O&P thats included in the line items themselves.

In my experience most local roofing companies will come in under my second estimate.

You have to think of it from the adjusters perspective too. We will see literally thousands of claims a year in spurts from certain areas
We see the trends and know what the work is usually being done for.

*No, I have to think of it from the premium payers perspective who paid a “premium” because the believed they would be “in good hands”, be treated the way “a good neighbor” would treat them, their ins co would be “on there side”, etc.

But what trends? The trends that ISO, Inc. and similar organizations offer up as reality or real trends based on real costs?*

The contractor is absolutely entitled to a fair profit for the job. But we are entitled to fair pricing as well. I will always make every effort to work with an insureds contractor to reach an agreement because they want someone who they trust working on their home. But if that its not working then sometimes other steps must be taken to make sure the claim is settled properly.

*There’s that “we” again. Adjusters are not part of a “we” - they are simply, adjusters who price repair work according to ins industry “trends” and follow the script of P&C ins. “We” is ultimately the CEO’s of each company - the same ones who have agreed with my well founded logic for paying claims at or near the prices I have regularly quoted. *

While I know xactimate estimates based on the mid point with a very wide range in truth I find that if you segment the contractors into three categories you will find the price range much less.

I would split them into the following:

1- True General Contractors
2- Insurance restoration Contractors(or specialist if you prefere)
3- True Sub Contractors or trade specialist.

Essentially the GC group will be the highest as they have the highest over head cost. They also will incur labor and material cost but the overhead and profitt of the sub they higher.

The middle group is more a gray area. These are the companies I will get the most push for supplements.
This model combines elements of 1 and 3 and provides much flexibility to work on a myriad of claims.

Lastly you have the tradesman. This is the roofer that has been in business for 20 years since he took over full time from his father who worked in the same area for another 35 befire that. Far from a chuck in a truck he has pride in his work is well know in town

*You can compartmentalize contractors as you have but that doesn’t change the fact that insured’s paying a certain premium (again, based on future costs with code upgrades and O&P figured in - the cost of a #1 contractor) are owed a certain payment based on real, true and accurate market rates, regardless of the contractors status as a 1, 2 or 3 as you described above. P&C ins has to base premium on #1 - common economic sense. 10% of contractors understand the ins claim process so that they will get the insured’s fully and properly paid. The next 10% has some idea and may do ok. The other 80% (at this time) has some idea that there is money to be made but are not proficient or experienced enough to know how to confront reluctant insurance adjusters and ins co’s and get them to fully pay. *

My second estimate I would bet would exceed most in category 3 and would be a price most of the middle can make a proffit on.

You have to think I may see 200+ claims in a month.

Forgive me If I put my fut down a time or two when the last 3 estimates I paid within $500 in each direction of the first one.

Glad you liked some of the explanations. I always seem to come up with good ones when I argue with myself.[/quote]


Ok, enough of this, can’t we all just get along???

I’ve been enjoying our little contest immensley. (sp?) Now that we’ve solved all the worlds problems, let’s all climb into AD’s Bently and drive downtown and have a drink or 3. AD, pick me up at 6:30 - I’ll buy the first round.


How can I get to see the estimates???


Is link or someplace that these estimates can be seen? I’m reading all of this and it’s great info, but I’m missing out on details of the estimates.


I would like the link to be able to view the estimates. New to the forum. Thanks


Where can I see these? Also, I have a great one to post. Got approved, and this way I never again have to hear “no other contractor charges for these line-items.” Double win!


All but 1k approved. However, I have had all line items approved at one point or another. Owe you one for the waste calculation table AD.


Very nice GA. Was gonna ask why the steep charge was ten SQ less than the total roof but then reread it and saw you have some porch roof in there. Was that the ten SQ?


Thanks brother. As for the steep charges, you are correct. 2/12 pitch if memory serves correct, hence the extra SQ’s of felt applied.


New here. Same question. I would love to see the estimates from this contest. I have an engineering background, and have been a construction & roofing contractor for the last 6 years. I promise to contribute something meaningful in return.