Homeowner Beware: The Fluctuating Bid

Written by DAVID TERRELL on . Posted in Residential Roofing, Roofing Information Blog

How to avoid fluctuating bids

Selecting the right bid:

Contractors know that homeowners don’t have a lot of experience dealing with a roof replacement, and given the high expense of the job to begin with, far too often they will jump at this lower bid.  Some contractors will offer homeowners a bid for a roof replacement that is significantly below the market price.  For example, if you were to ask four contractors for bids, three of them would be quite close to each other, and the last would be 25-30% lower. Homeowners feel like they are getting a great deal, however “unexpected” costs and “unforeseen” problems start to appear early in the job costing you more money.This could be a simple “increase in materials cost,” or finding damage that wasn’t visible when the contract was entered into.  In the most extreme cases the contractor will remove the old roof completely, and then threaten to leave the job if additional money isn’t paid.

Fluctuating material cost:

By the time the job is finally finished, not only is the cost significantly higher than the original bid, it can often exceed the range of the other original proposals.On the surface, it would seem that an increase in materials costs is a legitimate reason.  It is a fact that materials costs fluctuate all the time, but every reputable contractor gets written notices of these changes from the manufacturer several weeks in advance before those prices goes up. It is certainly possible that when the old roof material is torn off that there can be damage that was concealed during the bid process.  At Terrell’s we handle this in the same way any reputable home improvement contractor does.  In our agreement is a section that explains how we will address unforeseen damage, and the cost per square foot should we have to replace any damaged decking.  Everything is fully disclosed up front.

Key takeaway:

If one bid is substantially lower than the others, you should read the agreement carefully and ask a lot of questions before considering accepting it. Read our article, ” 8 questions to ask your roofing contractor before hiring them” to help you with the next steps.