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Good, Better and Best – Roofing Contractor Proposal Standard

As a homeowner, you should only expect the best from your roofing contractor. Professional roofing contractors present proposals with three pricing structures: good, better and best. Well prepared proposals clarify the respective value the three price points provide.

For homeowners, each price point provides distinct advantages over the other two. Your decision model as to which price point to select often ties to the respective value advantages you seek. The following three subsections help homeowners understand the decision model applicable to assist in choosing which price point is your optimum selection.

Decision Model for the ‘Good’ Option

Naturally, the good option has the lowest price point of the three selections. It is enticing to immediately select this price point due to human instinct to select the lowest price. If you are interested in this price point, please be sure to select this value only for any of the following reasons:

First, your goal with the roof replacement is to meet the minimum standard required to fulfill a legal obligation such as placing the home on the market for sale or to comply with your community association standards. This includes a townhome restriction.

Secondly, and the most common is a budget limitation. Since this price point is the lowest of the three, it also means the quality of materials used are generally the minimum required by industry standards or life expectancy of the roof. In general, the materials used are for the 25 year life expectancy requirements; the lowest in the industry. In addition, many roofing contractors will limit their respective warranty, especially the workmanship aspect of the warranty to around one year. To acquire a longer term workmanship warranty or even manufacturer’s warranty requires a higher price point found with ‘Better’ and ‘Best’.

A third reason for selecting the ‘Good’ price over others is for rental property. It is normal to seek the lowest price to meet the minimum requirements of maintenance related to rental properties. In order to maintain cash flow based on market rents, landlords choose this price point for roof repairs or replacements.

Finally, a fourth reason exists to choose this price point over the others. The life expectancy of the structure is limited; thus a higher price point would waste dollars that could be used for other structural purposes or to minimize capital investment in property that has a short window of time before demolition or full restoration.

At this price point, the decision model is driven more by the lower price than actual value a homeowner derives from a roof. The window of time for the roof’s purpose is short, often less than five years; thus, there is no need to acquire greater value. However, when value is important, upgrade the roof to the better price point.

The ‘Better’ Price Point

The better price point typically includes the longer life or higher quality of the roofing materials installed. Often the roofing materials will have no less than 30 year life expectancies. In addition, roofing contractors use a thicker or non-felt based underlayment. Common examples include synthetic underlayment such as CertainTeed’s DiamondDeck.

This higher grade underlayment in combination with a longer life top layer of shingles, shake or tile provides the best protection from extreme foul weather. Whether your home is located in a hurricane zone, tornado alley or way up in the northern parts of the US where ice is common; choosing the better price for the upgrade in materials is a must.

If you want true protection from the elements, select this price point. This price point provides the best option within the range of materials available associated with one of the three most common roofing materials.

In general, many roofing contractors will extend their workmanship warranty to no less than two years and often many will include a one year check-up as a part of this price point in the proposal. Thus, as a homeowner, this price provides the absolute best in materials and a higher level of protection related to labor.

So why choose a higher price point?

The ‘Best’

The ‘Best’ price point with a proposal is different, not due to its higher price but due to the additional details, quality and of course warranty involved. Professional roofing contractors add tremendous value at this price point. First, all the roofing materials are of the highest quality and selection. For example, instead of traditional shingles, this price point may include architectural shingles.

In addition, more options are available at this price point for roof looks. For example, the roofing contractor may include the option to choose one of the three different looks: 1) woven, 2) closed-cut and 3) open. The proposal would include photos of each allowing the homeowner to choose the look they desire. Other options include roof ventilation systems, replacement of soft roof deck spots, style of flashing and more. In effect, this price point allows the homeowner the ability to get a look on their roof they desire.

The most important value this price point provides is warranty, especially workmanship. Many roofing contractors include a five year workmanship warranty with a one year return inspection and a five year inspection with reports to the homeowner.

For those reading this article, this price point is the perfect selection if you plan on living in your home for more than 10 years. In addition, there is greater sense of security knowing that your roof has been installed under the most rigid requirements; it is no longer there to prevent water intrusion, it is there to add value for looks and long-term protection.

Choose this price point when you need the most out of the looks and quality of your roof.

For a qualified roofing job, select an NRCIA authorized Roofer or Contractor to install your next roof. Click here to make contact with a qualified roofer in your area: Contact an NRCIA Roof Professional

Author: David Hoare

Dave works as a consultant and regional representative to the NRCIA. He works closely with current members teaching and encouraging adherence to the integrity ethics of business operations. He is happy to assist you if you have any questions or concerns.