Key Takeaways:

1. Homeowners can avoid unexpected costs and surprises by following a systematic approach when dealing with roofing contractors.

2. It’s essential to request a formal quote, thoroughly review it, and understand all its aspects before signing a contract.

3. Roofing projects should be treated as investments, and working with certified roofing professionals is crucial.

4. To make an informed decision, get quotes from three or four roofing contractors for comparison.

5. A comprehensive roofing quote should include detailed information on materials, costs, payment terms, warranties, and more.

6. Homeowners should be cautious of “red flags” in quotes, such as cash-only payments, excessive deposits, and sub-contractor use.

7. Transparency and thorough understanding of the roofing quote are vital to prevent surprises during and after the project.


As a homeowner, I understand the frustration that comes with unexpected costs when hiring a contractor. We’ve all heard stories of projects going over budget due to various factors, such as extra service charges, material substitutions, or unforeseen complications. These surprises are never pleasant, but I’ve learned that they can often be avoided by following a straightforward process:

First, request a formal quote or agreement.

Next, take the time to thoroughly review and understand every aspect of the quote.

Finally, make sure you’re comfortable with all the terms before signing the contract.

It’s easy to gloss over these steps, especially when you’re in a hurry to start a project. However, when it comes to something as significant as a roof repair or replacement, it’s crucial to treat it as an investment in your home. That’s why it’s essential to work with certified roofing professionals and have a binding contract in place.

To kick off the process, I recommend getting quotes from three or four different roofing contractors for comparison. You can find guidance on how to select the right contractors on their websites. So, what should you look for in a roofing quote? Here’s the information you should expect to find:

1. Complete contact information, including the company name, phone number, and email.
2. The physical address of the business (not just a P.O. box).
3. A detailed breakdown of the project, including the type of work (e.g., shingle replacement, gutter replacement).
4. An estimated timeline, including the start and completion dates.
5. A list of all materials, specifying styles, quantities, colors, brands, and product codes.
6. A breakdown of all costs, including materials, installation, labor, and applicable taxes.
7. Payment terms, indicating when deposits and final payments are due, along with accepted payment methods.
8. Confirmation of valid workplace insurance and general liability coverage.
9. Manufacturer certifications or accreditations to install/repair specific products.
10. Details of all warranties related to materials and labor, including any conditions or exceptions.
11. Responsibilities for property clean-up, such as the disposal of old materials and sweeping for nails.
12. Other pertinent company information, like business or license numbers and HST registration.
13. Information about permits, including whether a building permit is required and who is responsible for obtaining it.
14. The period for which the quote remains valid to make a decision.

While this list may seem extensive, a reputable roofing contractor should provide this level of detail to secure the project. As a homeowner, it’s crucial to feel completely satisfied with this information before accepting and signing the agreement.

There are certain elements within a roofing quote that should raise concerns about hiring a particular contractor, such as:

1. Stipulating that payment must be made in cash only.
2. Requesting a deposit exceeding 10% (Subject to changes).
3. Mandating a deposit for materials.
4. Requiring full payment before work begins.
5. Mention of using sub-contractors (which may lead to insurance issues).
6. Offering discounts for signing the contract on the spot or for paying in full up-front.

Just like with any contract, it’s vital for homeowners to be well-informed and comfortable with the specifics and terms of a roofing quote before committing to a contractor. Transparency is key to ensuring that there are no surprises for either party when the work is completed.