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5 Reasons Why You Should Read All the Fine Print of Your Roofing Estimate

March , 2023 | 9 min. read

By Nicole Corson

Magnify glass, model home and piggy bank sitting on estimate on a table

Are you in need of a roof replacement or repair? Before choosing a roofing company, it's important to get estimates. But, before you sign on the dotted line, it's critical you read all the fine print in the estimate. 

We understand that signing a contract with a contractor and then finding hidden information can be frustrating. It's a bad experience. That's why we're here to help.

With over 30 years of experience. Our team at RoofCrafters has been educating our clients and helping them better understand what to expect from start to finish. Now, we want to share our knowledge by highlighting the most important things to look out for in the fine print of roofing estimates.

close up of businessman hands signing contract

In this article, we'll cover the top five reasons why you need to read all the fine print of your roofing estimate. Hopefully, by the end, you'll have a better understanding of what to look out for and be better prepared to check your roofing estimate.

Let's dive right in.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Need to Read All the Fine Print of Your Roofing Estimates


Piggy bank reminding us to think about our investment

The fine print contains important details that can make a big difference in the quality of the job. the final cost and the experience you have with your contractor. Here are the top 5 reasons to read the fine print.

  1. Hidden Fees
  2. Payment Terms
  3. Scope of Work
  4. Warranty Details
  5. Contractor's Liability

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Hidden Fees: The Costs You Didn't Expect


One of the most important things to look out for in the fine print of a roofing estimate are hidden fees. These are costs that are not clearly outlined in the initial estimate, but end up being tacked on later. 

Hidden fees can include things like extra labor costs, disposal fees, and even administrative charges. By not fully understanding what you're paying for, you could end up with a much higher bill than you expected.

Guy sitting on a stack of giant coins reading a book, learning how to protect his money

It's important to carefully review the fine print. Ask your roofing contractor about any costs that you don't understand or that seem unclear. By doing so, you can avoid being blindsided by unexpected charges and ensure that you're getting a fair deal. 

Don't be afraid to negotiate and clarify any fees that you're unsure about. It's better to have a clear understanding of what you're paying for upfront than to be surprised by hidden costs later on.

Payment Terms: How Much and When


hand counting cash money

Another important detail to look for in the fine print of a roofing estimate is the payment terms. This includes not only the total cost of the job but also when and how payments are to happen. Some contractors require a deposit upfront, while others may ask for payments in installments as the work progresses.

It's important to review the payment terms and make sure that you're comfortable with the amount and timing of the payments. You should also be aware of any penalties or fees for late payments, as well as what happens if you decide to cancel the job. Before it's started. 

paper money house built with hundred dollar bills

By understanding the payment terms upfront, you can avoid any misunderstandings or surprises down the road. It's also a good idea to make sure that the payment terms are in a written agreement. This protects both you and the contractor and ensures that everyone is on the same page. 

Don't be afraid to ask for clarification or changes to the payment terms if needed. A reputable roofing contractor will be willing to work with you to find a payment plan that works for both parties.

Scope of Work: The Details Matter


man sitting at a table signing paperwork

The third item you should pay attention to in the fine print of a roofing estimate is the scope of work. This refers to the specific tasks and materials that will be furnished to complete the job. It's important to make sure that the estimate clearly outlines what work will be done and what materials will be used.

If the scope of work is not detailed, you may end up with unexpected charges or a subpar job. For example, if the estimate simply states "replace the roof." Without specifying the type of roofing material or any additional work required. the final bill may end up being much higher than you expected.


To avoid these issues, make sure that the scope of work is detailed and specific. This includes the type of materials and additional work required. Such as removing and disposing of rusted flashings or repairing damaged wood. Make sure that you fully understand what is included in the scope of work, and don't be afraid to ask for clarification or changes if needed.

By paying attention to the scope of work. You can ensure that the job will get completed to your satisfaction and that you are not hit with unexpected charges.

Warranty Details: Protecting Your Investment


lifetime warranty sign

The fourth item you should pay attention to in the fine print of a roofing estimate is the warranty details. A roofing warranty is a guarantee that the work will be free from defects and that any issues will be fixed by the contractor. It's important to make sure that the estimate includes a warranty and that the details of the warranty are clear and specific.

A roofing warranty will protect your investment. Without a warranty, you may be responsible for any repairs or issues that arise after the work is done. Make sure that the estimate includes the length of the warranty and any limitations or exclusions.

Are you covered after the work is done

In addition to the length of the warranty, pay attention to the type of warranty that is provided. There are typically two types of warranties: a manufacturer's warranty and a contractor's warranty. A manufacturer's warranty covers defects in the roofing material. While a contractor's warranty covers issues with the installation.

Make sure that you fully understand the warranty details in the estimate and that you feel comfortable with the coverage offered. If there are any issues with the work after it is completed, the warranty will provide peace of mind and protect you from extra costs.

Contractor's Liability: Understanding Who is Responsible


commercial roofing company tearing off a flat roof with the text teamwork on the image

The final item to pay attention to in the fine print of a roofing estimate is the contractor's liability. This refers to who is responsible for any damage or accidents that occur during the roofing project. It's important to make sure that the estimate clearly outlines who is liable in the event of any issues.

A reputable roofing company should have insurance that covers any accidents or damage that may occur during the project. Make sure that the estimate includes details about the type and amount of insurance the contractor carries. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you will not be responsible for any accidents or damage that could happen during the project.

2 hands holding a heart

In addition to insurance, make sure to get a copy of the contractor's license and certification. This will ensure that the contractor is qualified and trained to perform the work safely and efficiently.

By paying attention to the contractor's liability in the fine print of the estimate. You'll protect yourself from any potential legal or financial issues that may arise. Also, we'd recommend you get multiple estimates to help find a reputable roofing company that takes responsibility for its work and is fully insured and certified.

Get a Checklist to Help Interview Potential Roofing Companies Near You


Now that you know the importance of reading the fine print on your roofing estimate. You may be wondering who to trust for your roof replacement needs. That's why we've created a checklist to help interview potential roofing companies. 

image call to action, download the top 10 checklist

If you live in one of our service areas, RoofCrafters has a proven track record, with over 30 years of experience. We've done so by providing high-quality roof replacements to the residents of Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. We understand the importance of clear communication and transparency. Especially when it comes to written estimates and agreements. That's why we take the time to go over all the details with you and answer any questions or concerns you may have.  Ready to get started?

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Nicole Corson

At RoofCrafters, our mission is to provide job opportunities for others to thrive and grow while making a meaningful impact within our communities.