What You Need to Know When Getting a Roofing Estimate

The Third Estimate, Owen’s Corning Preferred Roofing Contractor, offers free, no-obligation roof inspections for Northeast, Ohio. Approaching every appointment for homes and commercial buildings across the community with a no-pressure attitude and complete transparency, The Third Estimate performs roof inspections that take about an hour on average for a full inspection. The homeowner is provided with the information gathered from the inspection to help make the best decision for what many of us consider to be our largest asset, our home. Always do comparative research and receive your multiple estimates before committing to a roofing project. Read below on what to expect during a roof inspection/estimate process and remember to shop around, especially since the estimates are free!

“You’ve probably heard the advice ‘Get three estimates’ before you let someone start working on your property. We strongly agree with that advice, an educated decision is the best decision. Go ahead and get two estimates and then call us!” -The Third Estimate Corporation.

Questioning The Overall Health of Your Roof

Most homeowners have experienced that stressful moment when they begin to question the health of their roof whether they were standing out on the lawn or carrying seasonal decorations to and from the attic. Here’s what to consider looking for when suspecting it’s time to call a roofing company for a free estimate:

  • Roof Age – regardless of an inspection, most roofs that are older than twenty-five or thirty years old will most likely need to be fully replaced due to outdated materials, outdated building codes, or unreliably constructed
  • Weakened or Warped Shingles – curled or buckled shingles are a major red flag that a roof has become unhealthy and the attic of the home has impacted the roof’s decking over time due to moisture buildup and poor ventilation
  • Visible Algae or Moss Growth – streaking of tar or algae growth indicates that the weatherproofing properties on the shingles are compromised which leaves the roof exposed to the elements without a barrier
  • Finding Shingle Granules Everywhere but the Shingle – shingle granules are a part of the shingle’s weatherproofing system, though it can be hard to see from the ground level that the granules are missing, they will start to build up in the gutter system
  • Moisture & Mold in the Attic – if an attic does not have proper ventilation or is over-insulated, condensation can accumulate which causes mold and rot to the underside of the roof, this is a major issue for the roof and is a health hazard that should be addressed immediately
  • Rotting Roof – noticing damp areas, beams darker in color, sagging, or dripping from inside the home is an indication that there is roof rot that needs to be addressed for the structural safety of the home
  • Storm Damage – storms can cause damage from moderate to severe, in which an immediate call to action is required so that an insurance claim can be made potentially getting the homeowner’s roof replacement covered by insurance
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Calling a roofing contractor that specializes in other aspects of the home may result in a more thorough inspection, especially if related to storm damage where other parts of the home were impacted. Considering the many parts of a home’s exterior, getting an all-exterior storm inspection is as simple as searching “free storm damage inspections near me,” and selecting a reputable business in your area.

Start With a Free Inspection by a Local Contractor

Thinking about getting a new roof or repairing a damaged roof can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be a painful process. The very first step in the process of potentially replacing a roof is to find a list of qualified local roofing contractors and request a free roof inspection from a few. Many roofing contractors offer no-contact, free roof inspections that typically take up to one hour to diagnose the full scope of the project. The Third Estimate is a family-owned and operated roofing company that serves eight major counties within Northeast, Ohio. Learn more about The Third Estimate and their services, here. Find a comprehensive list of preferred contractors in your area through the leading manufacturer of roofing materials, Owen’s Corning, here.

What to Expect from a Roof Inspection & Estimate Inquiry

A roof estimate describes the scope of the project and the material required for the job based on a full inspection of the roof. The estimate itself can be used by the homeowner when doing pricing comparisons, which is highly recommended. Roof inspections and estimates should be free from any roofing contractor, getting at least three estimates from local contractors to compare your choices is common practice when updating your home. Reaching out for a roof inspection usually comes after a homeowner notices one of the following:

  1. Damage to the roof, flashing, vents, siding, or gutters after a wind or hail storm
  2. Apparent fading, aging, discoloration, or missing or torn shingles
  3. Leaking roof, seeing water stains inside the home, on the ceiling/walls (most common)
  4. Curb appeal upgrade (ready for exterior home remodeling and a roof to match)

A conversation with the roofing company representative will begin with noting which of the four scenarios may be happening and a plan of action to come to the home for an inspection. The team of skilled appointment schedulers will ask a few questions over the phone about your home to pass along to the professional estimator, who will be the one to inspect your home and put together your estimate. These tend to be basic questions about the structure of your home, such as: how many stories is the home, what year was the home built, and when was the roof last replaced? You do not need to be a roofing expert to make an appointment, do not get discouraged if you do not have all the answers to these questions!

What Will Be Included in My Estimate?

After a qualified local roofing contractor inspects your home, they will begin putting together an estimate that will include the details needed to make the big decision of replacing or repairing a roof. Depending on the roofing contractor and the scope of the project, roof inspection estimates can vary. As a basic outline, an estimate may include the following line items:

  • List of Materials
  • Cleanup and Removal
  • Permits, Licensing, and Insurance Details
  • Projected Start Date/Completion Date
  • Overall Cost & Payment Terms

Retail Roof (Financing) v. Roof Through an Insurance Claim

  1. Retail Roof Option (Estimate) – The Third Estimate ensures going the retail route is a straightforward process! The roof and siding are evaluated by the estimator, dimensions and images are gathered for reference and accuracy, and a broken down quote with the work needed is provided to the client the same day or within 24 hours. In this process, data collection takes about two hours and the homeowner is provided an estimate with material options for their budget level and is very involved in the decision-making process for the renovation.
  2. Insurance Roof (Inspection) – A new or repaired roof through an insurance claim is not as straightforward as the retail option, but some contractors like The Third Estimate have seasoned insurance specialists that work out the details with insurance companies on behalf of the homeowner. The inspection entails a one-hour evaluation of the damage to see if it fits the requirements of an insurance claim if it does, then the contractor will suggest filing the claim. Insurance companies send out their own representatives to evaluate and submit their estimates. Working with a qualified roofing contractor with insurance specialists in-house allows for the contractor to go over their estimate and make sure statewide building code requirements are correct in order to ensure that the estimate will be covered. At the point that this is settled, the roofing contractor can proceed by going over material options and setting a project start date.

Weighing A Big Decision: Comparing Quotes

The knee-jerk reaction to any roofing estimate is to compare multiple roofing quotes by the cost of each company’s estimate. Comparing the numbers is important if it is within a reasonable, “apples-to-apples” approach to the quotes. One contractor may quote out a complete roof replacement, whereas another quote on the table was based solely on an ill-advised band-aid roof repair. Other factors to consider besides the bottom line number:

  • Transportation Costs – always shop local for a new roof, otherwise, transportation costs can drive up prices for the project
  • Roof Shape – a steep roof may require more safety equipment or a more intensive plan of action for replacement
  • Material Costs – selecting high-quality, long-lasting materials for such a major home renovation may seem like a no-brainer, but it makes one of the largest impacts on the price of the project, always check and question the types of materials listed in the estimate while comparing the quotes (materials are a really important factor of reviewing and comparing your estimates where a contractor may have given an unbelievable price by compromising the quality of the materials which is not recommended for the longevity of a new roof)
  • Additional Improvements – if the homeowner expressed a desire to make other improvements along with a complete roof replacement, the upgrades should show in the estimate which will add numerically to the bottom number

How Can I Afford Fixing or Replacing My Roof?

Most roofing contractors will work with insurance companies on covering the cost of a new roof or roof repair if certain conditions laid out by the insurance policy are met. Usually, storm damage or issues caused by inclement weather is a great way to get a new roof or roof repair paid for or partially covered by homeowner’s insurance. If your roof was damaged in a recent storm, that is the ideal time to reach out to qualified local roofing contractors for a free inspection who will attest that the roof was damaged from a recent hail or windstorm.

It is imperative in these situations in which a roof was damaged in a storm to contact the best-rated contractors in your area as soon as possible to help start a dialogue with the insurance company. Otherwise, insurance claims can be denied and chalked up to neglect or old age of the roof. Time is of the essence in these situations, there is only so much time to file a claim.

If the roof issues were not caused by a major storm or other event, insurance companies tend not to approve covering the cost of a new roof. Still, your estimator will work with you on how to proceed either way.

Many roofing contractors offer to finance the cost of roof replacements and repairs, knowing that most homeowners cannot afford the full cost of replacing an entire roof at the time of the project. Working with a local roofing contractor, a family-owned company, or a small business enterprise is highly recommended for home renovation projects. These companies are typically small enough to listen, yet big enough to deliver a reliable and quality result, and will ultimately keep you better informed throughout the process.

Conclusion: Find A Roofing Company You Can Trust

The Third Estimate Corporation of Twinsburg, Ohio is a family-owned and operated small business that provides Northeast, Ohio with roof, siding, gutter, and window replacement. Along with exterior home remodeling services, 3rd Estimate performs free roof inspections, works with insurance specialists on the client’s behalf and helps homeowners through any hail, wind, or storm damage catastrophe. Knowing whom to call and whom to trust with your home begins with a call or online request for a free inspection of your roof. We look forward to working with you!