If you’re having your roof replaced entirely or going for minor repairs, you’ll want to the best quality job from a reputable roofing contractor. Make sure you’re working with professionals, and that you are being offered the best price possible for the project.
Like most contractors, you can negotiate with roofers by showing them comparable quotes and other offers from the competitors in the area. You can even discuss deals on materials that you might have found around town to bring the project costs down.
Here are seven tips and tricks to consider when you’re embarking on your next roofing project.
1. Know what needs to be done
Bring several contractors in to give you their professional assessment so that you can dispel any doubts you might have about the work ahead and see what it entails. When you understand what needs to be done and why each method is employed, you’ll be well-equipped to negotiate on the pricing quotes for the job. It will also give you a better idea of what the average (or fair) pricing is in your area.
2. Be proactive and offer to pay a higher percentage as a down payment
Serious contractors won’t start working on your roof without a down payment. It is an opportunity for you to negotiate by offering to pay a higher percentage upfront. This kind of proactivity might score you a better deal over the contract period, which is easier when you’re paying out-of-pocket for repairs.
Even if your insurance is covering the job, though, you could still offer an advance cash incentive to try and lower your general roofing costs.
3. Ask for freebies or bundle prices
Maybe your contractor’s estimate is fair, and they’re justifiably unwilling to budge on the dollar amount. You could still find better value for your commitment by asking them to include small improvements, like higher quality materials or optional add-ons to enhance different parts of the roof.
These extras could be incorporated easily. Examples of these benefits could be skylights and solar panels, that you might not need, but are viable since you’re working on the roof already.
Another option is to ask for bundle prices. If you’re thinking of replacing or improving other aspects around your home, the contractor or company you’re hiring might do other work, too. You could negotiate by adding gutters and vents you would like to replace, with a special price for doing it in one roofing and repairs contract.
4. Be fair
If your comparable quotes show that the price you’ve been given is reasonable, don’t strongyou’re your potential contractors into a lower price. It will fail, and it sets the wrong tone for what might have been a congenial long-term relationship.
If your first choice of contractor is the most expensive one, tell them the truth and try to understand their reasoning behind the price. Is it that they use better materials? Is their warranty better than the competition?
These are not small factors to consider, and you don’t want to win a better price by sacrificing quality and durability.
5. Get a better deal on materials.
If you have access to better prices on the materials because you have contacts or are aware of relevant discounts happening anywhere, tell your contractor. It’s not fair to expect them to discount labor, so if you can pass the savings on to them in other areas, it can be reflected on your final bill.
6. Remember, no one is trying to scam you
You might have bad experiences from the past when you bought cars or even insurance, but don’t let those memories affect your negotiations with roofers. If you’re dealing with reputable professionals, they will be honest about what needs to be done and what this means in terms of costs and labor. Usually, no one is trying to take advantage of your good nature.
Always proceed with caution and listen to your gut if you have a bad feeling about someone. If you truly feel suspicious, don’t sign anything unless you have read and understood the terms perfectly.
7. Be a nice human
Being nice to people is free. When people genuinely like you, they’re also more likely to want to work with you. They’ll play ball to reach a win-win agreement.
Remember, most successful negotiations are not about who has the upper hand, but about empathy and communication. A good relationship with your roofer can make all the difference.