“You guys are the double the price!”

So, you’re ready to buy a new flat screen TV. You’ve measured the space, done some online research, read over Consumer Reports, and now you’re going out to shop for the right one. You know you want a 55-inch TV, but the store has six different 55” TV’s ranging from $450 all the way up to $1,400. Whoa! What’s the difference?

After talking to the salesperson for a good 30 minutes, he was able explain the features and benefits of LED, Plasma, 120 MHz refresh rate, 1080p resolution, HDMI, and so on. Now, you can understand the purpose of those items, and more importantly, why there is so much variance in the price of a 55-inch flat screen. Ultimately, you settled on the $1,400 TV because it had all of the features you wanted, and proved to be the best value for the money.

Well, the same rules apply to buying a new roof. Yet, so many customers only focus on price. If you received four bids to replace the roof on your back porch and they ranged from $2,500 to $8,000. You should be like, “Wow, what’s the difference?” However, all too often, the owner simply takes the low price because they think it’s the best deal.

Here’s the point, in all likelihood the higher priced roof comes with many more features and benefits. You need to ask the question, “Why is this price so low?” I think you’ll find there are significant differences that drastically affect the price, and the performance of your new roof.

Let’s take a deeper look at this scenario. Say you asked for a roof replacement using new Landmark shingles with metal flashings, and a manufacturer’s warranty. The high priced roofer is using a heavy Landmark shingles, ice & water shield, 20 ounce copper trim, ridge & eave ventilation, and is offering a 40-year warranty from the manufacturer. The low price roofer says his proposal meets your requirements, but he’s not giving you the whole story. Once you examine the spec, you find he’s using the lightest Landmark shingles, .019 aluminum trim, and is proposing a very limited manufacturer’s warranty.

These proposals may seem similar, but they are not apples to apples. There are significant differences that greatly affect the price. Landmark style shingles are among the most popular shingles on the market. Did you know Landmark shingles came in different thicknesses? Also, did you know the manufacturer offers several different levels of warranty coverage? In other words, the same 40 years of coverage could actually be quite different, depending on the installation method. The devil is in the details. And, the low price roofer failed to include ventilation which is required for the long term manufacturer’s warranty. If the new roof failed prematurely, the manufacturer would not compensate you without proper ventilation. Whoops!

That’s a simple example. And, there are many other factors that should be compared when buying exterior services. Here’s some to consider;

  • Is the contractor using cheap, untrained, sub-contracted labor?
  • Does the contractor have insurance?
  • What safety methods does the contractor follow?
  • What is the importance of ventilation?
  • Why do I need ice & water shield?
  • What about reglet flashing, fully soldered vent pipe collars, #12 roof shanks, and so on, and so on?

These items can be easily misunderstood, and are often overlooked by the owner. This scenario happens all of the time. So, before you say, “You guys are double the price!” consider the reasons why. Just like shopping for the new TV, you owe it to yourself to find out the difference in that big price gap. It might just save you in the long run.