Let’s start by answering a commonly asked question: What is a roofing estimate? A roofing estimate is the foundation of your roofing project and a very real window to the type of quality, experienced company you are hoping to work with.  How well the company answers your questions throughout this process should also give you a good sense as to how easy, professional, and experienced your contractor will be with you on your project.

Let’s dive into some key clear and detailed elements that you should be looking for in your estimate, so you can walk into this discussion informed and prepared. 

A complete work description. 

An estimate should outline a detailed description of the job so that you understand the work that will be performed. The description may include:

    • A list of all roofing materials

    • Type and thickness of roofing underlayment

    • Location of the flashing

    • Size of the nails and fasteners

    • Type of sealant used for waterproofing

    • Changes to ventilation

    • Specified manufacturer products

Materials Used

A reputable contractor specifies in extensive detail the type of roof decking, shingles, flashing, underlayment and ventilation that will be used for the project. From this estimate, you should be able to understand all of the specific materials needed.

Costs & Payment Terms

A good roofing estimate should provide a list of detailed costs so that you can create a realistic budget. The goal here is no surprises and no hidden fees. 

A quality, experienced roofing company should also be able to provide you with a detailed understanding of labor costs, specific roofing materials, permits, and clean up /removal of debris. 

Since this is still only an estimate, it is important to ask what is the process to any changes that they may need to make based on product availability or unforeseen work that may be needed once the crew starts to replace / repair the roof. 

Clear and concise costs and payment terms should be included in your roof estimate so that you understand what to expect before the contractor begins work.


An experienced roofing contractor will be ready to provide proof of their roofing license and liability insurance along with the roof replacement estimate or upon request. As a homeowner, this request not only helps you hold the contractor accountable if needed, but also provides you with a good sense as to their values and credibility in the field depending on how they respond. 


A reputable company stands behind its work and workmanship. Your roofing quote should include what is and isn’t covered by the company warranty, manufacturer warrant, and for how long.   


Your roofing estimate should give you a sense on who’s responsible for what during your project. While you will be getting a more detailed explanation about roofer responsibilities in the contract, a good roofing company will often include in the estimate how the work will get done. 

In conclusion – 

If you are working with a quality, professional, and experienced company, you should feel that you have received a transparent, clear estimate and a roofing partner that is willing to take the time to answer your questions and get you any additional information you need to help you make your final decision.