Understanding Your Roofing Estimate

Before signing a contract agreement with your roofing contractor, there are several products and services that you need to familiarize yourself.. 

I am highlighting all the important factors below to understand the roofing quotes and decide yourself what is best for your need.


The key item on a roof replacement quote is the roofing material.  They should list the manufacturer and type and style of singles the contractor intends to use.  The most common one is the architectural or dimensional singles.  They display the final look of roofing materials like slate or tile and you can even include color choice in the initial discussion.  Please pay attention to the length of the manufacturer’s warranty.


Flashing will be an item listed in your proposal if your roof has chimneys, dormers, and walls.  Flashing is the material that prevents water from leaking or seeping under the singles causing damage to the structure.

Flashing is a thin sheets of aluminum or galvanize steel installed over the joints in the roof and wall construction.  Main area includes valleys, chimneys, dormers, windows, pipes, skylights, porches, deck and edges.

New flashing is often required when replacing a roof.  It is better to spend that extra money making sure proper installation that may cause severe damage to your home.


The other important item is underlayment or sometimes known as felt paper.  The first layer of waterproofing material between the roof deck or plywood and the singles. 

Some manufacturers reinforce the underlayment with fiberglass to resist tearing.  It is not only improve its waterproofing effectiveness, it also makes installation easier.

Look out for newer synthetic underlayment technology that is always evolving to increase longevity, effectiveness and easy installation.

For the best result, always use the same manufacturer who design the singles with the underlayment as the manufacturer designed these two products to work together.  And, this may be required for a valid warranty as well.  

Bear in mind that climate condition determines which type of roofing to be used.  Consult your contractor before deciding.


Drip edge is an inexpensive metal strips applied along the gutter lines, eaves and rakes.  It protects the fascia from water damage under the singles and plywood.  Proper application will lengthen the life of your expensive roof.


Ice and water protection is very crucial to allow smooth water flow during the bad weather like high wind and rain storms or ice build-up like ice dams. This second layer of shield strongly adheres to the plywood roof deck and the underlayment.  It is usually applied to the most vulnerable parts of the roof like valleys, eaves, rakes, deck surface and possibly chimneys or areas where leaks are likely to occur.


As the name suggest, a valley is an angle formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes to allow water to run off.

There are a few different methods to shingle the area with dimensional asphalt roofing material.  You can choose the closed cut valleys or the open cut valleys to enhance the features of your design. Talk to your roofing contractor as there are many factors involved to make a suitable recommendations.


Every roof needs a vent to allow moisture to escape and prevent damage to the entire roof.  There are several types of roof ventilation systems like ridge vents or peak of the roof to allow hot air to escape and draw cool air in the soffit vents. Depending on your preference, the vent can blend in with the rest of the roof or stick out to draw attention.


A cricket is a peaked structure at the back of the chimney to stop snow, ice build-up and deflect water around the chimney..  If the house already has a chimney, a roofing contractor will probably recommend installing a cricket if there isn’t one already. 


Besides the vents, you need to consider pipes and fans on the roof.  They are usually installed from the attic, bathroom and kitchen to allow air to escape from the home. 


If you have spend that kind of money replacing a new roof, do not skim on gutters.  They will allows water to flow efficiently and keeps leaves and debris from clogging the gutters and downspouts.  Discuss on the type of material, construction like seamless or sectional, size and width in inches and size of downspouts to be used.


Soffit and fascia are the other two items that are highly recommended to replace in the roofing project to protect the structure.  Fascia connects the roof to the soffit, where gutters are attached.  Whereas soffit covers the underside of the roof overhang.


Plywood is the solid structure of the roof top under the underlayment, ice and water shield and singles material.  It is sometimes hidden during the replacement estimate but damage might be discovered during the progress of the project. So, be ready for some additional cost that may be incurred if a problem arise.


Warranty is most important document in the roofing project.  The manufacturers’ warranties offer coverage of defective roofing material under a normal condition within the warranty period but not the labor. 

Manufacturers’ warranties do not cover replacing the entire roof, just repairing or replacing the defective areas and often exclude damage due to pre-existing conditions or faulty installation.

Therefore, it is crucial to hire a reputable roofing contractor and some professional roofer will offer an additional extended manufacturers’ warranties like guarantee workmanship.  This labor warranty will cover any issue of faulty installation and give you an additional peace of mind.