Need to Know Info About That Commercial Roofing Proposal
The accuracy of the estimate and the likelihood of the proposed commercial roofing project meeting your expectations and objectives are greater when contractors and customers invest an appropriate amount of time communicating at the onset. A roofing contractor should visit your site to perform a visual inspection and you can expect a lengthy conversation discussing the state of the existing roof system, its history, and your goals for the project. This is necessary to protect the operational success of your business and critical to determining which materials, as well as means and methods of installation, to propose.
What’s Included in the Roofing Estimate?
Having carefully reviewed the information provided by the customer and notes from a recent roof inspection, the roofing contractor can create the estimate. In addition to recommending a roof system that has been pre-engineered by a roof system manufacturer, the proposal will contain current labor and material costs. Work by subcontractors and their fees will also be included.
The scope of work will be detailed, outlining the best installation methods to execute the project in cooperation with the facility’s requirements for the use of the area during the process. Safety practices to keep the roofing crew and building users from harm should also be outlined.
What’s Excluded from the Roofing Estimate?
Consider if work by non-roofing trades (e.g., plumbing) is necessary for the success of the project and whether they are included in the proposal. If there are concerns about structural integrity, don’t assume your roofing contractor is either performing or subcontracting a structural engineer to perform an analysis. “We are not licensed to give an opinion on structural capacity. Any time we’re adding weight to a structure, consider getting a professional engineer’s analysis,” explains Ben Fashimpaur, Vice President of National Account Manager, D. C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, IA.
Roofing contractors, especially those with years of experience and expertise, are astute at predicting problems but they aren’t psychic. “Latent conditions cannot be precisely determined before the work commences,” explains Fashimpaur. Some examples of unforeseen conditions that could cause additional costs and extended project duration include:
- The state of degradation of the decking.
- The exact amount of wet insulation to be replaced. Core cuts often don’t tell you how widespread the moisture is, and infrared is helpful, but not perfect. If time has elapsed since these were done or a roof was last inspected, moisture may have become more prevalent.
- The presence of asbestos.
Additionally, the roofing contractor cannot anticipate the risks of market supply shocks in terms of the long-term stability of input prices. For example, global conflicts may cause a sudden spike in material costs. Most estimates and contracts contain a supply shock caveat for this reason.
What to Consider When Reviewing the Proposal
Don’t just look at the price. “Most frequently people requesting proposals look for high-level scope of work items, warranty length, and price, what’s my R-value, and what’s my membrane. It’s difficult to get someone to not commoditize the roof, but think about the means and methods and safety that could end up being more costly than the roof itself,” says Fashimpaur. Here’s a short list of the information you should consider when evaluating a roofing contractor and the project they’re proposing:
- The contractor’s safety incidence rates (e.g., TRIR, DART, and EMR).
- The proficiency status of the contractor as recognized by the manufacturer (e.g., are they considered a master or elite contractor?).
- The contractor’s insurance coverage.
- The project team leaders’ experience.
- The safety plan.
- The manner of loading and off-loading.
- The ability of the proposal to have a manufacturer’s warranty – not just a contractor’s warranty.