Why Roof Replacement Quotes In The St. Louis Metro Area Vary So Wildly
Roofing Companies Can Charge Massively Different Prices
For Your Roof Replacement. Here’s Why…
By Jason Quillman, Owner
It’s pretty easy to spot the difference in quality between a $300 TV and a $3,000 TV.
A $3,000 TV is going to be bigger, have clearer picture, be equipped with Smart technology, and come from an industry-leading manufacturer (Samsung, Sony, etc.). While it’s 10 times the price, you can actually SEE what that extra money is going toward.
The truth is that anyone can install pretty shingles on your home. Big-name national companies. “Chuck-in-a-truck” contractors. Even your cousin’s friend’s uncle who moonlights as a handyman on weekends.
So when you receive vastly different quotes for roof replacement with identical-looking shingles, your initial gut-reaction will be to choose the lowest one. After all, the shingles are similar quality… so why wouldn’t you choose the cheapest price?
But here’s the reality: A quality roof is MUCH more than just nice-looking shingles. Eighty percent of it is a system of unseen components working together to protect your home from the elements, moisture, energy loss, and more. As a result, it’s typically what’s under the shingles that determines much of the price.
If you go cheap on roof replacement, you’re going to get a roof that either lacks these “hidden” crucial components or utilizes second-rate materials. And because you can’t actually see them, you won’t even notice… until you experience problems later on.
Let’s run through an example to show you what I mean…
Let’s say you own a 1,200-square-foot ranch. You get seven quotes on roof replacement because you’re ultra-diligent. The quotes all include GAF-brand shingles and range from $4,500 to $13,000.
At first, you might be tempted to choose the $4,500 quote. After all, it’s almost three times cheaper than the $13,000 quote.
But there’s a great reason for that: The $4,500 roof—while including GAF shingles—is going to lack critical features and be installed with substandard, off-brand materials under the shingles. It’s the only way a roofer can charge this kind of price without closing shop within a week.
Something like this is what I call a “Frankenstein” roof. It’s a mishmash of various second-rate brands and components that don’t (and aren’t meant to) go together.
Here’s the kind of thing you’re going to get if you choose the $4,500 quote:
- GAF shingles
- Cheap, generic underlayment
- No attic ventilation
- No ice and water shields
- Cut-up 3-tab shingles instead of authentic starter shingles
- Subpar installation
- Barebones warranty (or none at all!)
This would be like buying a BMW body with Ford Pinto parts under the hood. It looks great on the surface (GAF shingles), but it’s a total clunker performance-wise.
But a $4,500 quote won’t just get you substandard materials—it’ll also get you the kind of company that skimps on other critical elements of roof replacement.
The $4,500 roofers typically lack the proper insurance, communication skills, and PASSION for the job. They’re the kind of contractors that get in and get out as fast as humanly possible so they can move on to the next job. There’s no consideration for protecting your property such as your landscape, HVAC unit, and so on. There’s zero concern with utilizing the necessary installation techniques. And there is certainly no regard for any sort of service after the sale or warranty protection.
Maybe it sounds like I’m being harsh. But I’ve seen this kind of company time and time again in my decades in this industry, which is why I do my best to educate (i.e., warn) homeowners about going with a cheap quote.
On the other hand, here’s the kind of thing you’re going to get with a $13,000 quote:
- GAF shingles
- High-end GAF roof underlayment that’s ultra-tough and protects from moisture
- Premium GAF ice and water shields for moisture and ice-dam prevention
- Genuine GAF starter shingles for maximum adhesion and wind-resistance
- Proper, GAF-brand ventilation for premium airflow
- Master Elite® installation that utilizes ALL the best practices
- Golden Pledge Warranty (50 years of protection on materials, 25 year to life on workmanship)
In other words, the $13,000 quote will get you the absolute best of the best roof—a BMW body with all high-end BMW parts.
At this price range, you’re also going to get a company whose quality of service matches their materials. They’ll take the time to protect all of your belongings. They’ve got the necessary insurance, which means you aren’t on the hook if an accident occurs on your property. They’ll communicate with you so you know what’s going on every step of the way. And if you ever need anything after the job, they’re always a phone call away.
What about the roofing quotes between these prices? Let’s split the difference and use a quote that’s $8,750. This is going to get you mid-range quality:
- GAF shingles
- Lower-end GAF components in some areas; generic components in others
- Decent-quality ice and water shield in places
- Solid installation
- Possible roof ventilation
- Middle-of-the-road GAF warranty (50 years on materials, 2-10 years on workmanship)
Sticking with the car analogy, the $8,750 roof would be like a Subaru or Kia. It’s solidly made, dependable, and works well enough. But it’s certainly not going to provide the protection, performance, and longevity of the $13,000 roof.
The $8,750 roofers out there will probably carry the proper insurance (ask them up front to be sure). They may or may not protect your belongings prior to installation. And the level of communication could be anywhere from poor to average to great. In other words, you roll the dice in this price range.
What Level Of Roof Replacement Should YOU Choose?
At XteriorPRO, we always recommend investing in the highest possible quality, which is why we specialize in GAF Golden Pledge Roofing. It’s 100% “BMW-level” roofing that costs a little more on the front end, but you WILL save a ton of money in the long run.
With that in mind, I’m not saying you must absolutely choose the highest quote or else your roof will fail and you’ll have thrown your money down the drain. I will, however, STRONGLY suggest avoiding a low-ball quote like the $4.5K roof I mention above.
By choosing a cheap price up front, you set yourself up to spend an arm and a leg in the long run via repairs and premature replacement. In my 20+ years in this business, I’ve lost count of how many times homeowners have called me to repair/replace their substandard roofs they had installed by economy-priced contractors.
That said, we’re not going to pressure you into any sort of decision if you receive a quote from us. We’re the kind of company that performs a thorough inspection of your roof, comes up with a proper solution, and then educates you on your options.
If you choose to move forward, that’s great! If you need time to think things over or decide we’re not the company for you, that’s also great! As long as we provide you with the information you need to make a comfortable and informed decision, we’ve done our job.
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