Behind the Scenes: Building a Commercial Roofing Quote

Kathleen Maxwell | January 27, 2023

a bright white commercial roof.

For many building owners, the process of how a commercial roofing quote comes together is a mystery. Without knowledge of the industry, it can be difficult to know if you’re being quoted a fair price on a reasonable deadline. In this blog, we will take you behind the scenes to show all of the components that make up a legitimate roofing quote. When you’re planning on replacing a commercial roof, or when you’re gathering quotes on roofs for new construction, consult this quick guide to make sure you’re getting all the information you need from the companies you’re querying.

Part 1: Initial Consultation

When a building owner first contacts a roofing company for a quote, the company representative will initially ask for some basic information about the type of project. The commercial roofing companies you speak to should definitely be asking the following questions:
1. Are you looking for a roof replacement or new construction?
2. If you’d like a roof replacement, how old is the prior roof? What type of roof is it? What construction materials were used when it was installed?
3. What is the current square footage of the roof?
4. If you’re considering new construction, do you have drawings and specifications?
5. When does the work need to be done?
6. What type of budget are you looking to stay within?

Look for a roofing company that asks detailed questions or would like to view the property before making a proposal. Pricing commercial roof replacement or construction is dependent on many factors. You’ll want to work with a roofing company that carefully prepares an accurate quote for you to consider, breaking down the aspects of each component of construction.

Part 2: Site Visit and Inspection

If a roof is being replaced or installed on an existing building, roofers will need to come out and inspect the site in order to create a detailed estimate. Inspectors will determine what condition the current roof is in, which can greatly impact a roof replacement quote. During this visit, the roofer will also measure the roof to determine how much material they will need for the project.

Part 3: Estimating Material Costs

Material costs can vary widely in roofing, and the cost of a commercial roof is largely determined by the type of material chosen for the roof and for the insulation. For commercial roofs, bituminous, single-ply membrane, and metal are all common materials. Insulation can also greatly impact your material costs depending on if you need a tapered system to create a slope on the structure or if the flat stock will suffice. Additionally, costs are also dependent on local code requirements for the necessary R-value.

Part 4: Factoring in Other Costs

While material prices are the biggest determinant of cost for a roofing project, there are other aspects of the commercial roofing process that may be included in an estimate. Disposal of construction waste also incurs a cost, which might be higher if there are logistical problems associated with the site. Special equipment like HVAC units or solar panels may also impact the cost of a roof replacement or require additional labor for new roof construction. During the slope development process, metal accessories and other rooftop equipment should also be considered.

Part 5: Labor

Labor costs can vary greatly, depending on if the work is performed by the commercial roofing company or if it is subcontracted. It also depends on how difficult the scope of work is in regard to a tear-off and install. For example, re-roofing a building with many rooftop penetrations will require more detailed work and labor than working on a building without any additional rooftop accessories.

What Else Should You See in a Roofing Quote?

In addition to breaking down the cost of a commercial roof, your roofing quote or estimate should also provide a scope of work for what the roofing company will accomplish. This scope of work should include specific details about what will be removed and what will be installed. Many roofing companies also include their proof of insurance, business license, liability information, and terms of payment with the proposal. If the roofing company does not include that, be sure to ask for it before hiring them.

If you’re ready for a commercial roofing project estimate for your building, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal today. Our team is happy to walk you through the entire estimation process, explaining each aspect of the process every step of the way.

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