Comparing Commercial Roofing Estimates: A Comprehensive Guide

Kathleen Maxwell | March 26, 2024

aerial view of a commercial roof on a sunny day.

If you need your commercial roof replaced or repaired, you’ll begin the process by selecting a commercial roofing company. Understanding what to look for when comparing each estimate will allow you to make an informed decision that will significantly impact the cost, quality, and longevity of your roof.

With over 70 years of experience as a reputable commercial roofing company, we understand the challenges building owners and managers face when navigating the process of obtaining and comparing commercial roofing estimates. In this article, we hope to unpack the process, offering insights and advice to help you make a choice that aligns with your building’s needs and your financial considerations.

What An Estimate Includes

It’s important to understand that a commercial roofing estimate is more than just a price quote. In addition to the estimated cost, it’s a detailed proposal that outlines the scope of work, materials to be used, timeline, and warranty information. When you request an estimate, you’re essentially asking for a roadmap of the project from start to finish.

When comparing estimates, it’s essential to dive into the details. Here are some key factors to consider:

Scope of Work

The biggest differentiator in a commercial roofing quote is the scope of work. At Maxwell Roofing, our goal is always to develop the project with the client so the scope of work aligns with your plans for your facility. Our process doesn’t always result in the cheapest bid, but we always provide the best solution to meet a client’s needs.

When you’re comparing the differences in pricing between the estimates, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do the various estimates include the same proposed scope of work?
  • Is the work to be performed clearly detailed?
  • What materials will be utilized?

Ensure that each estimate clearly defines all work that will be done. This could include the removal of the old roof, preparation, installation, and cleanup. A detailed scope of work helps prevent unexpected costs and misunderstandings.

Think Long-Term

To assess the true value of a roofing proposal, consider the average cost of maintenance and repairs for the life of the roof. Certain types of roofs may be inexpensive up front, but they will cost more to maintain and may not last as long. The same is true with investing in a quality roofing contractor rather than a budget contractor. It may cost more upfront to hire a reputable roofer, but your roof will last longer, saving you more money in the long run.


The type and quality of materials used in a project can vary, and not all of these materials are created equal. Certain roofing materials may be required to meet building codes. Before you sign a contract, understand the pros and cons of each material option and how it aligns with your building’s needs and your budget.

Insurance and Licensing

Appropriate business elements are just as important as the scope of work and performance. For example, is the roofing contractor licensed to operate in your specific state and county? Do they have proper insurance coverage? Will they meet the requirements of your current building codes and permits?

Many roofing companies include proof of insurance, business licenses, liability information, and payment terms with the proposal. If the roofing company does not include that, be sure to ask for these documents before hiring them.

Ask The Right Questions

Do your due diligence to make sure the companies you’re considering for a job are experienced and reputable. Good roofing companies keep track of their best work and retain references from past customers. Remember that you can always ask for referrals or previous customer testimonials. You can also request bank, vendor, or manufacturer certification letters to confirm the company’s legitimacy.

Some additional important questions include:

  • How are unforeseen issues handled during the project?
  • How do you ensure the project stays on schedule and within budget?
  • What safety measures do you implement during the project?

Without knowledge of the roofing industry, it can be difficult to know if you’re being quoted a fair price on a reasonable deadline. That’s why we’ve created a guide to give you an inside look at what goes into building a quote so you can feel even more confident during and after the decision-making process.

At Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., we’re a trusted partner committed to working alongside every client to provide the best solution for their needs. Contact Maxwell to speak with our team and start building your quote.

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