Understanding Your Roof Replacement Estimate

You’ve decided you need a new roof. Several contractors have given you estimates. How do you know which is right for you? It is important to understand exactly what the contractor is proposing when making a decision on your roof replacement. There are usually several products/services included on most re-roofing quotes.


The primary item on a roof replacement estimate is the actual roofing material. The estimate will list the manufacturer and type of shingles the contractor intends to use. It will also show the style of shingle. Architectural or dimensional shingles are the most popular. They create more interest and often mimic the look of other roofing materials such as slate or tile. It may include color choice or options if design was part of the initial discussion. The estimate will also indicate the length of the manufacturer’s warranty for that type.


If your roof has chimneys, dormers, and walls, then you will see flashing on your estimate. Flashing prevents water from seeping behind and under shingles, causing water damage to the structure.

Flashing is usually thin sheets of aluminum or galvanized steel. Many professional roofers will fashion their own from sheet metal. Flashing is installed over joints in the roof & wall construction. Possible areas are valleys, chimneys, dormers, windows, pipes, skylights, porches, decks and edges.

New flashing is often installed with a new roof. If flashing deteriorates or comes loose it can cause severe damage to your home. It is important to make sure it is installed properly to avoid unnecessary damage.


One item that should be included on every roof replacement estimate is underlayment. Underlayment is a layer of protective material between the roof deck or plywood and the shingles. Often called felt paper, it is the first layer of waterproofing for your roof.

Manufacturers reinforce the underlayment with fiberglass to strengthen and resist tearing, make installation easier and improve its waterproofing effectiveness.

Manufacturers are constantly developing new underlayment technology. Newer synthetic underlayment further increases the effectiveness, ease & safety to install and increases longevity. Some manufacturers have developed organic and green underlayment products.

It is usually recommended to use underlayment from the same manufacturer as your shingles as they are designed to work together. It may be required for a valid warranty.

A contractor will choose the best type of underlayment for your roof replacement based on the type of roof and climate in which you live. If you have any questions regarding their choice, they are the best resource for your specific project.