It can be quite a challenge comparing quotations for any home improvement, but this is especially true when it comes to roofing, building and renovation works.
Contractors may provide quotes which vary widely, and it’s often difficult to understand why and where the differences lay. Whilst it’s tempting to just go for the cheapest quote, it really does pays to try to understand where the price differences lay.
The reasons for such variations in price can range from a lack of understanding of the job to the quality of work being offered. So when comparing roofing quotations, it’s therefore essential to ensure you are comparing apples with apples (and not bananas) in order to appoint the best contractor you can afford for the type of job you intend to carry out.
Let’s say – you get a couple of roofing quotations for a roof replacement and they are not even close! One looks quite expensive compared to the other – but then again, you didn’t really know what to expect, price-wise, to begin with! It’s pretty tempting to just think, ‘Oh – the expensive one must be ripping me off if the other one is so much cheaper!’
It’s easy to fall into this mindset but as tempting as it might be to instantly go with the cheaper of the two – you should really hold your horses! Why is the gap so great? What is one contractor going to do that the other one isn’t?
A much cheaper quote could be a sign that the company has less experience than their competitor. On the other hand, if the quotations appear to be in the same league, and you would like the work done by the more expensive contractor, we would strongly urge you to ask them where the price difference lays or even if they would be willing to reduce their price slightly.
It’s highly unlikely that they will be able to meet the other quotation (or they would have quoted you this figure in the first place). However, they may be able to get closer and come to a compromise you are both happy with!
Be sure to check that your roofing quotation allows for cleaning up and debris removal. A good contractor will make sure to remove all debris and not to leave you with the stress of having to do this yourself.
Ploughcroft go back after the scaffold is removed to ensure that your property is left clean and tidy. When we’ve re-roofed a property, we’ll even organise a window cleaner to ensure your home looks pristine! That’s the difference between an average contractor and a great one.
It’s important to remember exactly what you are paying for when you ask any contractor for a quote. You are not just paying for their time on site and the materials to do the job. You are actually paying for their (sometimes extensive) knowledge & competence.
It might sound unbelievable in this day and age, but many companies employ unskilled labour in order to cut costs. Obviously this endangers their safety and that of yourself, your family or colleagues. Ensure you are comparing skill sets. Unskilled labour or staff that are at a low skill level are bound to offer a cheaper quotation. Those contractors or companies who continually invest in training staff and ensuring their safety on site often lose out on price to those who don’t!
We cannot speak for other roofing companies, but at Ploughcroft our surveyor is not only a time served, NVQ qualified roofer. He is also a qualified Chartered Building Engineer. All our roofing supervisors and team leaders hold the SSSTS (Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme) qualification as well as the NVQ2 in either Roof Slating & Tiling or Liquid Applications. All our staff hold Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards as an absolute minimum.
Ploughcroft regularly upskill their staff in new techniques and current British Standards and will not allow any staff to work on a project if they are not competent to do so.
It is valuable to ask a few different contractors to analyse the condition of your roof and present their recommendations. But what do you do when one contractor thinks you can get away with repairs and another suggests a complete re-roof, leading to a massive disparity in price?
You should base your final decision on the quality of the advice given by your contractor and what you, as the customer, need in the long term. Which approach will serve you best in the long run? Paying out for lots of small repairs over an extended period of time can often be a false economy and prove more costly than biting the bullet and going for the long term option in the first place! However, financing this option may be out of your reach at the present time.
Ploughcroft will give you sound advice based on your long terms needs and goals.
The updated CDM regulations have been put in place to ensure health and safety is properly considered during a project and for the first time, include construction work carried out for homeowners who will live in the property after work has been completed. It is very important that the new standards are properly enforced. Otherwise, responsible contractors may become unable to compete with those prepared to cut corners on safety.
Examples of where corners can be cut include sites not having sufficient scaffolding, using untrained workers and not producing a site-specific Construction Phase Plan.
We quite often get asked to remove the scaffolding from a roofing quote as our competitors have not included to use it. Our experience tells us that ‘Health & Safety’ is one of the main areas where price differences can occur. Scaffolding is an expensive item, and trust us – we include this because it is absolutely necessary. We wouldn’t dream of compromising on the safety of our staff and customers. The law must be complied with. When working at height we must use safe-access equipment. This not only protects our staff but also protects our customers. Any roofer willing to risk his own life by not using safe access equipment is also risking yours too. Falling slates or tiles can be deadly and I’m sure you wouldn’t want other equipment such as hammers, nails and Stanley knifes falling from the roof as you access your property!
Ploughcroft includes compliance with CDM 2015 in all the roofing quotations we provide, so you don’t have to worry about this element of compliance.
Ever heard the saying ‘You get what you pay for’? This is nearly always true, and a cheap roofing quotation could mean cheap or poor-quality materials.
Don’t let your roofer cut corners just to get the job! When it comes to materials, make sure you’re comparing similar roofing systems. Costs for products vary widely, so compare the quality & warranties and ensure that the quote includes ALL the materials required to complete the job. You don’t want any nasty surprises part way through!
Check the brands of materials being used and ensure that they comply with British Standards.
Be also mindful if you are re-roofing a slate roof and the roofer has quoted to re-use the existing slate. Very often they will estimate how much will need replacing and make a monetary allowance in the quotation for replacement slate. This will be a ‘best guess’ at best as they are unlikely to know the true condition of the slate until works begins, meaning that there might be additional cost for replacements should the quality of the existing slate turn out to be poor or more breakages occur than expected. So check out exactly what your contractors have quoted you for.
Ploughcroft only uses high-quality materials from reliable market-leading manufacturers that comply with British Standards. Our roofing quotations include for all the materials necessary – we wouldn’t dream of quoting you in any other way! Any slate allowance is clearly stated in our quotations.
Whichever contractor you choose, they should be working to the correct British Standards but it is surprising how many roofers couldn’t tell you what these are!
Roofers should be working to BS5534 and keeping up with compliance and training staff in the changes is a continual process.
Materials should be supplied and installed to meet these standards. This comes at a cost as very often the correct materials which comply will be priced far higher than those that don’t.
There are also strict rules surrounding Building Regulations. A good, professional roofing contractor will have included in their quotation to deal with the Building Notices on your behalf. They will also have included for any costs associated with arranging visits from the Building Inspector and be prepared to manage this element of the work on your behalf.
Ploughcroft take care of this legal compliance for you by registering your project through the Competent Roofer Scheme or LABC (whichever is relevant to the project). The cost of which will be included in your roofing quotation. This will ensure you have all the necessary paperwork should you come to sell your home in the future.
Great customer service cannot be reflected in the ‘numbers’ in the roofing quotations you are comparing. But the cost of this will be included in the quotation and this is something you really need to consider.
You will probably have picked up a good sense of the type of customer service you should expect to receive whilst dealing with the contractor throughout the quoting process. Ask yourself:
How active has the contractor been in ensuring I am happy and have received all the information I need throughout the quoting process?
How accessible have they been when I have needed to contact them?
If they were due to meet me, did they show up on time and if they didn’t, did they have the courtesy to let me know?
Tradesmen, and the construction industry in general, have a poor reputation, but that does NOT mean you should expect to be treated poorly. If you’ve received somewhat lacking customer service throughout the quoting process, then this will definitely be an indication of how the contractor will treat you whilst carrying out the work.
Home Improvements are stressful enough without the added worry of being unable to contact your contractor when they’re not on site when they should be.
If you’re unsure of the contractor’s reputation, check out review sites and see what past customers have to say. Where nobody can be expected to keep everyone happy all of the time, you’ll get a good idea of how they treat their customers. We are members of Which? Trusted Traders and are proud of what our customers say about us.
Ploughcroft deliver supportive customer care from the moment you enquire about a quotation, throughout your project and beyond.
Home improvements are an expensive investment. That’s why it’s important to ensure that on larger projects, your finances are protected. Ask your proposed contractor what guarantees, or insurance policies they have in place to protect your deposit or the work carried out.
Whilst most contractors will offer you a guarantee of some description, not all guarantees are the same. Most will offer a 12-month guarantee on minor works and this will most likely be with the contractor themselves. Whilst this is perfectly adequate it’s still worth considering an established contractor, preferably with premises you can visit. If things go wrong you should then be able to contact them. Remember—phone numbers are easily changed leaving you with no way to contact them.
For larger substantial works you should be looking for a 10-year insurance backed guarantee. Contractors can go out of business and their own guarantee then becomes worthless. An insurance backed guarantee will ensure you have someone to approach should you have problems with the work in years to come. Make sure your roofing quotation includes for the cost of providing this service.
Ploughcroft ensure that all re-roofing projects are registered through the Competent Roofer scheme which not only protects your deposit, but ensures that should anything happen to the business during your project, you are fully protected throughout!
To see what roofing services we provide, visit our Roofing Services page.