When it comes to getting roofing installed or roofing maintenance it is important to know the difference between estimates and proposals. The two are frequently confused because they seem so similar but there are key differences you need to know.

Roofing Estimate vs. Roofing Proposal


Estimates let you know the types of materials that will be needed for the project. It also lists out the scheduled time for the project, cleanup, and the contractor’s liabilities and warranty information for the roof. Estimates also include how the roof is to be paid for and if there will be any add-on costs. Any potential add-ons will be explained in the estimate in full. You need to be aware that some contractors will try to use the estimates as a means to get you to sign a contract, by acting as if it is a formal proposal. This is not the purpose of an estimate. Estimates help you evaluate which roofer you may want to work with. A professional and trustworthy contractor, however, will give an estimate to provide the specific details and costs that are to be involved in your roofing project.


A roofing proposal sets the cost for a project that the contractor and building owner are bound to. Most roofers will have set costs for materials and labor and they will provide these costs in full as well as give detailed breakdowns for each component of the project. Any additional costs will also be included. Proposals give a final price that is not to be exceeded regardless of what happens during the course of the project. If this is a number you do not like, then do not enter into an agreement or contract with the roofer. Be sure to discuss every aspect of cost with the roofer so you will be aware of exactly what you will be charged for.

Not all proposals are the same and they can differ by project, contractor, and client demand. Some proposals will also be lengthy while others only one page. Beware of very short proposals, because it will likely be missing details and critical information. Your roofing is an investment, just like the building, so collect your estimates, make a decision and discuss a detailed proposal with your contractor before entering any contract.

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