Completely different measurements for estimates

Our insurance gave us the go ahead to have a new roof put on. We have been getting many estimates and it seems some of the contractors are way off in their measurements than the insurance has allowed for based on their own measurements. We have been alloted enough for 23 squares but some contractors have come back with as high as 40 squares. It seems most contractors in our area (columbia sc) prefer GAF products so we went to the GAF web site to find some more contractors. Some of the contractors we found through the GAF site are also off in measurements and have complaints with the BBB. We are very unsure of how to go about finding a reputable contractor at this point. This process is very confusing and overwhelming as we already know we are going to have to come out of pocket some and money is tight. Any explanation as to why the measurements would vary as well as any tips on how to spot a good contractor would be GREAT. Thank you

The only measurements that count, now, are the insurer’s. That is what you are paid on. I’d bet money that they are right on. Any estimate is logically not binding, as the insurer’s price determines the legality of the future pricing.

I am always confused when a homeowner has insurance approval, but gets estimates. You have what the insurer gave you for the total job. I just work from there.

If they measured wrong, I let them know. Then they give me the extra money if they made a mistake on the low side.

For you to pay less (pocket money) is illegal where I work. I think all insurers would demand you give the extra money back, if the “estimate” were low.

In reality, a contractor cannot overcharge or undercharge you. I’d go with a contractor that knows the process and refuses to give you an estimate, but tells you what you need to pay. I could give you a price within one minute of seeing the insurer’s paperwork. I have never changed that “estimate” by one cent. In other words, if the contractor thinks he needs more money, let him duke it out with the insurer, not you. How will you win that one? So, the contractor should know exactly what he/she can and cannot do. Get the price in dollars out of pocket, not dollars for the job. That would be crazy, as you are not a roofer who deals with insurers.

This part of the process is so simple it is ridiculous, and a good roofer knows that.

You are feeling out who can do the best job, not the best price. BBB is a good barometer, but a logical story of the job is better. Will the owner talk to you? Will he/she be there for the job (or exactly who will)? Will they logically explain why they use the materials they use? Are they truly local so they can come back if needed? Are they the biggest roofer in Oklahoma (just kidding, I have run across nearly 50 companies in Texas who are the biggest roofer in Oklahoma - in other words, kick the chest thumper off your property)? Do you trust them?

Decent advice IMO Gary,

A couple ways to look at your situation.

1.Is your insurer paying for a complete reroof?

2.Is the insurer paying for 23sq. of damage on a 40 sq. home?

3.Does your contractors think you have a total roof replacement when in fact only 23sq. is covered?

If your total roof is 23 sq. and you are being proposed for 40+ then someone cannot read a tape or entered the wrong address in eagleview.

I was told a long time ago that people can lie,tape measures don’t !!!

Thank you so much Gary for giving me a different perspective. The insurance company cut us a check and made us feel like its up to us to make it work out. That is why we started getting estimates. Not a single contractor made it sound as though they would deal with the insurance in any manner but they were all fully aware that it was a total roof replacement to be covered by the insurance company. I obviously know squat about roofing so I appreciate that you took the time to tell me how it should be. Thank you : )

Well, I hate to say this, but there are ripoff artists in roofing aswell. So if your roof is actually 23sq, and Contractor Bob says its 40sq, he’s going to end up with 17sq of material. Which he will sell to another homeowner, and in the end, get paid twice for the same bundles.

One thing to remember, if your roof square footage measures 2300 sq feet (23 square), you should expect about 26sq of materials, which would include starters and caps, and then some for waste.
If you have a straight gable roof (2 equal sides with no dormers) waste is very minimal. If you have hips and valleys then waste can go up quickly.

And you can be a preferred GAF contractor by selling loads of GAF roofs.

Talk to your friends/relatives who have had a roof done and see who they used.

Send me a PM with your address, if you live near a larger city, I should be able to get your takeoffs from Pictometry aerial images. Be helpful if you know the pitch of your roof but if the images are decent, I can get close enough to be within a square of what is reality. Leave your email in the message, I’ll send you back the image with the takeoffs and you can use that to show contractors which will make it easier for them to confirm the insurance scope.

There should be two numbers on your insurance scope of loss. The first will be the remove number which is the actual area of the roof. The second will be the replace number which has the waste factor included that describes the amount of shingles it will actually take to replace your roof (or is intended to be). Unless you have a 30 year laminant shingle, the replace number also is supposed to include starter and cap. If you have dormers, multiple levels or the roof is cut up, most of the insurance companies do not allow a waste factor adequate to cover everything. But I also doubt they missed it by 17 squares (23 to 40).

It may very well be that your adjuster seriously under scoped the roof. If you have a copy of your scope scanned in and want to send it to me, I’d be glad to look it over and offer an opinion if it were written adequately to where you should be able to hire a reputable contractor for the insurance amount. I’m not in your area and not looking for your business, will try to help if you wish.


Thank you so very much…I am happy to report we found a contractor. It was actually the one who assisted our insurance adjuster (adjuster does not get on roof). DH had confused this company with another and written it off. Their reputation as far as we can tell is impeccable and we will actually be getting CertainTeed shingles instead of GAF. I only wish I had come to this forum earlier for such wonderful advice. It would have saved a lot of headache for us and gas and time for those contractors who may very well have been on the up and up. A big thank you to all of you hard working guys and gals who battle the elements every day to keep our homes safe and dry…you are truly appreciated!!!


A big thank you to all of you hard working guys and gals who battle the elements every day to keep our homes safe and dry…you are truly appreciated!!![/quote]

Awe Shucks, :oops:

…And,so… Is your roof 23sq??

he must have found that shingle streacher ,you know the one your boss sent you to the truck for on your first day on the job :badgrin:

First of all if your insurance company is paying for your roof your already going about the process the wrong way.

Rather than get quotes from potential contractors meet with them and decide which one you like best and let them deal with the scope and numbers with the insurance company. You know your deductible, you know what kind of shingles you want right???

When a potential customers calls me to give a bid on an insurance job and they tell me they are getting several typicaly that’s a red flag they are looking for a craigslist roofer who is the cheapest in town and the freshest into the US. My bids although very accurate on scope is typicaly the highest in price. If the homeowner wants to see the bid before the insurance company does that’s fine but I won’t typicaly send them a bid until I get the green light on the job.

We are swamped for months, don’t have time to waste…

I’m going to echo the ones who have said to simply work forward from the insurance numbers. You didn’t state it this way, but the impression they (others who have commented on it) are getting the impression that by “we are going to have to come out of pocket some” that you might not have been looking for the fullest deductible payment.

As to the “who to hire” part, keep in mind that a lot of the “preferred” or “recommended” contractors the insurance co. provides to you might be on that list because they are least likely to ask the insurance co. for extra dollars (even if needed) & in the end, the insurance co. is NOT going to stand behind their work in the slightest… all warranty claims are between YOU & the contractor.

Additionally, given that you had more than one or two contractors come up with higher #'s on size than the insurer, I am curious as to the final outcome on that. Heck, if a customer was to tell me that my size was nearly 50% more than the insurance calculation, I’d for sure get back up there & make sure I have my head screwed on right. For such a smaller home, that really is a big variance (23 sq. isn’t much @ all in roof size & if the adjuster stayed on the ground it tells me you either have a 2 story, a steep… or both).

Also, an adjuster who didn’t get on the roof & had a “steep team” respond with them tells me you quite likely have AllState for an insurer.

To satisfy our own curiosities, could you please post a simple pic of your home (about 45 degree angle from the front & similar from the back)? Street names can be left off… I am interested to see how such a large change in size can be attributed to anything other than someone’s 1st day on the job… x however many roofers got the size right or wrong.