How do you know if you're getting a decent price

As a property manager with properties all over the country how do you know which areas you’ll have to pay a premium. New York, Chicago or other high wage cities I expect it. But I’m trying to get a roof done near Austin, TX and I was blown away by the first two prices, $227K for a 29,000sq/ft TPO roof over. Last roof I did that size was about $100K (northern CA) I know some people won’t appreciate this perspective but we own investment real estate and we’ll go with the lowest bid for whoever will give us a manufacturers warranty.

You’re right, I for one don’t appreciate or respect that perspective. You could always hire a competent individual to provide you with a quote using Xactimate using their price list for a given area. That would at least give you a reasonable ballpark. Probably cost you $125 to $200 to hire someone to do that.


Perhaps, one of the variables is the R value required. The membrane itself does not cost much, it is the underlying insulation board. Parapet caps can raise a quote. PvC must be used where a restaurant has a grease fan. That can raise the price. Apples to apples

For one, you are talking Austin Texas.

For two, you are talking Austin Texas.

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I’m so grateful we don’t ever have to work for a company like yours. I’m not disparaging you and I’m sure your company is very profitable. No roofer I know/respect in our area would even return your calls or show up on a walk through with your “lowest bid” policy. Thank God I live and work where I do and don’t have to squeak by on the crumbs you drop off the table.


Almost finished with a “lowest bid” Job. Did an inspection and punchlist in March, again in May, hopefully final inspection this weekend. I’ve made more on this roof than the low bidder did! And had the opportunity to rag the owner for thinking he was going to get a good job out of the low bid. That said, I’d be willing to pickup your repair list in the great lakes area, I’m sure you’d keep me busy…


A commercial customer seeking the lowest bidder that can supply a manufacturer warranty is in no way comparable to a homeowner looking for the lowest bid out of a residential roofer.

Two completely different animals.

Commercial roofers are trained by the manufacturers and their work is inspected by a manufacturer representative.

This is a distinctly different process than residential roofing.

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It’s still the bottom feeders in our area, regardless of warranty.

Contractor was certified, his crew wasn’t. He wasn’t on the job… And I’ve NEVER seen a “low bid” owner pay for the warranty.

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Welcome to the world of investment real estate. The leases for tenants like CVS, Walgreens, Tractor Supply, Advance Auto and others typicaly require the landlord to repair/replace the roof and parking lot. You underwrite the deal knowing you’ll have to budget for repairs or replacement. That budget number is based on an inspection. When it’s time to replace the roof getting bids 100% over your budget number can really kill your return. On a three million dollar property if one guy is at $110K and the guy that did the inspection for you is $130K you go with the guy that did the inspection, $20K doesn’t move the needle on a deal of that size. If it’s a $100K difference then that will affect your return. That roof that’s $100K more may be a better roof but there’s no need to put that kind of roof on this type of property.

When you buy or sell investment real estate the manufacturers warranty adds a lot of value. Our hold period is 5-7 years, there’s other investors who’s hold period is 2-3 years. A warranty is 15-20 years so you know during your ownership you’ll have $0 liability for the roof. Axiom hit the nail on the head, if I needed a roof on my house I would not hire the lowest bid.

I’ve had zero issues with any of the roofs we had put on. And for properties we purchased with a warranty I’ve had no issues getting repairs done by the manufacturer either.



While I don’t operate in these circles I do appreciate your insight and you are adding valuable content to this forum. Thank you for that.

John, different areas do demand different rates. It may be helpful if you have a single contractor that services one side of the country and another that services the other so you receive consistent rates and a consistent quality end product. We travel and roof in many states in the US and our rates are consistent and our quality is second to none. Feel free to call me for advice or pricing on any commercial roofing. It is all we do 865-228-2566.

Is this a public or private job? What’s the best way to get into contact with you?