Roofer gave incorrect estimate

My roofer has about half of the roof done. He gave me an estimate for 23 squares. He measured wrong and now tells me that it is 27 squares, his mistake. What should I do about this? Do I have to pay him more for his mistake in measurement? Thanks.

No thats his problem. If he can even measure a roof i would be worried what else he does not know. Is this the cheapest estimate??? Because it sure sounds like it.

I am guessing your biggest concern is in not getting the roof completed & leaving it exposed while you possibly tried to find someone to finish the project.

I suggest that you draw up a quick document stating that you will pay for materiels (only) but the fees for labor & any other non parts related costs are NOT your responsibility.

Plus, state that the warranty shall still be considered in full & irrevocable effect.

I don’t know what part of the country you’re in, but typically “Big Box” (the orange one & the blue & white one) sell shingles for prices comparable to most wholesale supply houses.

Here in Austin, 4 squares of dimensional shouldn’t cost much more than 240.00 + about 15.00 for felt.

Again, as a suggestion, you could tell him that it’s really HIS mistake :shock: about the faulty measurement however in order to assist with maintaining good customer / contractor relations you might consider this:

Offer to purchase the parts & pick them up from whatever supplier he uses if it’s not a Big Box (hopefully you know someone with a truck if you don’t have one yourself) & don’t allow him to get any $$ from you because the off measurement may be his way of getting more $$ on a low bid. Make sure these parts actually go up on the roof & aren’t taken to another job or returned for store credit.

A few suggestions, anyhow. Let us know what you decided to do. I’m also curious as to what his contract states.

He should NOT pay for anything. If the guy cant estimate the roof correctly the owner of the home should not pay for it PERIOD.

WHen you make a mistake do you ask for more money?

I will make a mistake every once in a while and the company just has to eat it.

TO be honest ranch i cant believe you are suggesting he paid for someone esles mistake. I thinnk the roofer he found was the lowest bidder by alot. ANd can he do the roof correctly would be my concern.

The ONLY reason I suggested he MIGHT consider this is because if a leak should show up, he wants to get the “contractor” out there for a fix.

If this ‘roofer’ is brazen enough to request additional funds, he might also be a problem if a leak happened.

Yes, the contract (if there was one) is enforceable by law, however that wouldn’t do the homeowner any good if it took 1 month to get this guy back out there.

That’s the ONLY reason I’m suggesting they offer for parts only & nothing additional. & I also suggested the customer reinforce it via an additional contract written in terms that favors the customer / homeowner.


I screw up on measurements still after 26 years of being in bussiness. Even when I screw up I still remember how to install it. The two things are not connected.

I eat the screw ups. There were times we went hungry because of it.

If you believe the guy made an honest mistake, then follow RanchHandroofings advice.

If it was an honest mistake, he will be grateful you offered to pay for the materials.

I dont feel the customer should pay for his mistake. Every mistake i have ever made i ate it. I feel yea when it comes to going hungry cause of it.

My question is why did he say something to the home owner?

Oh if you do buy the materials make sure you buy them from where he did so the lot codes match on the shingles. This way the color is the same throughout the roof.

Buy the materials, make sure it gets used, and keep the reciept. If it doesn’t get used maybe you can return it.

I’m no roofer, but I know good business relationships are very valuable to me.

This way you can get the job done, whether the extra material gets used or not, and you can keep a good relationship with the contractor.

You might even be able to get him to share the cost because it was his mistake, and you didn’t budget this extra cost.

Just my thoughts,

well if the roofer laid the shingles that were loaded 23 sq then its not at all
crazy for the roofer to expect h/o to pay for materials and mabye a little more. its happened to me before never had a problem gettin a few extra bucks.


i dont even tell the home owner if i ordered short…i just eat it and dont think twice.

I also never tell the homeowner of being short anything. If I have to leave to get something and the homeowner is outside I’ll tell them but never ask for a penny.

For every job you have extra materials do you give the returns back to the homeowner? Me never, unless they buy the materials and I supply only labor.

Once I ran 5sq short on a tear off and the homeowner insisted on paying for them and she did after we argued back and forth for a few minutes. Another homeowner asked how much the permit was and when I said it was $125 she got mad and when the job was done she handed me $125 and said it was a tip. She was one of the nicest homeowners to date. Ice cream treats for the whole crew on that job.

I love it when the cheap homeowners ask for the shingles left over to be put in there garage or to roof there dog house or tree fort.


If you followed his other posts. You would know the customer knew the job took 28 square.

So if the contractor came and said he measured 23 and it takes 27 the customer should not be suprised.

Lefty but that does not make the Home owner resposible for the contractors mistake. 5 squares is alot of area to miss in my book. I think the most i have been off has been 2 or 3 but i dont say a word, i get the materials and just go about the day knowing i just paid for a few suqares of someones roof. WHatever the home owner knew is not the point. The point is the guy messed up and it is not the h/o problem. I never got anything like that from a mistake. The contractor should have never said anything to the h/o either. It is very unprofessional and really looks bad. Its obvious that he was the lower bidder since he was off 5 squares approx 1k. I think the contractor should eat the mistake.

Worst mistake i ever made was on a roof, siding and gutters job. I forgot the gutters and they bought from me. I paid for those gutters.

Either way him opening his mouth that he was short is very unproffesional

First shingle job of the year yesterday. 2 square short. We will eat it. Great start to the year.
Most estimators make mistakes because they get lazy but sometimes it is just a math error.

Thanks a lot guys. I appreciate all of the responses that I have had to all of my questions. It is a math error and he was 4 squares short. I will be paying for the materials. I believe that it was an honest mistake and I dont want anyone to loose money for a mistake. I did let him know however that I didnt have to pay anything.

He is doing quality work and is hand nailing everything. His price is cheap but he makes sure its done right. I am helping him out because he is just starting his own business and is not the brightest or best business man. But he does have plenty of experience and does do a good job.

(My previous post stated that I had 51 squares total. 23 for the barn and 28 for the house. The 23 was 4 short, so it is actually 27.) Thanks again.

Again, to clarify my point - the cow was already out of the barn (the contractor had already asked for additional funds).

The basis of my response was in response to his question which was “What should I do about this?”

I don’t know his particular contractor / client relationship & was only making guesses as to how me could approach it.

So, there you go… & we get closure, too.

You gave good advice and that it what I decided to do. It is like throwing a fit at McDonald’s and getting your food spit on. I want to be fair and maintain a good relationship. If I thought it was intentional and was unhappy with his workmanship, I would not have given him a dime.

I knew exactly what you were saying.

I fully agree with GTP. If someone can’t measure properly then they should eat it. I NEVER ask the homeowner nor accept any $$ if I mismeausre a job. It is called the cost of doing business. Yes I do mess a thing up here and ther but the times that you have a few bundles or squares left over do those peeps who ask the homeowner for money for there mistake also give the homeowner a credit back ? I bet you don’t.

timothy, that is a ridiculous comparison, because I ALWAYS order more material than I think I will need because of defects in any given material unit, waste, etc. It is chedaper for me to pay the 15% restock fee on the leftovers than it is to send a man and a truck to the supply house.

Aaron - the point of the comment was if you ask for more $$ when you screw up do you give back $$ when you screw up and over order. My guess is probably not. I don’t ask for anymore $$ when there is a screw up whatsoever. I love to see extra material which means no shortages and more $$ in my pocket. In our contract it also says any overages belong to us. The homeowner has all the right in the world to use whomever they want. The only additionals if any are wood charges.
Hopefully because you "ALWAYS order more material than I think I will need because of defects in any given material unit, waste, etc. It is cheaper for me to pay the 15% restock fee " means you are correctly measuring the job and like you said material defects and such do happen. I am sure you know what your doing. Everyone does it there own way.