Like any business venture, you want to provide the best service while also earning sufficient compensation for your work. When it comes to how to price a roofing job, you want to give the homeowners an exact bid, transparent pricing, labor costs, and remain communicative throughout the roofing process about any material pricing changes.

How to estimate a roofing job? It can be challenging to find a balance between competitive pricing and not selling yourself short. If you want to increase your margins and stop underbidding yourself, keep on reading to learn the ins and outs of how to price and bid a roofing job correctly.

1. Scope of Work

Before submitting a bid for a roofing job, you want to provide an appropriate quote. First, you must consider the work scope in terms of how much it will entail. To do this, there are a few steps you want to make sure you take when pricing roofing jobs. 

Make sure you speak with the client and understand what they’re looking for. Do they want some shingles fixed, or is there a larger problem like a leaky roof? Then, you’ll want to visit the job site and see the work area for yourself. While you’re there, take detailed notes about what work needs to happen. 

Once you understand the work a client needs done, make sure to survey and measure the roof, so you have reliable numbers to work with. You’ll also want to talk with the town’s building inspector and familiarize yourself with the building codes to ensure you’re not using any restricted material.

2. Measurements

When it comes to measuring, you want to measure both the roof itself and the size of the shingle squares needed or wanted. You also want to determine the roof pitch and take any sloping edges into account. For how to bid on a roof, you want to take both types of roofs into account—flat and sloped. 

Flat roofs, the first step is to measure the exterior of the house while you’re still on the ground to calculate the home’s square footage. Then, you divide the home’s area by 100 to find out how many 100 square foot areas you’ll need to cover. In general, three shingle bundles typically cover one square. 

For pitched roofs, you need to account for the slope by measuring the roof’s pitch. Then, measure upwards at a 90-degree angle to see what parts of the roof rise over that length. Let’s say the roof pitch measures 12 feet, and it rises 5 feet—that gives a pitch to slope ratio of 5:12, which would roughly use 25 percent more shingles than a flat roof. 

You always want to plan for waste, so make sure to round the number of shingle bundles up one or two numbers to stay on budget and not put out more money than you’ll make (and you won’t have to buy more shingles if you’re a little short!).

3. Material Costs

Material costs are probably the trickiest things to estimate because the pricing varies depending upon availability. There are many roofing tiles—including solar panels, stone-coated steel, metal, rubber, and even shingles with plants on them. 

No matter what type of material the client wants you to use (or whatever style you recommend), check with your supplier before giving the client an estimate. This is necessary for two reasons: first, you want to make sure the supplier has enough material for the job, and second, you want to get the supplier’s best estimate on pricing so you can give the client the most accurate bid.

Other objects to consider with material costs include everything you can think of, including tools needed, nails, screws, underlayment, flashing, and vents.

4. Labor Costs

Now that you have an understanding of your material costs, it’s time to determine labor costs. This is relatively easy to do, and the process for deciding pricing is pretty straightforward. First, you estimate how many labor hours the project will take, and multiply that number by the number of workers that will be on the job to get your labor hours estimate. 

Then, to figure your hourly cost, you want to consider factors such as hourly wage, potential worker’s compensation, and taxes. Once you have those two numbers together, multiply them to get your labor estimate. Keep in mind the hourly wages vary by state, so make sure you’re keeping your pricing competitive if your business spills across state lines.

5. Overhead Costs

Overhead costs are an inevitable part of any construction project and include office rent, uniforms, insurance, roofing tools, and accounting. Your roofing estimate needs to account for these overheads (and others) to make a profit on roofing jobs.

You can figure out your total overhead cost with four easy steps: calculate what the overhead cost will be every week, figure out the weekly hours of labor, divide the hours into overhead expenses to get an hourly figure, and then multiple that hourly figure by the number of labor hours.

6. Desired Profits

Desired profits are relatively self-explanatory: it’s the amount of money you’d like to make from the job. This is a markup, which is what percentage you add to your estimate to ensure a profit. The general formula is Profit/Cost*100, and the average industry markup is 6 percent.

Putting Together a Bid

When it comes to how to bid a roofing job, you must know how to adequately quote a roofing job. The quote should be informed by the information from all the previous six steps. Once you’ve determined the job estimate, you want to present the information to your clients in a clear, professional, and easily-understandable way.

Most often, this includes a pricing breakdown, the cost of each service, terms and conditions, and any additional notes you feel are essential to include.

All bids should include the breakdown of materials, costs, and services; contact information for both the contractor and the client; your business’s logo and name; expiration date for the quote, and whether or not a deposit will be required. 

While it’s helpful to work off of a roofing estimate template, you want to personalize this bid as much as possible (and within reason), so be sure to include client-specific notes.

Get Started With Roofing Software!

Roofing software offers functions like scheduling, dispatching, reporting, invoicing, and more to help owners manage their roofing businesses more effectively.

Hosam Sayed is a Product Marketing Manager at WorkWave with extensive knowledge of B2B product and marketing positioning. When not in front of his computer, he can be found spending time with his family, enjoying outdoor activities, and working on perfecting the art of landscaping.