In our last episode, there was a sizeable difference between the two roofing quotes. I had two more scheduled, expecting them to be somewhere in the middle of the range, optimistic they’d be on the lower side. Hah!
The representative for Company Three did the initial inspection while I was in Houston. He came by Wednesday to present the quote and answer questions. I’ve looked at this stuff enough now that I probably didn’t need to be there, but my better half wanted to look at shingle samples.
I don’t remember why, but my Used Car Salesman BS Shields clicked on very early into the meeting. When this happens, there’s an instinctive reaching for my posterior, not to scratch, but to ensure my wallet’s still in my back pocket. Anyway, I had pretty quickly decided I didn’t want to do business with this guy, but it would be useful to see the quote in case my gut feel was wrong.
He bragged about how they were one of a small handful of roofing companies to whom the secret knowledge of applying Certainteed shingles was revealed, empowering them to offer a longer warranty than anyone else. After disbelief, the next thought was “Oh, boy, this is going to be expensive.” And “I wonder how much.”
The Packet O’ Information was handed over. As I flipped through to The Bad News Section, he asked “Am I in the ballpark?”
I paused before I could say something clever like “only if you mean a totally different ballpark, like Fenway.”
Our Hero: “No, your estimate is the most expensive, nor does not include replacement of the gutters.”
(I wanted to also tell him 50% down is *not* going to happen, but it wasn’t necessary.)
Villain: (looks toward sky) “Gutters would cost $1,800.” (This was 2/3 everyone else.)
Our Hero: (silence)
The Villain: blah blah blah “prices going up in mid November” blah blah blah “commit to a new roof by then, I can cut you a deal.”
Our hero: “What kind of deal?”
The Villain: “I’ll knock the gutter price down to $900.”
I asked him to send me an updated contract with the gutter addition. He writes “gutters” with $900 next to it. No description, no initialization in the margin, it’s a worthless comment.
This morning, I heard back from the fourth company, whose bid is the highest yet their warranty and the level of detail in the quote are the smallest. The guy seemed nice enough, but the time to response and the quality of the quote feel as if they don’t want the work, unless it’s going to be worth their while. In other words, they’ll bid high; if I don’t take it, no loss; if I do, their gain.
Depending on the type of shingle, quotes are between $4,125 and $5,937 apart (plus 9% for sales tax). The first two companies had the most detail in their quotes, especially calling out minutae like replacing the rusted out heater exhaust pipe that was omitted by vendors 3 and 4. Vendor 3 has the longest warranty, written out as “lifetime,” though in all practicality, it’s equivalent to the others. So, based primarily on the thoroughness of the detail, I liked the the second company – also the least expensive – and will start calling references. The first vendor, also the second least expensive, is my alternate.
Now the real fun begins…