It is important to know the difference between estimates and proposals when you are getting new roofing. The two are frequently confused because they are similar, but there are important differences you need to know before getting started.

Roofing Estimates and Roofing Proposals: What Do You Need to Know?


Estimates will list the types of materials that will be needed for a particular project, as well as schedule time, cleanup, and the contractor’s liabilities. They will also reference any relevant warranty information for the roof and materials. Estimates also include how the roof is to be paid for and discusses any potential add-ons which will be explained in the estimate in full. There are some contractors that will try to use the estimates as a means of getting you to agree to and sign a contract. This is not what estimates are supposed to be used for. They are designed to help you evaluate which roofer you want to hire based on pricing, materials, and warranty details. A professional and trustworthy contractor will give an estimate to provide the specific details and costs that will likely be involved in your roofing project so you can make an informed decision.


A roofing proposal breaks down the cost for a project that the contractor and building owner are bound to, like a contract. Most roofers will have set costs for materials and labor and will provide these costs in full, so you know exactly what to expect. They provide a detailed breakdown for each part of the project, including any additional costs that may occur. Proposals give a final price that cannot be exceeded regardless of what happens during the project. If you do not accept the proposal numbers, then you do not enter into a contract with the roofer. Be sure to discuss every aspect of cost with the roofer upfront so you will be aware of exactly what you will be charged for. You will want to know exactly what you are signing and what you are agreeing to.

Proposals will differ by project, contractor, and consumer demand. Some will be lengthy while others are much shorter. Beware of proposals that are too short because they should contain details and critical information and a shorter one could be missing valuable information. Collect your estimates to make an informed decision and then, discuss a detailed proposal with your contractor before entering any contract to make sure everyone is in agreement.

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