How to Hire a Roofing Contractor for Hail Damage Repairs

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This series is continued from How to File a Roof Hail Damage Insurance Claim.

Roof Insurance Adjustment Estimate

The claim examiner approved my insurance claim for hail damage to the asphalt shingle roof. The claim examiner forwarded a copy of the adjuster’s estimate to me which detailed the roof replacement costs for labor and materials. The adjuster’s estimate is a key document that:

  • Itemizes the roof replacement costs for labor and materials.
    The roofing contractor will use these figures to as the basis for the contract.
  • Calculates the Replacement Cost Value (RCV), Depreciation (DEPREC) and Actual Cash Value (ACV).
  • RCV the full cost of the repair/replacement.
  • Depreciation is the decrease in fair value of the roof due to age.
  • ACV is the Replacement Cost (RCV) minus Depreciation (DEPREC).
  • R&R in the adjustment worksheet means “Remove & Replace”
  • SQ means roofing “square” of shingles, equal to 100 square feet area.
  • LF means lineal feet.

Hail Damage Roof Insurance Adjustment Estimate

The claim examiner sent me a check for the Actual Cash Value (ACV) minus my $500 deductible for a Net Claim of $13,855.78, but this falls far short of the $18,434.43 roof replacement cost! What’s going on?!

The difference is the $4,078.65 depreciation (decrease in fair market value) for an 11 year old roof was withheld from the initial claim payment. The reason for withholding the depreciation is some homeowner’s might take the claim check for $13,855.78 and spend it on something other than having the roof repaired. (If you “take the money and run” it can have severe consequences such as having a claim denied for subsequent storm damage that causes the roof to leak and flood the home!)

I made the responsible decision to have my roof replaced which enabled me to file for the recoverable depreciation of $4,078.65 by having the roofing company send a copy of the invoice directly to the claim examiner after the new roof was installed. The insurance company then wrote another check for $4,078.65 for the withheld depreciation. My final out of pocket cost was $500 for the deductible plus $144 to replace three sections of rotted roof deck discovered during the roof replacement.

Here’s the roof survey – layout and measurements – that was used to estimate the material and labor costs:

Roof Survey – Layout and Dimensions

Your roofing contractor will most likely make his own measurements to verify the insurance adjuster’s figures and may order an aerial roof survey as well.

How to Choose a Roofing Contractor

Selecting a roofing contractor is a major decision. A new roof is a “big ticket” purchase and you have to put a lot of trust in the roofing contractor to do the job right because you won’t be able to see what he’s doing on your roof, plus you’re relying on the contractor being in business years from now to back up a 10 year workmanship warranty. Most homeowners won’t to know what to ask for in terms of roofing materials, upgrades and installation details. My goal is to provide you with information to negotiate the best deal and ensure you get a quality job.

The selection criteria and questions you should ask a roofing contractor are:

  1. Never hire a roofer that is out-of-state, i.e. “storm chasers”.
    They won’t be around for warranty service or dispute resolution.
  2. Deal only with a factory-certified roofing contractor in your area.
    GAF and CertainTeed are the two largest shingle and roofing material manufacturers in the USA.
    Find a GAF Master Elite™ or a CertainTeed Premier roofing contractor.
  3. Check the Better Business Bureau report for your prospective factory-certified roofing contractor.
    Avoid roofing contractors with less than an ‘A-‘ rating. A company can be rated an ‘A-‘ minus simply because of the limited length of time in operation, but have an otherwise excellent track record.
  4. Ask for references from other homeowner’s in your area for jobs within the past year.
    Reputable roofing contractors should have dozens and dozens of homeowner’s references.
  5. Request a copy of the contractor’s professional State license and local business license.
    Some States, including Georgia where I live, do not have Professional Licensing requirements for roofers. For example, a plumber in Georgia must pass a State exam to be licensed, but roofer does not.
  6. Request a copy of the roofing contractors Certificate of Liability Insurance.
    Minimum coverage limits should be $1 million General Liability, $1 million Personal Injury and $500,000 for Worker’s Compensation. Higher limits are desirable. Roofing work is dangerous and you don’t want an injured worker suing you or some other accident claim going against your homeowner’s insurance. Call the insurance agency listed on the certificate to verify the policy is in force and the coverage limits are accurate.
  7. How long has the company been in business?
    Roofing contractors tend to come and go due to the ups & downs of the economy and housing cycle. A company that has been in business for many years will tend to be more stable and experienced with adequate cash flow and cash reserves to meet operating requirements.
    Dishonest roofing contractors will quickly open & close business under new names (or disappear altogether) in an effort to distance themselves from a poor reputation, unpaid bills and lawsuits. Should the roofing contractor not pay the subcontractor, the subcontractor may file a mechanics lien against your home for the unpaid labor and materials. If this happens, you will not be able to sell your home until the lien is paid.
  8. Ask if the roofing contractor uses the same work crews and how they train their work crews. Does the company have a training manual?
    The workmen on your roof will most always be subcontractors. The busier roofing contractors will be able to retain the same work crews. Visit the company office and ask to see a copy of their roofing manual which sets the standards of competency, workmanship and quality.
  9. Ask who will be the Job Supervisor.
    The job supervisor will be your point of contact for any questions and issues. You should have the supervisor’s business card with cell phone number and e-mail address. The supervisor should be at the job site at least once each day for quality inspections during and after the job is complete.
    The supervisor for my roof was there when work began, walked the roof each day, took photos and reviewed the photos and progress with me. When the job was finished, the roofing crew waited for 30 minutes while the supervisor walked the roof, lifting shingles to verify the roofing materials were install correctly. The supervisor had the roofing crew replace a couple of marred shingles in a high traffic area and make a few minor touchups with paint and caulking. The supervisor then reviewed the final photos with me and asked if I had any questions or saw something that needed attention. Only then was the work crew released.
  10. Ask to see a copy of the roofing contract to read the fine print.
    A good contract should include a “Standards of Performance” which states among other things, that the contractor will not nail toe boards through your shingles, kick-outs will be installed at all corners, flashing installation requirements, the crew will not walk or step on your gutters, the job site will be cleaned up at the end of each day, etc.
  11. How long will it take to replace the roof?
    This is seemingly innocuous question can be a red flag. If one roofer says he’ll bring a crew of 15 men and do the job in a day or two at most, while the other roofing contractors says 7 or 8 men will require at least 3 days (weather permitting), immediately disqualify the roofer who says he can do it in a day. Why? Because the roofer with 15 men won’t be focused on quality and will cut corners because he’s in a hurry to finish the job and get paid. 15 men on my roof would be in each others way and they’d probably working well past sunset in the dark. Do you really want that for non-emergency repairs? My house required 8 men working for 3-1/2 days to replace the roof – but my roof has complicated lines and features.

Roofing Inspection and Contract Negotiations

You should obtain at least three (3) proposals for your new roof:

  • Prepare a short list of qualified roofing contractors per the above selection criteria.
  • Contact each contractor and explain that you have an approved insurance claim and are requesting proposals.
  • Forward a copy of the insurance adjuster’s estimate to the roofing contractors.
  • Make an appointment at your home to review each proposal.

The roofing contractor sales representative will meet with you to walk the roof, check if the insurance adjuster missed anything on the insurance estimate, and go over a contract proposal. Ask questions such that you understand each line item in the contract proposal and how it applies to your roof. Take written notes as necessary.

Thank the sales rep. for his time, explain that you’re comparing proposals from different companies and will make a decision soon. Do not sign anything at this time! Beware of “estimates” that are in reality binding contracts; always read the fine print!

How to Get the Best Roofing Contract

You want to take the best elements from the competing roofing proposals and negotiate with your preferred roofing contractor include it in the revised proposal. Each contract proposal will have unique specifications and insights that you can use to your advantage.

Note that I was NOT negotiating pricing discounts. Why? Because this is an insurance claim for which I plan to recover the depreciation withheld from the Replacement Cost Value (RCV). The roofing company will invoice me for the full $18,434.43 RCV as listed on the insurance adjustment, which I will present to my insurance company for the recoverable deductible. I will also pay the roofing company $500 for my deductible. It would be insurance fraud for the roofing company to give me a kickback, credit, rebate other incentive such as paying my deductible. The State of Georgia passed a Residential Roofing law codified as O.C.G.A. § 33-23-43 which bans these practices.

Since I can’t negotiate a price discount without committing insurance fraud (and a reputable roofing will point out this fact), what I can legally do is negotiate the material, workmanship and warranty specifications. On one hand, the roofer wants to maximize his profit margin by installing less expensive materials and skipping certain installation details to minimize his labor expenses; while I will be negotiating for higher quality items, requiring things be done in particular way, and asking for better warranties that will reduce his profit margin. It’s up to me to do this because insurance adjuster’s report does not go into these details, nor can the insurance company tell me which roofing contractor to hire.

Example roofing specifications that I negotiated were:

What you will be able to negotiate will be highly dependent upon the total value of your roof replacement insurance settlement. The roofing contractor has more room to make concessions on a high dollar job versus a less expensive job. Be polite during your negotiations and mention the competitor included the item in his proposal. Be truthful or you’ll lose credibility because the roofing contractors are all performing the same profit analysis with a “walk away” threshold at which the job is not worth taking. It took me about dozen phone calls and e-mails to work out the final contract terms over a two week period.

Final Roof Replacement Contract Terms

The following are the summary specifications for my hail damage roof replacement contract:

Standard Services:

  1. Remove 1 layer of shingles
  2. Remove all felt and debris
  3. Re-nail and secure loose decking
  4. Replace rotted, delaminating OSB decking at $48 per repair (not covered by insurance)
  5. Replace board decking at $2.95 per foot (not covered by insurance)
  6. Replace rafters at $6 per foot (not covered by insurance)
  7. Install fiberglass-based deck protector
  8. Install plumbing vent pipe boots & rain collars
  9. Paint & seal HVAC vents
  10. Clean out all gutters
  11. Clean work site and remove all debris

Additional Options:

  1. Install new step flashing at all walls, chimneys and skylights
  2. Advanced Leak Barrier System at: valleys, penetrations, chimney, skylights
  3. Install ridge vents
  4. Distinctive hip and ridge caps
  5. Drip edge flashing
  6. Warranties:
    50 Years Mfg Material Warranty
    25 Years Mfg Defect Warranty
    10 Years Workmanship Warranty

Notes and Specifications:

The following were line items listed on additional pages in the contract at my request so there was no “wiggle room” in the contract specifications and scope of work:

  1. Install GAF Timberline® HD Lifetime Architectural shingles – Pewter Gray color
  2. GAF pro-start starter shingles installed to eaves and rakes
  3. 10 year workmanship warranty
  4. Remove tear off, haul, & dispose of existing shingles
  5. Install GAF ShingleMate® fiberglass deck protector underlayment (comparable to 30lb felt)
  6. GAF Systems Plus warranty (50 year man. defect, 25 year man. defect labor, 10 year workmanship)
  7. Install GAF Advanced Leak Barrier® to three (3) dead valleys
  8. Install GAF Advanced Leak Barrier® to entire deck of 3/12 pitch porch roof (2 year warranty in this section)
  9. Remove first 4 pieces of siding on 3 sides of chimney and 10 pieces on the south face of chimney, install leak barrier from deck up up the side of chimney box. Re-install and caulk pre-painted HardiPlank® siding.
  10. Install new flashing at all walls & chimney: install headwall flashing where roof meets wall
  11. Install new flashing kit for a Solatube sun tunnel skylight
  12. Install kick outs all corners penetrating roof surface
  13. Install counter flashing at all stucco walls (BASF SONOLASTIC NP1 will be used to seal top of counter flashing)
  14. Install white aluminum drip edge to eaves (with no hem) and rakes (with hem)
  15. Install GAF StormGuard® Leak Barrier at all valleys, chimney, skylight & penetrations
  16. Install new plumbing boots and storm collars
  17. Install owner supplied Perma-Boots
  18. Install new HVAC cap, collar, and flashing kits
  19. Paint & seal HVAC vent pipes
  20. Remove box vents and repair related decking
  21. Remove and replace existing ridge vents
  22. Remove and re-attach gutter guards
  23. Remove and reattach satellite dish
  24. Install GAF Timbertex® hip and ridge shingles
  25. Blow out / clean gutter system after roof installation
  26. Clean work site and remove all debris

Deposit and Prepayment

I did not make a deposit, down payment or pre-payment for the new roof replacement contract. Payment in full was due upon completion of the work and I alone was responsible; my insurance company is not a party to the contract.

Before and After Hail Damage Roof Replacement Photos

This is the original 11 year old roof (the roof hail damage can’t be seen from this distance):

Original Asphalt Shingle Roof

The new roof with 50-year GAF Timberline® HD Lifetime Architectural shingles in Pewter Gray color:

New Roof Replacement after Hail Damage

Roof and Stucco Wall Flashing Details

The aluminum headwall flashing (where the porch roof meets the wall) was installed before the stucco was applied, then covered with a layer of shingles. The old flashing will be torn and full of holes when the old shingles are removed, therefore the old flashing should not be reused. You can see the aluminum flashing if you look closely below the window on the right.

Original Roof: Stucco and Porch Roof Details

Apron flashing (also called headwall flashing) is installed on top of the new shingles and against the wall. Black counter-flashing is installed over the apron flashing and sealed with BASF SONOLASTIC NP-1 caulk along the wall:

New Roof: Stucco and Porch Roof – Apron/Headwall with Counter Flashing

The next project series illustrates the new roof installation, explaining the details of the roof tear-off and installation process.

Hope this helps,

Bob Jackson

Copyright © 2018   Reproduction strictly prohibited.


  1. Vince Peters November 8, 2014 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your article, my question is what if a roofing contractor’s estimate is 50% higher than the insurance adjustor’s/estimator’s ACV? What should the property owner do? Thank you.

    • Bob Jackson November 9, 2014 at 8:14 am - Reply

      The Replacement Cost Value (RCV) is what you should be comparing with roofing contractor’s estimate. Discuss the replacement estimate to your insurance adjuster. If the roof is replaced, the insurance company will honor the RCV minus the deductible.

  2. Doug December 10, 2014 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    Wish I’d seen this before….just had mine done by the ambulance chasing roofers….regal. 1day wham bam (well into the night) ….5 yr warranty. I just knew there was a lot of negotiating room….but didn’t have the knowledge. I’m going to link to our HOA webpage.

  3. Kim January 30, 2015 at 9:33 am - Reply

    Bob- I had a GAF Master Elite roofing contractor inspect the roof for hail damage but was told I have to sign the “work authorization and assignment” form for them to meet with the claims adjuster. Is this normal practice?? Sounds like you have a roofing contractor and claims adjuster accessing your roof without signing the “Work Authorization and Assignmnet” with the original roofer who did the inspection. Do roofing contractors meet with insurance claim adjuster without me signing this form..??

    • Bob Jackson January 30, 2015 at 12:26 pm - Reply

      Don’t sign anything! The roofing contractor is trying to lock you into a no-bid contract. Find another contractor.

      Inspecting the roof, marking the hail damage areas with chalk and meeting with the claim adjuster to explain the hail damage is a routine part of the sales process.

      I chose a different contractor than the one who initially met with my claim adjuster. The 1st contractor was really helpful and I explained to him why I ultimately chose a different outfit (and negotiated significant upgrades). I gave him $100 for his time and effort.

  4. John February 10, 2015 at 8:38 am - Reply

    I was able to get the new roof put on for less that the amount the insurance company adjuster gave us the check for (State Farm, Texas) do I get to keep the leftover money? Also I did some of the minor repair work myself, (installed shutters) will they pay me for my labor?

    • Bob Jackson February 10, 2015 at 9:29 am - Reply

      You can keep the difference between the insurance adjustment and the actual job. The insurance adjustment is a (usually quite accurate) estimate after all. You won’t be paid for DIY work because that would require filing a supplement claim, submitting an invoice and your insurance company might not recognize DIY repairs – see the terms of your insurance policy. It may trigger an accounting for the insurance payment versus the total charges for the contractor and your work. You’d be expected to compensate yourself or other contractors with the “leftover money” for the shutters. It sounds like you’ve been made whole on the overall claim so I’d let it be.

      • Randall M. April 4, 2017 at 4:12 pm - Reply

        TO be most accurate, the Homeowner can take the Actual Cash Value (ACV) legally. What they explicitly can not do is recover all of the depreciation up to the Replacement Cost Value (RVC) with out providing an Invoice from a contractor. There is a dollar amount per hour, I think most carriers pay out 15 dollars an hour for the DIY work.

        To profit from an insurance claim in most states is insurance fraud.

  5. John February 10, 2015 at 12:34 pm - Reply


  6. Paul Morgan April 2, 2015 at 12:53 am - Reply

    Roofing company showed up with a form.

    I did sign the form stating that if I choose to have another roofing company do the job, I must pay roofing company a commission of 3000 dollars for looking at roof for hail damage and meeting with the adjuster.

    It is a good roofing company but I feel like my hands are tied and I have little to no room to negotiate.

    Can such a document really hold up in court when it was signed early in process and not providing any details of the contract. Seems like there could be many reasons why I might not want to use this company. What if I don’t like the product they are offering. What if they make comments that border on insurance fraud???

    Is there a way out of this if I want to go with another company?

    • Bob Jackson April 2, 2015 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      A homeowner should never sign a roofing contract as a pre-condition to inspect and explain the hail damage to the insurance adjuster, especially a contract with an unconscionable $3000 commission / termination clause. I wonder what other lopsided terms and conditions are in the contract that may make it difficult for you to correct unreasonable delays, substandard work, materials or warranties?

      A roofer may spend several hours inspecting the roof, marking and photographing hail damage and a follow-up visit to meet with the insurance adjuster. Suppose it’s a total of 8 hours and that’s on the high side for an average size home. You’ve just guaranteed your roofer will make $375/hour per the $3000 penalty clause for choosing another roofer. Roofers win and lose job opportunities, it’s a normal part of the sales process and performed at no charge.

      Whether or not the contract is enforceable will require a contract review by an attorney and would be my next step. Perhaps a demand letter from an attorney with the likelihood of filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau, local Building Dept, Angie’s List, and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation will be sufficient cause for the roofer to release you from the contract for being too much trouble.

      Keep all records, phone logs and detailed notes of all conversations; a better move is to let the attorney do all the talking. Your insurance adjuster may have helpful advice as factual claims of insurance fraud are a serious matter.

  7. Matt Newman April 21, 2015 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Can you email me what contractor you used? I have a pending claim with the adjustor coming next week and like the work you had done.


  8. Carmelitta M April 27, 2015 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    Hi Bob, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your experience and tips on hiring a roofing contractor.
    We are in the selection process now and I just finished crossing off all contractors who said they would replace our roof in 1 day with about 15 men. We live in a northern suburb of Chicago, IL – Wood Dale – our house isn’t the smallest, but it sure isn’t the biggest. The roofing contractor who we will most likely hire is GAF factory-certified and he is local and guarantees his work. Thanks again!

  9. Steve Bello August 29, 2015 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Colorado Springs has high rate of hail damage and too many questionalble contractors. Don’t sign anything, get a free estimate for equal product from 3 local contractors. Deal directly with your insurance claims agent. Demand a local in house local agent that can write you a check on the spot. Beware of insurance for the roofing that is actual cash value, ACV… Your policy will state this on the front page as a separate line item.. ACV means if the life of the roof is 50 percent you get half value of the cost of your type roof.

    • Bob Jackson August 29, 2015 at 3:11 pm - Reply

      > Beware of insurance for the roofing that is actual cash value
      An insurance policy that doesn’t cover the roof Replacement Cost Value (assuming the homeowner has the roof replaced to quality) would be a bad insurance policy. Good point for everyone to check that their policy provides for roof and dwelling Replacement Cost (i.e. the cost to rebuild adjusted for inflation) versus the simple Actual Cash Value.

    • savannah September 15, 2015 at 6:34 am - Reply


      Who did you end up using, I am in Co Spgs and I couldn’t get an estimate BEFORE the roofers wanted to SEE my insurance paperwork. I found that odd, if not suspect. Why can’t a roofer, climb up on a roof and GIVE you an estimate, w/o needing to KNOW what the insurance company has deemed the amount of the claim??? I had hail damage on a ten yr old house. I haven’t signed anything but I just don’t feel comfortable letting roofers KNOW what I am being given for the claim, shouldn’t they KNOW what a job will cost them? And these are roofers in town, with good reps…I have a simple rancher, nothing difficult.

      • Bob Jackson September 17, 2015 at 7:55 pm - Reply

        I contracted with Dr. Roof who serves the Atlanta, GA area.

        > I couldn’t get an estimate BEFORE the roofers wanted
        > to SEE my insurance paperwork.
        Business must be good in Colorado Springs and the roofing companies can be selective in choosing only those homeowner’s with approved insurance claims. If you do have an approved claim, as stated in the project:

        “The adjuster’s estimate is a key document that:
        * Itemizes the roof replacement costs for labor and materials.
        * The roofing contractor will use these figures to as the basis for the contract.”

        > shouldn’t they [the roofing company] KNOW what a job will cost them?
        They do, but many homeowner’s aren’t willing or can’t afford to pay for roof upgrades (e.g. better shingles, etc.) that aren’t covered by the insurance adjustment. So they know what it will cost them but it’s a question of what materials and accessories can be bid for the job.

        So if you have an approved claim, do share it with the roofer and ask for a proposal. Use that as a basis to negotiate better materials and optionally price upgrades (e.g. new gutters) but never sign anything except the contract after you’ve made a decision on which company to hire.

  10. Wilbur December 16, 2015 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Bob – I am able to have a new roof replacement with the cost less than the insurance adjuster’s estimate. the Insurance will cut the first check (less depreciation amount) and will release the second check(depreciation part) after the work done with invoice as a proof. Do I still have a full amount from insurance which is more than the actual cost of replacement? Do I legally keep the difference to spend something else ?

    • Bob Jackson December 18, 2015 at 9:19 am - Reply

      Call your insurance company and ask how they handle differences between the estimated and actual replacement cost: If higher or lower than the adjuster’s estimate? I suspect the insurance company will only pay the actual replacement cost if it’s less than the estimate with no cash back to the homeowner.

  11. Jaqui December 19, 2015 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Very helpful info Bob, thank you.

    When your insurance company finalized or settled your claim by payment of the RCV, did they give you a settlement document that listed final claim/adjustment details such as ACV, RCV, deductible amounts, etc?

    • Bob Jackson December 20, 2015 at 9:56 am - Reply

      The ACV, RCV, deductible, etc. are stated in the adjuster’s estimate. The claim was “finalized” when I presented the roofing contractor’s invoice to my insurance company and received a check for the RCV minus deductible. I endorsed the check and handed it over to the roofing contractor’s business administrator.

  12. Bridgette January 19, 2016 at 8:21 am - Reply

    I too was skeptical about providing the approved claim information, so your comments were reassuring and extremely helpful, thank you so much. My approved claim includes amounts to paint the interior of my home due to water damage. I am not a DIY person and will need those funds to get the interior painted. When I provide the roofer with the insurance paperwork, should I withhold the painting information or just make clear to them that funds related to interior repairs should not be factored into the roof replacement? Thank you in advance for the response.

    • Bob Jackson January 19, 2016 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      Call your insurance company and ask about invoicing requirements for splitting the claim payments between two contractors. I suspect they’ll want a bill for the roofing job and pay only that portion of the claim. Later you’ll present a 2nd bill for the interior painting to close out the claim.

      > or just make clear to them that funds related to interior repairs should
      > not be factored into the roof replacement?
      Exactly! The key to dealing with the roofing contractor is the roofing contract must only be for the roof repair line items as stated on the adjuster’s estimate. Ditto for the painting contractor.

      BTW – Should the roofing contractor offer to subcontract the painting job for one-stop-shopping, I’d refuse that. The roofer will be taking a cut of the painter’s profit margin and you’ll probably end up with a lower quality paint job and/or paint.

  13. Chris February 6, 2016 at 1:40 pm - Reply


    Great Information, thanks! My roof needs replaced along with many other things due to hail and wind damage and my insurance company sent me a check for ACV. Like several others that have commented here I did not want to show any roofing contractors my line item claim estimate for the roof. I figure it’s like many purchases in life. For example when buying a car you should not tell the car salesperson “I have $23,000 to spend, now what kind of car can I get?” You should say “this is the car I want, how much will sell it to me for? ” If you want a new deck put on the back of your home, do you tell a a decking contractor “First let me say I have $18,000 to spend”. I think it’s best to say “this is the type of deck with these features etc, what will a deck like this cost?” I feel that if you show a roofer (who you probably don’t know) your insurance estimate, you risk them giving you a sub par roof. I really like your advice of negotiating materials and upgrades but is there anything wrong with telling a roofer “I do have an insurance claim that pays to replace the roof but I want your unbiased estimate of what a new roof would cost to replace my roof as you see it” Another thought I had was to show roofers giving me an estimate the insurance estimate without pricing. Do you see anything wrong with doing either of these?

    Thanks again for the great information you have provided

    • Bob Jackson February 7, 2016 at 2:20 pm - Reply

      That’s why I recommend getting at least three (3) written proposals to compare the scope of work, materials, quality, warranty, etc.

      ‘I really like your advice of negotiating materials and upgrades but is there anything wrong with telling a roofer “I do have an insurance claim that pays to replace the roof but I want your unbiased estimate of what a new roof would cost to replace my roof as you see it”’

      Because most homeowner’s are not willing to spend than the Replacement Cost stated in the adjuster’s estimate this figure usually sets the maximum price for the job. You could withhold the adjuster’s estimate but I think that would slow down the process and make it difficult to compare “like for like” roofing proposals. Now that you’ve read my project you know what to negotiate for or pay extra for upgrades not covered by insurance.


  14. Adrian February 25, 2016 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    I totally disagree with the “1 day red flag” I run a very good & reputable roofing crew in town and most projects take anywhere from 1-3 days for homes depending on the pitch and number of layers. A properly organize crew of 12 guys will usually have the following. 4 nailers, 4 shingle feeders and 4 ground guys for clean up and running materials for the rooftop guys. I run 12 plus myself for oversight. When everyone has a responsibility and role in the team, there’s no stepping over each other. Instead of disqualifying a contractor based on the number of employees, I would suggest to check references and base your decision mostly on past customer experience. I’ve personally spent several hard years reaching this level, for this reason I find that “red flag” absurd. Look at it this way, would you disqualify an accountant who calculates numbers faster than all the other guys?

    • Bob Jackson February 27, 2016 at 11:13 am - Reply

      Hi Adrian,
      Sounds like you run a tight ship and I don’t dispute well organized crews can work concurrently. Yet I stand by my advice that if a homeowner receives 3 bids with two estimates at 3 days and the other at only 1 day to do the job, the rush-job bidder should be disqualified.

      My next door neighbor’s roof was replaced at the same time as mine by a different roofing contractor. The roof on that home is about 20% smaller in square feet with fewer gables than my home. That contractor said the job would take one (1) day to complete and by golly they did! The roofing contractor did it one day by:
      * Used twice as many men
      * Shoddy and incorrect installation
      ** On the back of the house where it couldn’t be seen from ground level, they rolled the roofing felt down the roof instead of across as required.
      ** When the shingle nailer got ahead of the felt laying team, he didn’t stop and put down shingles with no felt!
      ** The workmen stood in the gutters and often didn’t have a safety rope anywhere in sight on the 12/12 pitch roof!
      ** The crew worked hours past sunset in near total darkness nailing shingles!

      Oh, and that roofing contractor has since closed. My neighbor is now stuck with a roof with no enforceable warranty for labor and installation. The shingle manufacturer’s warranty is also invalid due to the incorrect installation.


  15. Fransisco March 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Bob,

    Very good recommendations, too bad I didn’t read them before! I believe I hired one of the “storm chasers” to do our roof replacement. Our insurance hail claim was approved for “x” amount but before the interior work( a leak in the bathroom) gets finished, the contractor contacted our insurance company for supposedly another need to the house (water stain in a closet) which it is, but I didn’t ask to be filed on the claim…so due to his new request plus his “supplements” the insurance company send us an additional six thousand dollars for our claim. I though that’s ridiculous!!!, so I questioned to the contractor and his answer was: there were items missed on the claim, ice and water shield, vents, drip edge, gutter apron, not enough money was allowed for the interior and the largest portion was for a general contracting fee. All this was via text message, because he is vacationing so couldn’t call me back, but sure he did sent me a picture of his view he had then, at Hawaii. I’m worried for many things, my premium will increase based on the amount we have received?, huge difference, is that normal? what kind of material was used?, can I ask for warranty on the work done? don’t trust this person anymore, any suggestions?

    • Bob Jackson March 10, 2016 at 8:41 pm - Reply

      The contractor should discuss the supplements (i.e. charges for missed items, underestimated materials, newly discovered damage, etc.) before asking the insurance adjuster for approval. Some homeowner’s might not want to be bothered with the details and just want it fixed ASAP so I can see how a contractor may make assumptions and inform you afterwards. Explain to both your contractor and insurance adjuster that you want to know about all supplements in advance.

      > so I questioned to the contractor and his answer was:
      > there were items missed on the claim, ice and water shield, …
      Aside from the communication issue it seems the contractor is looking out for you.

      > I’m worried for many things, my premium will increase…
      You shouldn’t be penalized with a rate increase for wind and storm damage because you aren’t responsible for the weather. If premiums go up it’s probably a rate increase for the entire area – such as Florida after all those hurricanes. Laws vary by State and insurance carrier so call your agent to verify. My Auto-Owner’s Insurance agent assured me my rate would not change due the storm (natural event)… and it hasn’t.

      > can I ask for warranty on the work done?
      Yes but the workmanship warranty should be included in the repair contract terms. For example, I hired Dr. Roof (serving the Atlanta, GA) who publishes their warranty online with a copy in the contract.

      > don’t trust this person anymore
      First call your insurance agent to clear up the rate increase worry. With that (hopefully) good news you’ll have a major worry resolved. Read your repair contract so you’re informed about the warranty, if any. Then meet with your contractor and calmly explain your concerns about supplements, warranty and communications. The work is probably too far along to stop without incurring serious delays and legal ramifications, so it’s best to work together. I don’t see any reason not to trust your contractor from what you’ve described.

  16. John April 26, 2016 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Hello Bob,
    You really have a lot of great information here! First year as a home owner and first time dealing with hail damage/ insurance claims/adjuster/contractor…headaches here in Texas. Our insurance is giving us $6,144 for replacing our roof, gutters, seal/paint whole bedroom ceiling – due to leak. $1,089 for wood fence pressure wash/stain, $320 for broken lights. They are withholding $1,730 for depreciation and we pay $2,000 deductible to the contractor. 1.) Do you think I would be feasible for me to paint the ceiling myself and have the roofing contractor upgrade/discount material? 2.) Can I wash/stain fence myself and pay myself?- was told it has no depreciation. 3.) Does the roofing company keep the depreciation check? It is written in their contract, that I haven’t signed, that they keep all supplemental monies from insurance company. Do you have any advice as to how I can negotiate upgrades to roof, use fence money to upgrade shingles, pay myself in the process? Thank you very much for your help!

    • Bob Jackson April 27, 2016 at 5:34 pm - Reply

      Ask your insurance company if payments for self repairs are covered and if so, what are the documentation requirements. I suspect they’ll only honor invoices for repairs from a bona fide contractor.

      > 3. Does the roofing company keep the depreciation check?
      Yes because the full repair cost is the Replacement Cost Value (RCV) which is the total of: Actual Cash Value (ACV) + your $2000 deductible + Depreciation. The contractor is also owed any Supplement checks for approved items that were not in the adjuster’s estimate.

      Negotiation advice – it’s as I explained in the project. Ask your contractor for details about materials, quality, possible upgrades and options. If you prefer something different would he be willing to include that. What is the cost? If the cost is a minor uplift would he provide that at no charge to expedite the contract?

  17. Pete Velasquez May 9, 2016 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    Hello Bob,

    Awesome, is the word that comes to mind! I’ve been able to feel more at ease with the understanding of how the roofing negotiating technique can be used. You’ve made it so much easier to make an informed decision for such a high price repair. I’ve spoken to a couple of roofers and the basic questions of the type of felt they use, crew size, hauling and clean up, and other items was very helpful. I am still in the process of getting more estimates and I thank you for the lesson.


  18. Ling May 25, 2016 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Hello, Bob,
    If I have the shingle roof for my house and had the hail damage recently. But, it is more durable for the metal roof for long term. Can I ask my insurance to replace the metal roof not the shingle roof? Thank you for your advice!


    • Bob Jackson May 25, 2016 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      Your insurance company will only cover the Replacement Cost of the old roof using equivalent materials. If you decide to upgrade to a metal roof you’ll be responsible for the cost difference.

      For example, suppose the shingle roof Replacement Cost Value is $100 and a metal roof costs $175. Your insurance company will only pay $100 and you’ll be responsible for the $75 upgrade.

      • Ling May 26, 2016 at 12:00 am - Reply

        Got it. You advice are very helpful! Thank you so much.


  19. Christopher June 29, 2016 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Hello, I have also received profit and overhead for my claim. Does the roofer get this?

  20. Susan August 24, 2016 at 11:59 pm - Reply

    HI I live in the Chicago suburbs and suffered hail and wind damage. I had three contractors look at my roof and the insurance adjuster out twice. The insurance will pay for repairs but not a roof replacement which all three contractors say I need. I can’t get any of the contractors to give me a written estimate and was able to get one verbal and only would get a written estimate if I agreed to sign a contract saying I would use them. I called a repair company who told me that I don’t need a new roof and gave me a written estimate on the spot. It’s about 2K lower than the insurance adjuster gave me. At a loss of what to do. I called other contractors and no one seems to want to do just “repairs.”

    • Bob Jackson August 26, 2016 at 8:33 am - Reply

      The insurance adjuster is only concerned with what’s covered by your policy: storm damage which apparently affected only a portion of the roof. Whether or not you need a new roof due to wear and tear with age is a different matter not covered by insurance. The new shingles probably won’t match the old weathered shingles but Illinois does not have a shingle color match law that would compel the insurance company to replace the entire roof.

      > I can’t get any of the contractors to give me a written estimate
      If the repair budget is limited to the adjuster’s estimate the contractors will use that as the estimate/Statement of Work to make the repairs using similar quality materials. What you’re really wanting from the contractor is a written warranty and proof of liability & workers compensation insurance.

  21. Duc September 15, 2016 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Hello Bob,

    I come across your site and really like your detailed information. The contractor recently replaced my roof few weeks ago. I selected them because it is a reputable company. They sent me the final invoice and I tried to dispute with them. I hope that you give me some insights about this. Here is the example: Insurance RCV is $16k. The contract price is $17k in which I agreed to do it. They told me that I only have to pay deductible only and took care the supplement. In my mind, $1k supplement is not a big deal to the insurance. I got the final invoice two days ago. The invoice total is higher than the original contract price by $2k ($19 = $17k contract + $2k approved supplement from ins) Should the invoice match with the contract price? I received the checks from the insurance, but still end up has to pay additional $800. My insurance is pretty good of handling the claim quickly. They never communicated with me about $2k supplement. For now, i don’t agree with their final invoice. Can you give me some thoughts? If the invoice amount matches with the contract price, i dont have to pay anything. I feel that they bill me incorrectly.

    • Bob Jackson September 15, 2016 at 8:14 pm - Reply

      You’ll need to study the contract fine print concerning supplements but I suspect the contractor complied with the contract terms. The contract will surely state that approved supplements are added to the total contract price. The good news is the contractor found $2K worth of items that were missed by the adjuster (it happens), got those approved by your insurance company and made the necessary repairs. If the invoice is only for the balance due, ask the contractor for a complete billing statement.

  22. Susan Ellis March 10, 2017 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    My roofer has seen my insurance claim which includes costs for other repairs besides the roof and gutters. So, he has knowledge of the overall payout amount from my insurance company. His proposal has been revised to reflect not only the cost for the roof and the gutters but now an additional “overhead” cost that was written into the claim amount. To my understanding these funds would be intended for a general contractor IF he/she were managing 3 or more contractors involved in the repairs. Does my roofer have a right to collect that money even though he is just being hired to do my roof and gutters? I still have to contract out for the other repairs and see no reason to pay an overhead cost to the roofer.

    • Bob Jackson March 11, 2017 at 8:00 am - Reply

      See my reply about Overhead and Profit dated June 29, 2016.

      Short story is you shouldn’t try to make a profit off the insurance claim by withholding funds. The roofer who is doing *all* the work is owed the amount approved by your adjuster.

      • Paula Manley April 5, 2017 at 8:58 pm - Reply

        Not sure you understood Susan’s question or maybe I didn’t. She had roof damage AND damage to other personal property. So her insurance payout is to cover the roof and the other damages, but her roofer wants the entire amount. Why would the roofer get all the funds? She still needs to hire other contractors to repair other things damaged on her property.

        • Bob Jackson April 6, 2017 at 7:59 am - Reply

          You are right.

          I re-read Susan Ellis’s question and misunderstood her situation. The roofer is NOT acting as a general contractor and as you pointed out should only be compensated for the roof repairs.

  23. Paula Manley April 5, 2017 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    THANK YOU BOB for this most informative article!! I was not certain of how to go about this process and actually confused after speaking to a couple different contractors. This information is invaluable to any homeowner with a hail damaged roof! I feel lucky to have found this BEFORE hiring a contractor!

    – Highland Village, TX

  24. Alba Parra May 7, 2017 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    Have read most of these comments; I had roof and fence damage from wind. Called adjuster, received a letter of them giving me a very small amount to cover both fence and roof. Not even me putting down extra money would i be able to cover the roof, which is my main concern. I am a single, elder woman and not at all versed on home repairs. Still I need input into my situation,. I don’t want to sale this home, getting desperate here!!!!

    • Bob Jackson May 8, 2017 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Apparently the wind damage was limited such that only roof repairs are justified versus an entire replacement. You can ask your insurance company for a review by different adjuster.

  25. Kat Lee July 10, 2017 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Bob. Thank you so much for providing this information to us. We have hail damage and I just received the detailed estimate from our insurance company. My husband and I are both new homeowners and he had signed a sheet during the contractor’s initial inspection of our property. I’m reading the terms now and wish he hadn’t signed it! The fine print on the back says “This contract cannot be cancelled once work is commenced except by mutual written agreement of the parties.” Does this mean that we can go ahead and cancel? We haven’t placed material orders for roofing, sidings or anything. The inspector did come out once more when we had the adjuster out. I’m not saying that we want to cancel, but I don’t want to be locked in to them as our only option. Also, when I follow up to them, I have the same concern as everyone else on here. Do I simply tell them that the roofing RCV is $11,417 and ACV is $9,355? I’m not confident with presenting the information and what best format should be for asking the contractor for a cost of the roof replacement, siding replacement, etc. Please advise.

    • Bob Jackson July 10, 2017 at 5:29 pm - Reply

      > Does this mean that we can go ahead and cancel?
      Call and send an e-mail with a CC: to yourself. Review the terms to see if “work commencement” is defined. Does it mean they created an office file for you? Or when they order materials? Schedule a start date?

      Do share the adjuster’s estimate with the roofing contractors. It helps them prepare the Bill of Materials (BOM) and labor estimate. They’ll compare that to their own inspection & estimate to let you know if the adjuster missed something. You’re also more likely to negotiate better materials and upgrades if the approved job cost is known.

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