When obtaining bids for roof repair, replacement or an entirely new roofing system, your business is putting its trust in the expertise of multiple commercial roofing contractors. So, it’s imperative to do your due diligence, reviewing each company’s scope of work along with the bid price that gets submitted.
Unfortunately, when comparing bids for commercial roof projects, many developers end up choosing the roofing contractor with the lowest (but not necessarily the best) bid, which can be the source of many issues down the line. The cheapest option is almost never the best option, and today, we’ll dive deeper into the importance of comparing bids by going beyond just the price you see on paper.
Roofing Bids & Pricing: You (Often) Get What You Pay For
Low bids for commercial roof systems that seem too good to be true signal a number of things; some contractors are making promises they can’t keep, while others are being honest but are submitting a bid based on lower quality materials.
Depending on the time of year or changes to the local/regional/national economy, costs for materials and labor can fluctuate. Some commercial roofing costs are less variable than others, but across the board, roofing materials cost what they cost. Labor costs, by comparison, can vary greatly, and skilled labor tends to be more expensive. (Ex. Are you really comparing apples to apples when you have one company with decades of experience and another that set up shop last week?)
Of course, that isn’t to say that all higher bids for roof repair or roof replacement are better. Sometimes costs are inflated. And, sometimes, the highest quality option is neither necessary nor viable.
However, all of that means that when searching for a roofer to complete your roofing project, the bid price shouldn’t be your only determining factor.
Design-Build Alleviates Low-Bid Roofing Industry Headaches
When people say it’s time to abandon the low bid system, they are referring to the fact that the old design-bid-build delivery method limits innovation and the ability to stay on time and within a realistic budget.
The best way to reduce construction costs is to have effective project planning, and design-build does just that. Design-build contracts are a single, simplified agreement that decrease both timelines and costs by eliminating having to put designs out to bid for subcontractors and architects, pre-bid meetings, contract selection, negotiation and more.
Be Sure to Find High-Quality Workmanship–Going Cheap Is Expensive!
Unfortunately, going a cheaper route often costs more in the long run. Why? The margins on the lowest bids are razor-thin, and when something goes wrong, that change hasn’t been anticipated or accounted for.
Even more, if building codes or a manufacturer warranty are overlooked, repairs could be required and warranties could be voided. When reviewing bids, make sure that the scope of work is the same across the board, and be sure that all commercial roofing contractors are taking your existing warranty into account!
By comparison, when more realistically priced bids are accepted, those commercial roofing contractors have room to work within, allowing priorities to shift and resources to be reallocated, as needed. The cheapest options don’t have that luxury.
While it’s hard to plan for hidden costs, part of what makes design-build so great is that change orders can be anticipated and that the organization making the change of plans is also the same group that’s implementing those changes!
It’s also worth noting that cheaper bids often base pricing on a labor force that is less skilled (or under more pressure), materials that might be of lesser quality, and the expectation of cutting corners that shouldn’t be cut!
The good news is that budgets don’t need to go sky high in order to get a superior roofing job. In fact, the total cost might only reflect a moderate increase while still being able to improve efficiency, speed, and safety.
Additional Aspects to Consider When Choosing a Commercial Roofing Contractor
The more options for bids that a business owner considers, the better. But, overall cost isn’t the only factor that should be considered.
With roofing services, a developer or business owner should always review the past work of each bidding contractor to see if they’re capable of doing the work. Special attention should be paid to both projects completed on or under budget, as well as any failures.
Once it’s confirmed that a particular roofing contractor can handle the job, then it becomes more about how the developer or business owner wants to balance priorities.
For example, with a luxury project, the priority might be finding bids that incorporate the best quality roofing options. Price will be examined, but might be secondary.
For projects on a more moderate budget, a business owner might consider a mix of price, quality, and time in more equal measure.
Comparing bids for commercial roof projects needs to be about achieving a goal in the most efficient way possible–not meeting a single arbitrary metric.
Low Roofing Bids: Good on Paper, Bad on Buildings
A lowest bid system looks good on paper (unfortunately, many projects operate that way), but it can be bad for business in the long run.
Be on the lookout for red flags like poor reviews, lack of transparency with the bid details, and an inability to discuss the full scope of work needed for the project.
If roofing installation issues delay a project, or someone gets hurt by rushing through the roof installation (or not following safety regulations), or you begin to notice that regular maintenance costs for your new roof increase year after year, you’ve lost the advantage of a lowest bid system! These issues aren’t rare. They happen all the time; but, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Quality roofing companies like TEMA Roofing offer services that are both affordable and allow a developer/business owner to achieve whatever goals they have for their roofing…on time and on budget.
Get Quality Work from the Roofing Experts at TEMA Roofing
Construction certainly has its costs, and it’s understandable that many businesses aim to reduce those costs as best they can. The points above aren’t meant to claim cost is unimportant. On the contrary!
Instead, we’re simply offering a reminder to stay vigilant throughout the commercial roofing bid process–making sure that you’re comparing apples to apples (and not apples to rotten apples!).The lowest bids are not always the cheapest in the long run!
If quality and expertise are important to you, then you’ve come to the right place. At TEMA Roofing, we make it our priority to become your trusted roofing partner, and we’d be happy to help you understand what makes us stand out among the competition when comparing bids for your commercial roof. We look forward to working with you!