Freeman Exteriors

Understanding Your Roof Estimate: A Breakdown

roof estimate

It can cost an average of $8,000 to replace a roof and about $1,000 to have it repaired. When you’re holding that estimate in your hand, it can be difficult to understand where that money is going.

That’s where we come in. We’ve developed a breakdown of some of the common things you’ll find on your roof estimate and what they mean. Follow along to find out what your roofing estimate is really saying.


You’re going to see measurements on your roof estimate because the size determines both labor and materials. Though you see measurements in square feet, a roofing contractor uses a roofing square to determine the price of materials.

A bigger roof is going to require more shingles and this should be visible on your estimate.


Materials should be present as well as the type. You should see asphalt or slate or tile shingles and how much those cost.

If something seems off or high, reference the brand. Some brands cost more for better quality than others.

Different roofing components may need replacing as well so you might see these on your estimate. If you have a chimney, for instance, you will probably notice flashing.

Flashing keeps water from getting under shingles and causing water damage. It could be located around skylights and valleys as well. It’s not out of the ordinary to see flashing on your roofing estimate.

Underlayment and ice and water shield are more line items you should see. Underlayment is a felt layer under your shingles and over your decking that gives an added layer of protection. It could be listed as felt paper instead.

Ice and water shield is a waterproof material most often used in the valleys of your roof. You should see exactly what kind they are using listed on your estimate.

You may or may not see drip edge listed because some contractors might skip it. However, it’s an important and often overlooked part of a roof replacement.

Drip edge is a metal strip that adds another level of protection against water. This edging goes on your gutters, rakes, and eaves, and it will help lengthen your roof’s life.


It’s shocking if you don’t know anything about roofing, but there could be more than one layer on your roof that needs to be torn off. Roofing systems can be placed directly over existing shingles.

Clearly, this will take more time and up the amount of labor required for the removal. The number you see next to this line item is the contractors’ estimation of how long it will take their crew to remove all of the layers.


Labor is usually included in the cost of everything else you see on the roofing proposal. If it’s included as a separate item or even if it isn’t, ask about how many workers the contractor plans to have on site.

Doing this will also give you an idea of how long the project will take. Labor costs can be lower if certain things aren’t included such as permits and clean-up.

Clean Up

Replacing a roof creates a huge mess that has to go somewhere. The last things you want are random shingles and nails littering your yard. For that reason, you may see a line discussing the removal of job debris.

It should be expected of the roofing company that they have a dumpster or a dump truck that is being filled up with the leftover and used materials. Talk this through with them and be sure that they plan to take care of this aspect.


Gutters don’t have to be included in your roof repair or replacement. However, it is a good idea to have them looked at when the roofer is up there.

If you haven’t requested it, they may recommend it. This isn’t just to up the price of the job, but it really could be time for an update.

If they notice gaps, cracks, and/or sagging, they might add it to the estimate. They should answer any questions you have about it and include why they think your gutters need to be included.

Building Permits & Protection

Two more things that could be and should be included in your estimate are the permits required to do the replacement and how they plan on protecting your property during construction. Some companies plan to take care of the permits, but they don’t include them in the estimate.

If you don’t see it, you need to ask about it. Find out how much it costs and if they’re placing that responsibility on you instead.

The roofing company should cover everything from your pool to your attic and yard with tarps or another provision. If they don’t plan on doing that and you don’t see it on your estimate, ask them about it.

Hidden Costs

You need to prepare for problems that arise that your roofing contractor has no idea about until work has begun. An example would be if your decking was rotting.

Rotten decking means that the sheathing under your shingles has developed a fungus usually from a leak or condensation. Some contractors may know the second they step foot onto your roof and may include it in their estimate.

Others may not find it until the shingles are removed. Either way, there may be a line item that ends up being cut out and lowering the overall cost because it wasn’t needed.

Last Roof Estimate Thoughts

Inquire about warranties and what coverage the company you’re planning on using gives. Don’t forget about taxes if they’re not included in your roof estimate, as that adds more to the cost.

If you’re looking for a reputable company in the Illinois or Indiana area, we can help. Check out our roofing services and get a free estimate!

Jake Freeman

Jake Freeman

Freeman Exteriors is a family owned and operated general contracting company. We specialize in roofing and commercial renovations. We serve Champaign County, Vermilion County, including Champaign, Danville, Paris, IL and Crawfordsville, Covington, West Lafayette, IN and surrounding areas. Our goal is to be the general contractor of choice through our pledge to maintain the highest quality of standards and workmanship. Give us a call today to begin your next project!

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Urbana, Illinois 61802

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200 West Williams
Danville, Illinois 61832

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802 Clinton Road
Paris, Illinois 61944

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Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933

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Covington, Indiana 47932

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West Lafayette, Indiana 47906

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11807 Allisonville Rd
Suite 596
Fishers, IN 46038

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