Before you get a new roof or have any extensive repairs made to your roof, it is a good idea to get a quote. Some roofing companies offer more extensive quotes than others, so to a certain degree, the specificity and usefulness of the quote will depend on the company you're working with. However, there are also a few things that you, as a homeowner, can do to help ensure the quotes you get are better, more thorough, and more useful.
Let them look in the attic.
If you are able to be home when the roofer comes to take a look at the roof, be there. This way, you can let the roofer take a look inside your attic. While up there, they can look for any signs that your roof deck is deteriorating. If they do find any signs of deterioration, they will be able to include the projected cost of the roof deck repairs in your quote. Without venturing into the attic, roofers often don't discover roof deck damage until they strip off the roof. At that point, they have to add the cost to what they previously quoted you.
Ask for several material options.
Many roofers, by default, will recommend and quote the type of shingles that they think are best suited for your home. But there are likely a few different shingle brands and models that would work for you. Ask your roofer to give you a quote for two or three different shingle brands or options. This way, you can compare them and their costs, and then decide on the option you like best. You won't say "no" to a certain roofing company because their quote was high, only to later learn they could have used a less costly material.
Ask whether you need new vents.
Every roof needs vents to keep the attic beneath it cool. Sometimes, your old vents might be just fine. Other times, they might be damaged, and you may need to replace them. When your roofer comes out to give a quote, ask them to specifically look over your vents and tell you what condition they are in. This way, if new vents are needed, they will be included in the quote you receive rather than added after the fact.
If you follow the tips above, you can get better and more useful quotes for a new roof or extensive roof work. To get started, contact a roofing contractor in your area.