Get at least three bids
As with any project, it's wise to get multiple bids. When you set out to find a contractor, get least three bids to ensure you have done your proper homework. Spend some time researching and don't just choose from the first five companies that show up on an Internet search. Choose a variety of small and large businesses, take recommendations from family members, neighbors and friends and make sure to get a minimum of three references from each roofing contractor you choose from.
Call suppliers to determine material costs
Part of the contractor's estimate will involve the cost of materials. However, most contractors will include a mark-up with this cost to ensure that they are fully accounted for. Since some contractors can get carried away with the mark-up aspect of the cost, you might want to call the suppliers yourself to determine how much the materials cost without the mark-up. This will help you figure out if the contractor's mark-up is reasonable. Be leery of really low prices. Everyone wants a discount. That can be a good thing. But the price for materials isn’t going to vary wildly enough to make up for a bad job.
Consider the time taken to deliver the estimate
If a contractor tells you that he or she will have the estimate by next Tuesday, but doesn't actually get it to you until Friday, this is likely a reflection of his or her work on the job as well. If you want to find a contractor who sticks to his or her word, consider whether or not they did everything they said they would in regard to the estimate. Doing so is a good way to evaluate the future of your project and prevent any possible setbacks due to bad work ethic.