“As like an apple as to an oyster,” wrote John Ray in 1670; today we would say “compare apples to oranges.” The idea is, whether you are comparing apples, oysters, oranges, or roofing estimates, you should compare the same things. 

Scope of Work

Good roofers deliver their bids on roofing jobs through invoices marked up as quotes or estimates. Superior roofers thoroughly describe the job in the “scope of work,” which details everything that will be done, using specified materials, for a firm price.

(To be fair, lousy roofers deliver bids on cocktail napkins, by telephone sight-unseen, or through weirdly cryptic emails. Ignore all those methods and the roofers behind them.)


An accurate scope of work allows you to compare bids from competing roofers for very nearly the same job. Say you have water leaks on your shingle roof. One roofer details extensive repairs for a given price, but another roofer recommends a complete roof replacement. Those are two very different jobs. 

A proper residential roofing scope of work will include all this:

  • A detailed explanation of your current roof’s condition and the problems solved by the roofer’s bid
  • An accurate total square footage and description of the your roof’s work area (from measurements, not guesswork)
  • The type of roofing materials, manufacturer, and color selection for all roof replacement components: 
    • Underlayment
    • Flashing
    • Ridge vents
    • Field shingles
    • Gable ventilation
    • Rubber boots
    • Drip edge
    • Flashing
  • Plans for removal and disposal of old roof
  • Warranty options and details
  • Approximate timeline for the re-roof
  • Payment schedule for work to start and be completed
  • Expiration date of the estimate

Not Included

Just as important as what goes into the scope of work is what a roofer chooses to leave out. Make certain you are all talking the same language:

You: “What is a complete roof replacement?”

Roofer #1: “Tear-off, sheathing inspection and up to five sheets replaced, new underlayment, water and ice shield, new designer shingles of your color choice and price line, ridge vents, valley flashing, new drip edge, and final inspection.”

Roofer #2: “Tear-off, new underlayment, shingles left over from that hotel we reroofed, and we’ll knock the dents out of rooftop ventilators we rip up during demolition.”

(Hint: Roofer #1 should get the job.) 

Goof roofing starts with a good estimate. Contact us at Victors Roofing today to see what a proper scope of work on an honest roofing estimate looks like.