Researching to Make a Replacement Purchase – How We’re Fixing Our Roof

Researching to Make a Replacement Purchase - How We're Fixing Our Roof

A while back, I wrote an article called How To Stay Focused On Your Goals When Disaster Or Impulse Strikes back in December about how we have been dealing with a roof leak that we had. We have the roof patched, but found out later on our insurance company wouldn't cover the cost to make a replacement purchase. They said that there wasn't enough damage. Well, they were willing to pay for about $450 worth of damage, replacing 12 shingles scattered across the entire roof.

At this point, figuring that we aren't going to get any help from the insurance company, we went ahead and asked for a full quote to replace the roof and for just that area. When we got the roof estimate back, we had no idea how much it would cost and were shocked! They wanted over $8,000 to replace our roof. This is a single story ranch house with an attached garage.

I thanked the estimator for his time and told him that I would need to get some more quotes to make sure that his bid was a normal price. He assured me that it was, but I needed to see it for myself. I then proceeded to call around and get four other places to come out and give me estimates. This didn't cost me anything and actually allowed me to learn a lot more about my roof and get some different feedback from each business.

I then compiled all the different quotes and started creating a chart with all the features from each one. As I did that, I could narrow down the field a little more. As I couldn't understand things from the estimate, I would call the representative and would get my answers. I would take note as to how they treated me, teaching me something new or just talking over my head. Luckily for me, most of these guys have had the heart of a teacher.

After narrowing down to the last two candidates, we will have sit down meetings with both of them this week to negotiate and learn more. After the sit downs, we'll make our final decision and then complete the purchase.

In my first post, I talked more about how I reacted initially when the emergency happened and gave some tips on ways to handle emergencies in the future. In this post, I want to highlight a few steps that we're taking now that we've come through the emergency part and can think clearly.

Checking with insurance about making a valid claim

Anytime you go through an emergency where you have some sort of insurance policy in place, it's always smart to start to see what they will cover. In my case, the insurance company wasn't willing to cover enough to make it worth making a claim. It's nice to know that I didn't get the work done and then find out that I could have had it done through an insurance claim.

Think about different things that you own that you might be able to have covered by a policy. Check the manufacturer's policy, homeowner or auto policy, even any extended protection purchased. There might be a cheaper alternative to getting something fixed or replaced before just going out and replacing it.

Don't hesitate to get a second opinion

When I got the estimate back from the roofer and it was a shock, I didn't even think twice about holding off and seeking a second opinion. The more you can force yourself to do this with your purchases, the better a deal you will get. Even if you can't find a better price, being more educated about your decision and having a better grasp on it will help. Try incorporating this into your purchasing strategy as often as possible.

Ask questions and learn to make a replacement purchase

When purchasing, buy something that you understand. The sales person shouldn't make a sale just because you don't understand the product. Read reviews online, call references, ask around about other's experiences. Find ways to back up the claim the sales person is telling you.

Make a pro and con list

One way to help you narrow down whether a purchase is something you need is to do a pro/con analysis. This will also allow you to compare it with other possible purchases. This will help you check your motives on why you are making the purchase and stop you from impulsing.

Talk it over with your accountability partner

After going through all of these steps, talk it over with your accountability partner and get their blessing.  This step has really helped my wife and I improve our communication over our relationship. Also, once you are both on the same page and in agreement, no one can blame the other. If the purchase is goes bad, you are both participating in the purchase.

In the end, making purchases is a lot of work. Emergencies can make us feel that we need to rush our decision making process. I would encourage you to:

  • Step back from the situation and think through it as clearly as possible.
  • Put a little bit of space between you and the situation, allowing you to breathe and think clearly.
  • Gather as much information about your purchase and if it's necessary.
  • Make your purchase being well informed and have the blessing of your accountability partner.

Hopefully, your purchase will end up benefiting you well and will bless you going forward!

If you'd like to go back and read the entire story, here's the links to the different parts:

Researching to make a replacement purchase - 5 things to check.

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Steven Goodwin

Owner/Blogger/Consultant at MyFamilyOnABudget
Steve Goodwin, a stay-at-home dad of two girls is passionate about finances and is helping others just like you get out of debt and build wealth handling money God's way. His goal is to inspire people like you to gain control of their finances by destroying debt and building wealth using their cash flow.
Posted in Emergency Fund, Finances, Home Ownership.

14 Comments

    • I’ve been having fun breaking down our process of replacing our roof and thought it would be good insight for others going through a similar situation! The infographic was fun and easy to put together! Thanks for reading

  1. Hey Steve, sorry about your roof, what a drag.

    Curious, was the first guy ($8k) off the mark? After you brought in the other 4 to bid, were you able to leverage a price reduction? Would be an interesting addition to be able to say that your steps also resulted in a cost savings of $X, further strengthening the arguments about having a robust process.

    Also, I’m with Daniel, nice infographic!!

    • Unfortunately no, he wasn’t off the mark. The estimates came in from between $7,650 all the way up to $8,800. I’ll be doing one more final post in the future after everything is said and done but I was able to get the $8,800 down to $8,200 and score a decent deal on the workmanship, warranty and the shingles (in my opinion). The work should be happening sometime this month. I will say that by getting all the different quotes, I did learn more about my house, got to know the cost of roofing a little better and will hopefully have a good process for making big decisions like this in the future! Glad you liked the info graphic as well!

  2. Roofs are expensive, right? We just had to replace ours as well. Without some savings and help from family, we would been in trouble. The importance of an emergency fund cannot be overstated.

    • Yeah, they sure are! We thought we had a little longer on it, but it’s about time… we’re lucky to have the savings in place to take care of it though! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Roofs suck. Like you, I have a single story ranch with a simple roof that is 16 squares. When my insurance company made me replace it a few years ago, I bought all the materials myself to try to do it on my own. Long story short, it was a little more than I bargained for, so I called a buddy who is a roofing contractor and he sent a crew over to my home that had it finished by the end of the day. In total it cost me about $5k. So $8k seems a little high but not too far off to have a crew handle it from start to finish.
    Go Finance Yourself! recently posted…Step Aside Helicopter Parents, You’re Only Hurting Your KidsMy Profile

    • Well our roof is 28 squares with the garage included (it’s attached). I know I could probably get a better deal by buying all the materials myself, but I don’t want to run into your issue where it’s something that is too big to chew, especially since I have two little ones I watch during the day. I had quotes from $7650 to $8800 and this guy was the $8800 that I got down to $8200. I think it’ll be worth it in the long run even if I am paying a little bit of a premium. I just wanted to make sure we were in the right ballpark for the roof in the first place! Thanks for taking the time to read and to share your story as well! It means a lot to me!

    • Thanks SP! The roof replacement should be later on this month and I plan on doing a follow up post talking about our decision and how we feel after the purchase.

  4. Ugh, roof replacements are the worst. Have you tried appealing to your insurance company? If your roof really was damaged due to a covered loss and needs to be replaced, they should be responsible for it. You may need to mail them a letter, or pay for the opinion of an independent insurance adjuster, but it could be worth it if you can get some/all of it covered.

    • Hmmm, no I haven’t tried that. I explained the situation to all the roofers and they didn’t seem to question it. I happen to agree that the roof wasn’t that bad as far as the damage goes, but it is getting pretty worn. The house was built in 1990 and the roof is original, so we are getting to the 30 year point. I am planning on shopping around for new homeowner’s and auto insurance after I get the new roof put on though since I haven’t been able to get anyone to cover me with the age of the roof up until this point.

    • This is true. After finally getting our roof finished, I was talking with my neighbor and he pointed out many things that were done correctly on my roof that his guy missed. I’m very happy with the way my roof came out. Thanks for stopping by!

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