Independent Roofing Consultants
Providing building owners and managers unbiased, objective roof evaluations. Learn More >
Independent Roofing Consultants
Developing comprehensive roofing and waterproofing project documents. Learn More >
Independent Roofing Consultants
Independent Roofing Consultants
Independent Roofing Consultants
Clients get peace of mind in knowing all their projects and properties are in good hands. Learn More >
Independent Roofing Consultants
We provide a conditional assessment on a single building or comprehensive project management on multiple buildings. Learn More >

Bidding Roofing Projects

Bidding roofing projects is never easy.  Any number of things can result in an outcome that is anything but clear and helpful.  But, the good news is that there are ways to avoid some common pitfalls when obtaining bids for any type of roofing project.

The “low bid” pitfall

Obviously, in public works of any type, the low bidder must be selected.  In public works, often the bids are open to everyone, without a pre-qualification of the bidders for the type and complexity of the project.  A resulting “low bid” may not necessarily be the best bid or even an appropriate bid.  In a private setting the same problem may occur, but can be effectively eliminated by pre-qualifying bidders to match the proper contractor to the type of project.  Combined with clear specifications, this can result in truly comparable bids where the building owner can be confident that the “low bid” will still result in successful completion of the project.

The “Apples-to-Oranges” pitfall

If contractors are asked to bid a roofing project with minimal information such as “we need a new roof,” or “we want one of those new white roofs,” the likely result is “apples-to-oranges” bidding. Everyone has a different idea about what is needed and of course, how much it costs.  The result once again is a potential failure of the lowest bid to represent the best possible option.

The “Did I miss something?” pitfall

Sometimes the key to effective bid results is effective communication at the outset.  Even with prequalified contractors and clear specifications, bid results may be mixed when bidders are not able to reach the same conclusions about a project.  The “did I miss something” pitfall may be a result of a miscommunication about the areas included, an item missing in the specification, or a poor process for obtaining and distributing clarification about the project.  The result may be bids that vary widely for no apparent reason.

How to Avoid the BIDDING Pitfalls

Let’s face it; in public works the options are limited.  The answer is of course, clear, concise specifications providing no “wiggle room.”  Although bidders may not necessarily be prequalified, the requirements of the specification may limit the potential bidders simply by natural selection.  The difficulty may still remain however in the somewhat “generic” specifications required in the public sector.

Bidding in the private sector can be more carefully controlled, thus matching effective contractors with competitive pricing. 

  • The bidders should be prequalified.  A knowledgeable roofing consultant can match appropriate contractors to the type and difficulty of the project.
  • The specification must be clear, outlining base bids, alternate bids, unit pricing and where applicable, specific product types.  The specification must include applicable details.  The roofing consultant is able to provide a complete bidding package that includes specifications, details, bid forms, and general requirements specific to the project.
  • A pre-bid job should be conducted.  This job walk puts all of the contractors on the same page and provides immediate information about the scope, project specific details, source for further questions, and deadlines for communications and bids.  Additionally, the roofing consultant conducting the job walk can revise or add to the specification items that may have changed or were not included.

There is no single way to avoid all of the roof bidding pitfalls all of the time but, the goal is to obtain bids that are appropriate for the job, clearly stated, and are comparable while generally avoiding the big missteps.  A qualified roofing consultant can provide key assistance in achieving that goal. 

Contact IRC for more information