But It Was Cheap!

Home Builder with The Roofing Company, Inc.

        I have read quite a few good posts from home inspectors  Michael Thornton , Ian Niquette, and Steven L. Smith among others, who are not just educational, but entertaining. They have a way of bringing to light the advantages of using a qualified home inspector when making a home purchases and the disadvantages of cutting costs and choosing a cut rate pseudo-professional.

      Cutting costs by shopping around is a good idea in some cases. I mean, why pay $4.00 for a widget when the super mega mart sells the same widget for $1.99? You can definitely save money around the house by doing some detective work and pinching pennies.

detective work

        Why do prospects think that when shopping for a new roof or any other home service such as pre-purchase inspections, that saving money and going with the cheapest price is a good idea? I have a few ideas. 

       When clients tell me that they have received a free estimate for a roof that is cheaper than mine I start to ask questions. I ask what they are comparing my price with. I ask how they think someone could do the job cheaper and still produce the same finished product and I mostly find the same thing.

       Most homeowners think of roofing and other contracting related fields the same way they think of making other large expense purchases. Think about buying a new automobile. There are a few differences in buying home improvements and buying a new car. Vehicles are a finished product. You go to the different dealers and find the one you want and get a quote. You then can go to another dealer (or on-line) and compare the price of one vehicle to the next. Both vehicles were most likely manufactured in the same plant. Assembled by the same team of professionals, and inspected by the manufacturer.

Think of buying a roof like driving to the car parts store, purchasing all of the parts needed and then selecting 5 or 6 nice young men to assemble the car in your driveway.

                                                  assm line

      Now when you are looking for the team to assemble the vehicle in your drive you notice that some are less pricey than others. One crew may suggest cutting the cost by trimming on some of the vehicles features. Who needs airbags and seat belts? When is the last time you were in a car wreck? Three bolts per fender will do just fine, right? Four or six would just be extra weight. I don't need to use primer before I paint the car, it is just something the manufacturer suggests so they can make more money off of you.

      Remember, you are not buying a finished product when you sign the agreement to purchase a new roof or have your home inspected before buying it. You are buying the peace of mind that the person or company you selected will treat your home as if it were their own. You are buying the promise that what was contracted will be done.  Only the truly rich can afford to pay for the same thing twice!

        How would your car perform if it were assembled by the cheapest guys in town?

I have an idea........














If you or someone you know lives in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and would like a free estimate for roof replacement or repair, contact the Roof Nerd.




Comments (16)

Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

I love your quote, "Only the truly rich can afford to pay for the same thing twice!"  If a customer is more worried about saving a few pennies than getting reliable inspection results, why do they bother getting an inspection at all?  The point is to uncover problems so that you understand what you are buying.  If Joe Schmoe misses one small item that a professional would have caught, the cost can easily be 2-50 times the money saved. 

Mar 02, 2009 01:31 AM
Patty Carroll
Vancouver, WA

David, this is so true.

We live in a 4004sf church with a 12 pitch so it is not an easy roof to do. We got 2 bids for our roof  and many roofers that decided not to even give us a bid, one was $6,400 and the other was $12,000. You may think that you know what you are getting for that money but you need to check the contract to make sure.

In our case we are choosing the $6,400 roofing company. Not only did they do all of the things that the higher priced one did but they also came up with some ideas for our home that we really liked.

Mar 02, 2009 01:34 AM
David Phelps
The Roofing Company, Inc. - Portsmouth, VA

Patty, the devil is in the details. Glad you found a good roofer.


Erik, like you said, price is the initial investment, cost is forever.

Mar 02, 2009 01:55 AM
Claude Cross
Homes By Cross, Inc. - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte NC Homes For Sale

Sort of like Star Treck," to blindly go..where no man should ever go"

My reputation is on the line when I refer an inspection company. The companies I refer are not based on price. They are based on performance and experience. That goes for the list of contractors I refer as well.



Mar 02, 2009 02:50 AM
David Phelps
The Roofing Company, Inc. - Portsmouth, VA

Thanks Claude, I figured you would refer to quality, not price.

Mar 02, 2009 03:03 AM
Naoma Doriguzzi
Virginia Beach - Virginia Beach, VA
New Media Director

David - great analogy!  You get what you pay for! Cheaper isn't always better! Don't worry you get all of my roofing referrals!

Mar 02, 2009 03:06 AM
David Phelps
The Roofing Company, Inc. - Portsmouth, VA

Wow, pile on the cliche's! Naoma.

Mar 02, 2009 03:20 AM
Barbara Delaney
Park Place REALTORS, Inc. - Roanoke, VA

Dear David,

I love the pictures you used and the analogies.

Folks just don't seem to understand the importance of a roof! They don't maintain them and then they go crazy at the cost for replacement after years of deferred maintenance.

A good roofer is hard to find!


Mar 02, 2009 04:07 AM
Ian Niquette
Square One Home Inspection - Markesan, WI

David, thanks for the name drop. I think this is the best you have written. I really hate it when I have to recommend roof repair, but if people just took a look at this  part of the home every year or six months they could save themselves a lot money in the long run. Very well thought out and written blog, kudos.

Mar 02, 2009 06:16 AM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

David, Like Erik, I did like the quote. Thanks for the name drop and the reblog. Well written post...

Your building consultant in the Fairview, TN area ~ Michael

Mar 05, 2009 08:02 PM
David Phelps
The Roofing Company, Inc. - Portsmouth, VA

Thanks Barbara, Ian and Michael for the nice words.

Mar 05, 2009 11:28 PM
Toula Rosebrock
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ - Lacey Township, NJ
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,

ToulaRosebrock.com - Diane Turton, RealtorsHi David:

The quote and your analogy is perfect!

Have a wonderful weekend...

Mar 06, 2009 12:00 AM
c m
Colorado Springs, CO

This analogy works for the staging world, too!  Veru thought-" full" writing, and since this is the first time I have been to your blog, I looked around.  I'll be back!

Mar 07, 2009 03:28 AM
David Phelps
The Roofing Company, Inc. - Portsmouth, VA

Toula thanks for the kind words.

Cheryl, please stop by again. I post maybe once a week because I am suffering writer's block. :)

Mar 07, 2009 03:04 PM
Kathryn Acciari
Central One Federal Credit Union - Shrewsbury, MA
Mortgage Loan Originator

David, we live in a discount society, I think.  Many consumers buy on price, and people take pride in being able to say they got a deal.  The Wal-Mart mentality makes it hard to know when something is actually priced right.  Keep your standards high!

Mar 09, 2009 06:16 AM
David Phelps
The Roofing Company, Inc. - Portsmouth, VA

Thanks Kathryn. I think when people use the Wal-Mart mentality when chosing services they can lose in the long run.


Mar 09, 2009 01:12 PM