Let’s assume you did what you should and got several estimates for replacement siding or for a roof repair. When one of those estimates is significantly less, there’s probably a reason. Either the contractor isn’t going to do a good job (meaning he’ll cut corners to save time or money) or he’s using inferior products. If you are looking for replacement siding, a new roof, chimney or roof repair, look at the total estimate. Here are some specifics you should pay attention to before signing a contract.


Any good contractor will provide details in their written estimate. Never accept a quote that’s texted or verbal. You should look at the details in the estimate such as:

  • Brand and style of materials – For example, 3-tab shingle and architectural style shingle differ greatly in their expected life and insulative value and therefore have different costs. Vinyl siding comes in many different styles at different costs.
  • Included elements like an insulative house wrap for replacement siding or underlayment and flashing for a new roof. Not all contractors replace or install the same things.
  • Clean up of property and disposal of waste. For example, will the contractor charge you for the actual cost of disposal after the work is complete or is that included in the estimate?
  • Materials and workmanship warranty – A good workmanship warranty is worth a little extra because that often means that the installers do the job right because the owner doesn’t want to have to come back to make it right. No workmanship warranty should be a warning to you.

If your estimate is for a roof repair, watch out for clauses that read anything like “in the event we find more significant damage, final cost may be higher.” In most cases, it will be higher and that’s why they were able to provide you with a cheap bid.


There are many brands of both roofing and siding. All roofing products are well suited for the area but some siding materials aren’t. In the Milwaukee area we have cold winters. You want your replacement siding to provide a level of insulation greater than what your home was built with. Today’s building codes are more focused on energy efficiency than older codes and if the siding you’re getting doesn’t have insulation built in then you want one with an R-value.

Frank-Dale Roofing & Exteriors will provide you with a complete written estimate that will match your final bill. We never bait and switch and we always use the products we propose in our estimate. Whether you need replacement siding, roofing or repair to your roof or chimney, call us at 414-425-5796 or fill out our contact form.