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Your home is a source of pride and one of your most significant investments. Keeping it maintained is not only wise for aesthetics, but current investment in your home’s upkeep now can prevent problems down the road. When searching for a Rapid City roofing contractor, how can you be certain what starts as an estimate won’t end as a much larger expense?

What Is a Roof Estimate?

A common misconception is that the price quoted before work begins is the exact amount you will pay for the job when completed. However, the very nature of an estimate is that it is subject to change. Many factors may not be uncovered until the work begins. These items could substantially impact the amount quoted. 

  • Hidden damage from pests or mold
  • Changes required to bring up to building code.
  • Rotten plywood from previous leaks, known or unknown
  • Modification to roof design to correct water traps
  • Homeowner upgrades

Understanding the nature of an estimate and leaving room in your budget for contingencies can prevent stress later in the roofing process. 

How to Minimize Changes to Your Roofing Estimate

One of the best ways to minimize changes to your initial roofing estimate is to use a reputable Rapid City residential roofing company.  It’s essential to have a relationship with your roofing contractor in which you feel comfortable asking questions and providing information that may help the estimate process. 

  • Disclose previous leaks or other issues
  • Ask about various roofing materials and their differences.
  • Consider the impact to gutters, roof vents, etc., initially rather than requesting changes after the estimate. 
  • Ask for an explanation of any part of the estimate you don’t understand. 

One of the biggest breakdowns between the initial roofing estimate and final figures, other than hidden damage, is miscommunication. Providing accurate information up-front and making sure you understand the estimate and process goes a long way to prevent misunderstanding and changes later. 

Standard Roofing Estimate Line Items

It’s easy to be frustrated with something that looks completely foreign. Roofing estimates can be confusing. Confusion often leads to frustration. A good roofing contractor will be willing to help you understand each material and labor line item on the estimate, including these common ones:

  • Removal of old shingle layers
  • Protection of your property
  • How many shingles and nails are expected to be used
  • Removal and replacement of rotten decking
  • Drip edge installation
  • Underlayment
  • Ice and water shield
  • Starter shingles
  • Ridge capping
  • Air vents 
  • Pipe boots and flashing
  • Debris removal
  • Permit costs
  • Steep Roof Charge

What to Look for in a Reputable Rapid City Roofing Contractor

A reputable roofing contractor will provide a thorough estimate and an understanding of what possible changes could result. So, what should you look for when in the market for a reputable residential roofing contractor in Rapid City?

Licensed & Insured

A reputable contractor will have at least $1M in liability insurance coverage, carry worker’s compensation insurance, and maintain the proper South Dakota contractor licenses. 


A roofing contractor who believes in the quality of their work and materials will provide a warranty


An established and trustworthy contractor should be able to point you to customer reviews and recommendations and be in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. 


A reputable Rapid City residential roofing contractor shows a commitment to ongoing education involving the latest technology and roofing methods. Additionally, certifications such as a GAF Preferred Contractor, held by only 2% of North American roofers and annually renewable, indicate a desire to achieve the very best results for their customers through continued professional development. 

Atlas Exteriors believes Rapid City homeowners deserve professionalism, attention to detail, proper communication, and the best materials. Our dedicated craftsmanship will make you glad you choose GAF Preferred Contractor, Atlas Exteriors.

Give us a call to schedule your estimate.  From your first call to the installation of the final screw, we look forward to serving you.