Everyone makes assumptions. Most of the time we do this because we have a lack of knowledge on the subject. We assume we won’t like a movie we’ve never actually seen, or we assume we won’t like a food we’ve never tried before. What’s worse than assuming the worst, is assuming the best, and getting the worst in return.
This is what happens when you deal with roofers who just sell “a roof”. A roof isn’t a singular item. A roof is a system made up of different components such as decking, flashings, drip edge, vents, stacks, valleys, underlayment, and ridge and field shingles. If you tell three contractors you want a new roof, you will likely get three completely different scopes of work and different products.
If you asked a contractor to replace your roof what would you expect? What assumptions would you make? Do you assume the drip edge will be replaced? Do you assume the underlayment to be removed so the deck can be checked for rot? Do you assume your contractor will re-use bent up vents or install new ones? Often times these details (and many others) are left unspoken or undocumented and our assumptions make us look like fools. And we feel played when we realize our assumptions were really just hopes.
The bad roofing contractors out there want to be vague and will try to benefit from your assumptions. Once it becomes an issue, you look back at a contract that, in hindsight, lacks specificity.
This is why a detailed scope of work is important to obtain from your contractor. Roofing can be complicated, and good roofers want to take the time to educate you, so that you can make the best decision for your home. A roof may not be the most exciting purchase, but doing some research and knowing a little bit about the components of a roof, will help you ask better questions and weed out the roofers who shy away from specificity.