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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Smith

Proposals - What Items Should You See In Your Proposal?

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

A Goldilocks Approved Proposal

Most things in life are often best when kept simple and, in fact, SA Roofing was founded on the principle of keeping things simple. We use this principle in every area of our business including how we build and ultimately present proposals to our residential and commercial roofing clients. When I craft a proposal, I like to adhere to what is called the “Goldilocks Principle” and this is also something you can use to review proposals as well. In short, any proposal you receive for any work done on your roof shouldn’t include so much information that you lose sight of the basic scope of work, and it also shouldn’t be so devoid of information that you can’t be sure the contractor truly understands what you need done. Rather, the best proposals are the ones that include “just the right amount” of information and specifics of your project. What are the elements of a proposal that makes it “just right”? I’m glad you asked…

To start here is a quick list of items you should see. I will break them out below in more detail.

  • Cover Page

  • Introduction or Summary

  • Inspection

  • Scope of Work

  • Authorization and Price Summary

  • Terms and conditions

Cover Page

A roof project is usually a large project for most customers, both residential and commercial, so it’s important that the contractor has some sort of cover page that lays out the basics such as:

  • Name of the client

  • Physical address of the project

  • Basic contact information for the contractor

  • Contractor’s license number

This is important as often a proposal is shared between multiple parties depending on the type of project and having a place to easily identify the contractor and the project is important.


No two roof projects are alike and as such there is often a specific detail or unique challenge about a project that is discussed during a site visit. In the introduction letter the contractor can put in writing that they are aware of the details unique to this project and give a broad outline of what the proposal does and does not include. The contractor can also explain which warranties come with the project. Speaking of warranties, we have an entire blog post dedicated to roofing warranties you might find interesting.


While we can’t speak for every roofing contractor, at SA we like to include inspection photos and comments with every proposal we send out. This is extremely important because just like it wouldn’t be wise to buy a used car without seeing it in person, it wouldn’t be wise to buy a new roof installation without first understanding what problems currently exist on your roof and how the contractor intends to fix them. Our inspections usually show some overview shots of the entire roof so our clients can get a general understanding of the overall roof condition. We provide additional detailed photos that address specific problems found with arrows or comments. This is a great place to record any areas of concern that you, as the client, have mentioned to the contractor so you can be confident that your roofing contractor is aware of your specific concerns.

Scope of Work

This could also be called the “Meat and Potatoes”. While the other sections are important, this section is the most crucial. The items in this section are directly related to what should eventually be reflected in your contract. The scope should include the following:

  • Details of exactly what the contractor will be installing

  • How they plan to do it

  • How much it will cost

  • Any challenges that will be faced

  • Unique loading challenges at the jobsite

  • Specific safety issues that need to be addressed

  • Unique landscaping that needs to be considered, etc.

You may find that there are several scopes of work related to your project depending on:

  • The different work requirements for different roof sections

  • Varying material choices

At SA, we will usually have several different options of materials and scopes and we include detailed descriptions of how each scope varies regarding: materials, work required, cost, upgrades, etc.

Lastly, in an effort to keep things simple (do you notice a theme here?) we always lay out our scopes of work in the order that the work usually takes place. For example, you won’t find “install new hip and ridge shingles” before “tear off existing roof”. We recognize that not everyone knows how a new roof might be installed so laying out a scope of work in the order of work performed makes it easier for customers to understand the overall workflow.

Authorization/Price Summary/Upgrades

At this point in the proposal, you should have a very clear understanding of:

  • What materials will be installed,

  • How the installation will take place,

  • How site logistics will be handled,

  • How any specific or unique situations to your roof will be addressed,

  • What costs are associated with the scope(s) of work.

This page should now summarize the pricing related to each scope and also layout any additional or optional upgrades. At SA, in an effort to keep the customer experience as efficient and simple as possible we include a signature line on this page to allow the customer to accept the proposal and any associated terms and conditions. This will now allow us to start ordering the material and get the project scheduled. Other contractors may choose to have a separate contract, but we choose to include the contract with the proposal.

Terms & Conditions/Required Notices

The terms and conditions will be presented differently between contractors, but they should always be clearly presented so you can understand what each party is responsible for. They should also address how issues or conflicts will be resolved, how payment is expected to take place, and many other specifics regarding the project. Finally, most states have requirements regarding notices and/or information that must be presented to clients by a contractor. If you don’t see these then you need to ask for them or you may want to seek other proposals as any reputable contractor should include them. One final thing to consider is any marketing material or brochures related to the materials that will be installed on your roof. These can be presented at different times during the process but should be readily available for you.

Hopefully this gives you a better understanding of what a typical project proposal should include. The overall presentation of the proposal can be a good indicator of the overall level of professionalism and time spent dedicated to your project. We find that adhering to the “Goldilocks Principle” is the best way to honor our clients’ valuable time and ensure the smoothest path forward with a great start to the project. Just as the details matter when installing a new roof, the same goes for presenting a great proposal to a customer. We want you to always feel educated and knowledgeable with the recommendations we make so that you are secure in your decision.

Thanks for stopping by the SA Blog!

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