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I need my roof replaced
Old 07-03-2008, 06:55 AM   #1
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I need my roof replaced

I am being told that my 20+ year old asphalt shingle roof needs replacement. (A carpenter doing some work in the house is telling us, and we know him well, so he's a good info source.)

Anyone face this recently. I will not be attempting this myself, so I need a reliable experienced contractor.

How do you go about finding one?

What sources (online, community, etc.) are there to locate reasonable alternatives?

What advice, thing to be aware of?

Thanks for the help.

PS: Line in SE Michigan.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:06 AM   #2
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Had this done last yr. In our area, we have something called Bay Area Checkbook which is like a local Consumer Reports. Don't know if you have something like that but you could ask at the local library. I don't use it myself but I've read about Angie's List or something like that online and there might be others.

The usual advice about liability and workers comp insurance for the contractor. You may want to call more than the number that you want quotes from. I found that most showed up right away to do the estimate but a couple just took their sweet time and arrived 2 wks later after. You could tell their schedules were full.......quotes for 30% higher than the other guys and if you bit, they would be happy to put you in line.

edit: have actually heard about Sterling Heights....brother used to work at GM Research Labs there
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:10 AM   #3
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I used Home Depot. I knew they wouldn't do a shoddy job and disappear. It was a bit more expensive, but the peace of mind was worth it. They also provide a lifetime labor warranty.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:18 AM   #4
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Find a local realtor with more than a few years experience and get a reference from
them. Many have fixed up a number of properties for sale, and have a list of
reputable companies they have worked with that they are happy to pass on.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:32 AM   #5
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Surely some of your neighbors have had roof replacements. Ask them who they used. Your carpenter probably knows some. I would get 2-3 estimates.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:16 AM   #6
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Don't do a 'Roof Over' That is where a new roof is put over the old. This is allow, once, in many areas. A few years back, our next door neighbor had this done. The added weight broke the back of the house! That,s right, the central beam in the house began to sag. It cost him way more to fix that then what he saved on the roof.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:50 AM   #7
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I heard a rumor that roofing materials will double in price, so get it done sooner rather than later. We had a tear-off (two layers of roofing torn off and completely new roof installed from the rafters up) done 30 years ago and a re-roof (new shingling over existing roof) three years ago with no problems, for what it's worth.

Whomever you hire, don't give them all the money up front:

The Mister Boffo World Wide Web Homepage

(this will be pertinent only on 7/3/08 re roofers).
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
I heard a rumor that roofing materials will double in price, so get it done sooner rather than later. We had a tear-off (two layers of roofing torn off and completely new roof installed from the rafters up) done 30 years ago and a re-roof (new shingling over existing roof) three years ago with no problems, for what it's worth.

Whomever you hire, don't give them all the money up front:

The Mister Boffo World Wide Web Homepage

(this will be pertinent only on 7/3/08 re roofers).
Roofing did go up, but back on 6-1. Asphault shingles. We had a place done at the end of May.
A re-roof over old shingles is only good for 1/2 to 2/3 the time of a single layer roof in our experience.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:56 AM   #9
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I am not sure how much snow you get but some winters we get a few inches and then freezing and thawing and perhaps rain on top of it and a phenomenon called ice damning takes place your gutters are blocked by ice and the water backs up under shingles. and comes in the walls. If you have that risk, consider a water guard layer under the first couple of rows of shingles. It is a thin adhesive waterproof membrane that seals the roof even when the water backs up under the shingles.
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:58 PM   #10
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We had to replace our 15 year-old roof last year because of hail damage. To find a contractor we asked for recommendations from friends and family, we made sure the business was well established, bonded and insured, we checked with the Better Business Bureau and State Attorney General to check for customer complaints. Also when the various candidates came over to give us their estimate, we checked whether they were on time and whether they were professional (one of the companies we screened gave us an estimate in the back of a business card). The company we choose was not the cheapest and they did a great job. They did not ask for any money upfront (even to purchase materials).

In our case they removed the old shingles and felt all the way down to the plywood decking (which they inspected to make sure it was in good shape) before installing the new roof.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:43 PM   #11
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When you get bids make sure each contractor's quote is based on using the same materials. There are books and web sites to help you decide what kind of felt underlay and shingles to use. Don't let one guy bid using 15# felt when another is planning to use 30#.

Also get a firm price on hourly rate for unforseen extras.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:50 PM   #12
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Roofing suppliers often have a list of approved applicators for a specific product, another source of roofing contractors.

If cost is a moderate issue and you aren't in a really hot climate, there is a product out there that looks like slate. It is actually a rubber. Predicted life span: 50 years! It is 'guaranteed' but God knows if the manufacturer will be around that long.

Agree with AzDreamer.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:46 PM   #13
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USAA often has preferred suppliers for repair work. Talk to your insurance agent or insurance company to see whether they have some recommendations for you.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:22 PM   #14
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We just got re-roofed about 3 weeks ago. It took me over a year of pissing & moaning at Allstate, but in the end they finally agreed to send me a check for $5k. I researched through the BBB website and came up with a list of about 6 local roofing companies with the best reps. Then I called them all to get estimates, and went with the best price. Total was $5600, meaning just $600 out of pocket for me. I didn't use the company who supplied the initial estimate for Allstate, because he was the most expensive at $6500. Allstate didn't want to pay the claim, because in their opinion there was no way to pinpoint the damage to one particular incident. I wore 'em down though, citing "cumulative damage" language that was in the policy that they somehow conveniently overlooked. They finally caved rather than lose a 25 year customer who had never filed a claim. Good luck, and seriously, use the BBB info. Then, interview and "feel out" the prospective roofers.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:58 PM   #15
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Contractor lists from both Lowes and Home Despot are pretty reliable. Better yet, if there is an old mom-n-pop lumber yard in your area...

This is a great time to be considering renovation/remodeling, get at least three quotes, there are a lot of capable contractors around without much work this summer.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:59 PM   #16
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I had my roof redone last month. Paid about 9k for the architectural ashphalt shingles with ridge venting. Had to replace about 10 sheets of plywood.

I looked through Angie's List (i think its $20 or so to sign up) and looked at all the roofers with good customer feedback. Had about 5 estimates and picked the one that I was most comfortable with. it wasn't the cheapest nor the most expensive.

Suggestion is to learn from all of the contractors and make sure that the one that you choose puts everything that you want in writing.

good luck
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:44 PM   #17
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If you are thinking about photovoltaic, re-roofing time is the perfect time to have it done.
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Thanks all!
Old 07-04-2008, 06:53 AM   #18
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Thanks all!

I'm starting to collect estimates, and I'm following some of the tips that you gave me. I'll let you know how it goes.

Now, if you can just tell me how to recover my losses in the market, oh, and double my money...?
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:44 AM   #19
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Consumer Reports had a review about re-roofing a few years back. They talk about the roofing materials variables as well as how to select a contractor. They won't have a list of local contractors which I read as being what you were after but the general principles would still apply.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:43 AM   #20
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When the job is done, have them leave you a dozen or two shingles in case some have to be replaced in a few years when you won't find any to match.
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