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New roof or no new roof, that is the question
Old 02-20-2014, 01:42 PM   #1
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New roof or no new roof, that is the question

We've had 4 repairs in the past 5 years, our roof repair guy told us the last two times there was rot underneath, repair would be more difficult and costly, and it was time for a new roof. We now have a new, active leak, and more fascia damage. Around 1/4 of the houses in our development have put on new roofs over the past few years. Some of that is insurance driven business, but there is an issue where galvanized nails rust, bent from tiles moving during windstorms, and this leads to wood rot, with endless repair at substantial expense.

The house is 22 years old and the original tile roof should last much longer. Lately we've only been there half the year, but that will change and it will soon be our permanent home, so the roof needs to last another 30 years. Repairing now is wasting money if we decide on a new roof, and anticipating this, I added "new roof" funds to our "big items and emergencies" stash when refunding it a couple of years ago. Roofs here are expensive, I budgeted $25k, based mostly on what I thought I heard a fellow resident mention ('10) as their total cost, same floor plan.

I've asked for proposals from three local roofers. They all have good reputations and good records on BBB and Angie's. The third came in yesterday and I'm still in shock. The least expensive is $33k, the other two are $35k and $37k. It may cost more if more wood is needed, and there is still a potential ($2k or so) skylight issue. New gutters on top of that will be at least another $1k. Clearly I missed this one, but even if I had the entire amount budgeted, I'm still not sure it makes sense to spend that much.

This afternoon I'll have a new roofer that just does repairs take a look, for an estimate to fix the current leak and also to get inside the attic, look at the roof, and give me an assessment. I expect him to say it will cost less to keep and repair, but it will still be another opinion and more input.

We have a time constraint for the new roof, so the decision has to be made now. I don't like the thought of spending >$1k now if a new roof goes on in the next year, but the thought of $35k is even more unsettling. The new roof doesn't replace all the wood underlay, only that which is damaged or rotted, so this doesn't completely eliminate roof issues a decade from now.

Not sure what my next steps will be.
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:52 PM   #2
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What kind of tiles are you looking at? Can't be asphalt tiles??
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:56 PM   #3
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I'd go ahead and get a new roof, for peace of mind. It's got to be done at some point, and I would get the whole thing including wood underlay fixed right while you are doing it.

Even if you sold the house, it would add value and help to sell it quickly. And if you stay, no more roof worries.

As for budget concerns, well, maybe cut back in other areas for a few years. No fun, I know, but probably the best choice IMO.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:00 PM   #4
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I've always regarded a leaky roof as being like "a little bit pregnant" or putting off a toothache because one is afraid of the dentist's drill.

The longer you wait the worse it's going to get. I'd bite the bullet and get the new roof.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:02 PM   #5
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I would be putting a new roof on.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:02 PM   #6
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What kind of tiles are you looking at? Can't be asphalt tiles??
Sorry. Concrete tile, like this

.
.

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Old 02-20-2014, 02:11 PM   #7
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Sorry. Concrete tile, like this

.
.

That roof does look expensive ! I have been getting quotes here in Chicago area for asphalt shingles (anywhere from ($9 to 12 thousand)
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
  • We've had 4 repairs in the past 5 years, our roof repair guy told us the last two times there was rot underneath, repair would be more difficult and costly, and it was time for a new roof. We now have a new, active leak, and more fascia damage.
  • It will soon be our permanent home, so the roof needs to last another 30 years.
  • I've asked for proposals from three local roofers. The least expensive is $33k, the other two are $35k and $37k. It may cost more if more wood is needed, and there is still a potential ($2k or so) skylight issue. New gutters on top of that will be at least another $1k.
  • We have a time constraint for the new roof, so the decision has to be made now. I don't like the thought of spending >$1k now if a new roof goes on in the next year, but the thought of $35k is even more unsettling. The new roof doesn't replace all the wood underlay, only that which is damaged or rotted, so this doesn't completely eliminate roof issues a decade from now.
Sorry to hear about your roof issues, the joys of home ownership as you know. If I've read you accurately, I'd bite the bullet and replace the roof even though I'd be in shock at those prices too - yowza!
  • The repair isn't going to last 30 years so you're going to have to put on a new roof eventually.
  • When you do replace it, the cost will presumably be even more with inflation.
  • And you should know beyond any doubt that the wood underneath will be in good shape, and hopefully no additional damage or repair expense - a repair isn't likely to provide the same assurance.
But how can you leave the land of stinky onions behind?
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:13 PM   #9
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I'm with the new roof side. I had to bite the bullet and put a new standing seam steel roof on an old family farm house about five years ago. It was well over 20k. The peace of mind is really nice. Also keep in mind if you sell the place anyone offering is going to back the roof replacement price out of their offer price. Just my thoughts.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:14 PM   #10
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Have had no experience with tile roofs (and based on your post hope never to in future!) but just looking at that photo I can imagine the weight load alone is part of that cost, especially if repairs are involved. While water was my career it also has been the bane of my existence; leaky flashing, roofs, shower pans, rotten wood, etc. If it was mine and was in it for long run, I'd opt to find the most reputable roofer and pay the freight to replace it all. Yes, it will be mighty painful but for me, it's the only way I'd sleep well during the next rainstorm. Not sure if tile roofers offer any kind of legitimate long term warranty, but I'd sure want one for those kind of bucks...Best of luck.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:16 PM   #11
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Have you considered other materials? IIRC my aunt has something that has a similar look but is metal and less expensive than tile. Her neighborhood has restrictions on what you can use but the metal was acceptable.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:18 PM   #12
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Have had no experience with tile roofs (and based on your post hope never to in future!)
Indeed!

Note to self: Never buy a house with a tile roof.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:23 PM   #13
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Have you considered other materials? IIRC my aunt has something that has a similar look but is metal and less expensive than tile. Her neighborhood has restrictions on what you can use but the metal was acceptable.
This is where I was heading also. Roofs simply do not last as long as they say they should in Florida, so I feel your pain. I was told that my brand new 30 year asphalt shingle roof should last me 17 years ! I didn't think to ask the HOA if a metal roof would have been acceptable - sure wish I had ! I've seen some that look exactly like shingles and I kick myself every time I pass them.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:23 PM   #14
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Have you considered other materials? IIRC my aunt has something that has a similar look but is metal and less expensive than tile. Her neighborhood has restrictions on what you can use but the metal was acceptable.
There are composite tiles as well. They look as almost as natural, and they're lighter, easier to install and good ones have a 50 yr warranty (though all roofing warranties are sketchy). Mountain High Roofing - Upgrade to Distinction Composite Tile SPECIALISTS
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:28 PM   #15
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Can the roofers remove and reuse the tiles (as if that would save any money, but maybe....)? Are there other roofing materials allowed that might be cheaper?

I would also just do the whole thing now--it will only cost more the longer you wait.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:33 PM   #16
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Spending such a large amount of money on a new roof is painful. But with the strong stock market gains of the last few years, it is a good time to bite the bullet and get that new roof IMO.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:38 PM   #17
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Wow! 30K+ for a roof... Don't know much about tile roofs, but does replacement have to be the same materials?
Tough decision, especially on the cost/return balance. We look at our home as an asset... to be sold when the time comes. Not so far away. With a 30 year time frame, the decision is pretty tough.
We're in a neighborhood with relatively "same priced" homes. If we were faced with a similar choice, would probably opt for temporary repairs, and take our chances on the resale with some "give" on the sale price. Our replacement cost would be much less, perhaps 12K to 15K.

"Home" is an emotional thing. For us, it would be a $$$ choice, but everyone doesn't like vanilla. Maybe if we had a little more in the bank and more of an attachment to the house, it would be different.

We did luck out in our Florida mfg home... a very, very selective weather downburst tore the sunrooms off three neighboring homes, but only tore a 12' hole in our roof... Insurance paid for a new roof. Our other neighbors hated us as we all needed new roofs about the same time. 'Tis an ill wind... and all that...

Hope your repair estimate works out well, and that it would be a solid fix. A lot of $$$ to leave on the table.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:38 PM   #18
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If that's a shot of your actual roof the issue could be all the angles, valleys, etc. There is more material needed for the cuts to form the angles on that front bumpout.... plus more labor.

Our granny flat has a tile roof - including a tower similar to the one in the back of your picture. The contractor made a big deal of every ridge, valley, and cut tile and how much it increased the cost.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:08 PM   #19
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If that's a shot of your actual roof the issue could be all the angles, valleys, etc. There is more material needed for the cuts to form the angles on that front bumpout.... plus more labor.

Our granny flat has a tile roof - including a tower similar to the one in the back of your picture. The contractor made a big deal of every ridge, valley, and cut tile and how much it increased the cost.
That really isn't bs, and it applies to any roof material. Very much like mowing a lawn that is a big rectangle vs one that is all cut up and detailed. The labor hours pile up pretty quick on detailed roofs.

Maybe looking at metal, like some suggested, would reduce the cost some. In hot climates metal, when somewhat reflective, can reduce a/c costs also.

In any case, roofs are not going to get cheaper in the future unless we go back into some tremendous economic swoon.
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:23 PM   #20
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Have you considered other materials? IIRC my aunt has something that has a similar look but is metal and less expensive than tile. Her neighborhood has restrictions on what you can use but the metal was acceptable.
Not an option. The HOA only allows specific tiles.

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Can the roofers remove and reuse the tiles (as if that would save any money, but maybe....)? Are there other roofing materials allowed that might be cheaper?

I would also just do the whole thing now--it will only cost more the longer you wait.
Canít reuse. Most would probably be structurally sound but they have 22 years of sun and are badly faded, and canít meet the HOA standard. Not sure if there is some type of building code issue as well, home building codes in South Florida have changed and all new work, such as this, fall under the new standards. It's a good thing, but like any building code can occasionally be a PITA.

Quote:
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If that's a shot of your actual roof the issue could be all the angles, valleys, etc. There is more material needed for the cuts to form the angles on that front bumpout.... plus more labor.
Not our roof, just an image. Ours is much smaller but with many corners and valleys. Poor work in connection areas and valleys is probably the largest source of leaks a decade later.

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  • The repair isn't going to last 30 years so you're going to have to put on a new roof eventually.
  • When you do replace it, the cost will presumably be even more with inflation.
  • And you should know beyond any doubt that the wood underneath will be in good shape, and hopefully no additional damage or repair expense - a repair isn't likely to provide the same assurance.
The repair people make a different case, but I would expect that, given itís their livelihood. Your points are all valid, though, and Iím struggling with that right now.

One important question is how legitimate is the warranty for a family run business when the owner is also the sole proprietor. A 10 year warranty needs him to be around, solvent and still working, or the business needs some type of succession where someone else assumes those liabilities.


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