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New Roof Question
Old 03-30-2018, 10:56 AM   #1
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New Roof Question

So I decided to have my roof replaced this summer and I've never hired a roofing contractor before. I'm thinking of getting three or four quotes but I know there's lots of differences in what actual work the contractor will perform.

Since I trust the good judgement of the members of this forum I thought I'd ask you all, What questions should I ask and what should I look out for?
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Old 03-30-2018, 11:17 AM   #2
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The last time I had a roof replaced I visited a roofing supplies company . That sold composite / shingle roofs. I talked to the guys selling the material and got some good information . Then I did my poor old boy routine and asked who is a good friend of theirs that give food deals and good work . I usually work with smaller companies and it seems to work . The workers in the stores usually have friends in the business who are small time and tend to be cheaper and do a good job.


I am so sick of dealing with contractors bigger is not better , paying more is not better ...Get yourself educated it works for me . .
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Old 03-30-2018, 11:30 AM   #3
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The last time I had a roof replaced I visited a roofing supplies company . That sold composite / shingle roofs. I talked to the guys selling the material and got some good information . Then I did my poor old boy routine and asked who is a good friend of theirs that give food deals and good work . I usually work with smaller companies and it seems to work . The workers in the stores usually have friends in the business who are small time and tend to be cheaper and do a good job.


I am so sick of dealing with contractors bigger is not better , paying more is not better ...Get yourself educated it works for me . .
That's not a bad plan. And I do tend to work with small companies and individual owners. But.... on occasion the roof might leak and you need a warranty repair. "Sometimes" the small guy is not responsive to call backs.

So be careful
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Old 03-30-2018, 01:05 PM   #4
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Not to sound rude , and big companies sometimes to me have been the worse to respond to repairs . When it comes down to it . It is the actual person doing the repair . The bigger companies send a couple Chucks in a truck . The smaller guys do the work or at least are on the job when it is being done.
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Old 03-30-2018, 01:59 PM   #5
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You may want to consider asking your homeowners insurance company if they have a recommendation. We had a dust devil spin off the our roof and throw down tiles. The company my insurance agent referred me to did a timely job, and kept me informed. The job was also under 1K so I was paying.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:19 PM   #6
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I have 2 neighbors that work construction, they both used a firm that works the tri state area out of Ohio. They were Amish and unbelievable, thorough and fast. I got 4 quotes and they were 75% of the other 3 quotes.
They, (4 twenty somethings,) were at my property at 8:00AM, had it stripped and prepped by 9:30AM, had all the shingles on by 1040AM, finished the Ridgevent, completed 2 awnings/porches, was all cleaned up by 11:30AM. They stopped for their first break when done, and were gone by 11:45AM. Another crew came the next day and put up new gutters and downspouts.
The roof was simple; it was 22 squares and no valleys. I spent the 3.5 hours on the roof with them to inspect the old plywood and to watch their quality and craftsmanship. I was amazed. They used Google maps to measure the roof and order the shingles. A third party delivered the shingles and used a boom truck to place them on the roof.
Anybody in SW PA, SE Ohio, or north WV, PM me and I will give you their number.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:33 PM   #7
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Make sure to get the details of the warranty.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:43 PM   #8
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I love to see craftsmen had are good at their job.

I once had an individual roofer that just does houses-- no commercial work He had a hard time getting workers to show up on any given day. He was a artist at what he did, but it took 2-3 days of working early and late afternoon. The South is just too hard to do roofing on a hot Summer midday.

Most of our big residentia! roofers will have 6 or more workers and have any house completed in one day. That is what I want.
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:02 PM   #9
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We had new roof done last year. We checked with neighbors, friends, and the HOA for recommendations. Got 3 quotes. The big guy, with all the advertising was highest, but had a Low price guarantee for exact same installation. The catch: they used a membrane instead of tar paper, and had the sole contract for that material in the area! So, of course, no one could match the same thing

We went with smaller, middle priced guy. The workers showed up at 8:00am, found a problem with the shingles ordered (did not match the size of the adjacent condo, english vs metric, and the roof needed to be woven into those shingles). They changed the order before delivery and were finished by 4:00pm. Looks great, and you cannot tell where they wove into the adjacent condo. When all was done we found only 3 nails from the tear-off. Very happy.

FWIW, the workers were all Mexicans, but clearly, this was not their first rodeo and they were not recruited at Home Depot. Fast, efficient and hard workers. We have recommended the company to anyone who asks.

Be prepared for the extra for replacing sheathing. They should give you a unit price per sheet, and should show you the damaged plywood. We only had a couple, and the damage was obvious, so no issues.
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:28 PM   #10
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Thanks.
The house across the street had a great job done. Little more than the lowest quote. I watched them pull back the siding to get everything tight and right. Unfortunately the roofer retired. (Lazy summmabich)
I like Breedloves ides of checking at the supply house.
Keep the warnings and ideas coming please.
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:34 PM   #11
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Thanks.
The house across the street had a great job done. Little more than the lowest quote. I watched them pull back the siding to get everything tight and right. Unfortunately the roofer retired. (Lazy summmabich)
I like Breedloves ides of checking at the supply house.
Keep the warnings and ideas coming please.
It can't hurt to call the "Lazy summmabich" for a recommendation, if they have the number. He likely knows who is good, and who is not, and now has no ax to grind
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:50 PM   #12
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What we did with my new garage roof and my Mom's roofs... both of which were done in the last 5 years... was to cover the entire deck with ice and water shield before putting on shingles... while it does cost a few hundred more my installer convinced me that it would reduce the chance of a leak and perhaps even extend the life of the shingles.
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:59 PM   #13
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I recall many years back I was getting quotes for what I considered a shoddy looking 20-year old composite shingle roof. The first company came out and after spending some time on the roof, the guy came down and said "you don't need a new roof yet, its just discolored, but otherwise in good shape." I was impressed by this and actually used this company years later to replace another roof.
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Old 03-30-2018, 07:44 PM   #14
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Have you considered going with a metal roof instead of asphalt shingles? I've had both over the years, and I much prefer metal. The metal roof I have on my house now should last the rest of my lifetime and beyond. And the snow slides right off........no problem with ice dams, like I always had with asphalt shingles. Also, I look at homes with asphalt shingles as I drive around town here and it seems like there is always premature cupping/breakdown of the shingles most exposed to the hot sun. I had this problem with the last asphalt shingle roof I had also. Metal costs a bit more, but it's well worth it, IMO.
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:06 PM   #15
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Have you considered going with a metal roof instead of asphalt shingles? I've had both over the years, and I much prefer metal. The metal roof I have on my house now should last the rest of my lifetime and beyond. And the snow slides right off........no problem with ice dams, like I always had with asphalt shingles. Also, I look at homes with asphalt shingles as I drive around town here and it seems like there is always premature cupping/breakdown of the shingles most exposed to the hot sun. I had this problem with the last asphalt shingle roof I had also. Metal costs a bit more, but it's well worth it, IMO.
If you live where hail is a problem then a metal roof will get you an insurance discount if you agree not to want to fix dings in the roof. Where I live in 30 years if one had a shingle roof it would have had to be replaced 4 to 5 times over that interval. At the third replacement 16 years ago I talked my dad into a metal roof. Avoided two further roof replacements since. (at least a lot of neighbors had new roofs installed twice over that time). Also it is cooler in the summer as well.
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:44 PM   #16
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Metal costs a bit more, but it's well worth it, IMO.
Do you have a good estimate of how much more it costs? 10%, 25%? I've always thought it was more like >50% more, which makes it hard to justify. With asphalt I'm probably only looking at 1 to maybe 2 more roofings in my lifetime. If it were a new house or I was younger, I'd probably be all over a metal roof.

Also, how are they in the rain? Loud?
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:53 PM   #17
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Do you have a good estimate of how much more it costs? 10%, 25%? I've always thought it was more like >50% more, which makes it hard to justify. With asphalt I'm probably only looking at 1 to maybe 2 more roofings in my lifetime. If it were a new house or I was younger, I'd probably be all over a metal roof.

Also, how are they in the rain? Loud?
You could at least ask for local quotes. You might also ask a local realator how much it may increase the value of the house. (note that it will cut homeowners insurance also because the insurance company won't have to pay to replace the roof so often. (Basically it would then be if the metal got a hole in in from hail.)
As to rain, if they put felt under the roof its not loud unless your talking big hail when it gets quite loud (but any roof would be loud with that)
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Old 03-31-2018, 12:20 AM   #18
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OP - Of course ask anybody you know who got a roof done.
If you go with shingles, I'd suggest about 40 yr warranty/rated architectural ones.
ice shield if you are in that kind of area (I've seen roofers skip it as a homeowner cannot tell once its on).
Get EXTRA ventilation, this is what will keep the roof shingles cooler is a cooler ventilated attic, and now is the time. They are $10 each for the old basic ones, which is what I had already
I had them add 4 more to my roof.
Don't let them add them over the garage if it's open like mine, as it doesn't get to 130F like an attic does and is a waste of the roof vent.
Make sure everything is written in contract, and hold back 10%,
Watch them put it on, and take photos, will be great proof if they skip something, and makes it easy to show off the job.

I'm am noticing more folks are going metal, never replacing a roof again is a good feature, and they are doing interesting things with metal roofs these days.
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Old 03-31-2018, 07:36 AM   #19
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Do you have a good estimate of how much more it costs? 10%, 25%? I've always thought it was more like >50% more, which makes it hard to justify. With asphalt I'm probably only looking at 1 to maybe 2 more roofings in my lifetime. If it were a new house or I was younger, I'd probably be all over a metal roof.

Also, how are they in the rain? Loud?
When I compared quotes for my last roofing job, I believe the metal roof that I ended up getting was about 30% more than an asphalt shingle roof. But you should get quotes in your area, as costs probably vary quite a bit. They make all kinds of fancy metal roofing materials now (some look just like asphalt shingles), but I went with the basic panels, in a good grade metal, and I think it looks fine. Durability of metal roofs should be 50-60 years or more, whereas you'll likely be looking at a new asphalt shingle roof in 20 years or so (at least that is how long they last around here....some don't even make it that long). The aggravation of dealing with ice dams (we get a lot of snow) on asphalt roofs alone is reason enough for me to go with the metal. As for noise when it rains, I haven't really noticed much extra noise compared to the old asphalt shingle roof. Certainly not a problem.
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Old 03-31-2018, 08:06 AM   #20
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The guy who did our first roof in 1979 had great references and did an amazing job and then went to jail a couple of years later for taking big deposits and never showing up (fortunately we had not had a chance to recommend him to anyone). Before that happened, he sent his BIL to tuckpoint and repair our chimney, who never sent us a bill. Adventures in home ownership....
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