Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?

 
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Old 12-21-2007, 03:19 PM   #1
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Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


do any of you guys measure a roof without actually going on the roof?
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Old 12-21-2007, 03:23 PM   #2
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


Sure, measure it off the plans.

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Old 12-21-2007, 03:23 PM   #3
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


We almost never go on the roof to measure. After time you can tell the pitch and just measure the foot print. You can get pitch finders from most any lumber yard.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:20 PM   #4
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


jake,
what do you mean by the footprint?
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:23 PM   #5
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


Building perimeter.
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:05 PM   #6
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


I try to measure everything from the roof. If it is too steep, I will move my ladder around to all the areas, so I can do the count tabs method accurately. Also, I still like to slide the tape up the slope to get the true rafter length instead of a guesstimate.

When I am either unsure of my on roof or from ladder measurements, then I measure by the footprint method and the pitch factor method, to double check my figures.

I always use a pitch guage, available from Sears, to correctly identify the slope to the highest rounded factor.

By taking the time to measure the roof accurately and by plotting the dimensions on my graph grid and when I deliver my proposal in person and show the home owners all of the exact dimensions, details and locations of any problem areas, I usually impress them more than the guy who stood in their yard for 5-10 minutes and dropped off an estimate in the mailbox or doorway.

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Old 12-21-2007, 06:21 PM   #7
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


Ed, I really like you,
but(saw that comin' didn't you),
unless it's really chopped-up/complex roof.
When I see a guy climb up on the roof for measurements,
I think one thing.
Dumb
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:33 PM   #8
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


One section of town that I do a real lot of work on has the smallest and worst construction that could possibly be imagined.

I can tell you the almost the exact amount of shingle tabs, how much will be needed on these late 1950's through late 1960's model homes, all with 5/12 pitch roofs.

I could have done 5 exact duplicate roofs on the same block, and I will still set up my ladder and pull out my 100 foot tape and measure both eave edges and all 4 gable edges and measure the diameter of the soil stacks and tap my screw driver or pen on the sheet metal chimney housing surround on the gas b-vent pipe and measure the 2 valleys from the front dormer.

Why?

Because no one else typically does. I can tell them the extent of the plywood decking delamination and precisely the amount of layers.

Why?

Because I looked close up and personal.

I can then show each home owner the 18 to 36 digital photos I printed out 9 to a page, to show them how many previous roofers nails were not applied flush or deep enough to provide the proper fastening required, because there are at least 3-10 good shots on almost any roof that I estimate that is having roofing nails backing out and through the shingles, allowing me to show them the extent of hiring somebody too cheap who does not know or care enough to do their job the Right Way the first time.

I can show them the scaled diagram on my graph grid paper with all penetrations and potential bad areas that need to be addressed with special care.

Upon showing them the professionalism and the extent of my concern for them knowing conclusively what their exact problems are and what is the correct options for a long term solution, they usually tend to agree with my diagnosis and the additional time spent being so thorough.

The usual comment I receive when they are signing the contract and giving me my 33 % deposit, is, "You know Ed, you were the highest priced contractor who provided us an estimate, but you were the only one who cared enough to go on the roof and get us all of these details. We would rather have you do our roof for us, since we know that your job will be as thorough as your estimate."

So, when I see the guy standing next to the curb, writing down tab counts and counting how many courses run up to the ridge, I don't think that they are dumb. I just think that they are naive as to how to go about providing a better all around customer experience.

If it were not for so many contractors being too lazy to take an additional 15-20 minutes to climb up on these easy walk on roofs, I actually might have some fearsome competition.

Ed

Last edited by Ed the Roofer; 12-21-2007 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 12-21-2007, 10:11 PM   #9
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


Quote:
Originally Posted by neolitic View Post
Ed, I really like you,
but(saw that comin' didn't you),
unless it's really chopped-up/complex roof.
When I see a guy climb up on the roof for measurements,
I think one thing.
Dumb
Call me dumb also, but when I measure a roof, I or one of my agile guys is on the roof....if he sees something up there that I don't see, then I do go up, every time. We do not do comps, but I do sub them out, and I always know the hard numbers and condition of the roof before I have a sub bid. I do steel roofs, and there are a lot of things I want to know, before I bid, that I cannot see from the ground. I have been on roofs that had multiple layers in one area, and other areas had one layer...or one I saw, they had replaced the bottom 2 feet of roof decking with plywood, and guess what was above? Shakes....we don't install metal over shakes very often. From the ground, we couldn't see the shakes. And metal roofs have a lot of tricks with trim...I don't like surprises, so I like to be up close. Yep, I will continue to be dumb.
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Old 12-21-2007, 10:29 PM   #10
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


Ed, now I know why your faithful customers love you. Methodically, meticulously, & carefully done job!
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Old 12-21-2007, 10:51 PM   #11
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


Yup Eds a salesman. i do the same thing simply because I dont want any surprises. and a customer doesnt want any upcharges for sheathing replacement or repointing bad chimneys which I always re-counterflash if they are aluminum. I measure my stacks too. nothing sucks more than having the wrong size boot and having to run out for a replacement or you missed one hiding near a vally. And yes Ed they tell me the same thing "Your the only one".
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Old 12-22-2007, 12:00 AM   #12
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


it`s dumb not to go on the roof,and see what the problems are as well as measure it !-I get the same responses ed does,but here not going up is the exception -not the rule
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:54 AM   #13
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


I used to always go up and measure so I can look for hidden layers and anything else not visible from the ground. These days I do far less roofing and I can be very acurate from a foot print once the pitch is known.

Someone recently gave me a little credit card cut out from GAF that has pitchs and slopes cut into it, you hold it up to the house and you can easily identify the pitch. Its pretty handy.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:18 AM   #14
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


Okay, okay---you guys are salesmen too, I forgot that.
If I see something from the eaves that gives me pause,
I'll still go up to check it out.
( if it's below a 10, cause I know I can't get down the steep ones
except on my butt any more)
Understand I ain't your typical HO, I have a deep and abiding
mistrust for salesmen between me and the guys doing the work.
If everyone in this business was like you three
my life would be a breeze.
Ed almost makes me wish I lived in Chicago.
(But words like Kennedy and Dan Ryan pop into my head).
Hey I did mention that I really like you didn't I?
(Channeling Sally Fields here)
Got to understand, I've just been through this with my own house,
and watched a bunch of guys try to impress me.
Then they open their mouth and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt
that they are about to screw me over.

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Old 12-22-2007, 08:37 AM   #15
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


I also can figure square footage, slope and detect layers without stepping foot on the roof and with no tools at all and do so very very accurately but i still walk/measure every roof.
Ed said all that needed to be with his post, he seems like a good salesmen and probably a good roofer.
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:20 AM   #16
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


just measure the perimeter of the house and then look at the pitch? i have found if a house is 50 feet long on both sides and the roof is as well,its probably 20 square.
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:10 PM   #17
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


Ed, and others with detailed proposals, Do you tell the customer how many sq, and let them keep your drawings? I Would NEVER, for fear of them using it to get pricing from other contractors. So what do you do?
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:31 PM   #18
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Ed, and others with detailed proposals, Do you tell the customer how many sq, and let them keep your drawings? I Would NEVER, for fear of them using it to get pricing from other contractors. So what do you do?

I spell out the entire scope of the work with the exception of quantities. I DO NOT quote by the square. i am not in the business tp give a $$$ refund for three bundles of shingles laying on the ground after the jobs done when the owner pulls up the driveway during the evening cleanup.
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:16 PM   #19
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


33% deposit - must be nice. Here in the Golden State, it's 10% or $1,000.00, whichever is LESS...
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:13 AM   #20
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Re: Measuring Roof Without A Ladder?


just measure the perimeter of the house and then look at the pitch? i have found if a house is 50 feet long on both sides and the roof is as well,its probably 20 square.---
So 50x50 =2500+250 waste =2750--so what are you talking about mxim
never tell amt.s or give detailed drawings,it`s your intellectual property,lyou don`t give the h/o extra material,ljust ,like he doesn`t cover you if you`re short material
\here the deposit is 500.00 or 10% whichever is less--I don`t need to hold my customers money till I`m on the job !

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