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Hi,

After starting work on re-roofing my house, the contractor called and said he didn't realize we have 2x1" wood slats on teh roof and that he would need to cover the roof in plywood before putting teh shingles on. He said this is common in older homes. If he is aware that it could be a problem, shouldn;t he have mentioned it before we signed the contract? Now he estimates it will be 2500 dollars extra! If he had told us some older homes have this type of wood, he should have checked it out first, right? Or at least told us it would be a possibility. What can we do?

Thanks!
 

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If you have "spaced decking" then yes he is telling the truth. This is a tough one. I made this very same mistake once. Now I always look. Always.

Did any of the other bidders (there were other bidders right?) mention this to you, or were any of the other bidders substantially higher than this guy like maybe $2500 higher?

If you try to force him to do the sheating out of pocket I'm pretty sure he will walk off the job. You can try legal recourse but $2500 is less than a lawyer will cost you.

Assuming that you got at least two estimates tell him the most you can pay is what the other guy was asking. That's what I would do, in your position. In my position I had a very upset boss and a very upset customer, but the customer paid.
 
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Thanks so much for your prompt reply! The guy actually just left my house now. His reasoning was it's common for older homes to have that wood but most have already had either wood filled in the gaps, or wood over top; that there was no way to tell exactly what was uder the slate, even though he could look under the eaves in the attic and see the 2x1" slats.

He's knowledgeable about roofing - he has encountered this before. We just don;t understand why he didn;t just mention the possibility. Do you have any suggestions besides a lawyer? Better Business Bureau maybe? Or, are we stuck and just have to pay the money?
 
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and no, unfortunately we didn;t get any other qoutes. We went off a good referral and who was available to do the work right after a hurricane hit and many others were booked...
 

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Well there are plenty of ways but it requires effort. Save 5 minutes and lose $2500 :) The attic is a sure fire way. If you have a gable you can peek in.

I'm on neither of your side because I made the same mistake. But I dont agree with his reasoning. If he knew there was still slate, he would know there would be no way the wood gaps were filled of plywooded over.

Always always always get at least 3 quotes PERIOD. Please read this to avoid further problems :) http://www.diychatroom.com/howto57.htm I'm not coming down on ya, but many a problem can be avoided if you follow the steps in that guide.

As for the suggestions, I must first ask: How did he approach you for the extra $2500? Did you sign a paper? What work did he actually do up to this point? You have options I can discuss after I read your answers.
 

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I am going to agree with a couple of things Grumpy said, and ask you some questions before I will say you are getting ripped off or not. :)

I agree that the estimator should try very hard to determine what type decking is on the roof. If it is questionable as to whether there are slats (spaced sheeting) that should be mentioned at the time of the bid.

Did he have access to the attic when he bid the roof? Did his bid / contract with you state that sheeting replacement would be an extra expense?

I am sure that Grumpy will agree that an estimator cannot always determine if the decking will need replace while the roofing material is covering it. Many times the true condition of the deck is not obvious until the old material is removed.

The worst thing you can do is let your roof sit wide open while you argue with the contractor over the wood... Obviously he does not want to cut corners with your roof, he has quality installation in mind, which is a good indication you will have a finished product that will last you a long time. IMO
 

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I always check for deck type and condition if possible. When I was younger, we were required to take a cut every 10 squares on our commercial jobs. Found the same thing last week. Guys roofer didn't check and there was cedar shakes over spaced sheathing with comp over top of that.
Jim
 

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Always ask for proof of insurances and licenses. If the contractor has them he should have no problem providing them to you. This is not an option, always insist on written documentation. Always ask to see similar work. Don’t settle for pictures, demand addresses. Ask to speak to past customers.

Hey Grumpy,
I read that article you posted and its very good on choosing a contractor except the part where it says ask to speak with former customers the contractor did work for.
I dont agree with that I will not give out phone numbers,I guess its privacy issue with me,unless a customer has informed me prior he /she doesnt mind me giving out their number.
 

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I had a list of satisifed customers who didn't mind receiving phone calls at my last job. Infact some customers even volunteered to be put on the list.

I need to rebuild my list now with my new company, but I am very sure the list will grow sooner rather than later.
 

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Every job I do no matter the size, the customer gets a customer satisfaction survey with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. One of the questions is in regard to being used as a reference. Unbelievably every single customer has returned the survey since I started doing it, with almost everyone willing to be a reference. It's a great technique to build your references extremely quickly. I'm also able to gather written testimonials from my customers with this technique, however the ratio of the testimonials being something you can actually end up using is pretty low.
 

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Believe this or not but I have a customer that actively generates leads for me. Called me again on Fri. about a condo redo, the whole building! I musta done something right for him.
 

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Either way it sounds like you need the decking. If the guy makes his appointments, is there every day, does what he says he is going to do, and you said he came from a refferal where the previous homeowner was happy with his work. I may ask him is this the best price you can give me? if he says yes - Pay him most likely it is the best price or you might get lucky. Like i said it needs to be done either way even if you knew before hand which is in the past now.
 

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Teetorbilt said:
Believe this or not but I have a customer that actively generates leads for me. Called me again on Fri. about a condo redo, the whole building! I musta done something right for him.
I know how that go's Teetor, I once did dam near a whole stinking town, a very small town but they passed me around for almost 9 months, and at the time I had three crews.

They should have renamed the town Bobville.

Bob
 
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