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I am not a roofer, I am a HVAC contractor I need a new roof on my house and want to get some recomendations from the pros before I spend alot of money and time.

question 1. My house is a hip roof Stick built rafters not trusses (31 years old) I have one layer of existing shingles on the house now, If I have the new shingles (40 year) delivered on the roof can the roof hold the new and old shingles? I plan on tearing off the old shingles but I am afraid if I have them delivered when the old shingles are still on the roof the roof could cave in.

question 2. When I redo the roof I want a good shingle that will hopefully lasy my lifetime, I have been looking at the timberline 40 and the certainteed 50 what would you proffesionals recomend?

question 3. I am a sheet metal mechanic/hvac contractor and I have made alot of custom flashing, and some small custom copper and lead coated copper roofs in our shop. For the vent pipes Instead of using the rubber boots I was going to cover the vent pipes in copper and solder all the joints I have made several vent flashing in the past, should I do this or should I just buy the rubber boots? My thought is rubber cracks over time if I use copper and solder all the joints it will last for ever.

question 4. valleys closed or copper, I like the looks of a closed valley verses the copper W type flashing but I would think the copper would last longer what do you suggest, should I have the thick rubber membrain put in the valleys then do a closed valley or use copper flashing with the copper exposed?

question 4. I was afraid the roof cant hold the load of the new shingles and the old ones so I was going to have the entire existing shingles torn off install all the felt paper then start the new roof. I am afraid by doing this that if it takes a week to complete the felt paper will get bubbles in it, what should I do?

Sorry for all the questions this is a huge investment for me and I want to make sure it is done correct.
 

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1. I always tear-off and dryin before ordering shingles. The stacks of new shingles will be in the way of both tear-off & dryin.
2. Both the Timberline & Certianteed 50s are great.
3. By all means do the Copper jacks. Nothing upgrades a house like Copper details.
4. Again, I am a Copper lover. But, closed valleys should last as long as the shingles. The Copper will last longer than the comp roof...so what's the use. For me it is looks and resale value.
5. Use one of the new synthetic underlayments, along with plenty of Ice & Water Shiled at valleys & eaves. The synthetics can be left exposed for 6 month...no wrinkling. Cost is about 15% more than 30#. Titanium, Triflex 30 & RoofTop GuardII are a few brands of synthetics.
Jim
 

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Typically properly constructed framing can hold multiple layers. Check the codes in your areas. Most codes limit the # of layers to two maximum.

As a roofer I always always encourage a tear off. Just laying a layer of shingles ontop of an old layer is like putting makeup on an ugly chick. You get a MUCH better finished product if you tear off and start from scratch.

Don't waste your money with a 40 or 50 year shingle unless you are having wind problems. The average life span of a shingle roof is 17 years, in my area. This is for various reasons including owners moving, or getting bored with the color. Go with a shingle that looks good on your house.

Forget the crap rubber boots. I use lead "jacket flashing". That's very common in my area for all roofs older than 20 years. I never use the rubber boots. The sun will warp the plastic and I have seen animals chew right through it to get inside. The lead flashing should be more than adequate and costs about $10 more than the rubber boot.

On a shingle roof the only thing you will gain with copper valleys is some nice curb appeal! I too like the look of the copper vallyes, but a closed cut valley that has ice shield under it will perform just as well as a copper valley. Don't use the rubber membrane, as that is for flat roofs. Use an ice and water shield. www.graceathome.com

Hire a roofer. We can have a 25 square roof off and on in one day with no lacking of quality. Since it seems like you think you are a roofer since you are in the HVAC business, I suggest to you don't tear off more than you can roof in one day. That's interesting to me since I think I know a ton about roofing, but know I know just about nothing about hvac; and I have a bunch of close friends who are hvac techs. Why does everyone with a hammer think they are a roofer?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the replies very helpful, I never said I was doing it myself I am ignorant when it comes to roofing that is why I am asking these questions. I want to make sure when I hire a roofing contractor I want to specify how I want it done so I am researching what the best way to do it is.
I understand your frustration about harry homowners trying to be a pro at everything, I get calls all the time from home owners who buy HVAC equipment of the internet or at certain home depos and they call us when the screw it all up, it drives me crazy, Thanks again for all your help.
 

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Let the roofer specify first. Then asky why and why not this and that.

Imagine if you went to a home owners house and he started telling you how he wanted you to do it. I know for me it's a turn off. I usually walk on jobs like that.
 

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Grumpy, I figured that I was saving the guys time by not making him re-write the estimate.
I have told them all that I want Grace I&WS, the deck nailed to Miami-Dade HVWC and don't try to sell me that cheap 29 ga. metal.
I don't think that knowing what I want upset them, they are all upgrades.
 

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So you are saying to ley the guy write it up first and THEN tell him that it's not what I want. They are all trying to make the sale and they all are going to write it up 'nail to current code, 15# felt and 29 ga. 5V crimp'.
 

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I listen to my customers everytime I try to sell a project. Their house, their roof, their money, their way.
 

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Sure I listen to the customer but when the customer starts to dictate the spec...

For example a customer once told me he wanted a double layer of 15# and I asked why and he said he looked it up on the net. He also wanted 3 nails per shingle when the code is 4, and the manufaturer's spec is also 4. Let's also mention he wanted 18" of ice shield at his drip over hangs and 3' at his gable overhangs. Their house, their money. My warranty, my way.
 

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The customer could have been here and using your advice just as I have done. I have spent over a year sucking roofers brains for info. The hurricanes provided much input as to durability. I now know what I want, money is not the issue. Quality install is.
Code here is 6 nails per. Just FYI.
 

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kmd, what did your prospective roofing contractors have to say about all of these issues.

Grumpy, i see yer point.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have not gotten a contractor to give me a price yet I am trying to research all the roofing products, underlayments, shingles, flashing, etc.. and the best ways to apply them first then I am going to get a quote. Hey Grumpy I didnt want to ask the guy first how he was going to do it then start questioning him about how I think it should be done. My plan was
to find out as much info as I can from fourums like this one get several opinions from the pros on these fourums, then call in a couple contractors give them a list of what and how I would like it done and ask them to give me a price. I will also tell them if they think what I am asking for is wrong or un-realistic tell me why and I will listen and try to decide (to the best of my ignorant knowlege) If I should go with what they say. I know it might sound crazy to do this but I dont make alot of money But I will not skimp on quality to save a nickel and this is a huge investment for me and I just want to make sure it is done the best way possible. Thanks again for all your help
 

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Teetor if the customer had been using my advice they would have got the spec right... and you are 100% correct someone alrady convinced them that the wrong spec was the right spec. Those types of jobs are nothing but problems problems problems.

Yes I know you were going to give a list KMD, those are exactly the jobs I walk on. It's easier to educate a fresh mind than it is to uneducate and reducate.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So Grumpy you are telling me I should just trust the contractor and hope he is doing the job to spec and correctly? I shouldnt ask him if he is using 15yr shingles or 30 yr shingles, or I shouldnt ask him if he will install new flashing or use the old, or if he will put 3 nails per shingle or 4, or if he will tear off the first layer or re-roof? My feelings are I am not worrying about hurting his feelings if he walks off the job because I am questioning him on how he is going to put a roof on my house then I will find somebody else. I dont think a customer asking a few questions is too much to ask.
 

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No I am saying you should tell the contractor you want a new roof. THEN start asking questions after he delivers his spec. That's word for word what I said in post #5 above. You should ask questions, lots of questions.

I am saying if you approach him with your own spec you might scare him off. We roofers are a stubborn bunch, and I know I am not just speaking for myself because I have discussed this topic many times before with fellow roofers.
 

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Grumpy said:
Sure I listen to the customer but when the customer starts to dictate the spec...
Mr. Grumpy,

I once had a gal insist that I remove the plastic strips off the back of the shingles, and to make sure it was written in the contract. When I asked her why, she said that a friend told her the roof would fail and they had to be removed. I explained that it was nonsense, and I could show her shingles where it says not to remove the strip. Well, she flew into a tirade telling me I didn't know anything about roofing and stomped off leaving me with her husband who was completely dumbfounded. I shook his hand and told him to thank his wife for sending up the red flag, and good luck.


Best regards
 

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where I left off....Grumpy, I see yer point.....If the homeowner insists I do something contrary to the codes and specs. I kow to be properly done, and there is no convincing them otherwise, I will walk if they do not agree to not hold us liable if we do it their way. If they do, we get it in writing so we can at least have documentation on their ignorance and insistance thereto. :) Not that this will necesarily hold up. Probably best to walk.
 

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Stubborn ain't goin' to get the bulldog.
I'm an educated buyer. Miami-Dade High Velocity Wind Code is what I want, I have been to their site and know what is involved. A full membrane of GIWS is what I want, I've been all over the web on this. I want a high quality metal roof, not 29 ga., 26 is OK and 24 is better.
I'm willing to pay for all of this. What does being stubborn do for you other than lose a job?
 
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