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Morning guys,

I am a single homeowner. female, and the only thing that I hate more than getting an estimate for my car is getting an estimate for work to be done on the house. How can I guage the quality of the work and the competence of the workman if I don't know the standards? That's where (hopefully) you come in.....if you don't mind. ;)

I need a new roof. It's not leaking nor am I having problems but it is older, the four connecting neighbors are getting an estimate so, of course, I agreed to help defray costs by going in with them, having all 5 town homes done together, making them happy and making it more convenient for the men doing the job. My problem? I have no idea what to ask or how to shop for a roof and a good man to install it.

Two of the neighbors use these as vacation homes, one is a much older widow and one is my sister who knows less than I. We are all clueless and, not to imply that all roofers are shoddy workers, but some shoddy workers ARE roofers (and plumbers and housewives and so on...)However, I came to this forum because I doubt that any shoddy workmen would care to assist others and discuss their trade after working all day. :Thumbs:

So, the men came today (yes, solicited by a neighbor) and walked all over our roofs, Told us we'd have an estimate in three days or so. But I don't know how I can get an estimate if they don't know what we want. Like, do we want the old roof stripped to the bare boards, do we want the shingles put over the old ones, do we want a different roof altogether?

Can anyone out there just point me in the right direction? What questions do I ask? How do I check out the roofer? My sister checked him out, he looked like George Clooney, so now she wants the roof. :rolleyes: I don't care if Quasimodo puts my roof on, as long as he does a good job and I get a good product.

By the way, we live a block from the beach in Myrtle Beach if those conditions have anything to do with the roof and quality of materials etc. So sorry for the long post but wanted to put in all the details. Thanks to you all, in advance. Danielle
 

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Don't rightly know how to answer this one. Near shore, you want it torn off, want 50year dimensionals, DDHD nails ( double Dipped Galv. so they don't rust off). You want them to by certified by shingle manu. and give manu. warranty as well as workmanship warranty. They must be insured. Look at other jobs they did. You want step-flashing only, no channel along walls. You want full weaved valleys along coastal areas. Hope this helps. Frank

http://tinsmith.freeyellow.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #3
reply to Tinner666

:eek: Thank you Frank. I do understand most of what you said but I am kind of confused about shingle/give manu. Do you mean manual and if so, what is give manu? Or, did you mean they are to give me the manual? Please forgive my ignorance but you are dealing with an absolute novice. The rest I can handle enough so that they think I know a little of what I'm talking about. I learned more from your reply than I would have ever known so I'm already ahead.

There must be a roofing boom in the area. The men who are giving me a quote have two jobs sitting behind my house. The shingles that are there on the pallet say CERTAINEED 20. The next street over has shingles in front of the house and they say ROYAL. Are either of these decent materials?

Again, thanks a lot. Anything I can learn takes me closer to having a good job done. I don't mind paying the price for (from what I've read here) the most important thing I can have to protect my possessions. I just want it to be fair on both ends. Danielle
 

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Look up your local roofing materials distributors. Go there and look at all of the various shingles styles. Ask about Ice & Water Shield code rules for your coastal area. Ask for the names of three roofers. Ask about tear-off codes & rules.
Jim
 

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Danielle,

Charlotte, N.C. here. Hope the beach is doing just fine. I would like to offer a few tips and/or suggestions. But before I do so, I will need some info:

1. How old is roof?
2. What kind of shingles? Are they what some call regular or 3-tab shingles or are they architectural?
3. Do you have a chimney?

Based on your answers I will offer the following:

Struture approx. 20 years old.

1. If you only have one roof on then you can save money by not tearing off the roof. You will just shingle over the existing roof.

2. The roofer can also use the existing flashing that is already there unless it has for some reason gone bad around the chimney.

3. Have the roofer break down the price for you as:

a. Roof entire house with (type of shingles) 40 square.
b. Existing flashing to be reused (or)
Install new flashing and counter flashing at ($$ foot) total 15 ft.
c. Install ridge vent (if you have ridge vent now with ventilated soffit).
d. NO STAPLES may be used. Only galvanized roofing nails.
e. Contractor responsible for all clean up and debris removale.
f. Get a copy of business license and workers comp and liabilty insurance from him.
If they do not have workers comp/liability insurance, tell them thanks but no
thanks. You only allow contractors that are insured. Call the insurance company
that he gives you to verify. This is just good business.

This will be a little more complex or different if you are having it torn off. I will be glad to look at your estimate an advise you to see if it is in the ball park for our area.

Roofing is not that hard, are you sure you don't want to give it a try??

Mark
 

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My best advice is when ever you are having roof problems to hire a professional roofer to diagnose and repair the problem. Roofing is dangerous business, and is not as easy as it looks. Your roof protects your entire house and everything in it.

Here ya go. Read these articles: http://diychatroom.com/howto57.htm
http://diychatroom.com/howto59.htm

Both are very informative, which is why i wrote them. I am asked these questions far too often to always repeat myself. You will probably find answers to all your questions in those two articles.
 

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Grumpy,

You are too good. I knew you would be on this one. Thought you would tear me a new one by saying roofing was a easy one. :)

A fantastatic line about the roof protects everything....... Go for the close with the expertise my good man. :Thumbs:

Pond
 

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clueless homeowner needs help

Thank you, everyone, for all of your help and/or suggestions. I would have never thought to ask for license, insurance, warranty, workers comp etc etc. I would have felt like I was insulting the guy by asking for these things. :eek: (Sitting duck, shoot me, duh)

The structure is about 25 years old, townhome with fireplace. The roof is probably not the original, it looks too good; I've been here 11 years and never had a problem with it. (but I will check) Hurricanes and tropical storms haven't moved a shingle and they are 'regular' shingles, nothing fancy. Wish I could locate the original roofer.

Grumpy, you're just what I need...a . Thanks for the links. You were right on the money. Your articles are informative and I think I know exactly what to do from here on in and no...I will not get on the roof myself ;) I'll get that professional!

I asked to learn and I guarantee you all I'll listen--to everything. Thankfully I don't have an emergency so I have the luxury of time to investigate and dot the i's and cross the t's.

I'll let you know how I do. You guys are great. Thanks again, Danielle
 

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Manu.= manufacturer. Sorry about that. I wouldn't both with the 20 year shingles.%0 year is thicker and less likely to lift in a storm. As a rule, if a roofer is certified by a manufacturer, he should be following all the instructions to the letter. By doing so, manu. will not void THEIR warranty. Some reps will actually come to a jobsite to verify roof is installed to even qualify for a warranty. I've seen stuff out here that makes me recommend every customer talk to shingle rep, not roofer. No roofer worth his salt will be concerned by the rep showing up on job.Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #12
reply to Tinner

Thanks Frank.

If some reps actually come to the job then I'll find a rep to come to the job...and make sure he'll oblige before I sign on the dotted line. Grumpy's line about the roof protecting everything you own made me reconsider going for the low ball bid, which is what I would have done before getting this advice. He makes good sense. Why pay top dollar for what's in the house and then let it blow away cause you cheaped out on the important things?

I'm so glad that I came here first instead of having to post a horror story after. Great service you men do on this forum and I really appreciate it.

Danielle
 

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Danielle,

Just out of curiosity, if you do call a rep to come out, please let us know how long it takes from the call to show up and meet you. I'm very interested in response time to 1st phone call and overall service to a consumer like you.

Thanks,

Pond
 

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More than likley the rep will referr her to one of his better customers. It's not the Rep's job to deal with the customer. To be honest I will be suprised if the Rep does agree to meet with Danielle before she has choosen a contractor and choosen to use their shingle.
 

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That is what I was getting at. I have never known reps to deal with consumers on a one-on-one basis like was discussed in earlier post, but was just wondering.

Pond
 

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Danielle said:
Grumpy's line about the roof protecting everything you own made me reconsider going for the low ball bid, which is what I would have done before getting this advice. He makes good sense. Why pay top dollar for what's in the house and then let it blow away cause you cheaped out on the important things?

Ms. Danielle,

This is the time of year when a lot of contractors are getting hungry. Last night, I spent almost 2 hours with an elderly lady who just couldn't understand why I was $4,000 higher than the other roofer. The other roofer didn't include new sheathing, which will be required before the new shingles go on. He probably wasn't even going to mention it, until he was well into the job, then pop the big extra charge on the customer for additional work. I'm sure the other contractors here have seen this tactic over and over. Many times I have seen the owner end up paying another contractor far more for a roof than what I had already included. Also ask what their labor and materials mark-up rate is for additional work such as dryrot or concealed damages the contractor could not verify until into the job. Some contractors will reap the harvest on extra work and make more money on change orders than the original contract.


Best regards
 

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Good point about the rotting wood and other unknowns Doofus. Most reputable roofers will write this into their proposals upfront.

When I have my guys already out at the job site doing work I do the 1/2" ply for $55 a sheet, 1" board for $5.5 or $75 an hour plus materials.
 

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I am right with Grumpy on the extras, and also do like to include as much as I can into the original price so as not to spring the bad news on my loyal customer later on in the project.

I have been using Grumpy's point about your roof protecting all your stuff in different variations for years. I should trade mark a version just for my own use. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
clueless homeowner

Grumpy said:
More than likley the rep will referr her to one of his better customers. It's not the Rep's job to deal with the customer. To be honest I will be suprised if the Rep does agree to meet with Danielle before she has choosen a contractor and choosen to use their shingle.
That would be great if it happened that way. I like that I would get one of his better customers. Works for me.

Human nature being what it is I would have taken, as I said, the low bid. After some education on the subject I can see why the higher bid could be the best bid. I went to the doctor today and paid $150.00 for a ten minute visit but I do understand that I'm paying for that expertise; and I don't mind. I couldn't put on my own roof so I'll pay the price to get a good person and a good finished product.

My problem is that I live in an area that's a mecca for sharks and I've seen friends get taken, big time. I would also have been a statistic had I not run across this site.

I had told you in an earlier post that a few roofs were being put on in my area and I had planned to watch the one behind me. Well....I missed it. Thinking that I could save myself all the 'investigate, check, call thing' (if the neighbor had done what I plan to do) I knocked and asked about her roof. I printed this entire thread so I that could remember what to say. Her words exactly when I asked what she could tell me about the job and the company, "Well, we got an excellent price because we got him three jobs in the area so your price won't be the same."....and then she didn't say what her price was. He probably told her it was a deal so special that he wasn't allow to advertise :rolleyes: but, that was all she knew, the price, and that was all that mattered to her.

Bet her roof blows away this summer! Danielle
 

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Discussion Starter #20
for Doofus Emeritus

Doofus Emeritus said:
Ms. Danielle,

Last night, I spent almost 2 hours with an elderly lady who just couldn't understand why I was $4,000 higher than the other roofer. The other roofer didn't include new sheathing, which will be required before the new shingles go on. He probably wasn't even going to mention it
He probably wasn't even going to do it. Danielle
 
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