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We were having a discussion (myself and several roofers) about how to approach a roof. I like to approach a roof as a system, ie, look at the roof covering, sheathing, insulation, ventilation, vapour barrier, etc. and see how they work together. Several of the roofers told me I'm being 'way too finicky and said that from their perspective, they were being paid to put on the roof covering, and everything else is someone else's problem. Their perspective is that the insulation and ventilation should be handled by the insulation guy, the sheathing and similar stuff by the structural guy, etc. I'd like some feedback from practising roofers on how you approach these issues.
 

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I too approach a roof as a system. Each style of house need sa different roof system. A roof system is then broken down into sub systems.

I think when you said "the roofers told me I'm being 'way too finicky and said that from their perspective, they were being paid to put on the roof covering, and everything else is someone else's problem." What these guys were saying is: "I am a laborer who does what my boss tells me. It's my boss' problem to worry about what to do." This is what seperates the contractors from the laborers.

I think insulation shoudl be handled by the insulation guy, but if the insulation guy hires unskilled laborers that think covering soffit vents is a good thing, it's the roofer's job to tell someone or take it upon himself to fix the problem. If you don't your roof wil fail, and they will blame you the roofer!

Sheathing is the carpenter's job. If the carpenter forgets to install a 1/8" gap for expansion your roof will buckle and fail and guess who they are going to call!

A good leader will take all these things into consideration before during and after a job.

New construction is riddled with sub-contractors who have the attitude "not my job". I think this isn't so true with remodeling roofers.

Excellent idea for a topic!
 

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A friend of mine told me a story. He runs fishing boats in Alaska. And as you can imagine most of those boats don't have a janitorial service. Anyway they had a new kid on the boat and he was to start off the rotation to clean the toilets and showers. He told my friend that that wasn't his job. BTW - they weren't out of port yet. My friend told him "You know, you're right. It's not your job" He fired him on the spot.

I've kind of carried that philosophy through into my dealings with employees and subcontractors.
 

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Fired off an Alaskan fishing boat? Jeesh, if you can't work on an Alaskan fishing boat, where can you work? That kid missed some good money just for that....At least we have Mcdonalds up here.
 

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Yep. Amazing how many people now a days are not willing to give an honest days work. The company I work for does quite a bit for disadvantaged people across the country. On to the story...
We brought this kid up from Florida - moved him to Colorado and gave him a job at 12.00 / hr. Got him a place to live and paid his rent for it every month. Then we offered to send him to a junior type college for a couple years to get an associates degree. Then send him on to a university to get a bachelors degree in construction engineering or construction management. He had to work the summers and breaks for us. That's it. We were going to pay for everything - books, tuition, housing, etc.
Well he was on the job for about oh.. 3 days. He then tells me that he's not in interested in going to school for 6 years or whatever it would take. That's just too long he said. So he puts in his 2 weeks notice. I cut him a check on the spot and sent him on his way. All told we were willing to spend around $100,000 for education and living expenses. And for what?
 

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Trust in the fact that in 20 years, his butt is going to ache from kicking himself for that.
Gauranteed.
 
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hatchet said:
A friend of mine told me a story. He runs fishing boats in Alaska. And as you can imagine most of those boats don't have a janitorial service. Anyway they had a new kid on the boat and he was to start off the rotation to clean the toilets and showers. He told my friend that that wasn't his job. BTW - they weren't out of port yet. My friend told him "You know, you're right. It's not your job" He fired him on the spot.
I was in the exact same situation once, but not on a boat. They rotated bathroom cleanup and I refused for a few months. The shop forman came to me and said it was my job. I told him to f.... off and picked up my took box a few days later.
 

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Grumpy said:
Funny how a post about a roof as a system turned into bad employees. Oops.
Ah, you know how it is. People get distracted easily. I'm waiting for the post on bad employees that we can distract to something else, like the roof as a system! ;)

However, I think that will get people talking about drinking, which will lead to which will lead to what's your favorite poison, which someone will say is the perfect addition when you need to adjust your base paint color when the customer walks in on you, which will lead to....
 
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Well your insulation isn't his job but since he is installing over it he should know something about it. And since the decking and vents are there to protect and support his roof that does make it his concern.
 

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pgriz said:
We were having a discussion (myself and several roofers) about how to approach a roof. I like to approach a roof as a system, ie, look at the roof covering, sheathing, insulation, ventilation, vapour barrier, etc. and see how they work together. Several of the roofers told me I'm being 'way too finicky and said that from their perspective, they were being paid to put on the roof covering, and everything else is someone else's problem. Their perspective is that the insulation and ventilation should be handled by the insulation guy, the sheathing and similar stuff by the structural guy, etc. I'd like some feedback from practising roofers on how you approach these issues.
The Roof HAS to be looked at as a system. Some roofs that cover such things as Refridgerated spaces or indoor heated pools HAVE to have a Vapor Barrier on the warm side. Now if you apply a Vapor barrier system over a Air Blown Concrete (Insulated Concrete) there must be some place for a vapor drive to go from the moisture in the pour. Some systems are "breathers" and will allow such to breath out. Others are Vapor barriers and will cause blistering. This is why the steel under most Insulated Concrete in box construction is vented undernieth as the vapor drive will always seek it's easiest way out. Every roof done should be considered a "system" and designed on the needs of what it goes over. Though Architects and specifiers write Roof Assemblies they practice mainly on the written and the theory. We as roofers practice in the real world and many times the real world differs then theory.
TH
 

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Tomhay is on to something!
Seems like you know what your talking about.
 

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I too approach a roof as a system. Each style of house need sa different roof system. A roof system is then broken down into sub systems.

I think when you said "the roofers told me I'm being 'way too finicky and said that from their perspective, they were being paid to put on the roof covering, and everything else is someone else's problem." What these guys were saying is: "I am a laborer who does what my boss tells me. It's my boss' problem to worry about what to do." This is what seperates the contractors from the laborers.

I think insulation shoudl be handled by the insulation guy, but if the insulation guy hires unskilled laborers that think covering soffit vents is a good thing, it's the roofer's job to tell someone or take it upon himself to fix the problem. If you don't your roof wil fail, and they will blame you the roofer!

Sheathing is the carpenter's job. If the carpenter forgets to install a 1/8" gap for expansion your roof will buckle and fail and guess who they are going to call!

A good leader will take all these things into consideration before during and after a job.

New construction is riddled with sub-contractors who have the attitude "not my job". I think this isn't so true with remodeling roofers.

Excellent idea for a topic!
Good thoughts. And surely this is a great topic to discuss on.
 
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