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Jean3 04-08-2010 01:40 AM

Putting a new flat roof on a 3600 sf home
Hi I desparately need a new roof on my house. After talking to almost 10 roofers in the Pacific NW area, I have narrowed it down to a 60 mil PVC roof. I do not know the exact dimensions of my roof, but it is a 2 story house with 1800 sf on each floor plus the overhang. My choice has come down to 2 companies.

The lst lesson I have learned is never buy a house with a flat roof. That being said - I have had quite an education in the past month.

Because I actually need 2 roofs done (A small rental plus my house), I have found the roofing contractors listen to what I say and would do just about anything to give me whatever I want to get this job in this slow economy. For example, I would love to have a composition roof on my home which is not possible because I have a 212 pitch roof. Two roofers tried to convince me that a composition roof would work and held there camera with pictures at an angle to convince me I had a 412 pitch roof. They pointed to the roof across my culdesac (where my best friend lives (lol)) and said the pitch of my roof was the same as hers. After they left, I walked over to her house and asked to take a picture of her roof from her upstairs balcony which clearly showed mine was a 212 pitch and hers a 412 pitch. To top it off there license and bond was suspended.

Anyway I finally decided I want 60 mil PVC and now am trying to choose between Versico or Gaf PVC. They both appear to be good products.

Anyway, the lst bid I am considering came in at $11,400 plus tax which I know is really high. They have to tear off the original roof plus one torch down roof -- the home was built in 1966 - then there is the additional expense of replacing rotting wood on one corner of the house wood--extra repairs are $56 an hour plus materials.

Also probably half the plywood sheets are going to have to be replaced at a cost of $38 each (they are going to give me 10 sheets free). There are also flashing repairs and several vents to be added to bring the house up to code. I figure the total bill including tax will be at least $13,500. This company Acadamy Roofing is highly respected in the area and has really been helpful in helping me walk through the maze of roofing choices.

The 2d bid came in at $8,960 as apposed to $11,400 -- looks good on the surface. This is from Allen Roofing and they did not state what kind of PVC they were going to put on. Then they put in a flat charge of $55 per man hour, but not a fixed price per sheet of replaced plywood. They quoted me the incorrect amount of tax and cannot even guestimate how many sheets of plywood need to be replaced because he only walked half the roof.

I asked for a price per sheet so he put that in ($41) and took out the flat charge per man hour of extra work ($55) when both figures need to be in the contract. I Also they are not versico certified. They said they would have versico come in and look at the completed roof and then it would get certified -- I am not comfortable with that at all. In fact I feel like I am walking the guy through the process rather than the other way around.

Other bids are coming in higher than the $11,400 other than two bids that I felt were fly-by-night operations. Again this house was built in 1966 and I put 1 torch down roof on about 25 years ago (I sure got my monies worth). The roof is not leaking yet, but it is realy in bad shape.

I am a senior citizen on a fixed income. I am using the monies I got from a settlement from an automobile accident I was involved in several years ago. So it has to be done right the lst time. I do not have monies for redoing a botched job. Your ideas appreciated. :)

johnk 04-08-2010 08:37 PM

I'm not sure but in B.C Canada,Tpo-PVc manufacturers won't warranty residential work.I could be wrong in your case,worth looking into though.

AaronB 04-09-2010 12:35 AM

IB warrants residential. Has anybody opted to have the roof weighed to determine if you need to remove it? Flat roofs are not the same as steep slope, since they are generally lighter in weight unless they have a gravel ballast (which should be removed prior to re-roofing.

My next question: Why are the flashing repairs not included with the new roof? Flashings are necessary parts of any new roofing system.

Most flat roofs do not need to be vented. In fact, many times venting will diminish the thermal efficiencies of your insulation. Like I said, low slope and steep slope are different critters.

If I may ask, since you got 25 years out of a modified bitumen roof, why the lack of love for flat roofing?

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