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Ed the Roofer 06-15-2007 11:59 AM

Choosing The "Right" Roofing Contractor, How To Evaluate Who Is Right!
Lets see if any of this is interesting or bores the crap out of you. The remainder of the document provides links, URL's, and short poignant excerpts from each of the pertinent sources.

I will supply you with the first link, as if all of them were included, this would be too large to post. For your information, click on the link for a very thorough article on "How To Choose A Reputable Roofing Contractor and What To Do Once You Find One."

For anyone who knows me, you know I have a fuller and longer more detailed version done too. Egads! I just don't know when to stop sometimes.


P.S. I want comments and any editing provided if you feel you have something worthwhile to add or delete.

But All Of The Other Guys Said!!!!!

I hear this more often than you would believe. You know what the most frustrating thing about that phrase is?

In practically every single instance, the “Other Guys” either did not really know what they were talking about, or even worse, they knew the right thing to recommend, but took the “Low Road” and did not advise you, the Home Owner about the implications of not doing your roofing project precisely as the manufacturer specified.

You might think to yourselves; The “Other Guy” seemed like he knew what he was talking about though. Ed, what makes your opinion any better or more valid than his? Aren’t you both just out here to try to sell me a roof and make as much profit on the job as possible?

Here is what I say to that; There obviously is some truth to the fact that a reputable company serving this area for over 23 Years under the same name and ownership needs to remain profitable to remain in existence. Yes, I spend a great deal of time with every single Home Owner I make a detailed presentation to, so; Yes, I would like you to understand the value in a quality, properly done roofing system as compared to over 90 % of all roofs done, which do not even meet the “Minimum” standards and specifications.

Before I begin to ramble on endlessly, and bore you with any self promotion, you may feel concerned enough to read through the following short portions of just a few of the research links I have provided, so you could receive a totally unbiased, neutral and objective opinion on some of the subjects that seem to be in conflict from one contractor to another.

If your investment in the future of your home is important enough to you, please feel free to inquire with as much vigor and depth as possible to arrive at the safest conclusion.

The following resources are all referenced as to author and web-site URL links for further analysis if you so desire. If you would prefer this document to be e-mailed to your attention, so you do not have to type in and search for the web sites, please request an e-mail version and I will gladly comply.

When you get done reading through the information; Please ask yourself the following question:

Who was the one who really gave me all of the correct advice, details and specifications to ensure my new roof and theoretical warranty plus my homes interior were not being placed in jeopardy?

Was it Ed, from Right Way Roofing Company?
Or, was it “the Other Guy”?

I hope you appreciate the following information. Happy Reading!

This is one of the best articles I have ever read about roofing specs being followed and “How to choose a good roofer”.

But over the years I have learned to spot good roofers by asking a few questions and identifying a number of indicators that seem to reveal what they really know about their trade and what kind of job they are likely to do. What I am looking for are those rare individuals who take pride in their work. They keep up with advances in materials and techniques. They make it a point to take to take questions to manufacturer’s technical representatives. They’re responsive to the concerns of their customers. And they are glad to take as much time necessary to explain things clearly.
Roofing isn't rocket science. But the average homeowner is not really familiar with the ins and outs of roofing so they have little choice but to depend on whomever they choose to do the work. This is a trust professionals take seriously. It is not enough that they are concerned and personable – they must also have sufficient resources of experience and knowledge to insure that their professional obligation is discharged to the homeowner’s advantage. That's why professionals are easy to spot. If you feel educated, as well as comfortable after your visit with a roofer, and the other criteria outlined below are satisfied, then you are as assured as possible that your job will meet your expectations.
another excerpt: From GAF

It is estimated that 9 out of 10 homes in North America do not have proper attic ventilation.

another: From Alcoa
Experts say inadequate intake ventilation causes 95% of all ventilation problems and will typically void the shingle warranty.

Calculating how much venting your attic needs is relatively simple.
All you need to know is the area of the attic floor. Include the garage, if you have one and the soffit overhang because heat gets trapped above them, too.

To properly ventilate an attic, two types of vents are needed. Intake vents, which are located at the down slope edge of the roof (a.k.a. eaves) and allow fresh air into the attic; and exhaust vents, which are located near or on the ridge line of the roof and allow air to leave the attic.


Deck movement and deterioration are commonly the results of poor ventilation. In the summer, too much heat buildup due to a poorly ventilated "flat ceiling" attic can cause the shingles to deteriorate prematurely. In the winter, deck-related problems are often due to condensation forming on the deck underside, which is also a result of poor ventilation. It is important to understand that shingles failing before their time due to inadequate ventilation will not be protected by the manufacturer's warranty.

While manufacturers warranties will vary in terms of what is and is not covered and for how long, most offer reasonable value and protection for the end user. However, it is important to realize that should the product be installed improperly, even the best warranties on the highest quality materials may be rendered void and useless. The manufacturer has a right to expect that their product is aligned, lapped and fastened to meet their minimum requirements, otherwise their product will not perform as designed and the warranty will become invalid.

Roofing is number 1 Construction Defect.
Construction Defect Problem Areas: Cause & Effect.

Taking a forensic view, or a backward pass, through a statistically significant sampling of Construction Defects (CDs) in order to determine the root cause & effect, we have categorized the most prevalent CD’s into a Top 10 List as follows:
  • Roofing
  • Sheet Metal Flashings
I hope that I have not gone overboard with the information supplied. I am passionate about providing the absolute best roofing materials and the best service as possible. Therefore, even though this may seem mundane and obsessive over-kill to you right now, you can at least get a better sense of how I feel about doing your roof on your home, the Right Way. When your home is taken care of with such passion, you will be proud and glad you chose to do things the Right Way after all.


Ed (Aka, Ed the Roofer)

johnny331 06-15-2007 03:35 PM

Great article, not boring, useful if you're in the market for a new roof.

I just had mine done last weekend. I chose an Amish crew, I find them to be excellent craftsman for all different trades... I've always had good luck with them.

What is your opinion on Amish crews compared to others?

Ed the Roofer 06-15-2007 09:22 PM


No, from what I heard, they do very good work on the whole. But, since they have some sort of religios tax break, they are not fair competition.

Are they licensed, insured, and bonded?

Do they pay their workers with taxes withheld payable to the government?

They shouldn't get any additional breaks if they are performing business like the rest of us stiffs.


747 06-16-2007 01:03 AM

Here is how i found the guys to do my sisters roof two months ago. I drove over to her town. Went up town. Wanted to get something from the grocery store. There were roofers on top of the methodist church. I yelled up when you guys get done come over to my sisters house for a bid. Is tamko heritage 30ar a problem. They said no we can go with tamko if thats what you want. Well to make a long story short they came over about 4 hours later gave me a bid. I wrote them a check. For full price. The roof looks good. Ed went with tamko heritage 30 ar color weatherwood with matching ridge shingles grace ice and water first 3feet and finally they added additional square vents on back side of ridge in color brown. 10 to be exact. oh 30 pound felt. I told my sister if once they get those shingles off if any plywood needs to be replaced your paying for that. Well apparantly they had to replace some so she had to write a check for 125.00 I had to write a check for 3475.00 that also included her detached two car gargage.

Ed the Roofer 06-16-2007 02:14 AM

Seeing somebody actually doing a good job and ensuring that the same workers will be doing yours, is one of the better ways to select a competant roofing contractor, or any other type of contractor for that matter.


RooferJim 06-16-2007 11:07 AM

The right specs are only as good as the right crew to install it. Too many are talking the talk but then take the low road and subcontract it out, or even worse use illegal aliens that can not be coverd by any insurence policy. If someone gets hurt the homeowner is on the hook. Buyer beware


Ed the Roofer 06-16-2007 01:37 PM

Here is an interesting comment and my reply on another Forum from JLC, which I think fits in well, when other competitors state that they will match the specifications, but do not really.


To ed,

as much as it sucks to have other people doing the work to your specs, if it is done that way, and they are doing it for a low ball price they wont be around too long. if they are using the right materials, and doing the installation in the right sequence to or above industry standards it is going to cost more and take longer to finish then they would have originaly estimated for.
From brad

To Brad,

At least they would be held to a higher standard.

Plus, from past real life experience and everything else I see, they still do not do as I specify, but by then, its down the drain.

1. Cheaper generic Ice and water shield versus the premium Grace Ice and Water Shield, aka Vycor Plus.

2. 15 # felt instead of premium weight 30 #

3. Tarping only if it rains, not every night to eliminate moisture build-up from dew and condensation on the newly installed felt paper underlayments.

4. Dumpster blocking the driveway instead of dump truck which moves on street each evening.

5. Thorough and meticulous ongoing daily clean up with a magnetic sweeper.

6. Jack Rabbit subcontractors versus multi-year seasoned employees.

7. Illegal Day Laborers off the street shingling versus Master Shingle Applicator credentials for foreman and lead shinglers who have been stable in house trained "Employees" for up to and over 8 continuous years now.

8. Roof cement for flashings or cheap wavy trim coil versus in house custom fabrication of all Architectural Sheet metal base flashings and counter flashings, done per SMACNA specifications.

9. No intake ventilation done or minimal under eave rectangular louvers versus continuous balanced eave fresh air intake ventilation.

10. Cheap Roll vent or rolled Cobra vent, neither with external wind deflecting baffles nor an internal filter versus the premium Shingle Vent II durable and extremely positively functional continuous ridge ventilation.

11. No record of job chronology versus complete and detailed close up through job photos documenting all areas in good or bad shape and the reasons certain actions were required.


I will be working on being more precise and truncated on my list of detailed specifications, so as the extent does not get lost in the translation and diminish after our initial meeting.


Dang, I'm glad you brought that point up. I have now just created a portion of a useable comparison list grading form.

RooferJim 06-17-2007 09:34 AM

Carful now ED, Im a big Cobra vent fan :no: .


Ed the Roofer 06-17-2007 07:10 PM

Roll Cobra or the rigid plastic updated version knock off of Shingle Vent II?

If it is the roll version of the sink scrubbing material, then; :no:

"JIM, I thought you were smarter than that!"


Other than that, how did you like my short version of the scripted article? The full length on is 16 pages long with live URL links to all of the web sites where I took the excerpted comments from.

Thank you if you reply and are not too offended, Cobra Man. :laughing:

RooferJim 06-17-2007 08:13 PM

No problem, yes I like it a lot we have a lot of the same hurdles in this area. I used to do a ton of shingle vent 2 and tested cobra snow country before it was on the market, I even went to shinglevents seminars and drank the same cool aid you did, I just had some issues with the baffle sagging on some jobs and on another job pine needles were getting jamed in the vent somehow. so long story short I switched back to regular cobra, I have never had a problem with it. I have also used one time or another almost every other damn ridge vent on the market as well. We will still use it on occasion however.


Ed the Roofer 06-17-2007 08:26 PM

Back in 1991 through 1993, when I was first convinced about the performance aspect of utilizing a ridge vent, I used bot the Roll Vent and the Cobra Roll Vent products.

I am a little confused regarding your response. Are you saying you went back to the rolled Cobra Vent?:eek:

Within a 2 year period of time, I had 4 seperate houses that had minor leaks, (IMO), but 2 were from blowing powdery snow and 2 were from driving rain.:furious:

That is when I first started attending the Air Vent seminars and switched over to the Shingle Vent II. I have never had 1 single problem with it ever. No drooping baffles and no call backs due to clogged baffle troughs. Although I do not go back on every single job seasons or years down the road, I do revisit enough for a general maintenance repair to get a good feel for this problem if it were to be a reality for me.:thumbup:

Did you like the "Snow Country" from GAF?

There is one brand of Ridge Vent that has a supposed 20: to 22" NFVA, but I can't find it again, are you familiar with it?

Thanks for the response. Any critiquing on the script? By the way, where are you from?


P.S. My 4 year old, Little Eddie is the one clicking on all of the smileys.:yes:

Ed the Roofer 06-26-2007 10:38 PM

A poster who was at the CT forum requested this information, so I am bumping it up to the top so it is easiear to find since the question was more appropriate for the DIYChatroom discussion.


Hushpuppy 07-04-2007 08:40 AM

What about us flatlanders?
Hi Ed,
The information you provide is for pitched, shingled roofs. Do you have any words of wisdom for those of us with flat roofs? :huh:

joasis 07-04-2007 02:18 PM

And then, there are steel roofs...and lately, we have been rolling solar guard down under the would not believe the difference it makes! Steel has a reflective value, and solar guard really works to keep attic temps under control. The new home we built without a decked roof, just SG, has yet to reach 100 degrees yet.

Ed the Roofer 07-04-2007 05:15 PM


Originally Posted by Hushpuppy (Post 51467)

Hi Ed,

The information you provide is for pitched, shingled roofs. Do you have any words of wisdom for those of us with flat roofs? :huh:

Why yes I do.

And the more appropriate term for us "Flat Landers", per the Cheese Heads, is FIB's.

What part of Chicago area are you from. I'm located around Elgin but grew up South side.

Don't get one if at all possible!

Even fewer flat roofing contractors do their job the Right Way. It would be worth the additional cost to hire a trained union roofing contractor who specializes in flat roofs versus the "Jack of All Roofs" contractor who states they can do everything.

Read the specifications from the material manufacturer depending on which system is the product being installed to ensure they don't take short cuts.

Good suggestion. I statred out a a union flat roofer for 8 years working for a very large and reputable contracor and then started my own company in 85 and did primarily flat roofs exclusively unti about 93.

I'll add something about flat roofs to my blog site in the upcoming week or so.


I could add some information about metal roofs as well, but I may ask your help for information, as I only installed standing seam and batten seam, mostly by Peterson, (Pac-Clad), Berridge and MBCI systems. The MBCI manual is extremely intensive.



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