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-   -   Dishonest roofing companies, or corporate propoganda? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f9/dishonest-roofing-companies-corporate-propoganda-32343/)

KAdams4458 11-21-2008 01:50 PM

Dishonest roofing companies, or corporate propoganda?
 
My wife and I recently purchased a home in Western Washington, and the roof leaked like mad the first time it rained. It never came up on our home inspection, but the roof was never installed properly, so we're going to have to replace it. Now, I'm an avid and accomplished DIY'er, but I'm only one man, and a 30 square roof is not something I can accomplish on my own in a place where it rains constantly. I'm going to have to sit this one out, and hire some professionals to get the job done.

Before I started talking to roofers, I spent a week studying roofing, roofing products, and installations so that I would be an educated consumer. I've even gone so far as to contact both of the two big players, GAF-Elk and CertainTeed for information. I may at this point be an unscrupulous roofer's worst nightmare.

Now that I've been busy for several weeks gathering proposals from various companies in the area, I've noticed a disturbing trend among most of them. All but one of the roofing companies that sell and install Brand A products is bad-mouthing and outright lying about Brand B products. I'm not sure if this is a regional thing or not, but I'm really put off by it. I won't identify which is which, but the products I'll end up with will be made by either GAF-Elk, or CertainTeed. I'll just say that one company is "Brand A" and the other is "Brand B."

I've become really disenfrachised by most of the roofing companies that I've spoken with due to the outright lies being circulated by the roofers that prefer Brand A shingles regarding both their own warranty and installation practices, as well as the reputation, warranty, and serviceability of Brand B shingles. What I'm wondering is whether or not this is corporation-wide, or just something that is regional.

I'm thinking at this point that I will rule out not only the unscrupulous roofers that want to tack on extras like a completely new and unnecessary deck surface while claiming that they don't make a penny off of it, but also the manufacturer that produces the products they're all pushing so hard. If it's a regional issue, the last thing I ever want is to have to deal with an unscrupulous manufacturer's area representative.

How would some of you approach this? There's a clear trend towards roofers installing a certain brand to lie about requirements, material costs, and acceptable practises. Would you also want to steer clear of the brand as well?

Slyfox 11-21-2008 05:15 PM

Not sure if I'm reading this properly but if your asking if all roofing contractors adhere to the practice of restricting thier sales to a single brand name, the answer is yes, many do, and it is a national trend rather than just regional.
Yes many of them go so far as to suggest other brands are cheap and inferior to the brands they are selling.
Sometimes it's a sales gimic, bulk purchasing = lower per unit cost,
sometimes it's lack of exsperience, meaning thier simply doing like those who taught them the trade did.

I myself present numerous brand samples to my customers and inform them that the material they choose will determine the looks and espected life span of thier roof, but the roofing contractors workmanship used installing the materials is what will determine the quality, realibilty and longevity of the system.

In other words, if brand A is a 30 yr shingle and brand B is a 30 yr shingle,
brand A will last as long as brand B if it's properly installed.

Edited to add:
Dishonest, I beleive some take it that far.
Propaganda, I would say thats the issue much more often than dishonesty.
Ignorance/Lack of Exsperience, I would say is the reason more often than both the above mentioned.

OldNBroken 11-21-2008 07:18 PM

Yes, there are brands most decent roofers would recommend you steer clear of but in our/your area, both Elk and Certainteed are equal in quality as well as price. Unless they are a HUGE purchaser, the contractors aren't normally getting any deal on either mfr. Same as Slyfox, it all goes on the same to me so it's entirely their choice as far as what product they put on. Why else would they be so fiercely loyal to one of those products over another could be for any number of reasons. Here on the dry side of Washington, Elk is much more popular than Certainteed but that has nothing to do with quality.

As a sidenote, it is often counterproductive to take your newfound knowledge and hound your contractor with it. If you hire an experienced, quality contractor, it really tends to annoy us when people don't trust our judgement to do the best possible job for you as a customer.

Ed the Roofer 11-21-2008 08:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KAdams4458 (Post 188293)

Before I started talking to roofers, I spent a week studying roofing, roofing products, and installations so that I would be an educated consumer. I've even gone so far as to contact both of the two big players, GAF-Elk and CertainTeed for information. I may at this point be an unscrupulous roofer's worst nightmare.

How would some of you approach this? There's a clear trend towards roofers installing a certain brand to lie about requirements, material costs, and acceptable practises. Would you also want to steer clear of the brand as well?

Firstly, book smarts only goes so far. I have been roofing since 1978 and still find many circumstances that are not 100% identical to any others, although similar situations in the past may assist me in properly analyzing the current debacle.

Every roof is a custom crafted project, due to different installers, varying weather conditions, mult-leveled expectations from many different home owner customers and other intangibles.

It is not Rocket Science or Brain Surgery, but done properly, it should provide the full life term of the stated warranty.

Some roofers have limited experience with opposing brands, or the experience they had was incredibly bad, not necessarily due to the product, but possibly from the other intangibles.

What remains in that contractors mind remembering which brand they installed when they had customer or material problems? The product is the one consistent item, which therefor gets remembered only in it's worst recollection.

One weeks worth of education only provides you the basics of knowing when someone either doesn't know what they are talking about or are complete, out right lying to you about manufacturers and code required specifications.

You must tread lightly with your magnified version of your roofing knowledge, but use it wisely to seek out the truer professionals who can properly profess their dedication to abiding by the standards set forth.

The face to face interview process and question and answer time frame is the best way to judge from your gut reaction totheir responses adequacy.

Then, the previous track record on recent homes they have worked on. Go look at the homes and knock on the home owners door and ask how their experiences were when dealing with that contractor.

I strongly suggest that they provide a list of references from each year that they state thet they were in business and minimally speak with 3-5 previous customers.

Also, ask about the time(s) something went wrong on a job.

Everyone has that experience. How did they deal with the situation to everyones satisfaction?

Finally, could you expand a bit more on the bolded comments at the end of your post?

Quote:
"How would some of you approach this? There's a clear trend towards roofers installing a certain brand to lie about requirements, material costs, and acceptable practises. Would you also want to steer clear of the brand as well?"

What precisely are they lying about?

Ed

roofboy 11-22-2008 01:21 AM

Hello,

I don't mean to throw a monkey wrench into your plans but Malarkey shingles should be a choice since you are located in the Pacific Northwest. We use them here in AK about 90% of the time and never had any problems with them. I would go with the Legacy line.

Just my .02




Keith

OldNBroken 11-22-2008 08:41 AM

Ed always says it so much more eloquent than I.

Slyfox 11-22-2008 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldNBroken (Post 188548)
Ed always says it so much more eloquent than I.

Yeah Ed is always much more thorough in his responses, which is why I try and wait for him to respond first,
because it makes it much easier for me to throw my 2 cents worth in.

KAdams4458 11-22-2008 11:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slyfox (Post 188349)
Not sure if I'm reading this properly but if your asking if all roofing contractors adhere to the practice of restricting thier sales to a single brand name, the answer is yes, many do, and it is a national trend rather than just regional.
Yes many of them go so far as to suggest other brands are cheap and inferior to the brands they are selling.
Sometimes it's a sales gimic, bulk purchasing = lower per unit cost,
sometimes it's lack of exsperience, meaning thier simply doing like those who taught them the trade did.

That all seems pretty reasonable.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slyfox (Post 188349)
I myself present numerous brand samples to my customers and inform them that the material they choose will determine the looks and espected life span of thier roof, but the roofing contractors workmanship used installing the materials is what will determine the quality, realibilty and longevity of the system.

In other words, if brand A is a 30 yr shingle and brand B is a 30 yr shingle,
brand A will last as long as brand B if it's properly installed.

Sounds right to me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slyfox (Post 188349)
Edited to add:
Dishonest, I beleive some take it that far.
Propaganda, I would say thats the issue much more often than dishonesty.
Ignorance/Lack of Exsperience, I would say is the reason more often than both the above mentioned.

That also sounds pretty reasonable. I can certainly understand lack of experience being a potential factor. Add the propaganda factor on top of inexperience, and the BS has the potential to get quite deep. As for dishonesty, well, I'm afraid to say that I've been hit with a lot of it lately. I've heard everything ranging from my shiplap deck must be torn off completely and replaced in order to meet code, to the bricks are falling out of my chimney, and neither are true.




Quote:

Originally Posted by OldNBroken (Post 188395)
...As a sidenote, it is often counterproductive to take your newfound knowledge and hound your contractor with it. If you hire an experienced, quality contractor, it really tends to annoy us when people don't trust our judgement to do the best possible job for you as a customer.


Duly noted. I've been hounded in my field of expertise by those with only a basic understanding of things, so I know exactly what you mean.




Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed the Roofer (Post 188432)
Firstly, book smarts only goes so far. I have been roofing since 1978 and still find many circumstances that are not 100% identical to any others, although similar situations in the past may assist me in properly analyzing the current debacle.

Every roof is a custom crafted project, due to different installers, varying weather conditions, mult-leveled expectations from many different home owner customers and other intangibles.

It is not Rocket Science or Brain Surgery, but done properly, it should provide the full life term of the stated warranty.

Some roofers have limited experience with opposing brands, or the experience they had was incredibly bad, not necessarily due to the product, but possibly from the other intangibles.

What remains in that contractors mind remembering which brand they installed when they had customer or material problems? The product is the one consistent item, which therefor gets remembered only in it's worst recollection.

One weeks worth of education only provides you the basics of knowing when someone either doesn't know what they are talking about or are complete, out right lying to you about manufacturers and code required specifications.

You must tread lightly with your magnified version of your roofing knowledge, but use it wisely to seek out the truer professionals who can properly profess their dedication to abiding by the standards set forth.

The face to face interview process and question and answer time frame is the best way to judge from your gut reaction totheir responses adequacy.

Then, the previous track record on recent homes they have worked on. Go look at the homes and knock on the home owners door and ask how their experiences were when dealing with that contractor.

I strongly suggest that they provide a list of references from each year that they state thet they were in business and minimally speak with 3-5 previous customers.

Also, ask about the time(s) something went wrong on a job.

Everyone has that experience. How did they deal with the situation to everyones satisfaction?


I've been a step ahead of you on everything up to this. It seems like a brilliant idea to ask them about projects that have gone wrong and how they handled them. I've posed those sort of questions when interviewing potential employees, but I never thought to apply it to the hunt for contractors of any kind. Excellent idea!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed the Roofer (Post 188432)
Finally, could you expand a bit more on the bolded comments at the end of your post?

Quote:
"How would some of you approach this? There's a clear trend towards roofers installing a certain brand to lie about requirements, material costs, and acceptable practises. Would you also want to steer clear of the brand as well?"

What precisely are they lying about?

Ed


I'm sad to say that I can't really go in to details without revealing just which manufacturer the apparently dishonest roofing companies seem to have sold their souls to. For the sake of the discussion, I'll be forced to reveal this information, but I am not in any way trying to condemn any company or their products. It's right there if you read between the lines, but try not to do it. I'm just a guy trying to figure out what the heck is going on here in Western Washington. That said, I'll get on with it.


Let me give you a short list. I've already covered two of them, I.e. that my chimney is falling apart (it isn't) and that my 1X6 shiplap must be completely removed to comply with code. (Uh, what?) Add to that a number of companies stating that I will have no manufacturer warranty if the shiplap isn't covered with 1/2 CDX. (I contacted both GAF-Elk and CertainTeed directly with this question, and my existing shiplap meets the definition of a solid surface.) I've also been told more than once that CertainTeed doesn't have their own starter shingle. (Eh? Funny, it's right there in the product literature and on their web site.) I've also heard from several companies that I shouldn't use the other guy, because they make a range of products besides roofing materials, so they're likened to a jack of all trades: master of none, when in fact, both GAF and CertainTeed make a lot more than just shingles, but only installers preferring one of these companies in particular have made this claim.


The list just goes on and on. I've started losing track of the nonsense. The last materials cost issue I found was a roofer claiming that to upgrade my 30 square roof from a 30 to a 40 year shingle would be an additional $3,000. I guess he was giving me the price of the special diamond encrusted 40 year shingles, because the way I learned math, there should only be about a $1,100 increase for the upgraded shingles in question. To top it off, my figure is based on the material cost per square that he provided, so he's either padding the bill, or one of us can't do math.


Thank you to everyone that has provided input so far. Honestly, I think I've already made up my mind about which roofer I prefer, and I'm pretty close to choosing him. Everything the man said was right on, and he was the only guy on my roof in the past two weeks that pointed right to the leaks in the roof without needing clues from me as to how many there were, or where they were located, and he was nice enough not to crack my plastic gutters by laying a ladder on them, unlike most of the other guys that showed up. (GRRR!) To top things off, he is the only one to date that has taken the time to make a follow up call a few days after his first visit. The only thing I need to do is look at a few more of the roofs he has done in better light, (It gets dark early around here at this time of year,) and maybe ask a few more questions.

747 11-23-2008 06:18 AM

First how did the home inspector miss that? The purpose of having a home inspector is to catch that before closing. Now the A/B question. There is noway i would let a gaf timberline be put on my roof. I like Certainteed landmark 30 or 40 year or Tamko's heritage Series. As a matter of fact had a neighbor have a new roof put on his house last month. Ask hiim what shingles because i wasn't home he said gaf timberline 30ar. Big mistake. I will say this GAF timberlines are the number one shingle in Kankakee County where i live. All the roofers push them. Its kind of sad in my book. Point being nowbody is pushing landmarks.

Ps. Thats freeking crap. The difference between a 30year landmark and a 40 year isn't 3,000 dollars. At least i don't think it is. Let me VERIFY. ED IS IT?

HERE i will hook you up right. First grace ice and water shield. Next new flashing around chimmeys if you have. Next 30 pound felt you can go with synthetic underlayment instead more expensive if you choose this i like feltex or titanium. Next make sure you have proper roofing ventalation. I personally like the new fast back metal vents. I don't know the exact name there square but sloped. finally go with a 30 or 40 year landmark. Mission brown is good color if your looking for a brown roof. Take a pic of that roof and post it so we can see exactly what you have.

KAdams4458 11-23-2008 02:49 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by 747 (Post 188875)
First how did the home inspector miss that? The purpose of having a home inspector is to catch that before closing. Now the A/B question. There is noway i would let a gaf timberline be put on my roof. I like Certainteed landmark 30 or 40 year or Tamko's heritage Series. As a matter of fact had a neighbor have a new roof put on his house last month. Ask hiim what shingles because i wasn't home he said gaf timberline 30ar. Big mistake. I will say this GAF timberlines are the number one shingle in Kankakee County where i live. All the roofers push them. Its kind of sad in my book. Point being nowbody is pushing landmarks.

Ps. Thats freeking crap. The difference between a 30year landmark and a 40 year isn't 3,000 dollars. At least i don't think it is. Let me VERIFY. ED IS IT?

HERE i will hook you up right. First grace ice and water shield. Next new flashing around chimmeys if you have. Next 30 pound felt you can go with synthetic underlayment instead more expensive if you choose this i like feltex or titanium. Next make sure you have proper roofing ventalation. I personally like the new fast back metal vents. I don't know the exact name there square but sloped. finally go with a 30 or 40 year landmark. Mission brown is good color if your looking for a brown roof. Take a pic of that roof and post it so we can see exactly what you have.

Well, the home inspector didn't really miss the problems. In his first report, he stated that the roof had various problems, and he recommended that it be inspected by a roofer and repaired as necessary. We requested that the seller take care of the roof repairs, and they agreed. 30 days later, we had the home reinspected, and it was discovered that the roof had not been touched. We gave the seller a few weeks to deal with the issue. It turns out that the seller did send someone up to make repairs the second time around, but the repairs were sub-standard and incomplete. To top it off, the people that had been on the roof making repairs may very well have caused mechanical damage to a number of shingles, and the chimney flashing work they did has no chance of stopping any water. Of course, as soon as it started raining, water began appearing inside of the home, and I have been busy ever since then placing buckets in the attic and mopping up the puddles on the floor.

I feel that both GAF-Elk and CertainTeed make a good shingle, but I find myself leaning towards the CertainTeed Landmark 30. I'm still debating about the possibility of upgrading to a 40 or 50 year shingle, simply because I know that my wife and I have no intention of ever moving out of this place. We're not believers in repeatedly trading up to more expensive homes, so if the higher end shingles do indeed provide longer service life, it may be a smart move to use them.

Since it came up, what about ridge vent? Our house has great soffit ventilation, but I must admit that the attic gets hot-hot-hot! There are eight or nine can vents and two gable vents up there now, and I suspect there may be room for improvement.

As for photos, I have a few that my preferred roofer took for me when he was up there. He actually took them for me to use as ammo when going after the seller for breach of contract. I'll post a few of them here to give you an idea of what I'm dealing with.

FYI, this is a second layer of cheapo shingles installed around '99-'00. Maybe one in ten is actually still stuck down, and the rest would be flapping in the breeze if the house were not so well shielded by the tall trees surrounding it.

KAdams4458 11-23-2008 02:52 PM

6 Attachment(s)
More photos...

KAdams4458 11-23-2008 02:54 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Last few...

OldNBroken 11-23-2008 04:06 PM

747, don't know what's wrong with the plants back east but here in the northwest Elk has always been a very popular and quality shingle. It's exactly opposite here. Certainteed is not very popular compared to Elk. I've got plenty of roofs I've put on 20 plus years ago and still see them today. All Elk and all still in excellent shape. Not saying certainteed isn't a quality product, just that different geographic areas use different product.

KAdams, sounds like you found your contractor. I am amazed that some of them told you the shiplap was no good for a deck. Yes, steer very clear of anyone feeding you lines like that.

Best of luck.

Ed the Roofer 11-23-2008 04:16 PM

Definitely get rid of the slant back mushroom vents and have the contractor fill in those holes with equal sized deck sheathing.

Then, install the Shingle Vent II continuous Ridge Vent and you will see a dramatic decrease in the attic temperature, plus the shingles will not leach out the asphalt prematurely again.

Have all flashings and counter-flashings re-done completely.

If done properly with regards to the ventilation, a 30 year architectural should last as long as stated.

There is a reduced life cycle cost when installing the 50 year versions, based on them actually performing cose to the stated 50 year time frame, but only time will tell.

Ed

Ed the Roofer 11-23-2008 04:19 PM

One more thing.

I absolutely dread it when a home owner states that they know they have enough Intake Ventilation.

Most Roofing Contractors, and I mean over 95 % of them, do not know what is the proper amount.

The only way to tell for sure, is to calculate the total NFVA for all vent products installed and see if they equal or slightly exceed the NFVA of the Exhaust Ventilation proposed to be installed.

Ed


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