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Old 09-28-2007, 09:03 AM   #1
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First new roof ... totally confused


This is my first time ever having to replace a roof and I have to admit I am thuroughly confused. First, the house is 9 years old and has el cheapo 3-tab shingles. The shingles are starting to curl at ends, which is what prompted me to start looking around at roofing contractors. My home is a 1500 sq. ft. ranch with an attached 2.5 car garage.

Now, the confusing part. The first contractor that came out (popular roofing company in the area .. lots of yard signs for roofs they have done) said that the roof needed replaced for sure, suggested GAF Timberline 30 and said would do tear off, new felt and GAF leak barrier and shingle house, garage and small shed for $4,700.

The second contractor came out and said I can replace this roof for aesthetics, but I bet that this thing will last you 2 - 4 more years without leaking. If I wanted to do it anyway, he uses Elk Prestique and wanted $6300 for just the house and garage.

A third contractor came out, went up in the attic (the others did not) and said that I needed to replace the roof. He wants to add 10 bird-proof vents in addition to the soffits and ridge vent and also wants $9,000 for the house and garage using Timberline 30s. He says the extra vents are needed because when they built the house they used a ton of insulation in the ceiling (which is true) and that they are needed to get out the extra heat.

I am just confused because these are three wildly different opinions on what is needed and are also a huge swing in price. None of these contractors have negative comments with the BBB and all are respected in the area.

How do I go about figuring out who is right? I do have 2 more contractors coming out to look at it too.

Thanks in advance for any help!!


Last edited by adawg; 09-28-2007 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:24 PM   #2
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First new roof ... totally confused


Are these all tear-off quotes?

can you post a photo of the current roof?

can you post a photo of the insulation conditon?

what part of the country?

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Old 09-28-2007, 12:52 PM   #3
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First new roof ... totally confused


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Originally Posted by redline View Post
Are these all tear-off quotes?

can you post a photo of the current roof?

can you post a photo of the insulation conditon?

what part of the country?
All very good questions that I should have included in my post.

I can get pics this weekend of the roof. It isn't terrible, but you'll see the curling.

All these quotes include tear off, 15# felt, weather barrier. There is 1 skylight to roof around.

I live in Michigan.
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:47 PM   #4
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First new roof ... totally confused


How large is your house? How many square? How many layers?

Going to the attic to check for leaks is the best way to determine if a roof needs replaced. Timberline are good shingles and 30 yrs are more than adequate. I would make sure the cost not only includes tear off, felt and new shingles, but also possible repair on sheathing and new drip edge and gutter apron as well as vents. These are all things we did on every roof unless the HO insisted that we not do them.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:24 PM   #5
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First new roof ... totally confused


Most shingles have greater than 9 years on their warranty. Can you check to see if your roof is still under warranty?

More insulation in the ceiling does not create more heat and require additional vents but it could block the existing soffit vents.

If your current soffit vents are blocked by the insulation then you need them unblocked and there are various spacing devices available that can be inserted to keep the soffit vent air flow path open. I wouldn't add more vents somewhere else to try to compensate for blocked soffit vents - you want the natural low to high draft that results from the soffit/ridge vent combination.

Did any of them tell you how many sq ft of soffit vent and ridge vent you currently have and how many are recomended?

I don't think you got widely varying recomendations. All agreed you needed a new roof (no surprise since they install them); one mentioned it might last 2-4 years before it leaked which to me is the same thing as saying you need a new roof.

The only variation was in venting recomendation. Unfortunately, many roofers tend to automatically go with the amount of venting that is already there instead of calculating whether it is sufficient. The one recomended improving the venting and the curled shingles at 9 years might very well indicate this to be true. Did he indicate whether the soffit venting was blocked and did he recoment the additional vents because he felt that the soffit vent path couldn't be opened back up?

Don't let the price variation confuse you. Some people simply charge more than others depending on their business skills, overhead and hunger level. But do make sure you know exactly what is covered in the contract and check out their work quality by looking at other jobs they have done and talking to those homeowners.

Don't hire the cheapest because he is cheapest. Do hire him if you've checked out his work and it is as good as or better than the rest. Don't hire the most expensive thinking that will get you a better roof unless you've actually verified that to be true.

Ask the next contractors detailed questions about how they determined how much venting is needed, what they think caused the roof failure and how they determined whether the soffit vents were working or blocked.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:51 PM   #6
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First new roof ... totally confused


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Originally Posted by cibula11 View Post
How large is your house? How many square? How many layers?

Going to the attic to check for leaks is the best way to determine if a roof needs replaced. Timberline are good shingles and 30 yrs are more than adequate. I would make sure the cost not only includes tear off, felt and new shingles, but also possible repair on sheathing and new drip edge and gutter apron as well as vents. These are all things we did on every roof unless the HO insisted that we not do them.
The house was built in 1998, so the roof is 9 years old. It is 1500 sq. feet (ranch) and also includes a 2 1/2 car garage. Only a single layer. I am sorry, I didn't know what all to include in the info, all quotes included tear off and removal, new weather barrier, aluminum drip edge, 15# felt and shingles. They all layed out costs for replacement wood that was within the ballpark of eachother. None mentioned anything about a gutter apron, and only the one place mentioned any venting other than the ridge.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:56 PM   #7
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First new roof ... totally confused


Quote:
Originally Posted by jogr View Post
Most shingles have greater than 9 years on their warranty. Can you check to see if your roof is still under warranty?

More insulation in the ceiling does not create more heat and require additional vents but it could block the existing soffit vents.

If your current soffit vents are blocked by the insulation then you need them unblocked and there are various spacing devices available that can be inserted to keep the soffit vent air flow path open. I wouldn't add more vents somewhere else to try to compensate for blocked soffit vents - you want the natural low to high draft that results from the soffit/ridge vent combination.

Did any of them tell you how many sq ft of soffit vent and ridge vent you currently have and how many are recomended?

I don't think you got widely varying recomendations. All agreed you needed a new roof (no surprise since they install them); one mentioned it might last 2-4 years before it leaked which to me is the same thing as saying you need a new roof.
From what the house inspector said when we bought this place and the roofing fella that went into the attic, the blown in insulation has baffles and those did a great job keeping the insulation out of the soffits, so they are clear. Nobody has told us how much sq. ft. of venting we have. They have taken measurements, asked a couple questions and handed me an estimate.

I think you hit the nail on the head for my confusion...the prices are all over the board. Using the same materials I have estimates of $4600 and $8000. From what I have been told, both companies are well regarded, so it makes me wonder what the difference is (do they pay more for better skilled labor, etc.)?

I really welcome all the questions and advice I have received so far. Keep it comming!!
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:40 PM   #8
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First new roof ... totally confused


As asked for above, I took some pics today...I'll try to explain what each one is:

Basic shot of the roofline


A shot of the curling shingles



Soffit Venting


Attic insulation/Baffles
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:52 PM   #9
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First new roof ... totally confused


1st off, only 25 % of your soffit panels are vented to begin with. That blown in wool like insulation has probably clogged up the intake perforations in the ones that you do have.

Here is an excerpt for an article I wrote earlier this year. If you find this partially informative, I will add the link to the blog for the full version with the live hyper-links included, so that you can check out the sources from the horses mouth, so to speak.

P.S.
You should consider switching to a 100 % intake ventilation system, such as the Smart Vent from DCI Products. There are many threads and individual posts about it here in this roofing forum if you search for information and links about it.

Ed

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!


http://www.bobandrodman.com/roofing.html

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.

another:
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.

another:
IS VENTILATION REALLY THAT IMPORTANT?

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.

another:
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.

another:
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.

Respectfully,

Ed (Aka, Ed the Roofer)

Last edited by Ed the Roofer; 09-30-2007 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:54 PM   #10
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First new roof ... totally confused


Also, where in Michigan are you located. I know about a half dozen real good contractors from that state. If you want, e-mail me your information and I wll have some of them contact you.

Here is the link to the entire blog:
http://rightwayroofing.wordpress.com/


Ed

Last edited by Ed the Roofer; 10-07-2007 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:54 PM   #11
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First new roof ... totally confused


Thanks for the response Ed. Planning to read the full article tonight. In the meantime, I sent you an email. Now that I think about it, I didn't explain that the message concerned this post. Ooops, been a long day keeping a sick 18 month old happy

Thanks again.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:17 PM   #12
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First new roof ... totally confused


I live in the Pacific Northwest. I recently had my roof replaced. My home is 1,350 sq. ft with a single car garage. It took approximately 25 square of roofing. They removed one layer of roofing and hauled it to the dump, replaced all of the roof vents, flashing, ice fabric and repaired the sheathing in three places. The sheathing was old and the glue simply broke down. They used Owens Corning, Oakridge, Pro30 shingles. These are of the architectural variety. It took a crew of four 1-1/2 days. The total cost was $4,950. I had bids up to $6,300. The job is superb.

I have done allot of roofing myself. So, I know what should be done. Age makes you do things differently.

My suggestion is get a list of customers of each of the contractors. Some who recently had the roof done and some that go back several years. At least, do a drive-by of the majority. You should also talk to several of them. If the contractor has a problem with you talking to them on your own, have him go with you. This is not my preference, but if that is the best you can do, take it. This is the best way to find a good contractor, IMHO. You also want to assure that he has insurance and is bonded.

A friend told me about the contractor that I used. He had done his due diligence and I trusted his judgment. He was correct.

From looking at your roof, I have to say that the shingles don't look that bad. Of course, I can't tell how much sand (grit) is remaining. Your main problem is the possibility of wind damage. When the shingles begin to curl as yours are doing, it leaves room for the wind to get under and tear them off of the house. The curling in many cases is caused by the fact that they never did seal correctly in the beginning. They should be installed when the weather is hot enough to seal them within the first few days. In my case, the first shingles installed were beginning to seal before the job was complete. The temps were in the high 90's. Bad ventilation is the main cause of curling, however.

I hope this helps. I know how frustrating it is to find a good contractor. I am impressed by the information provided by Ed. He sounds like the type of contractor that I used. He was extremely detail oriented.

Good luck!
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Old 09-29-2007, 11:14 PM   #13
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First new roof ... totally confused


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Originally Posted by adawg View Post
Thanks for the response Ed. Planning to read the full article tonight. In the meantime, I sent you an email. Now that I think about it, I didn't explain that the message concerned this post. Ooops, been a long day keeping a sick 18 month old happy

Thanks again.

I realized who it was from.

I sent out a message to the Michigan roofers I am in contact with and will see if anyone is located nearby.

Ed
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Old 09-30-2007, 12:19 PM   #14
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First new roof ... totally confused


I've seen old roofs curl under and lift, as they reached the end of their life, never saw one lift up at the edges. Maybe the roofers can chime in and give their take on the cause. If the shingles were defective, then you can just reroof. But if the cause was poor ventilation that caused major heat buildup or something else, you need to address the cause or the next roof will also fail prematurely.
Ron
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Old 09-30-2007, 04:14 PM   #15
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First new roof ... totally confused


From the photos attached, I am suspecting inadequate intake ventilation and also possibly clogged ventilation perforations on the aluminum soffit panels.

Intake ventilation is the more important factor in the balanced ventilation equation. This is where almost every roofing contractor and homeowner err in installing the new roof. They do not view the entire roofing system and all of its necessary components, therefore shortchanging the life cycle of the new roofing products installed.

Why does this occur?
Because most contractors and homeowners are too concerned about the "Bid" price rather than the life of the installation.

Ed

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