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Old 12-28-2011, 10:06 PM   #1
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Help save my sanity and wallet (aka need new roof)


Folks, I need some advice that Im on the right path...
We just moved into a house we bought in northern Virginia (DC area) and not long after I noticed leaks in two different places. Lets leave the inspection and all that out of it for now - bottom line Im screwed and need to replace the roof. I had a few guys out to look at it and listened to what they had to say and determined new roof would be a better option. Seems that part of the roof did not have proper ventilation and the plywood is causing the shingles to lift up. This led to leak #1. On an addition to the house the pitch of the roof was not ideal for the small aluminum ridge vent and the wind drives rain into the vent.

So about 10 calls for quotes led to 2 written quotes and one verbal. Lowest to highest is about 6k different! I am trying to cut through the "this product is the best and will last longer than the planet" type of talk. From a lot of reading (mostly on this forum) it seems everyone has their opinion of the best. My opinion on this is that it is like buying a car - sure I would like to own a BMW, but the reality is I drive an Acura and Subaru. Both great cars that I can depend on and get me from A to B.
I dont need the best most wonderful roof out there. Instead I need a roof that will keep us dry and last a reasonable long time (as long as roofs are supposed to last).

So after all the rambling (thanks for reading this far!), I guess I have a few specific questions:
1)Should I keep shopping? How do I find good roofers in my area?
2)The high quote used all GAF products and and carries a "gold" warranty. The low quote used Tamko shingles with mostly Certainteed rest of the stuff. Will I have warranty issues going with this mix n match approach? How does the industry work in regards warranties? In general I am sceptical if paying a premium for a warranty is worth it.
3)What underlayment is the rage right now? Deck armor, Certainteed Roofers select, other?
4)I need to replace most of the plywood. What should I go for? Expensive guy told me they dont use the cheap stuff but then on the quote it says CDX plywood (Google tells me this is the cheapest plywood).
5)Expensive quote tells me that in-house crew will do the work. In general I do not like the work contracted out. But again tell me what to expect or ask for in the roofing business.

This is my first roofing experience and I just dont want to be screwed over
Thanks!

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Old 12-28-2011, 10:30 PM   #2
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Help save my sanity and wallet (aka need new roof)


The most honest roofers I know don't guarantee their work for more than a year (four seasons).
The roofers I know of who gave "lifetime warranties" were not in business 3 years later when that warranty was needed.
CDX plywood is the best material for roof sheathing.
I wouldn't pay any extra for one brand over another, as long as both are 30-year, or whatever, shingles.
By underlayment, do you mean felt paper? That's all you need.
A roofing company is expected to use its own employees to do the work, otherwise they would not be roofers, but contractors.

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Old 12-28-2011, 11:59 PM   #3
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In your research you may have also seen us tell people that THE number one thing that is going to determine how good a roof you get is the person who is installing it.

The cheapest materials put on by a quality roofer (not the contractor, the actual person installing it) is 100 times better than the most expensive system put on by a hack.

Installation should be your main concern, materials your second. Unfortunately mfr warranties generally arent' worth the paper they are printed on and contractor guarantees after say five years max are a crapshoot. Once again, your best guarantee is a quality installation.

I would tell you to go with a 30yr laminate shingle, no upgrades. Ice/water at eaves and valley, 30# felt or a good synthetic comparably priced to 30#. Shinglevent II by airvent (critical) and whatever new edgemetal and flashings are required. Ask if they nail or staple the shingles, if they say staple look elsewhere.

As abracaboom said, cdx is the best sheeting to use.

Sounds like a stressful situation for you, best of luck.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:27 AM   #4
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Starting from the top of your post, plywood will not cause your shingles to lift. Neither will improper ventilation. Both of these, bad plywood and poor ventilation, will cause shingle damage and curling, but will not cause them to lift off the roof.
Second, are you having the ventilation problem addressed? Are you changing the insulation? You need to have ridge venting and soffit venting. Also, make sure there are baffles to ensure air flow from soffit to ridge.
On the subject of materials, make sure the company you hire understands your interest in their labor warranty and the manufacturers warranty. You can even call the manufacturer yourself, tell them the product your roofer will be using, and ask about the warranty and any reason the warranty would be voided,{not enough fasteners, wrong fasteners, improper placement of materials, etc.}
You should feel comfortable talking to your roofer. Did you talk to an owner, installer, or a salesman?
As said above, a professional installation is the key component. Ask all the questions you can and don't be afraid to call if you have new questions.
CDX plywood is a good choice for roof sheathing. CD is a rating for the surface. AC or BC has a finish where the voids are filled and sanded. These are finish grade and not necessary for your roof. X is for exterior use.
Last, is the 6k difference in price a large percentage of the total job? If it is 10% of the job I would go for it. If it is 75% of the job, I would talk to the guy again.
Good luck
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fstr View Post
So after all the rambling (thanks for reading this far!), I guess I have a few specific questions:
1)Should I keep shopping? How do I find good roofers in my area?

Word of mouth, referals of neighbors, work samples, etc.

2)The high quote used all GAF products and and carries a "gold" warranty. The low quote used Tamko shingles with mostly Certainteed rest of the stuff. Will I have warranty issues going with this mix n match approach? How does the industry work in regards warranties? In general I am sceptical if paying a premium for a warranty is worth it.

The reality of the situation is that a great shingle installed by a hack is not going to last as long as a less shingle installed properly. Also, make your mind up that your roof is not going to last 30 years and you will not be so disappointed in the future. Shingle warranties are basically worthless when it comes to their enforceablity for the long term. I would never look at an asphalt roof and expect (even with the supposed "lifetime" shingles) to get more than 20-25 years. Until such point that asphalt shingles can show that they live that long, facts are not really supportive of any other conclusion.
3)What underlayment is the rage right now? Deck armor, Certainteed Roofers select, other?

We use a synthetic. Deck armor is nice stuff in theory but their "breathable" aspect is worthless in this application.

4)I need to replace most of the plywood. What should I go for? Expensive guy told me they dont use the cheap stuff but then on the quote it says CDX plywood (Google tells me this is the cheapest plywood).

4 ply plywood is what we use in comparison to OSB.

5)Expensive quote tells me that in-house crew will do the work. In general I do not like the work contracted out. But again tell me what to expect or ask for in the roofing business.

Nothing wrong with contracted work vs. employee work. Most of the best guys I know are in business are in business for themselves.

This is my first roofing experience and I just dont want to be screwed over
Thanks!
You need to educate yourself on what is out there and what is proper in this application. Unfortunately...opinions are like you know what and everybody has one. If you ask 10 roofers the same question, you will get 10 answers and 9 of them will probably be incorrect.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:52 AM   #6
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If you ask 10 roofers the same question, you will get 10 answers and 9 of them will probably be incorrect.

And how many here are roofers? Not many, and it's obvious with some of the answers I see here.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by packer_rich View Post
Starting from the top of your post, plywood will not cause your shingles to lift. Neither will improper ventilation. Both of these, bad plywood and poor ventilation, will cause shingle damage and curling, but will not cause them to lift off the roof.
Plywood separating will most definitely cause the shingles to lift.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by OldNBroken View Post
In your research you may have also seen us tell people that THE number one thing that is going to determine how good a roof you get is the person who is installing it.

The cheapest materials put on by a quality roofer (not the contractor, the actual person installing it) is 100 times better than the most expensive system put on by a hack.

Installation should be your main concern, materials your second. Unfortunately mfr warranties generally arent' worth the paper they are printed on and contractor guarantees after say five years max are a crapshoot. Once again, your best guarantee is a quality installation.

I would tell you to go with a 30yr laminate shingle, no upgrades. Ice/water at eaves and valley, 30# felt or a good synthetic comparably priced to 30#. Shinglevent II by airvent (critical) and whatever new edgemetal and flashings are required. Ask if they nail or staple the shingles, if they say staple look elsewhere.

As abracaboom said, cdx is the best sheeting to use.

Sounds like a stressful situation for you, best of luck.

Agree on most of this.

CDX may or may not be the best for your roof. Is it worth it IMO, absolutely not.

30 lb. or synthetic is great. Is it worth it IMO, no. Roofers select or shingle mate is just as good or better than 30 lb or synthetics.

Not sure if staples are legal any more, but we used to use them and never had a problem. Again, the install is most important.

Lastly, I wouldn't use timberlines or tamko's. Landmarks are MUCH better. Just take a look at the shingles side by side, then take the layers apart. It will be obvious what is the better shingle.

Most that use timberlines, iko's, OC's, or tamko's are doing it to save a few bucks on materials. JMO
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by abracaboom View Post
A roofing company is expected to use its own employees to do the work, otherwise they would not be roofers, but contractors.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:17 PM   #10
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When seeking advice on the internet for re-roofing your home you need to keep regional differences in mind.
1. Cost of Living.
2. Insurance rates.
3. Weather conditions.
4. Material access.
5. City/County/State rules & regulations.

The roofing system I install on a home in Youngstown, Ohio may or may not be sufficient for a home in Princeton, Minnesota and vice versa.

So just because a contractor in Chicago, Illinois says this material/procedure will work in his/her area, doe's not mean it will work in your area.

The same goes for pricing of work.
In a low cost of living area you might expect to pay $9,000.00 to replace your roof,
when in a higher cost of living area you might expect to pay $11,000.00.

In a region prone for storm damage (coastal, tornado alley, snow country, extreme heat, etc.) you will need your roofer to take additional precautions that roofers in other regions would not need to take.

As in all situations in life, ask a lot of questions when seeking advice and apply common sense and regional considerations before making your final decision.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:18 PM   #11
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Find the locale roofer/contractor that you feel you can trust and let him/her help you decide which roof best fits your needs.

Plus keep in mind that most of the responses you receive on this forum are only partially factual, the other parts are personal opinion and regional experience.
No roofer/contractor can advise you better than the one/s working in your immediate area.
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Last edited by Slyfox; 12-29-2011 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:08 PM   #12
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Agree on most of this.

CDX may or may not be the best for your roof. Is it worth it IMO, absolutely not.

30 lb. or synthetic is great. Is it worth it IMO, no. Roofers select or shingle mate is just as good or better than 30 lb or synthetics.

Not sure if staples are legal any more, but we used to use them and never had a problem. Again, the install is most important.

Lastly, I wouldn't use timberlines or tamko's. Landmarks are MUCH better. Just take a look at the shingles side by side, then take the layers apart. It will be obvious what is the better shingle.

Most that use timberlines, iko's, OC's, or tamko's are doing it to save a few bucks on materials. JMO
MJW, They were looking for the least expensive material to get a proper roof installed. If I were to use the materials I listed I am confident they would get a very nice, trouble-free roof for years to come. Of course there are "better" products out there but they also add to the cost of the roof.
As far as shingle brand, how many times is that dead horse gonna get beaten? I've used every brand you listed over time and personally have never had a problem with any...even OC. As the wise Fox mentioned, everything here depends on the region and the installer.
For sheeting if its a re-sheet OSB is fine, if they are replacing I prefer cdx

And what was that crack about no roofers here? Geez

Last edited by OldNBroken; 12-29-2011 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:00 PM   #13
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And what was that crack about no roofers here? Geez.

He meant not everyone posting in this roofing forum is an experienced roofer,
which is a comment I personally agree with.
Only an experienced/aged roofer would have a nick name like OldNBroken .
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:19 PM   #14
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Of course there are "better" products out there but they also add to the cost of the roof.

I really don't find that to be true.

We will always install what the customer wants, within reason. It is in our best interest to install what we feel is the best product at the best price, even if it gouges the company a little. Installing a good product for a comparable price to the competitor using cheaper materials will come back to our company ten fold.

Not sure if you have any experience with some of the shingles in the last year or so. Some of the brands have "cheapened" their product extensively.


I'll agree 100% with Sly about the regional thing. If you have a good contractor you shouldn't have to worry a whole lot, and definitely wouldn't be asking about it on a DIY site.
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:52 PM   #15
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And how many here are roofers? Not many, and it's obvious with some of the answers I see here.
I think some took offense to my statement about opinions. As a point of clarification, I was referring to any tradesman in general and not about any of the posters in this board. You can ask 10 different window installers a question and get 10 different answers. About 8.5 of them will be incorrect.

I think very highly of people that volunteer their time to help folks out with projects.

I prefer the synthetic underlayment largely from the standpoint that it safer to walk for my guys as well as more resistant to wind lift and tear off. I have had some thunderclappers roll in before and it is nice to know that the roof is dried in once the underlayment is down vs. not being super trusting of felt. They both serve the same purpose but it is cheap insurance for me.

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