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elementx440 05-07-2007 08:59 PM

I'm getting a new roof
So I have some estimates coming in to redo my roof. There's a younger guy coming out tomorrow, says his company is an off-shoot of his dad's general construction company.

I'm just wondering how most roofers work with payment and such. Do they requrire half payment to start? Material costs to start?

What do you recommend I get written up in the contract as far as quality of the job and guarantee?

I plan to use the heavier roll out roofing, and a 30-year "architerctural" shingle.

AaronB 05-07-2007 09:37 PM

Uh Oh!

Ed the Roofer 05-07-2007 09:39 PM

Check references and then ask the previous homeowners how everything went.

If you fail to do that, you only have yourself to blame.

Check out references from 10 years ago, 5 years ago, last year, and current jobs.

Who will be providing the most detail in their proposal will also probably be the one who will put the most detail in there job sites.

Do thet use their own in-house trained employees, or do they farm out the job to an unknown subcontracting company that you never met when you thought you were hiring company A.

Over 90 % of all residential shingle roofs are installed incorrectly according to the major manufacturers own research studies. Therefor, only a little less than 10 % even qualify for the long term peace of mind warranty you expect.

Questions to ask:

1)Reliability: Over 85 % of ALL contractors are out of business or have changed names within the 1st 5 years and out of the 15 % who remain, 85 % of them are out within the next 5 years according to the Department Of Labor statistics.

2) Interview: Meet with each of them and go over all of the WRITTEN details. If it is not in writing, it is not part of the agreement.

3) Beware of any contractor who does not get the permit for the job and wants you to get it. The person getting the permit is the party responsible for following the building codes.

4) An actual address and phone #. Not a pick up truck and a cell phone. How can you find them if anything goes wrong?

5) An actual copy of their License, Insurance, and Roofing Bond, if required in your state.

6) A detailed well defined scope of work, and not a one page generalization of things.

7) I already discussed employees vs sub-contractors. Why? Because something always gets overlooked when passing the buck through multiple chains of command. It does not matter that they will put up a dozen immigrants to make sure the job is done in one day, but it does matter that the job is done correctly by trained and skilled and hopefully certified roofing mechanics. Why? Because most roofs fail within 12-15 years. They are supposed to last up to 30 years and longer if done the Right Way, which is by following the manufacturers specifications.

8) Do they belong to and/or participate in any contractors associations where they continually strive to broaden their understanding of current technologies and implementation methods?

9) Walk away if something they are feeding you sounds like a bunch of Bull. You only have one chance to do it Right the 1st Time. Anything after that point is just a repair.

10) References. They are the most critical of all aspects to appreciate to differentiate the various contractors.

Find the contractor you know will fulfill all of the job scope requirements and pay them what they deserve. A 20 % to 30 % difference in price is common, and so too is poor craftsmanship and minimal specifications using the non-name brands with proven quality and a track record of long term duration.


elementx440 05-07-2007 10:14 PM

thanks ed, very good info.

AaronB 05-09-2007 04:16 AM


Originally Posted by elementx440 (Post 44067)
So I have some estimates coming in to redo my roof. There's a younger guy coming out tomorrow, says his company is an off-shoot of his dad's general construction company.

Is he even insured with workers comp and general liability??

AtlanticWBConst. 05-09-2007 09:24 AM


Originally Posted by AaronB (Post 44296)
Is he even insured with workers comp and general liability??

Good point.

Is a permit required in your area for this work? Who will obtain it and pay for it?
What will be done with the roofing debris? What kind of clean up will they do (lawn, etc.)
What is the pricing policy for replacing damaged sheathing?
Will they install a ridge vent if there is none there already?
What is their installation policy for water and ice shield membrane, drip caps, chimney fashing?
What kind of workmanship warranty do they include?

Brik 05-09-2007 10:39 AM

Yea, and payment. Read the other threads about this. You deposit , if required, should only cover materials, and only when they are delivered. A good schedule may be 30-50% of the balance after tear-off and remainder upon finish and clean-up. If no tear-off then go by percent complete, in other words if they finish half, pay half then remainder after final cleanup.

Best bet would be to just pay in full when done. Many will not take the job though. Also, provide beverages to the workers and be nice. You will get a better job.

Ed the Roofer 05-09-2007 11:05 AM

A reasonable payment schedule would be anything from 10 % to 33 % deposit, then up to 66 % to 90 % through progress phases and no more than10 % being held for the actual end of the job after substantial completion to ensure any punch list items are taken care of and that everything passes the code inspection.


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