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Old 04-20-2014, 02:17 PM   #1
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Roofing Question Recommendations


I've read many of the posts here and from a roofing contractor's standpoint, there are some things I must advise to homeowners and/or members who ask questions directed towards roofing professionals to who visit this site.

1. Check local building codes prior to asking questions. Keep in mind that building codes vary from province to province, state to state, and region to region. Even different municipalities within the same regional district will have different building codes. When I build a roof in Winnipeg, it is much different from a roof I build in Vancouver, etc. While manufacturers have their specifics on how to properly install their products, the bottom line is that products must be installed to local code as a bare minimum. Keep this in mind when professionals answer your questions on this forum.

2. Take pictures and post them with your question. It's difficult to describe what you're talking about without pictures, and also remember that different roofing contractors use different terminology when describing the same thing. What one roofing contractor can call a "wash" can be also described as a "water channel" by another. Help us help you!

3. Most roofing repairs and procedures are best left to professionals to begin with. While we can describe a procedure to help you save money by doing it yourself, it's generally best left to someone who does this for a living. There is a reason why most local hardware stores don't offer roofing classes. Many renovation and hardware stores will provide free classes on basic electrical, plumbing, tile setting, flooring etc. but rarely, if ever on roofing. Roofing is a trade that takes years of experience and constant training to be at a top tier of the trade.

So please keep this recommendations in consideration when asking us your questions and we'll be happy to help!

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Old 04-21-2014, 11:45 AM   #2
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3. Most roofing repairs and procedures are best left to professionals to begin with. While we can describe a procedure to help you save money by doing it yourself, it's generally best left to someone who does this for a living. There is a reason why most local hardware stores don't offer roofing classes. Many renovation and hardware stores will provide free classes on basic electrical, plumbing, tile setting, flooring etc. but rarely, if ever on roofing. Roofing is a trade that takes years of experience and constant training to be at a top tier of the trade.
I can't begin to explain how much I agree with this tip. It takes years to become a good roofer, and even after 10 plus years very few can say they know a lot about the roofing industry. They may say it but they don't.

Never mind all of that but the fact is it's plain dangerous. People complain all the time how expensive roofing is. You are right it is, we pay out of our nose for material and insurance, yet get treated like scum and our pay scale is less then stellar. People put in 10's of 100's of dollars in to remodels and the such, but go find joe billy bob to throw some shingles up there for 2-3000. It's just a roof right.

While we are often helpful with your projects, it always comes with a bit of apprehension. We don't want to see you get hurt trying to replace your soil stack flashing, or whatever the project at hand is.



I'd also like to add a #4. Fact check what we told you. While everyone may have a slightly different way of doing a particular task, they all have the same basic principals. But, there has been some people "who know it all" give some really crappy advise. Every manufactures products I've used everything from shingles, the various flat/low sloped materials, metal, coatings ect. All of them have detailed instructions. A majority of them are on the internet.


Oh while I'm at it #5. Be polite, if we offer advice there is such a thing of just ignoring it if it's not what you want to hear. Or if someone gives you suggestions oh how to find a leak and it doesn't turn out to work, at least they tried. It's can sometimes be nearly impossible to find a leak out in the field let alone 1000's of miles away from a picture that was taken at the wrong time of day and to far back or too close.

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Old 04-22-2014, 12:20 AM   #3
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I can't begin to explain how much I agree with this tip. It takes years to become a good roofer, and even after 10 plus years very few can say they know a lot about the roofing industry. They may say it but they don't.

Never mind all of that but the fact is it's plain dangerous. People complain all the time how expensive roofing is. You are right it is, we pay out of our nose for material and insurance, yet get treated like scum and our pay scale is less then stellar. People put in 10's of 100's of dollars in to remodels and the such, but go find joe billy bob to throw some shingles up there for 2-3000. It's just a roof right.

While we are often helpful with your projects, it always comes with a bit of apprehension. We don't want to see you get hurt trying to replace your soil stack flashing, or whatever the project at hand is.



I'd also like to add a #4. Fact check what we told you. While everyone may have a slightly different way of doing a particular task, they all have the same basic principals. But, there has been some people "who know it all" give some really crappy advise. Every manufactures products I've used everything from shingles, the various flat/low sloped materials, metal, coatings ect. All of them have detailed instructions. A majority of them are on the internet.


Oh while I'm at it #5. Be polite, if we offer advice there is such a thing of just ignoring it if it's not what you want to hear. Or if someone gives you suggestions oh how to find a leak and it doesn't turn out to work, at least they tried. It's can sometimes be nearly impossible to find a leak out in the field let alone 1000's of miles away from a picture that was taken at the wrong time of day and to far back or too close.
You hit that hard nail flush with the shingle brother! I agree. The costs of doing business has risen and low ballers have been underbidding me for since the economy tanked. I employ some of the best professionals in the industry and pay them far higher than the industry standard and provide them with far better work benefits than my competitors just to keep them with me, so in the end when you consider how much time I put in I'm not making much more than my foreman. I rarely do torch-on anymore because fire insurance is through the roof. I'm competing with contractors who aren't ticketed, accredited, insured or licensed and almost all of them lack the experience to even be offering roofing services to the general public. It pisses me off when I get a call and they ask for a free estimate or how cheap I can go when I see a $50,000 car in their driveway and their roof looks shot to hell. Homeowners are willing to spend a tonne of money on bathroom renovations, car payments and vacations but they look at the cheapest, crappiest roof they can put on. The consumers don't understand that we are literally risking our lives to earn every dollar we make and yet the cost of business is getting higher while the profit margins are getting smaller. I left the automotive industry because tool costs were getting higher and flat rate pay sucked with the more complicated cars coming out. Now it's the same thing all over again in roofing.

All that aside, I'm here to offer assistance to anyone but please consider steps #1 - #5!
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:16 AM   #4
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Having done the roof on my house myself......

My take....it's not hard work....it's not technically difficult work.....

But when one looks at the money saved vs DIY.....I will NEVER do another roof.

For the most part, it's grunt work. Any money I saved was spent of beer....you know the routine....nail a few rows....have a beer and admire your work....do a few more rows.....have another beer....

I think the price difference between doing it myself vs a contractor....maybe $1000......

When I was ready for the roof to my addition...it was a no brainer....guys were done in 2 days.....did a great job.....it was so nice just sitting there drinking a beer and watching them do the work....while it started to rain.....talk about timing....
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:58 AM   #5
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Having done the roof on my house myself......

My take....it's not hard work....it's not technically difficult work.....

But when one looks at the money saved vs DIY.....I will NEVER do another roof.

For the most part, it's grunt work. Any money I saved was spent of beer....you know the routine....nail a few rows....have a beer and admire your work....do a few more rows.....have another beer....

I think the price difference between doing it myself vs a contractor....maybe $1000......

When I was ready for the roof to my addition...it was a no brainer....guys were done in 2 days.....did a great job.....it was so nice just sitting there drinking a beer and watching them do the work....while it started to rain.....talk about timing....
If you're able to save money rather than hiring a contractor, by all means. I work on my vehicles and save tonnes of money rather than spending money at a dealership or independent shop. I also do whatever construction work I can rather than hiring other contractors. However, certain things have to be left to professionals. If you have an easy roof and really know how to install a roof well, then by all means. However, when it comes to more complicated roofs with intricate detail work it's better to take out a loan and hire the best contractor.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:03 AM   #6
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If you're able to save money rather than hiring a contractor, by all means. I work on my vehicles and save tonnes of money rather than spending money at a dealership or independent shop. I also do whatever construction work I can rather than hiring other contractors. However, certain things have to be left to professionals. If you have an easy roof and really know how to install a roof well, then by all means. However, when it comes to more complicated roofs with intricate detail work it's better to take out a loan and hire the best contractor.
One has to factor in what their time is worth. In my case....it's 'cheaper' to hire out. I pick and choose my battles.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
Having done the roof on my house myself......

My take....it's not hard work....it's not technically difficult work.....

But when one looks at the money saved vs DIY.....I will NEVER do another roof.

For the most part, it's grunt work. Any money I saved was spent of beer....you know the routine....nail a few rows....have a beer and admire your work....do a few more rows.....have another beer....
Come tear off a 3 layer BUR 100' in the air with a 12" parapet wall around you for 12-16 hour days and then tell me how hard the work isn't.

Or come with me for a day and replace a built in gutter with copper working around dormers and the like and stand in a man lift for 12+ hours, then tell me how it isn't technically challenging.

While a up and over single layer tear off isn't incredibly hard, or technically difficult, it makes up for about 1% of the knowledge you need to be a actual roofer. Sure it's not hard work when you can space out a 12 sq roof in to a long weekend and 3 cases of beer. But do it day after day doesn't matter commercial, or residential you will come up to a different issue each day that you need to have the know how to work around it. I don't care to have my crew leaders call me every hour because there is a corner detail they can't figure out. I'd rather have them call me but every roofer needs to have problem solving skills, some just don't.

FYI not all roofers are drunks and drug addicts. In fact now a fair amount including us have drug testing.


Now if you only "saved" $1,000 between doing it your self and hiring someone, that someone was entirely too cheap.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:06 PM   #8
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+1 although I think ddawg was definitely referring to a pretty simple shingle application and he would be the first to tell you that.

Given the pitch, fall, and other concerns, roofing is best left to the pros.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:48 PM   #9
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+1 although I think ddawg was definitely referring to a pretty simple shingle application and he would be the first to tell you that.

Given the pitch, fall, and other concerns, roofing is best left to the pros.
I was.....

Quote:
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Come tear off a 3 layer BUR 100' in the air with a 12" parapet wall around you for 12-16 hour days and then tell me how hard the work isn't.

Or come with me for a day and replace a built in gutter with copper working around dormers and the like and stand in a man lift for 12+ hours, then tell me how it isn't technically challenging.

While a up and over single layer tear off isn't incredibly hard, or technically difficult, it makes up for about 1% of the knowledge you need to be a actual roofer. Sure it's not hard work when you can space out a 12 sq roof in to a long weekend and 3 cases of beer. But do it day after day doesn't matter commercial, or residential you will come up to a different issue each day that you need to have the know how to work around it. I don't care to have my crew leaders call me every hour because there is a corner detail they can't figure out. I'd rather have them call me but every roofer needs to have problem solving skills, some just don't.

FYI not all roofers are drunks and drug addicts. In fact now a fair amount including us have drug testing.


Now if you only "saved" $1,000 between doing it your self and hiring someone, that someone was entirely too cheap.
Well....I did rip off 3 layers on my house back in 05.....replaced all the Fascia...and about 2 rows of the eaves.....not difficult....just pure grunt work....

Though I'm at a loss as to where you got the "drunks and drug addicts" from.....I was making a joke about 'me' drinking a beer between each few rows. I don't like heights....last thing I'm going to do is have any alcohol in my while climbing around on the roof.....about par to drinking and driving....
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:40 PM   #10
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Come tear off a 3 layer BUR 100' in the air with a 12" parapet wall around you for 12-16 hour days and then tell me how hard the work isn't.

Or come with me for a day and replace a built in gutter with copper working around dormers and the like and stand in a man lift for 12+ hours, then tell me how it isn't technically challenging.

While a up and over single layer tear off isn't incredibly hard, or technically difficult, it makes up for about 1% of the knowledge you need to be a actual roofer. Sure it's not hard work when you can space out a 12 sq roof in to a long weekend and 3 cases of beer. But do it day after day doesn't matter commercial, or residential you will come up to a different issue each day that you need to have the know how to work around it. I don't care to have my crew leaders call me every hour because there is a corner detail they can't figure out. I'd rather have them call me but every roofer needs to have problem solving skills, some just don't.

FYI not all roofers are drunks and drug addicts. In fact now a fair amount including us have drug testing.


Now if you only "saved" $1,000 between doing it your self and hiring someone, that someone was entirely too cheap.
Funny you mention, I'm working on a BUR at the moment. Tearing off is a pain in the arse as this is a 40 year old commercial building that has seen numerous renos in the past. We're going down to the structure and installing 5/8-inch tongue and groove plywood followed by 1-inch thick iso. To top it off we're running 90mil TPO.

Most roofing contractors here in Canada do not enforce mandatory drug screening. I'm actually one of the few that do. Unfortunately there is a plague in the roofing trades. This plague consists of lowballers, liars, thieves and those who generally lack positive human morals. That's on top of those who don't know what they're doing. The best roofing contractors cost as much as an internal organ. But we stand behind our work and our work speaks for itself and sells itself.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:43 PM   #11
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I was.....



Well....I did rip off 3 layers on my house back in 05.....replaced all the Fascia...and about 2 rows of the eaves.....not difficult....just pure grunt work....

Though I'm at a loss as to where you got the "drunks and drug addicts" from.....I was making a joke about 'me' drinking a beer between each few rows. I don't like heights....last thing I'm going to do is have any alcohol in my while climbing around on the roof.....about par to drinking and driving....
Wow, everyone here has a much nicer home than I do!

Regarding the drunks and drug addicts thing, it's a roofing scenario. As I mentioned the roofing industry in both Canada and the United States is filled with problematic people who ruin the industry by giving it a bad reputation.

Good job on the roof, by the way!
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:14 AM   #12
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Good job on the roof, by the way!
Thanks....this is an after picture.....I did the roof on the existing house...and I hired out the roof on the addition.

If you compare the photos....you will notice I put a gable over the front door back in 05. It made a big difference in the look of the house. Since we did it, about 10 homes in the neighborhood with the similar floor plan have done something similar.

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Old 04-23-2014, 06:44 AM   #13
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I recently received a quote to replace my roof for $7500. I live in Michigan. Seems a little high for this simple gable. My house is 1600 sq. ft. with a 4/12 pitch. I also received a quote to add 8" more cellulose insulation for $1900. That seems ridiculous. All from the same company, RAM Residential. A local company in business since 1986. The salesman also stated that materials are now costing just about as much as labor. Is this true? Is this too much?

We are also getting another estimate tomorrow from Mr. Roof. We have two layers that they have to tear off and they estimated replacing two sheets of sheathing. Also new can vents, stacks and boots, flashing, 6 ft. of ice and water shield. Also with Certainteed shingles.

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Old 04-23-2014, 09:19 AM   #14
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Nothing wrong with that number in my area at all.

Materials are much, much more expensive than they were 5 years ago.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:45 AM   #15
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Nothing wrong with that number in my area at all.

Materials are much, much more expensive than they were 5 years ago.
I was afraid of that. I think the price will drop for the insulation a bit if we decide to go with them since we really don't need any more insulation over the garage, which is on the left side of the picture I posted. The square footage over the second floor is right around 700 sq. ft.

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