What to look for in a good roofing job...
A couple of years ago I installed a new furnace/AC and spent several weeks reading and asking questions on the HVAC section of this forum. I got great advice and it led to a successful install.
Much like on that board, most of those giving advice on this board tell you to hire a good contractor - the shingle brand is a distant second to a quality install.
Unlike my HVAC project where I did much of the work myself, I do not like heights and have no interest in a DIY roof project. In general, I do not trust contractor reviews as a means to finding a good contractor. Most people rate their contractor on their timeliness, cleanliness, politeness and price - they have no idea whether their roof was actually properly installed. All they know when they write the review or recommend the contractor is that the roof has "worked" for a few weeks, months or even a year after the install. The real proof is 10- or 15-years down the road, which is not when most reviews are written or endorsements given.
Therefore, I am looking for a list of elements that define a quality installation that can be specified in the contract and confirmed by a layman as the working is being done. My project is about 30-squares, no valleys, and a few dormers with step flashing.
Thanks for any comments you may have.
P.S. I have read the sticky regarding hiring a contractor. It is all good advice that I plan to use, but I am still looking for install specifics.
That's a hard one.
Thing's I be looking for is someone not subbing out the job.
Seeing in there quote something more like replacing all flashing, not replace as needed.
Adding drip cap if there is none.
There insisting on removing all old shingles and tar paper, replacing any rotted sheathing or going over old 1 X's with 1/2 sheathing if that's what you have now.
My background is purely in metal roofing, but some of my most informed HO'ers did lots of home work. They would go to the manufacturers site and DL the installation manual and compare what the see there to what we are doing. They would know the accessory metal names ( i am refering to product specific metals that are not used any where else in the industry) and its particular function in the roof system.
To spell out each installation detail would take pages, purhaps the contract should include some wording like "Installation will conform to the manufacturers installation details as set forth in document name". Have a copy on hand for reference. The only way your going to know if you got a good installation is to look at all the details yourself. If it were me i would personally inspect the each step of the process or at least spot check each step. I would inspect the underlayment and any roof penatrations (pipes, dormers, fans, solar tubes, chimneys ect) and do my best to actually watch the installation of some of these details. I would not put a chair in the front lawn and sit there binoculars ( yes i had a HO do that) but, i would be on the roof looking over your shoulder from time to time.
I hate those HO'ers, but really thats the only way your gonna know its correct. I am that HO btw, i would be monitoring the installtion each step of the way.
The reality is you probably dont have the time to watch them. It would be more realistic to spot check thier work during the installation and question anything you feel is not conforming to the spec book.
Take a pic of your roof. FRont and back. Then post. Will know what to say then.
1. Ice and water first 3 feet. My roof i had them run first 6 feet.
2. 30lbs felt or Synthetic underlayement.
3. All new boots. Example plumbing,electrical.
4. New step flashing on dorms.
5. Install new vents. I like metal louver sloped on front.
6. Great shingle like landmark or Timberline.
7. New apron.
I don't think i missing anything .But i can't see your roof.
Ps. Replace sheathing as needed. Either osb which would be 25-35 installed or 1/2 cdx which would be around 50 installed. The question is how much do guys in your area charge for a new 30 year roof. I don't know. I will guess at $300 a square. The flashing around those dorms are going to add to the bill.
Here are two pictures (they are not too great, because of low light).
Main roof 9:12. Dormers 6:12. Cut ins below dormers 6:12.
Picture one: west exposure, one long dormer, one short dormer; long dormer has 4' of cut in roof at 6:12
Picture two: east exposure, one short dormer with longer, deeper cut it.
Only one plumbing vent and one water heater vent. Currently has roll ridge vent and would like to keep that type of vent.
This is a 23-year old roof that, lucky for me, now needs hail damage repair. Currently 3-tab, will be likely be getting GAF Timberline. Roof was hand framed (not trusses), 2x8, 16 OC with OSB.
Thanks to everyone that responded.
Read post #10 in this thread.
Edited to add; Oops, just realized that was the sticky.
Also, this thread might help ya.
Ok this is not an easy roof. You have a lot going on. Flashing all over the place. Example chimney, first pic right and left on lower roof. 1st pic way over on right new flashing. I see no vents on back of roof. Unless there is a ridge vent i don't see. I would slap by pic 8 metal louver front slops on back of ridge. I would also run ice and water just to be safe on front pic right and left of lower roof. Also way to the right on the little section of roof. Also flashing and ice and water on front dorm. You have a lot going on which is going to jack up the bill. Good roofer. Start with certainteeds website. See if they have a certified contractor in your area. Get a bid. This is not going to be cheap. You need an experience roofer. A hack you could have leaks all over the place. Back of roof the little shed dormer. Definitely needs to be all hooked up flashing ice and water. Guessing 10-12K
Couple things that you can also look at: how clean are the cuts in the valleys and at the roof edges, how far are seams staggered from row to row, how many nails are used and at what location.... Some of these things you can look at previous jobs, although another HO probably won't want you lifting their shingles up to see where it was nailed.
The product that a guy suggests off the bat can be a tip off as well, as leading with a cheap shingle can indicate that this is a "price point" company, meaning that they could potentially cut corners in other areas as well.
I really want to thank everyone for their responses. This is an insurance replacement, so cost, so to speak, is no object.
I have started by asking questions of the contractors (I'm playing dumb) regarding how they handle new flashing, ice guard, etc. Their answers tend to reveal their knowledge. Once I select a contractor, I will be sure their is language in the contract regarding items they have told me they will be doing to insure a good job.
Then, as a the project unfolds, I will be monitoring the work to see that it complies with the contract language.
Anyone know how likely it is that the local building inspector will be require the contractor to do a good job. Or, is it more likely that he will only be looking for a satisfactory job?
All an inspector is going to be looking for is meeting minimum code. He's not going to be acting as your agent so to speak.
You say you want to keep that rolled ridge vent, not sure why.
All my local shingle suppliers and even my local box stores have stopped selling it because of all the complaints. It just does not give enough venting.
Ones like these work far better.
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