A new roof: Some questions


Our family's little vacation cottage needs a new roof. I got four estimates, ranging from $3200 to $10,000 for a 1400 square foot roof. There are two layers to be stripped off. My questions:
All four roofers offer Certainteed 30 year architectural shingles. There are two model names, Woodscape and Landmark 30. Does anyone know the price a contractor would pay for 100 sq ft. of those two shingles? This would help me to understand what part of these bids might be materials.
One of the roofers offers to use a special "starter course" of Certainteed shingles. Is this truly useful, or just something to increase the price?
The house has gable vents and no ridge vent. All four roofers will add a ridge vent, but one wants to put in soffit venting at the eaves and seal the gable vents. While I understand the idea behind the soffit venting, I wonder if it is worth the extra cost.
One roofer proposes 6 nails per shingle vs. 4 nails. We are a mile from the ocean, and occasionally get a Nor'Easter. However, I doubt that the current roof had 6 nails and it has lasted well.
It's a lot of questions! I'd be grateful for any insights and info you might have.
BC
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wrote:

The starter course is usually just some of the regular shingles with the tabs cut off. Shingles made especially as a starter course for architechural shingles may end up looking better.

To do a ridge vent properly so it is effective, and worth doing at all, you need to seal the gable vents and have soffit vents. Otherwise, the ridge vent will not draft properly, defeating the reson for having it. Sounds like only one roofer wants to do the job correctly. The others want to cut important corners to be able to be the low bidder. I know who I's choose from what you've said so far.

roofing nails are cheap, (5000 collated roofing nails for a gun are about $45 retail) and with a nailgun, they go in fast - very fast. Shouldn't really affect the price very much.

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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

I believe in my state they are required to do a ridge vent. Many people get the ridge vent with a new roof, but many do not update to soffit vents. When I had the roof at my home done, the cost to install the soffit vents was extraordinary due to the way the house is built, so I skipped them.
The sole roofer who put them in his bid for the cottage was double the price of the next bidder ($10,500 vs. $5300). I am sure his work is great, but cost is an object.

That's a good point. thanks for your comments.
BC
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Also make sure they cut a vent for the ridgevent and not just nail it on top of the peak.

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Art wrote:

Yikes!
BC
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"BCDrums" wrote

Vacation cottage? Ok. Cold and dry or wet and hot area? Makes a difference.

Probably no real difference.

Climate dependant as well as one other thing. If it's a vacation cottage, how often is it occupied? You may not want to spend more for a proper soffit job if you only occupy it in mild seasons (presuming you do not need it for dampness control).

Probably not, but to me that they'd even think to go above minimum there, means they may do better work elsewhere as well.
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cshenk wrote:

wading through several screens. The installation instructions vary by how steep the slope is, but you can (and should) read it all here: http://www.certainteed.com/NR/rdonlyres/6F328E3C-DA37-40F4-B3E7-7B701ADF540E/0/INSTALLMSAManual8Ch13.pdf
I found instructions to use four nails per shingles, but didn't read the whole nine pages, so be sure to look at what applies for your roof. I would also look up all of the warranty info. You can call a roofing supplier to check the cost in your area.
Seems that adding ridge vents without soffit vents would be rather useless.
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Norminn wrote:

http://www.certainteed.com/NR/rdonlyres/6F328E3C-DA37-40F4-B3E7-7B701ADF540E/0/INSTALLMSAManual8Ch13.pdf

Thanks, I will read the installation instructions

The ridge vent is required in my state, but the cottage was built in 1960, and has never had one.
Thanks!
BC
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I got a new roof last year. It was the architectural GAF shingles. I am in FL where the codes are stricter because of the possibility of high winds. On the ridge vent...I went to the GAF web site and remember reading that the gable ends needed to be closed. This meant covering the vents at each end of the house, put there when it was built. I already had soffits with ventilation holes so that wasn't a problem. The new codes required that the plywood decking be nailed (as opposed to staples) and it told how many were required per foot. The shingles also had to meet a certain code (each state may be different). I believe GAF will not guarantee the warranty unless the shingles are installed the way they say do it - and probably other companies are the same. Before you commit to any one company you need to find out what the building code requirements are and make sure the company you are dealing with is licensed, insured and plans to pull the proper permits. Also look online for the web site of the roofing manufacturer and see what they require to warrant the roof.
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Dottie wrote:

I have read the Certainteed warranty, and they specify that the roof must be "properly vented," a term they do not define. I tend to think that shingle warranties are almost useless. The Certainteed warranty covers shingles and the labor to replace them in the first 5 years, but NOT removal of defective shingles or disposal.
Things may be different in Hurricane Alley. Good luck this week!
BC
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cshenk wrote:

New England. Hot and often humid in the summer, cold and snowy in the winter. House is only occupied from Memorial day to October 15.

A good point!
BC
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"BCDrums" wrote

Hot is relative. Not hot enough up there to be a problem. Dampness might be a concern but proper ridge vents will handle your heat needs well enough.
You arent using it in winter either so heat loss isnt as much of an issue I take it.

Main one I saw, and that soffits may not be needed for your conditions. I'd go with the 5300$ or so fellow if he's the one who made for extra nails. It doesnt hurt to have that extra care used.
Be sure to get an estimate per sheet for any plywood that may need replacing as well. Usually there are a few nominal ones that are much cheaper to deal with then.
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Do it right and get the soffit vents and normally also close off the gable end vents.
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BCDrums wrote:

Contact a building supply house/lumber yard in your area. Get their price. Shipping may be a significant component of the price.

You need a starter course. I'd prefer to use the same shingle as the rest of the roof, although the cost differential shouldn't be much. Usually the starter course is a lower grade shingle than the remainder of the roof.

Add the ridge vents. The air that exits the ridge vents has to come in some where...ideally through the soffit vents. The area of the ridge vents and the soffit vents should be close to the same.

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