hand-nailing roof?

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I've had a couple of roofers out to my place. Both are long-time well-respected firms. One a father and son family business, the second a well-respected partnership. I know each will do a good job.
Roofer A says that nowadays, in our mountain region, very wet, fairly windy, infrequent snow, that he has pretty much gone to architectural shingles and that is all he recommends nowadays.
He also pushes that fact that his roofs are all hand-nailed by about as stable as a crew as you can have in the roofing business, which he admits isn't necessarily saying much.
Roofer B wants to do three-tab and is warning that since I have a tongue-groove roof deck, that he may HAVE to do a plywood overlay, but can't tell until he gets the roof stripped.
Roofer A wants $4700 for the 30-year architectural, touting the superior shingle and the hand-nailing. Roofer B sez $2800 for three-tab, power nail guns, and a possible $1200 surcharge for a "maybe" plywood overlay.
Anything obvious here. Is hand-nailing that superior?
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I don't see the advantage of hand-nailing, maybe somebody else does. I'd be more interested in tracking down references esp if you have an Angies List near you (angieslist.com)
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I was given a laundry list of reasons. Architectural shingles have a small zone, so nail placement has to be precise. Something about driving nails into air. Something else about compressor pressure, time to set up, etc.
I know they are both reputable roofers, and I really think they both believe in what they do. They both just seem to have a different approach to the same problem. Just not sure if the extra $$$ is worth it -- if it is so be it.
They have both done lots and lots of roofs in the area, with no complaints. The first company has been roofing locally for 40-plus years.
Also not sure about the plywood overlay, which they seem to be in disagreement about, although it's possible roofer A is not worried about the tongue/groove, since archtectural shingles tend to disguise any irregularities in the roof -- which it DOES NOT have at the moment with the existing 3-tab
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I've used pneumatic roofing nailers(Bostitch/Senco) and found them to be a bit difficult for proper driving of the nail. Either too deep(bad), heads askew or too high, and bits of coil wire protruding. But with careful pressure regulation, and caring roofers, who are willing to judge each fastener individually, they can do the job. More than likely, the T&G sheathing won't be a problem, as there's _some_ wiggle room in the fastener area, and T&G is really good at keeping each board level with the next. I sure haven't seen much (if any) T&G, unless it was an exposed ceiling. I'd probably go with roofer B, and architectural/dimensionals. If he doesn't want to lay dimensionals, there's probably an ulterior motive, IMO. They're less of a hassle to install. Tom
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I didn't know anyone was still hand nailing shingles! Yes, hand nailed is supposedly better. More precise placement---on the arch. shingles, the nail should go through the lower part of the shingle that has multiple layers. Too low, and it winds up showing which could result in a leak. Also, gun nails are more likely to be overdriven, breaking through the shingle and losing the function of that nail, or underdriven, which can inhibit the sealing of the shingle (shingles have adhesive strips which sort of glue the layers together to prevent the wind from flapping up a shingle). That said, I think a decent roofer with a decent gun will not be so sloppy that it will be a problem. And I'd guess the problem that roofer 2 is worried about is gaps in the decking. If this was the case, roofer 1 would have to deal with it too. Provided roofer two is reputable, I'd go with him.
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If you do go with #2, get an architectural shingle though. They tend to be the ones with longer warranties. IMO, they look better also.
I don't have much of an opinion about hand nailing. It is supposed to be better, but it is rarely done due to cost. Like anything else, it can be done excellent or it can be done rushed and look like crap.
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snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

No. Nail placement isn't super critical with either type of shingle, and unless you have a real cowboy with the nail gun the nails should be right where they are supposed to be. Over or under driving nails is only a problem with a roofer who doesn't bother to set the pressure regulator on the compressor.
I'm curious why you haven't specified which shingles you want. Not necessarily knowing the brand, but the style is, or should be, one of the first decisions. Dimensional shingles, aka architectural shingles, will last longer and have a more dramatic look. In my mind, unless cost is the overriding concern, dimensional shingles win every time.
I'm not sure why the second roofer would be setting the table for the plywood extra. In a subsequent post you mentioned that there are no indications of any problem with the existing T&G sheathing. If there are scattered problems the standard procedure is to replace the affected area, not resheath the entire roof, and to nail down the T&G sheathing as required. If there are problems you do not just cover them up with another layer of sheathing.
The first roofer is outdated with the hand nailing, although there are old school roofers that can keep up with most nail guns - it's not just about the nails. If he can stay competitive with the guys with guns, more power to him. The second roofer's idea of covering up problems doesn't sit right. He's warning of a problem, with no clear indication that there is one, and suggesting a questionable, and expensive, solution.
R
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RicodJour wrote: Dimensional shingles, aka architectural shingles,

In my mind a 30-year is a 30-year, whether archtect. or 3-tab. And I actually don't like the look of the arch. but will live with it if it is "better."
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On 28 Feb 2006 19:49:06 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com scribbled this interesting note:

This isn't quite right.
There are design reasons why a laminated shingle like the Timberline by GAF are superior to three tab shingles. They last longer and are less prone to blow offs.
-- John Willis snipped-for-privacy@airmail.net (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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I'm in the roofing biz since the 70's. There is no difference in hand nailing or using the gun. ( I use Gun in summer and hand in winter)
For the type of shingles I would go with the highest quality you can afford. If you got a steep pitch roof, your shingles will last longer.
I would got with roofer B, He knows the problem with using T&G and shingles. T&G will expand and contract causing the nails to haul through or pop. I would highly recommend resheating the roof, but make sure they nail the plywood into the trusses. In my area (Newfoundland, Canada) the manufacture will void the warranty if installed on T&G. Its not hard to notice a roof that has shingles and T&G, you will always see bumps or taps rising.
wrote:

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We just had a roof replaced on one of our buildings at work. It has t & g and they put down a layer of plywood. I just assumed it was because the age of the building, but not it makes a lot of sense. Thanks, I learned something today.
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Waylon wrote:

Right.
Right.
Not so right. That's not the fault of the T&G, but the roofer and/or carpenter. It's a nail problem, not a sheathing problem. If damaged boards have to be replaced, loose ends nailed off and nails set, then that's what should be done.
Your statement about "the manufacture" (note singular - is there a specific brand you were referring to?) didn't sound right to me, so I just did a quick check. Tamko, GAF and Certainteed all state that T&G is an acceptable substrate. IKO was the only one that mentioned an issue with T&G. I'd take that to be more of a problem with IKO than with the sheathing.
If a roofer just starts throwing down shingles without checking that the sheathing is in good condition and well nailed, you're going to have problems. There are many ways a roofer can cut corners and that's one of them. Any time a roofer cuts corners, you're going to have problems.
R
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if the T&G is green it will expand/contract until dried out, no matter how many nails you put in it. I always use min 3 nails in each truss..
I was referring to IKO and BP (only brands my supplyer sell), as thats what the customer usually want on there roof because of price.
In my opinion if the T&G has gaps between the boards its better to use plywood over it. I had always use T&G for the roof until the warrenty issue. Now I only use 5/8 plywood.

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My experience was that the hand nailing crew was the older, more experienced roofers. I was glad I did that.
Bob
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Bob wrote:

Hi, Ditto on hand nailing. Tony
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I gotten two estimates so far on my roof. Both guys commented on the tongue & groove deck and said "You're lucky - they don't build 'em like this any more". No comments about them being harder to work on.
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snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com ( snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com) said...

As I understand it, with (asphalt, maybe others) shingles there is a narrow window of acceptable depth. It is too easy to have a fastener that is either too loose or driven in too deep, either of which does not hold the shingle well -- I suppose it could be more susceptable to wind damage.
Many roofers in our area tend to use the power nailers. Even the roofer I hired to shingle our roof when we built our house ordinarily use power nailers, but they hand nail in colder weather. Fortunately for me, the roof had to be shingled in a February.
--
Calvin Henry-Cotnam
"I really think Canada should get over to Iraq as quickly as possible"
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On 28 Feb 2006 17:38:24 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com scribbled this interesting note:

Neither method of fastening the shingles is superior. Properly done, hand nailing, using a pneumatic coil nailer, or the correct pneumatic roofing staple gun-they are all acceptable. Some installers prefer one method, some another. It all depends upon the quality and experience of the installers.
A poor job done by any of these methods will be a nightmare.
The reason many seem to push hand nailing? Equipment costs are lower for one thing. For another, most roofing companies send out a salesman who sells the job, then they send out the materials, including one or two fifty pound boxes of inch and a half roofing nails, and then they send out a random crew with minimal supervision. No equipment to pay for and possibly have stolen and the crew needs no experience with said equipment.
They key is to find a good roofer. Now that is a challenge!:~)
-- John Willis snipped-for-privacy@airmail.net (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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I agree that choosing a roofer is quite a challenge. My roof was replaced by a large roofing company in my area, and came highly rated. They used subcontractors who were supposedly under contract to work with them only, and the one we got had been with them for years. The roof was mostly power nailed but they ran out of coils and switched to hand nailing to finish.
Roofers can be strange people. I had a friend who was in a roofing family many years ago, and it proved to me how different some can be. However, on the crew that worked on my house, the best was the wildest looking. He looked like a hells angel rider. Long pony tail hair, tattoos everywhere, long training beard. He worked like a trooper, corrected errors he saw others doing, explained what he was doing, changed some things that I didn't like (yes, I went up on the roof during the install) and was as nice as could be about it.

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EXT wrote:Roofers can be strange people. I had a friend who was in a roofing family many years ago, and it proved to me how different some can be. However, on the crew that worked on my house, the best was the wildest looking. He looked like a hells angel rider. Long pony tail hair, tattoos everywhere, long training beard. He worked like a trooper, corrected errors he saw others doing, explained what he was doing, changed some things that I didn't like (yes, I went up on the roof during the install) and was as nice as
could be about it.
Sounds like my buddy, Pete. Quality roofer. The best roofers I've known were usually the most rag-tagged, take-a-second-look-at-em type. Except for me, of course. I had a second hobby, which required my looking a "bit" professional. Tom
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