Does anyone know what I should expect to hear when I a roofer gives me an
estimate on Friday for a new roof. Basically it's 17 square / 20 or 25 year
shingles. It's a cape cod style home that's very straight forward of an
Is it a walkable roof? I also have a cape cod and have been shocked at the
roofing estimates I've gotten lately. $2.25-$2.75 a square foot due to the
pitch. That price incluses tear-off, all materials and labor and clean up in
In my area near Lake Erie, $225 per square ($2.25 sq ft) for a single layer
tear-off with a 25 yr 3 tab plus all the trimmings is virtually unheard of.
That's cheap, probably too cheap, I don't think you would get a licensed
contractor in this area. Nevermind throwing in 10 sheets plywood,
regardless if 3/8",1/2", or 5/8". I don't see how any reputable company
would stay in business.
Exactly what are you getting for that price?
We pay a lot for roofing jobs in western New York; my 23 square roof
with tearoff of 3 previous layers, 35 yr. architectural shingles, new
decking, ice/water shield, ridge vent, lots of elevations (several
dormers and porch roofs, which means lots of flashing and some waste),
and cleanup cost me about $11,500. But the two guys who did the job
also hand nailed each shingle tab as well as power nailed alternately,
not something you can be sure to get from the lower priced outfits,
but something that definitely holds up better over time. Plus the
house is very tall, with the roofline at least 25 feet off the ground.
I'm planning to demolish an old house. I can save you a lot of money.
I'll sell you the entire roof, shingles, boards, framing, and even
include the brick chimney if you want it. You can have the entire
roof for $2000. You must remove it yourself. Not only will this save
you money, but will also save time. Just load it on a trailer, haul
it home, and get all your buddies to come over to lift it up on top of
your house. Once it's up there. put a few nails in it, caulk around
the edges and and your all set to go. Just put it right over your old
roof. I suggest you take the chimney from my house, and leave it
attached to the roof. If your chimney is in a different place, just
use the chimney from my roof and run some flex pipe from your old
chimney to mine. As a bonus, I will include all the rain gutters and
plumbing vents. If the vents are different, so the same thing as the
chimney. Flex pipes do wonders.
The shingles are still in good condition so you wont have to do any
extra work. This sure beats having to rip off all the old shingles
and then apply new ones one at a time.
Ideally, a friend or neighbor who used a roofer who has been in business
for a few years AND who had a minor problem addressed promptly and
appropriately. As I have been told, callbacks are commonplace and minor
fixes needed quite often. How those are addressed is good insight.
Hubby and I are experienced DIY'ers. He knows plumbing, electricity,
etc. I know the easy stuff. We have found, each time we contracted
work, that we were miles ahead by studying how the work can be done, the
product, the options for installation, the issues of improper
installation. Even with great contractors we have been fortunate to
find, we have headed off potentially major problems by addessing issues
while the work was being done. One example was the corner fit on new
counter tops. It was a tough part of the work, and didn't want to go in
flat and even until we intervened. I had rented a house with the same
problem, near a kitchen sink, and water would collect on the seam and
eventually damaged the particle board and caused it to expand. Our
floor tile installation was superb - looks like original. There were
issues with it, as well, that a good contractor knew how to manage with
At minimum, study the product(s) and installation instructions and then
be observant while the work is being done. Also, check contractor's
license history, product reviews, release of lien, payment schedule.
Many mfgs. have certification for contractors; that would seem to be a
positive and involve more support for the product, but I have no
experience with roofers in that matter. Had similar situation with
condo paint contractor, and paint company was out to check on the prep
as part of the warranty process.
I ask a lot of questions, but try to stay out of the way and not TELL
anyone how to do their job :o)
First is the question of whether the prior roof(s) will be torn off.
Many seem to think you can put a new layer over two or even three prior
layers. My feeling is that any old roofing should be removed, so they
can tell if any of the sheathing needs repair. This removal costs more
and is messy, but I would demand it.
Second is evaluation of the venting. Many homes have been built without
adequate venting, and reroofing is a good time to remediate that.
Finally (the one for which I was not prepared), what color and type of
shingle will you want. Some people want what I think are called
architectural shingles, which produce a less smooth surface, and some
people want different colors. You could probably visit a roofing supply
house to get an idea of what is available; that way you will be ready
when the estimator asks.
Also, if you are in an area where you have winters, know that roofing is
largely seasonal, so they have too much work in the summer and too
little in the winter. See if you can get a better price by having the
work done before spring.
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