new roof?? (pretty long)

I have a tile roof, 5:12 slope...about 70 squares of Monier, "Villa", flashed concrete tile mudded on to hot mopped 90# over the 30# dry in. It was put on in 1996, cost was approximately $200/square for tile, installation of tile and the 90# hot mop. The tiles themselves were approximately half the total.
That price was approximately the going rate here but probably less than in much of the country as the area I live in is on the inexpensive side.
All was well until 4 -5 years ago when a leak developed. Had a roofer out to fix it - at a cost of $1500 - and all was well for a couple of years until another leak develped in the same area. No roofer this time, I used a JOAT I have used for numerous things and of whom I think highly because he is both knowledgeable and extremely conscientious. He fixed it, finding that the valley metal in the leak area had not been properly installed in the first place.
A bit later, another leak developled n an area far away from the first. The JOAT fixed it too, finding that the underlay in the area was badly deteriorated.
I have had a couple of other intermitant leaks too, in different areas, when there is both heavy rain and strong winds. Since I am frugal and those appear to have been associated with unusual circumstances, they have not been addressed.
Well, new leaks have now developed in the fixed areas. My best guess is that the underlay has succumbed to the heat from the Florida sun and that I may be faced with a total tearoff and new roof covering. Thing is, I don't KNOW that.
I had a roofer out to check things but his only interest was in doing a new clay tile roof, not exploring alternatives. He was took measurements and was going to send prices for concrete and steel but I have not heard from him. Given that he was muttering about $1000/square for clay tile and there is no way in hell I am going to lay out $70,000 for a roof, I am interested in alternatives. Things I have considered...
1. Tear off, install new and hopefully better membrane, replace original tile (which is in good shape). The problem is, the tile is no longer made and there would be a certain amount of breakage during the tearoff. I have a small amount of unused tiles but less than a square and it isn't likely that would be nearly enough; I might be able to find more tiles in some roofer's boneyard but that is iffy.
2. Do the above but use old tiles on one or more sides, new different ones on the others. It is not appealing to me esthetically and the only monetary saving would be the price of the new tiles not needed to replace old ones.
3. Metal. My preference is for clay, followed by concrete but standing seam metal has some definite advantages. There is one in particular that mimics the look of clay/concrete tiles that I like well enough. The decision would be purely monetary...is metal that much less than the others? I found one site via Google that gives recent examples in the range of $450 to $250 per square, installed, all materials and labor. Accurate? file://localhost/D:/Downloads/Tile%20roof/Metal%20Roofing%20Cost%20Examples%20_%20Ask%20the%20Builder.mht
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That was mostly background, now more specific questions.
1. I am just getting into this and expect to be talking to numerous roofers. I know there are good, conscientous contractors; I also know that there are those who cut corners and whose prices vary according to how much they think the market will bear. The usual suggestion to differentiate one from another is to get references; problem is, those references rarely have the expertise to tell good from bad. Longevity is another, Any other ways?
2. I am not totally sure that the underlay is shot. The only way I can think of to check is to examine the sheathing from the underside and to pull up random tiles. Any other suggestions?
3. Given my 1996 cost and adjusting for inflation, I would expect a total price in the $22,000- $25,000 range for the same/similar material. Plus the tearoff. I find contractors are generally reluctant to break down the various costs in their bids but it would be very helpful to me to have an idea of the tearoff cost.
4. As stated previously, the one contractor was talking about $70,000 for the job with clay tiles. Obviously, that greatly exceeded what I was expecting. My question is, are clay tiles that much more than concrete tiles? If not, have prices so greatly exceeded inflation? It would be helpful if I knew the actual prices of both clay and concrete tiles. I have not been able to determine that form web searches, just the complete cost with tile, labor and other material (underlay, bird stops, etc).
I did find some individual prices via alibaba.com for Chinese tiles...prices from $2-3 to $9.00 per square meter (about 9 sq.ft) but FOB China.
5. About metal, steel or aluminum? Prices for material?
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Be assured that any and all responses will be greatly appreciated.
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dadiOH
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I only have a couple thoughts for you.
1. You might hire an ex-roofer as your consultant to make sure the roofer you hire does the job right. Your consultant will have no interest in allowing the roofer to take short cuts. I know a commercial roofer that quit doing roofing work and just serves as an inexpensive consultant/go-between.
2. If you need to buy more non-matching tiles, you might consider using them as a "rim" around the bottom or top of the roof, so it looks like you are doing something intentional. Or throw them in sort of randomly to break up the monotony. It could end up looking nice even with the mismatched tiles.
I will watch this tread for other interesting replies. Good luck!
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Pico Rico wrote:

Are tiles Hurricane proof? I live in a Cul-de-Sac with 7 houses. My house is located at one end and when I needed new roofing replacing shakes, I chose to go with Rolled steel tiles coated with ceramic and granules and installed in 2005 by a crew from Ukraine who were experienced with this specific tiles. Took about a week. A house at the other end of Cul-de-Sac had concrete tiles installed about same time, Now he is having some problems with some tiles showing hair line cracks and very minor leaks, our roof is still intact, no problem of any sort so far. It came with a 50 year transferable guarantee . This tiles are German origin, been used in all over europe for many years. Concrete/Clay tiles are heavy and it is hung on lattrice interlocking together. Steel times are interlocked and screwed down with SS screws. Either roof cost was ~25K CAD back then. I still think I made a right choice.
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Hi, Tony..."hurricane proof" is relative. These have been through four hurricanes - all in 2004 - without direct damage from the storms. There was minor damage - a handful of tiles - after the first due to falling branches. That storm had gusts in excess of 120mph, sustained of about 85mph. It also created mountains of tree debris...we had a stack to be hauled away that was 300' long by as high as we could stack it (6-7') by the same wide. We also burned a somewhat smaller amount.
In addition to the debris, we had three large oaks blown over, one of which is still living, albeit in a generally horizontal position :)

I am familiar with them. They are an option. They are made in the US too.

That's one way. Another way is to use mortar under them (foam too, more common now). I chose not to use battens because I really hate the thought of all those nails holding them down...nails which are penetrating the membrane which is what actually keeps the rain out.
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dadiOH
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20 years seems poor service for the Monier roof. I know it is often said "the membrane which is what actually keeps the rain out" but I question that. In Hawaii, Monier [generally the flat concrete] tiles were installed per manufacturer's specs without a membrane for decades and still work well. [Spec added membranes only in the 1990's.] In Europe, Asia, plenty of clay tiled roofs without membranes have worked well for centuries. Not that I would skimp on adding the membrane, but I think a properly installed tile roof should do the trick without the membrane. I have seen issues develope when the house has shifted a bit over the years [common in Hawaii], causing the tiles to get out of alignment. Around here it would be common to be able to remove, stack on the roof, add a membrane for extra assurrance and replace with little or no loss of the tiles. Not a big or expensive job.


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I agree. In fact, I should probably talk to them about it.

OK. Of course, there were also a lot of single wall houses built too ala Q.C. Lum, Blackfield and numerous others. That's why I never owned a house during my 40 years in Honolulu...what I could afford I didn't want, what I wanted I couldn't afford. C'est la vie...

That's a good thought and one that had not occured to me. Thank you, John.
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dadiOH
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