New Roof Questions ?

Hello:
Looks like I will have to start considering a new roof. Live outside of Boston. House is about 30 yrs old, original roof, and the foundation is 28' x 48' Tri level (split type)
Haven't even thought about roofs in many a year. So, let me please ask:
a. It's the original roof. Is it normal to place a second layer right over the first, or must the original layer be removed first ? Why ? Pros and Cons ?
b. For the dimensions noted, what might be a very approximate cost to do ?
c. What's a "good" brand (and type) of roof shingles to ask for these days ?
Not sure how they are specified; is it by shingle weight, thickness, or... ? What do I (probably) want, or what should I ask for ? (expect to be in house for a long time)
d. I'm sure there are many questions to ask the contractors when they come over for a look and estimate that I am not even thinking of. Can anyone suggest what to ask, or what I should be considering also, please.
Much thanks; really appreciate it, Bob
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Bob,
You will get many useful comments from the regulars on this group. You will also get volumes of information from a Google search. Two or three hours on the computer reading the advise on some of the Google hits will be time very well spent.
1) Two layers of shingles is common. But, I'd recommend tearing off 30 year-old shingles. The new roof will look better; you'll get a chance to examine sheathing; the roof will weigh less; etc. Just my opinions.
2) Costs will vary tremendously depending upon circumstances- shingle selection, tear-off, sheathing replacement, etc. Roofing cost estimators are available on the Internet. Also, 10 contractors coming out for estimates will give you an extremely good idea of what you will have to pay. (Do it yourself and save a bundle!)
3) Brand of shingles - Consumer Reports did an article on this in the past year or so.
4) Dealing with the contractors - Consumer Reports, homeowner DIY magazines and such, etc. Get the first 2 or 3 contractors out for quotes & discussion and you will start to discover the sort of questions that you need to resolve. Talk with neighbors.
Comments beyond what you have asked: Written warranties are important. Company history is important - don't buy a roof from a company less than 10 years old unless you are a big gambler. Be home the day the roof is installed and let the contractor know before hand that you (and/or a knowledgable friend) intend to walk the roof after the tear-off and again after job completion. Don't pay in full on the day of competion, if at all possible. Walk the yard after completion and refuse to pay if a quick walk around the yard turns up even 1 remaining nail. If you spot 1 nail, then there are probably 50-100 you haven't spotted. The same goes for the driveway and the street. Ask for reference from roofers, but insist upon getting the names of future customers and not past customers.
What roofer is going to give you the names of unhappy past customers? But if you get the names of 5 near-future customers, then you should be getting a reasonable representation of customer satisfaction. (You should be able to spot the asshole customers easily and discount them). I'd want to climb the ladder and examine somebody's roof just after it has been completed by a contractor that I am considering. Are the shingle lines reasonably straight? Are nails exposed when they shouldn't be? Are ALL requisite exposed nails caulked? Are there any spongy areas as you walk over the roof? How short are the pieces of shingle at the edges of the roof - a four inch wide piece of end shingle will look ok only for a few years until it blows off in a storm. Is there damage to the edges of the shingles from workers carelessly working on a hot roof? The list of endless.
Once again, talking with intelligent neighbors is very important. They've gone through this already. They know particular problems in your area. They are likely to have checked out and/or used the contractors that you will consider.
Good luck, Gideon
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Most importantly, a complete tearoff means you will get the maximum life from the new shingles.
rusty redcloud
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Comments inserted.
"Gideon" wrote

Are you on crack? A future customer is just that, how in the world would they be able to represent customer satisfaction?

Never mind, I know you're on crack. If someone wanted to walk my roof, I'd tell to take a flying leap.....OFF THEIR ROOF. Talk about a lawsuit waiting to happen. Geesh dude, get real. I believe you spend too much time on Usenet.

Caulking on a roof? No.

Bzzzzzzt, wrong. In fact, some applications give instructions for a 4" offset, meaning you start with a 4" piece.

Hopefully, they have more intelligence than you.
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My roofers left the old shingles on. They trimmed off the overlaps that are normally loose, if you know what I mean. They said my flashing around the chimney was excellent, so they left that alone. Installed new shingles right over the old. I got the shingles that are sculpted looking. The job still looks good.
I have a one story with a convered porch and attached 2 car garage, so there was a lot of footage to cover. Also I got new gutters. It cost me approx. $7800, 8 years ago.
I chose the company because I saw their signs in people's lawns where ever they did a job. Those signs were all over town. I asked a neighbor and he said they did a great job, so that's how I picked the company. Pasar
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Pasar wrote:
My roofers left the old shingles on. They trimmed off the overlaps that are normally loose, if you know what I mean. They said my flashing around the chimney was excellent, so they left that alone. Installed new shingles right over the old.
Well, boy, I hope they flashed the new roof properly around that chimney... Tom
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wrote:

=========I have no clue what the cost would be...and from what I understand New England is not exactly the cheapest place ...
However two layers of shingles is the standard practice... just cheaper because you avoid the cost of labor to tear the old off...plus the cost of disposal... Thats a plus...
Down side is your roof is now now supporting a lot more weight... plus you can not inspect the original sheating for damage etc...
Get quotes both ways... I would prefer to rip off the old myself.
BUT that is NOT what I did 6-7 years ago... and it was not the cost ..
I did the job myself and ripping off the old shingles was at least 3 times the work as just putting on a second layer... I am not at all sorry.
Bob Griffiths
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"Robert11" wrote

over
For a re-roof (second layer) application, the proper installation method is called _nesting_, this is so your new shingles don't bridge the old.
Problem with re-roofing the design of structure like yours is being a tri-level. Obviously it has side wall junctures where the lower roofs meet the side of the main structure. In these areas you have what is called _step flashing_, usually a 5"x7" aluminum or galvanized piece of material bent at 2" to interweave with each shingle and 3" against the wall behind the siding. You can't step flash properly putting the second layer on when using the nesting method. Roofers will do what they call a double seal at the juncture when they can't flash the area correctly. This in my opinion is a poor way to install a roof.
It's normal to install a second layer on a tri-level, if you want substandard workmanship.
Have the old roof torn off and done correctly.
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over
?
days
come
I'm from the north shore of Boston---Just had a new roof installed. Had two layers (2nd was 20 years old). Put on 30 yr. architectural shingles. You need everything spelled out in the contract. Some guys are very sloppy in their estimates/contracts, fortunately, I had one that was very detailed and left nothing that could later be cause for dispute or misinterpretation. I had an 8" drip edge and 6 ft wide ice and water dam protection --3 ft. is standard width. All hand nailing, not one nail by a nail gun. All new flashing and releading of the chimney. Ridge vent vs simple roof vents--The roofers that I spoke to were not very excited about a ridge vent. I ended up with 3 roof vents (not powered and not turbine type). I have gable vents at each end of the house and consensus was that the simple roof vents would do the job. My roofer will not install a second layer of shingles, he wants to make sure that there is a solid, no problem roof, underneath the shingles. Contract should spell out exactly what the extra charge will be if there has to be repair work--How many $$$/sq. ft. if it's plywood and how many $$$/linear ft. if it's sheathing. Money/deposit---one guy wanted 50% down upon acceptance of the contract. Be very careful of giving too much up front. Any reputable contractor that has good credit should have the standard 30 days to pay type of deal. He shouldn't need your money to buy materials. Mine wanted a $300 deposit and the balance a day or two after completion. I had a very good experience, no aggravation. Crew of 10-12 showed up at 7:30 a.m., no goofing off. The second day they were at the house at 7 a.m.; constantly cleaning up and when they left all was in good shape. For a house like yours I would guess that a reasonable estimate would be in the $8000-9000 range. MLD
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