Price of Shingle removal, two layers vs three

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I got a bid to put in a new roof, and it included removal of 2 layers of shingles. They got to work, and it turns out there were three layers of shingles. We got the bill, and they now want to charge us an extra $1100 for the removal of the third layer (32 square additional tear off at $35/square)
Is this normal? Is it really so much more work than 2 layers?
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Unless you multi-posted your question to alt.home.repair (which would be bad because multi-posting is bad) I'm going to cross-post this to alt.home.repair because the group you posted this to (misc.consumers.house) gets very little traffic.
pontiusj wrote:

Was it your decision to not remove the original shingles when the job was done the last time?

It's bad enough to shingle over the existing roof, but to do it twice is absolutely nuts.
Based on a typical 3-bundle per square, and a weight of 80 lbs per bundle, you've got a weight of about 2500 lbs per layer.
That means there is 5000 lbs of extra weight on your roof (more than a full-size pickup truck).
I'd say that yes, if the roofers were going to remove your top layer and what they though was the bottom layer as part of the original quote, and now they want to charge you an extra $1000 to remove a third layer, then that's not really out of line.
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In fact I didn't even know that it was legal to have three layers of shingle on a roof (I'm sure that it's not where I live, as I know that my house had an aluminum roof put on over two layers of shingle by the PO, which required special permission from the building inspector,) so the assumption that there were only two is reasonable IMHO.
nate
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It isn't legal, but that doesn't stop people from doing it. All you need to do is, do it yourself, or get it done by a shady contractor on the sly.
I did it on a small section of my roof just to get through the winter, and the "roofing police" didn't say a word to me.
I was up front with the roofer and warned him about the third layer. He said "no problem" and didn't charge me extra. Of course it was a small section, only about two squares.
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The house is 60 years old, and this is the first time we've put a roof on. So the previous owners probably just kept piling on the shingles! We're glad to have them off, but didn't know if the price was right. Thanks for the feedback.

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@pontiusj:
Dude... What did you think, that removing another layer of roofing isn't that much more work ? That is 1/3rd more nails, 1/3 more labor, 1/3 more weight and volume of debris that has to be disposed of...
Construction debris costs money to dispose of properly -- your roofer is not going to absorb that cost as it would eat away much of the profit on the job...
This was just one of those surprises that sometimes comes up during the process of a project -- the only way you would have known about this in advance was to go up on the roof and remove shingles until you hit the roof sheathing before you called out contractors to submit bids...
~~ Evan
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I don't see where there is much additional labor involved. You stick the shingle removng tool (homowners usually use a flat shovel) under all the layers at the same time. One doesn't remove shingles one layer at a time.
More debris, yes. Labor? Not that I can see. there would be some but not a lot.
Harry K
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+1 to that.
Clearly the contractor is entitled to an additional charge. But $1100 sounds high to me. There is some additional labor involved, even if it's just hauling the debris to the dumpster, but if it costs X to remove one layer, it surely doesn't cost 2X to remove two or 3X to remove three. I'd say maybe 25% more for each additional layer would be closer.
Also, while it might cost more for disposal, it might also cost nothing. Dumpster's are frequently contracted out based on size and as long as all the shingles fit, it could cost the same for 2 layers or 3.
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On Mon, 16 May 2011 07:45:00 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

When I rented my last dumpster (for a roof job, BTW, though I loaded it with other crap) they charged by the yard and the ton; X for the dumpster plus Y per ton. In many cases the transportation costs exceed the dump fees. A truck can only (legally) carry so much. Trash haulers are often overweight.
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Umm yes, 3x the number of nails that has to be removed...
Those wonderful roofing scrapers tear the shingles more than they get the whole thing in one piece with the nails... Especially with many layers involved...
3x the amount of debris to pick up off the ground and put in a dumpster...
~~ Evan
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Been a long time. Worked roofing in Texas back in the early 70s. Reroofed mother's house in...um 80s, remodeled and reroofed my house in 1984, reroofed garage and sheds in late 90s.
Yes I overlooked the labor costs of cleanup but it is not an additional 1/3
Harry K
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Forgot to add one comment on the removal subject:
Seems to me that removing 2 of 3 layers would take _more_ removal labor than taking off all three. I can't even figure out how one could do it in a reasonably fast method.
Harry K
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replying to Harry K, T Payne wrote: Not true the last 2 layers r desentigrating so they don't pop up so easy.
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Gee, why would a roofer go on a roof in advance? Sheesh. Besides the fact that you can easily see the third layer of shingles from the edges and eaves, a roofer's job is to go up on roofs, and there are a host of reasons that a homeowner should insist that the roofer get up there to insure that the estimate and contract don't have big gaping holes in them.
"Just one of those surprises" doesn't fly here. You are talking about latent and concealed conditions. Deteriorated roof sheathing would be an example of something that might not be discovered even after getting up on the roof during the estimate. A third layer is not. An additional 1/4" thickness or more of roof shingles is quite noticeable from the edge, and all the roofer would have to do is count to know for sure. How a roofer could miss a third layer is beyond me, unless he didn't see the job, simply made a mistake and didn't investigate adequately, or didn't miss the extra layer and was holding the extra layer in reserve as an extra.
R
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How can you be so certain what you would see from the ground...
I know a homeowner that replaced the drip edges on his roof when he added a layer of shingles and all you can see from the ground is a single layer... Something similar may have happened in the OP's situation...
The only way to *know* with certainty is to do some exploratory surgery before asking for bids -- or allowing the winning bidder to verify field conditions to solidify the actual dollar figure...
~~ Evan
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Several things: - how come the roofer didn't know? You can see an additional layer from the edge of the roof, and a roofer can spot that from the ground. - what does the contract say? Does it say removal of existing shingles, or removal of two layers of existing shingles? If it says removal of existing shingles the OP doesn't owe the roofer anything and the roofer will have learned a valuable lesson in not making assumptions and estimates without doing his homework. - if you want to be paranoid and assume the worst, it's possible that the contractor did know about the additional layer and decided to 'discover' it after the job was underway. - removing three layers is definitely more work and expense for the roofer than removing two. If you believe the roofer is shooting straight, and the contract/estimate simply says removal, then split the difference with him. You will both have learned a valuable lesson.
R
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wrote:

No, dumpsters are by size and also the weight of the debris removed... You get charged based on both criteria...
Never seen or heard of a flat rate "dumpster"... Maybe you are thinking of those cute "bagster" type gimmicky things homeowners can buy at the local home center and call for removal -- those are designed to burst right on your lawn if you overload them...
~~ Evan
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How it happened, is I got about 4 different quotes for the roof, and one contractor told me that I had 2 layers. Then, another contractor, in his quote, mentioned taking off one layer, I corrected him and he then said he'd take off the 2nd layer for another $500, but then his boss called to say it would be included. So the quote then said that they would take off two layers. So, when they started work, and found the third layer, I was expecting to be charged another $500. Then the bill came, and the bill was for an extra $1100, so I was surprised and I had no way of knowing if he was screwing me, and actually charging me for both layers. Anyway, sounds like it was about right, so I sent the check in this morning, and it's taken care of.
thanks for the responses.

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Okay, sounds like it all worked out in the end. You should be aware that even in the little bit that you posted that there was stuff that could be misleading and misconstrued. I'm still not clear on why the contractor asked for $1100 for the third layer, when an additional layer seemed to go for $500, but what's done is done.
You might have gotten a better final price if you had let the contractors do their own estimating and let them assume their own risk for the estimate's accuracy. That is what contracting is - risk management.
Many times an owner will start 'filling in the blanks' to prove to the contractor that they are aware of what is going on and how things work on a particular project. Sometimes that works, other times, not so much. People that really know what they are doing don't tell the contractor how to do their job - they only hire people who know how to do their job. What they do is to control exposure and tweak the price by using the contract terms. In the end though, it all comes down to fairness and respect.
Even if the roofer had not charged you extra for that additional layer, it would have been right of you to kick him something extra out of a sense of fairness. That is also a good opportunity to take advantage of other things at your disposal. If you own a business you could give the roofer a discount on a purchase or something similar where you can leverage a discount you get and pass it on in way that the roofer would feel he got full value.
R
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Uh huh, you know this for a fact to be true everywhere?

Do, because you've never seen one in your little world, that means they don't exist? Go figure.

No, I',m thinking of the one I had dropped in my driveway and paid for.
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