Ridge Vent or Box Vents - An Update

For those that don't recall the original thread, I had a roofing contractor tell me that my 6" soffits were too narrow to use a ridge vent and he recommended box vents instead.
All a.h.r responders basically said BS.
I have had 2 more estimates since then and also spoke to 2 shingle manufacturer's customer service lines. No one has ever heard of the "narrow soffit - no ridge vent" practice.
So, while I'd like to tell that contractor to take a hike, there are also issues with the other 2 estimates:
One company came out, took a look at the house when I wasn't home and then brought over the estimate one day after work. Before I looked at the estimate I asked him about the "narrow soffit - no ridge vent" practice. He said that it doesn't even make sense and that the estimate that I was holding included a ridge vent. When I asked him how he was going to handle the soffits he said "Oh, I didn't notice that you don't have any soffit vents." A quick calculation later and he said "That'll be $200 more soffit vents." How the heck do you estimate a roof job and not even notice that there are no soffit vents?
The other company seemed very well prepared, asked me a bunch of questions, and then said. "I'll tell you right up front, we'll probably be the most expensive estimate you'll get, but you'll never call us back unless you want some other work done." He eventually gave me very complete estimate, including doing a few things that the other companies had not mentioned. Problem is, he's more than *twice* the other 2 estimates. He even charges $10 more per sheet of plywood than the others. I asked him about that. "What's different about your plywood or the way you install it that makes it worth $10 more per sheet?"
The answer: "There's nothing different. I just have a lot of overhead to cover. I have 5 trucks like mine, a dump truck, a this, a that and another thing." Even if he did include some extra items on the estimate, does he really expect me to pay more for everything else just because he has higher overhead than the other guys? I'm sure I could get the other contractors to add in his items for a lot less than he's doing them for. Seriously - If I added the other 2 estimates together, they be less than his.
The search goes on.
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Roofers like to take a lot of shortcuts. This is a job I prefer to do myself.
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Pat wrote:

Hi, That is why all my properties have metal tiles or standing rib steel roofs. Will last at least for my life time and more. Done once, forget about it.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Hi, Ridge vent is more involved to install. Box vent is lot easier. What is the matter, was the house built with improper venting to begin with? Either way done properly there is no difference between two. Flowing air does not know what kinda vent it is.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

That is total horse-shit.
For a ridge vent, you take a radial saw and cut the decking from one side to the other to give you about 2" gap at the very peak. Naturally you set the blade so you don't cut the rafters.
It's easy to deal with the felt and the shingles. The vent itself is easy to nail in place.
Box vents require more fussy work with the tar paper and shingles.
And no question that ridge vents give you more even air flow, and they draw air from the very top of the attic (box vents are set further down from the peak).

I still say to use the lightest-colored shingles you can get away with, and go with powered fans instead of a lot of passive roof venting (but still have as much soffet venting as is possible).
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Home Guy wrote:

Depends on the neighborhood.
Drive around. Do you see any light-colored shingles? If you do, how do they look?
In an urban environment, light-colored shingles will discolor from all the particulate matter in the air. The shingles will, in short order, look absolutely horrid.
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HeyBub wrote:

By light-colored, I mean this:
http://www.coferadams.com/images/products/roofing/owens-corning-supreme-ar-shingle-desert-tan.jpg
Not this:
http://www.unitedhomeexperts.com/Portals/61368/images//silverbirch.jpg
Yes, I agree that the very light-colored shingles (light grey, light green, etc) will usually discolor or streak or mildew over time.
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On 4/18/2012 7:11 AM, Home Guy wrote:

I just read "Builder's guide to cold climates" from Tauton Press which said "attic ventilation fans should never be installed."
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Last year when I had my roof replaced I asked for recommendations from people I knew. I was given a list of names and did my own research on their reputations. Then I had estimates done and compared them all to each other. As you say there is a wide variety of costs they quote but the tiebreaker for me was the reputation of the contractor.
The one I chose wasn't the cheapest but they reduced their price a few hundred dollars when I showed them the quote from a competitor and told them I would rather deal with them because of their reputation. They had a crew of 6 Mexicans do the job on my 2200 sq ft ranch house and it took them 2 1/2 days to rip out the old shingles, replace the plywood for the old fans and cupola, install new ridge vent and vents for the sinks, and clean up the attic and premises spotlessly. They didn't even goof off during that time, they just did a thorough job. I have not had to call them back once and would recommend them to others.
Sometimes service is worth the extra price.
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.

Hi, That is so true. In service business price is not no. 1 issue. Good service with good experience and knowledge count the most. This is what they say in business management course in retail.
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Sounds like you're on the right track. I'm willing to pay more for good work, but there is usually a middle ground guy. And unless you check their references, the most expensive guy could still do a half-assed job. You have to wonder how these guys that are 2X get the job. I went through that when replacing my furnace and AC. The most expensive guy was 2X. He did show up at the house and put those disposable booties on his feet before coming inside and he had a brand new truck. I guess that must impress enough folks. He was a nice guy, but like your guy, refused to budge on price, even though he had the most room to move.
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DerbyDad03 wrote: (stuff)
Roofing companies absolutely hate to have to re-engineer an attic's ventilation arrangement.
Replacing rotted decking, valley and chimney flashing, replacing existing vents, even adding new vents - that stuff is standard for them.
Having to deal with gutters or soffits - no. They don't want to do that.
Call a company that does siding and have them give you a quote to upgrade your soffit venting. Deal with that separately. Leave the roofing to the roofing companies.
Something else you can do that might save some $$$:
In most cities, there are one or two large shingle wholesalers that sell shingles to most everyone except maybe the big-box stores. They sell to roofers, DIY's, etc. They are the ones that deliver the shingles directly to the roof-top.
When you get a roofing job done, the roofer buys the shingles from the wholesaler, and jacks up the price to by 50% just for good measure. So if the roofer pays $20 a bundle, you end up paying $30.
You should ask the roofer to give you a quote for doing the job without including the cost of the shingles and underlayment (ice guard, felt, etc). Tell him that stuff will be on-site (and on the roof) when he gets there - because you will order it from the wholesaler.
But note that some roofers won't do the job unless you buy the shingles from them. Those are the ones that are building in a healthy profit in selling you the shingles.
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And like the roofer isn't going to then adjust the rest of his pricing so he makes the same on the job? They would have to be pretty stupid to not.

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" snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net" wrote:

That depends on how competitive your local roofing market is.
Having to buy and pay for the roofing materials is (or can be) a cash-flow issue for some roofers, and if you take that off their hands (when you buy the material yourself) they may not necessarily penalize you by inflating their labor price for doing the job.
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On Wed, 18 Apr 2012 06:53:35 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

...and add hefty premium, on top, for all the "help" you're giving him.

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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Higher overhead tends to go along with higher reliability, more years in business, proper licenses and insurance, etc. Certainly no guarantee and you have to check those things, but the low overhead folks are usually the ones that are here today and gone tomorrow.
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