Roof Repair Bids - Hail Damage


Our house has hail damage to the roof. The insurance company has provided their estimate. We now have three estimates from contractors. The three estimates are from a list of contractors the adjuster identified - not endorsed.
The three estimates are wildly different in price but it does not appear in scope. The insurance company has identified a need for 52 sq of roofing removal and 57 sq necessary to cover the roof. All three bids are using 30 year dimensional shingles by different companies - GAF, Tamko and Owens Corning. (Reading through earlier posts, there is not a consensus on which is better.) Two have 15# felt and one has 30#. Only one has identified the number of nails per shingle - 4 - the others have not. The bids came in at $11,600, $9,860 and $7,400. The lower two are within the insurance estimate. Choosing the lower does not gain me money but I see no reason to cheat the insurance company if I can get the same quality of work for lower money. All are members of the BBB and I plan to check their records. Two have worked extensively in our neighborhood repairing roofs after this storm.
1) What can be making such a difference? Two have provided 3 tab estimates - which is what we have now. The difference in pricing between dimensional and 3 tab is very different. One has a $2,000 difference and the other a $700 difference. I am planning to ask about squares estimated to see if that is driving this.
2) Is the felt difference important?
3) I have read of 4 and 6 nails recommended. I understand 6 would be better. How much better?
4) What other questions should I focus on?
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I would spend the extra bucks for that membrane material that sticks to the substrate and seals all nail holes.
just to be extra safe:)
I wouldnt have a new roof installed in cold weather the self sealing shingles may never stick:(
that happened here:(:(
ended up replacing roof again and warranty didnt cover it:(
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

One big thing that can cause price difference has nothing to do with the materials or workmanship. If a contractor has plenty of work already, he may bid higher, figuring if he gets it a good margin, he'll work it in somehow cause it's worth his while. If he needs work, then he will be more likely to give a better price.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:\\

Andy comments:
Exactly.... In roof work, or concrete work, you will always get very different estimates if you talk to enough people. Your insurance company appraiser has a much much wider breadth of knowledge than you do, and his appraisal will be in the ball park of the cost...Often on the high side.
One thing that I did was to call my insurance agent and ask him who he used to re-roof his own personal residence, when it was done last.... They won't "reccommend" a contractor, for obvious reasons, but should be very glad to tell you the guys he used himself. It worked out very well for me... A good job, at a fair price, and withing the insurance appraiser estimate.
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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There is nothing more important to a quality roofing job than 30 lb felt, IMO. I know many, many people will tell you it is only a moisture barrier, but think about that, the roof is only a moisture barrier. 15 lb is like black newspaper in more ways than one, it tears easily even when new, disintegrates at a touch when a few years old. They will charge considerably more to use 30 lb because it costs twice as much and covers half as much, also it is harder to work with, but well worth the effort it the "life of your roof". BTW, I'm residing a 50s house and they used 30lb in some spots, 15lb in others for house wrap. When we have to remove the old siding, the 30 is re-usable, the 15 usually falls off and hasn't been doing the job for some time. RE: 3 That really depends on the likelihood of high winds in your area. I would always go for more nails, but 60 - 80 mph winds are very likely in my area.
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The middle quote is about right on with the insurance company. Their shingle estimate is 58 sq vs 57.33 for the insurance company. They are proposing the the 30# felt and use a higher nail count. When we bought the house the previous owners had to replace shingles prior to the sale so I am conscious of losing shingles in high wind.
Thanks to all for the help. Eric in North TX wrote:

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Eric in North TX wrote:

These days I'd think the best thing would be to fully cover the roof sheathing with the self adhesive membrane. It will bond to the sheathing and even if the wind / hail were to strip all the shingles off you would still have a waterproof roof.
Pete C.
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It is quite typical to have wildly varying bids for the same work.
This is especially typical of locales with tight licensing and other restraint-of-trade gimmicks imposed by the local gangsters ... excuse me, building department run by the builders. When things get busy (like your hailstorm creating more work than the licensees can handle), then there is a sort of collusion at work as follows. It takes time and effort to calculate a precise estimate that gets the bid to its low but still profitable amount without risk to the bidder. Contractors who aren't already busy will tend to give such low bids. Other contractors, who are already busy with the rush of business, will bid more or less as a courtesy to their fellows in the biz and in support of the collusive system, but such bids will be based on a cursory inspection and will be overpriced to guarantee that the job (which they don't really want because they're already busy) won't be awarded to them or if by chance is awarded to them won't possibly turn out to be anything but highly profitable.
You've got to understand that you're an amateur at hiring a contractor, and the contractors are experienced professionals at manipulating you (this mindset is part of the process of becoming a licensed contractor, including a kind of brainwashing into belief that a collusive restraint- of-trade price-maintenance scheme is "in the best interest of the consumer" and "professional"), and the game and the laws are all rigged in their interests.
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Cynical, but that's why I searched this forum and made the post. I'm cynical too. The low bidder proposed 15# felt and four nails. It made me wonder about what other ways they would cut qulaity on my roof.. Richard J Kinch wrote:

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