Roofer Contract Dispute

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We recently hired a roofer to replace the roof (full strip and new felt,flashing,water/ice shield, new ridge vent installed etc) of our house. The contracted price was Amount A, made in 3 payments. Prior to signing, I also stated a complete clean-up & sufficient soffit ventilation in the contract. The house had substandard soffit ventilation and ice damming had been a problem in the past. The contract also included a 5 year workmanship warranty and a 10 year extended "System Plus" warranty from the manufacturer, GAF. Soffit vents were discussed with the estimator and again before the job started.
The contract also stated that any additional work which required additional payment would be due before the work began. The roofer accepted the contract and cashed the deposit (1st) payment. Sometime later they began work and the second payment was made.. The started on a day when there was rain in the forecast, and stopped work that day after rain had began. Due to severe storms (some water penetrated into the attic), work could not resume for several days.
They did finish the shingles when the weather cleared several days later, which took about a half a day of work. When they said they were finished, I inquired about the soffit vents, which had not been added. I pointed out that they were in the contract. The foreman said he would have to check with the office. The next business day, someone arrived and said we already had soffit vents. I said, yes that is true but there are not many and they are quite small, under 30 square inches total. He added several vents, but instead of cutting a square hole (e.g. just smaller than the metal vents) he drilled 3 large holes, so that the total venting area is significantly less than the vent. (The same GAF vents may be purchased for less than $2/ea at home depot.)
Since the job was complete, the final payment was made, and Amount A was paid (and checks cashed) in full. Shortly thereafter, an invoice arrived (Amount B) for soffit vents.
I disagree that I owe Amount B. Soffit vents were included the contract, which the roofer did accept. No agreement was made to pay Amount B. The shingle manufacturer, GAF, requires 1 sq inch or soffit ventilation for every sq inch of exhaust ventilation in their documentation, and a ridge vent increased the exhaust ventilation.
The roofer claims that GAF vent requirements are only a "recommendation." Roof also claims that I owe Amount B because he did not agree to the soffit vents and he had to send someone on a separate visit (he could have done everything on the same visit). The roofer also says that he will not activate warranties until everything is paid, despite that Amount A was for a contract that included warranties and Amount A has been paid in full.
What is the most fair way to resolve the situation?
Thanks!
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Lisa Taylor wrote:

A newsgroup is a forum for the open exchange of ideas. The collected archive is a vast searchable database of knowledge. Electing to not have your post(s) archived is removing the original link(s) and makes the train of thought through the thread more difficult to read. Please reconsider.
R
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"Lisa Taylor" wrote

You may have expressed your concern prior to signing, and discussed things with the estimator. But, the bottom line is, what did your contract that you signed state?
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Kyle Baxter wrote:

I included a clause "include sufficient soffit ventilation" in the written contract before I signed it and sent it to the roofer.
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things
that
there you have it. a vague statement. You wanted new, more venting. your contract says sufficient. I would refuse payment and wait for the contractor to sue. Drilling a few holes certainly is not worth going to court.
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Soffit
written
If the shingle manufacturer won't warranty the product because the installer has provided insufficient ventilation then he has breached his implied contract pure and simple.
What else could "include sufficient soffit ventilation" have implied in this case anyways ???
I would take HIM to court unless he gets those warranty papers turned in pronto.
--
SVL






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PrecisionMachinisT wrote:

Soo true. The shingle manufacturer's warranty is 10 years while the installers is 5 years.
So the only case she has is to ask the shingle manufacturer if they will warranty the shingles with the current level of ventilation. That is the key because that is what determines what 'sufficient' means.
If they wont, the the installer must by your contract install the vents, in this case go to court. If they will, then you have no case against the installer.
--
Respectfully,


CL Gilbert
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your
few
installer
Exactly....and he must do so at no additional charge above the original contract price....since as per the contract, he sold her roof having a 10 year or whatever manufacturer's warranty...and this is especially true since"sufficient venting" was specifically addressed within the original quote.
She covered this base quit well, IMO..sadly not a whole lot of avenues for recourse excepting perhaps the permitting authority and the BBB...
Personally, and as I said before, I wouldn't fuck around with this jerk--just file in small claims court for an un-warranted roof and make him pay the difference....or get some legal advice...let some paralegal ponder it....She's PAID for the warrantee....and so far hasn't gotten it....
FWIW: I can buy asphalt shingle "seconds" for like dirt cheap if I want to install them myself and am not concerned with any warranty--and for smaller projects, I often will do just that.
--
SVL




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"Lisa Taylor" wrote

After reading your original post again, I see I missed where you stated it was in the contract. My apologies to you.
From what you have said, looks as if someone is trying to get over on you.
I think I would forward a copy of the contract and additional bill to the BBB, along with a letter explaining the situation. I probably would send a CC to your states attorney general. Then wait and see what transpires.
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Lisa Taylor wrote:

What is "amount B"? Worth hiring attorney? Contracts are great when they specify terms. "Sufficient ventillation" sounds, to me, like "good shingles" "properly installed".
Here is a link to GAF's warranty plans; only covers first and second owners if the second owner notifies, blah, blah, blah. Also specifies that the roofer must be paid in full. He must be certified by GAF, if I understand the features of their different warranty plans. Now, with different kinds of plans available, some for only shingles and some for entire system, it appears that you may have PAID for the higher level warranty. IF "amount B" is worth a battle, then, perhaps, a letter to the applicable licensing board and to GAF is in order. The website probably will give the names of certified installers. The contract should have been more specific, IMO. Usually learned the hard way.
http://gaf.com/General/GafMain.asp?Silo=RES1&WS=GAF
Around these parts, it is harder than heck to find someone to do fascia/soffit work. Our roofer avoided doing it, and it may not be part of his license.
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scribbled this interesting note:

Who wants a face full of dust, dirt, and rat droppings?
-- John Willis (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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That's the problem when the estimator/salesman is not the installer. Anyway, there is a standard of 1 sq. ft of ventilation per 300 feet of attic space.
http://www.gaf.com/Content/GAF/RES1/ROOF/RS_whyuse_ventchart.html
If the roofer has not provided this, or is trying to bill extra for it - I would compose a letter stating that providing adequate ventilation is part of performing the work in a 'good and workmanlike manner'. I would send a certified letter to the contractor, and copy in the state licensing board and GAF corporate.
Now if you already had vetilation meeting the requirements, your argument is weaker - although you do have the written contract calling for add'l vents.
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JRanieri wrote:

Thanks for the advice. The house (mid 1960s construction) only had gable vents and small soffit vents. The old soffit vents were circles, about 2 1/2" in diameter, with louvres that made their effective intake area to be around maybe one square inch each. The entire house only had 24 of these, and the house is about 45 x 24. As your link to GAF states, "Remember: Always have a balanced ventilation system. In no case should the amount of exhaust ventilation exceed the amount of intake ventilation." I have GAF's written information which states the same. So the way I see soffit vents would need to be added to match the exhaust area of the ridge vent.
I would have assumed that "sufficient soffit ventilation" would indicate what the shingle manufacturer requires. I doubt GAF would honor their warranty if it's not up to their specifications. I am not sure what my state's building code (MA) says about soffit ventilation requirements, but will try to find out.
So I have two beefs with contractor. One for charging extra for soffit ventilation (which I put in the contract and also would seem to be needed for a proper job even without explicitly being in the contract) and also for attempting to hold my warranties hostage, even though they put the full warranties (theirs and GAF's) in the contracted price, which has been paid to contractor in full. (Checks cashed)
Thanks for everyone's advice. I will check with a lawyer tomorrow as well. Amount B isn't a huge amount relative to the contract price, but I don't appreciate how they have handled everything.
(I have also heard that it is a good idea to close the old gable vents when a ridge vent is added to avoid vent short circuiting between gables and ridge -- although that is a separate issue that I can address myself).
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Lisa Taylor wrote:

The reason the manufacturer wants "sufficient" soffit vents is to prevent the shingles from melting! I exaggerate, but obviously the roof degrades at extreme temperatures.
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well.
when a

ridge --

Also, be aware that a favorite trick of a contractor owed a disputed amount is to file a mechanic's lien on your property. While consulting the lawyer, you may want to ask him about the best way to handle this possibility.
Good luck.
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In addition to the other useful suggestions, check with the state licensing agency. In this state, one can file a complint and have it reviewed. I would take photos of the work as part of your complaints. It doesn't sound - from your post - like it meets the "industry standards". Check with the shingle manufacturer about warranties and "suggested" v "required" venting amounts. I also note that the extra work was done without written authorization or payment as you say is included in the contract language. TB
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Ask him on what basis he wants additional money and what his understanding of the soffit wording in the contract was supposed to mean?
offer to have it settled in small claims court. I would also let him know of your intention to file a complaint with the BBB if he did not provide you with a full and clear warranty as stated.
I am tottaly at a loss as to why you made the full payment before the work was 100% complete to your satisfaction.
Was a building permit required for your work? That is another whole ball of wax I know but still something else to consider
Wayne
Lisa Taylor wrote:

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wayne wrote:

To clarify, I made the final payment of the contracted price (Amount A) after everything was done and their soffit vents had been installed as well. The amount under dispute is an excess amount (Amount B) which they are trying to charge in addition to the original contract price.
I also noticed that the soffit vents they did install were installed using a wide drill to make several holes, not cutting a full square with a saw.

Yes, a building permit was required and I ensured that it was obtained by the contractor.
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One other quick question is who wrote the contract originally? if it was his contract an ambiguity goes against him usually as he is the one writing the contract so if he did not mean to imply something he could change it!
another 2Cents
Wayne
Lisa Taylor wrote:

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The mistake was not spelling out in the contract how much additonal soffit venting was to be installed, what type, where it would go, etc. But it did say that sufficient venting was to be supplied as part of the deal and that any additional work requiring payment was to be spelled out upfront. The contractor did not ask for payment upfront, nor does it sound like he asked for it when you called him back over the soffits. So, I would simply send him a letter spelling out your position, and indicating that you believe he has been paid in full.
As someone else pointed out, he's unlikely to sue you over this small amount and if he does it will likely be in small claims court.
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