Roofing prices

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I've received three estimates to remove two old layers and add a new layer to my 3400 sq ft roof on a ranch house in central New Jersey.
Company A: $11,940.00, GAF Timberline Lifetime shingles. Gave estimate on the spot. Said job would take less than one day. Estimate includes $700 dumpster charge, and up to three sheets of plywood. (I estimate that the one soft spot is only 1 foot x 3 feet.) Cricket not discussed.)
Company B: $9,280, IKO Cambridge AR. Gave estimate on the spot. Said job would take less than one day. No dumpster; uses company-owned dump trucks. Up to three sheets of plywood free. If I want GAF shingles, they would charge an extra $980, bringing the total to $10,260. Price of building a cricket next to the chimney included.
Company C: $8,575, GAF Timberline Lifetime singles. Came to my house on Monday, promised an estimate via email in one or two days; it arrived today, four days later. Each sheet of plywood, $50. Will probably use a dumpster. Cricket included.
Peripheral stuff like ridge vents, drip edges and replacing plumbing pipe penetrations with non-rusting aluminum ones are the same with all three companies. The warranty on the IKO shingles seems better than on the GAF, but once you read them you see that all contain too many loopholes and limitations, and just about all shingle manufacturers are involved in class action lawsuits regarding not honoring their warranties.
In Company C's favor, aside from the price: He was the only one to walk on the roof, inspect it and tell me I really didn't need a new one; there are just portions of one or two shingles missing. Also, his email proposal was the most professional, with each item specified in great detail and everything neatly typed in a Word document.
Against Company C: He didn't meet his own deadline for the estimate, which raises doubt about his trustworthiness; the job would take more than the one day the other two companies promised, and the dumpster. (I probably shouldn't be concerned about the dumpster, as it will be on plywood "feet" to protect my blacktop driveway.)
As I am writing this, Company B called. I asked how C could be so much lower than B even with the GAF shingles he wants an extra $980 for. B called back at few minutes later, after checking his figures, and came back with $9,700 as his best price.
(For the record, HD charges about $100 per square (3 bundles) for the GAF Timberline Lifetime shingles, and my roof needs 34 bundles. IKO runs about $84 per bundle if picked up, $88.65 if delivered, and $90 if boomed up. IKO prices are from an Indiana company, ReeseWholesaler.com. So HD, a retailer, would charge $510 more for the GAFs.)
With C being $1,125 cheaper, seems like a no-brainer to chose them. But I thank you for your comments on something I may have overlooked, and whether to bring in a company D and E.
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On 7/20/2012 3:45 PM, Rebel1 wrote:

over 20 years ago but it is nice to see your prices as I may have to face same issue in 5 years or so.
I tend to deal with contractors that I have used before or can get reliable referrals on like from family members. Also learned that a contractor good with my windows and doors was not good with my son's roof. In first case using all American workers for windows and doors but all probably illegals on roof.
I would also get job done in one day. Don't want someone banging on my roof for a week or having a mess in my yard.
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I'd prefer a job done right than a job done fast. One day or two days, even three, wouldn't bother me as long as they were working on my roof and not splitting the days on 2 or 3 jobs. I don't care if they only get 3 jobs done in a week because they spend extra time of each job. That's their problem...I'd prefer "slow and steady" as opposed "rush it and move on".
I did run into a little of the job splitting issue when my roof was recently done, but it was understandable. My contractor hires a guy to make his gutters and then my contractor's crew hangs them. It turned out the the gutter guy ran into a problem and wasn't available when my guy was ready for him.
He told me what was going on then went around the block to start another job. 2 days later when the gutter guy was available, he and a couple of his guys left the other job and came over to hang my gutters. Stuff happens. No big deal.
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On 7/20/2012 6:05 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I say one day but something unexpected could happen to delay a day. I've seen roofing jobs done over a period of what seemed like 2 weeks with only one or two guys working and carrying shingles up a ladder. You may save a buck, but who wants this aggravation?
My good window guy, on his last job here showed up minus 2 special windows that he said he would install later. My wife made him load up his truck and told him to come back when he had all the windows to do the whole job which was done maybe 6 weeks later. I might have let him but he wanted to be paid if he did the partial job which is something I will not do.
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Yeah, that's what I meant too. I want my contractor to be a "one gal at a time" kind of guy if you know what I mean.
I don't care what he did before or what he'll do after, but when he's dating my roof, I don't want to hear about any side action.

Tough lady!
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On 7/20/2012 6:05 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Excellent point about job splitting that I hadn't considered. I'll add a clause to the contract (making allowances for unexpected rain).
Thanks,
R1
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On 7/20/2012 3:45 PM, Rebel1 wrote:

It's nice that company C walked around the roof. I wouldn't let the late quote bother me too much. Sounds like he priced it like they want the job esp since they inspected the existing roof
If it takes company C longer than the more expensive quotes, now you know the cost of the additional labour.
I'd get a second quote from somebody who'll walk the roof or ask for references from the guys that already gave you a quote. My co-worker was having trouble finding a reasonable or reliable roofer last year so I showed him my bill and pictures of the work done on my roof in 2007.
I live an hour away from my co-worker as does my roofer yet my co-worker called him up and sure enuf the roofer agreed to quote. It was higher than some others and lower than others as well but they did the deal and my co-worker was happy as shit. Never underestimate the power of references. Ask around and see if somebody you know was happy with a new roof they got.
All of this is my measly two cents worth.
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On 7/20/2012 4:25 PM, Duesenberg wrote:

By phone, I asked Company B to supply three references from five years ago. Being that he picked them (rather than me picking them at random from a list), all were favorable. Two were repeat customers on various properties they own; the third was an ordinary homeowner like me, and satisfied.
I'll take a trip to Company C's office and pick a few references at random.
Thanks,
R1
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Did either of the GAF guys talk about Deck Armor for use with their lifetime shingles?
http://www.gaf.com/Roofing/Residential/Products/Roof-Deck-Protection/Roof-Deck-Protection.aspx
It's my understanding that if they don't use the entire roofing "system" and aren't certified to install it, the lifetime warranty won't be honored.
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On 7/20/2012 4:28 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

http://www.gaf.com/Roofing/Residential/Products/Roof-Deck-Protection/Roof-Deck-Protection.aspx
Companies A and C both proposed using Shinglemate as the underlayment. Company C claims: WE ARE MASTER ELITE CERTIFIED BY GAF CORPORATION.
Thanks for bring my attention to this detail.
R1
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On 7/21/2012 9:22 AM, Rebel1 wrote:

condo in Florida, used Porter Paint (first choice of contractor). The old paint job was very badly done, probably wasn't pressure washed or primed beforehand. An unexpected plus in the deal with Porter Paint was that they came out and inspected the job at a couple of points, including when the prep was done. We got the contractor's name from our neighboring condo assn., and the guy did mostly commercial work like shopping malls. Did a superb job, and was the low bidder :o)
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Rebel1 wrote:

What do others say? * The BBB? * Homeowners who have used companies A, B, & C, that is, check their references. * (Believe it or not) the store manager at Home Depot or Lowes? * What does A say about B and C, B about A and C, and so on? * Your (and other) insurance agents in your town?
Then, too, there are issues which many (not me) think are important: Licenses, insurance, use of union labor, permits, etc.
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On 7/20/2012 4:39 PM, HeyBub wrote:

I picked B and C because both were BBB Accredited businesses. C has been a BBB member since 1986; claims to be A rated.

I have to visit C's offices and pick references at random.

I only identified A and C to B. He didn't meanmouth either. He just said he couldn't meet C's price.

The companies pull the permit, which I separately pay for. C says: "Employees are insured with Workers Comp and General Liability Insurance." But what if some of the workers are not employees? I'll ask about this and insist they use employees.
Thanks for the good points.
R1
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wrote:

customers where they have done roofing jobs. Then make sure you contact and talk to those references. Price is not the only consideration for a job that should last 20+ years. If the workmanship is substandard then you've wasted your money. And all too often the roofing company will go out of business and leave you up the creek. Also check with your state or local BBB (Better Business Bureau) to see how these vendors are rated.
Good luck - you'll have to live with your choice for a LONG time.
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snipped-for-privacy@fdcx.net wrote:

You need to do more than that. Almost every state requires companies to have contractor licenses and workmans comp insurance. You need to ask for proof of both and then confirm that they are valid with your state licensing agency. You don't want to be sued because someone fell off your roof.
References can be faked, but talking to the local roofing products supplier (where the contractors get their material from) is a great way to get unvarnished reviews. Believe me, they know who the good and bad guys are.
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On 7/20/2012 5:40 PM, Robert Neville wrote:

Company C a member since 1986; rated A. Company B also a member.

I'll check this when I visit their office next week.

Superb suggestion.
Thanks,
R1
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On 7/20/2012 4:43 PM, snipped-for-privacy@fdcx.net wrote:

Company C has been a BBB member since 1986, and is rated A. I'm going to their office next week to randomly pull references. They are based right in my hometown.
Thanks,
R1
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One contractor that I got an estimate from included a 13 page document listing the addresses, the year of the job and the shingle color of the roof for jobs they had done in recent years. With hundreds of houses listed I have to assume that it wasn't scrubbed to ensure glowing references. Maybe some really bad ones were left off, but there sure were a lot of houses that they didn't mind us checking out our own.
I didn't choose them for other reasons, but SWMBO and I did use their list to help us choose a roof color.
I suggested to the guy that I picked that he should do something similar since I was certainly impressed with the list that the other guy had given me. Not only did it give me confidence in his work, but it really helped to see shingles on an actual roof instead of just on the sample boards.
As far as payment, my contractor was satisfied with payment upon completion for a job that included a tear-off, roof, ridge vents, gutters, full soffit cuts and vinyl soffit covers. He even came up into my attic to make sure I knew how to install the rafter baffles correctly to take full advantage of the soffit vents he was going to cut.
I'm a PITA and ask a lot of questions. I was very happy to hear him tell me to ask anything I wanted because he wanted to be sure that there was no misunderstanding as to what was going to be done and why. He said "When I'm done with this job I don't want to come back unless you have more work for me."
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On 7/20/2012 12:45 PM, Rebel1 wrote:

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Rebel1 wrote:

It sounds like you are doing what you need to do in terms of comparing companies, prices, what they will do, etc.
Someone mentioned permits. I assume you have already figured that part out, but if it were me, I would have them get the permit as part of the contract since they will be the licensed contractor that will be doing the work.
And, of course, make sure they are insured.
For a one-day (or two-day) job, make sure that you do not give them a deposit up front. Let them do the job and then pay them in full as soon as it is done to your satisfaction. If they are lining up jobs and taking deposits, those who paid a deposit may be the last to see their job completed. Once a deposit is paid, there is little incentive for the contract to actually do the work since he already has his "profit" in hand.
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