Shingle Bid Comparision

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Judging by some of the answers people get on roofing questions, I don't suppose there are too many practicing roofers frequenting these NGs. But anyhow, you never know, sometimes someone might give a legitimate answer.
My question is: what kind of rates are shingle contractors asking from homeowners in other parts of North America? By "other parts" I mean parts of Canada and the US other than Kansas City. And to keep it comparable, I'll give some particulars. Let's say a walk-onable pitch, one-story, easy access, two-layer tear-off, average income homeowner, homeowner is average in likeableness, short travel time, suppliers nearby, simple roof (no valleys or tricky flashing), regular 3-tab shingle, air-shot fasteners, decent size house (25 square), no wood replacement, good weather, no tree cutting, roofer is not starving nor overwhelmed, how much per square is a typical total materials & labor bid? Please state where you are.
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* Nehmo Sergheyev *
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When I briefly worked as roofer, everything was done by the square. Calculate how many square's of material to do the roof and charge $ per square. Where I live now the roofers won't tell you how much per square and won't even tell you how many squares they calculated on your roof. It always leads me to believe that they are up to no good.
Nehmo Sergheyev wrote:

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- Ra -

- Nehmo - I understand some estimators (in other trades too) don't want to tell the prospective customers what the measurements are because they don't want to help the prospective customer to comparison shop over the phone. Of course, I think someone wanting measurements should get them themselves. In that way there's no question about the honesty of the results.
Incidentally, when contractors sub a roof job to another contractor, they always do it by the square.
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* Nehmo Sergheyev *
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I agree that this can be a problem. Every estimate I've gotten they want to come out and look and count the peaks. As I live in a rather pricey neighborhood, I always get the idea that I'm getting gouged when they see the house (this was more than proven when I had my deck replaced). But when the contractor tells me that the price per square depends on the pitch and peaks, I respond with, no the pitch does not affect your price per square, it just means more squares they become speechless. The guys that say it's $X per square, plus any extras, I know are going to be honest.

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"Ra" wrote in message

Your thoughts on doing roofing is severely flawed. The pitch always affects the pricing, peaks do also when using ridge vent or just simple capping. Generally peaks = valleys, but is not always true.
It would be outrageous to charge someone that has a one story 4/12 ranch the same as the structure with a 12/12 pitch two story colonial. Roofing is based on time elements. Anyone that charges the same for one story 4/12 vs. a two or three story 12/12 pitch deserves to lose all the simple jobs and do nothing but the more time consuming jobs. This person would soon find out their pricing needs adjusted.
The structure's design for junctures/valleys/pitch/chimneys/access/levels, must always be taken into consideration.
I'm sure the contractors become speechless because it's not good business practice to argue with a clueless customer. It's easier to walk away just shaking your head.
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Mick wrote:

Hmmm. I've got bids from three contractors that disagree with you. Each one said, we charge this per square of material installed, plus (remember the line about extras up there).
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"Ra" wrote in message

If they charge everyone "x" amount per square, be it low pitch or steep. I'll guarantee you they won't be there next year should a problem should arise. One can't do business that way. The so called "honest" people you seek fall into this category.
We are in the commercial end with about 5% being residential. There is noway we would do the chopped up measly 30 square jobs for the same price per square as the 400 square jobs. Looking at it from the smaller perspective, one that does residential of the 20-35 square homes will not go out and shingle a 2 square shed for the same amount per square.
I thought you said "The guys that say it's $X per square, plus any extras, I know are going to be honest." Up this way, roofing is done per contract. Not an open end contract like you're getting. Where on Earth do you live where they have an open end contract? You really need to get quotes by the job/contract, T&M roofing on the residential end is virtually unheard of. Get some professional quotes and quit messing around with the bar room brawlers, you are setting yourself up to be taken.
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Anyone who would sign a contract that said " $X per square, plus any extras" is just asking to get robbed.
--
JerryD(upstateNY)

I thought you said "The guys that say it's $X per square, plus any extras, I
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"JerryD(upstateNY)" wrote in message

I totally agree. I do want to clarify there must be a clause for hidden/unforeseen damage, but this should be stipulated at "x" amount per sheet of "wood type" or "x" amount per lineal ft of wood. Same goes for rafter & fascia.
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(whom I've done business with several times over the years - inspected three homes, I bought two) said the roof had 3-4 years and that it would cost $25-30K to replace
Call the first guy. How much per square. He gives your answer. Comes out looks. Bid $39K
Second guy. How much per square. Your answer. Comes out looks. Bid $37.5K.
Talk to a friend who had his roof down, by his brother. (It's been there much longer than your estimate). Come out and look. I don't work cheap. How much do you charge. $450 per square, plus I charge extra for any vent work, skylights, etc. I also charge if I need scaffolding. Bid $31K.
Call the home inspector. Do you know anybody? Two names.
Long story short. Fourth guy says he charges $425 per square. Plus, vents, skylights, scaffolding etc. Bid $30K. Fifth guy Tells me $385 to $450 per square depending on vents, skylights, scaffolding etc. Asks $31K.
All have references. All recommend by people I trust. All have pictures. All have homes I can drive by. Two have been in business over 20 years. (Ones a young guy.) None have black marks on their record with the State licensing authority.
Oh, I left out the guy who who wanted me and the wife to be present for the 90 minute presentation on his "roofing system."
Now you may be honest and fair, but my experience has been different.
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Call the home inspector. Do you know anybody? Two names.
Direct conflict of interests. Makes everything he told you suspect.
Best of luck, and let us know how it comes out!
--
Lyle B. Harwood, President
Phoenix Homes, Inc.
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You throw out the high bid (too busy, don't need the work) and the low bid (pays employees under the table, doesn't pay taxes, forged insurance docs) and choose from the middle three. Look for a manufacturer's installers certification as the deal clincher. Doesn't mean much, but a roofer who goes through the effort is at least trying to be professional.
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money. Look, the point I'm trying to get across is that whenever I talk to a contractor, on any project it appears to me that the guys who will not give me quantifiable answer on costs before they come out are always much higher than the guys who will give me a quantifiable answer. I've used WOM, screening services, home shows and even picked them out of the phone book at random. I've had the same problem on my deck and on a bathroom I'm getting ready to do. I'll also add that I never had this problem before I moved into this area and into this nice a neighborhood. I can see no other variable.
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Ra wrote:

That MUST have been Lyle Harwood no? ;)
Mark
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Ra wrote:

I agree with Mick here, you dont know what you are talking about. The steeper the roof, the more work. On a flat roof you dont set roof jacks, lug planks to the roof, you can move faster, have more men on the roof, you can easily stack materials on the roof where its faster and handy, the differences are endless. Its just common sense that a steep roof is more work which means you will pay more. Call a roofer and ask them to quote you a price for roofing a ranch and then ask them if its the same for a church steeple and you will begin to learn.
As was stated, 10-20 percent over an above the actual size of the roof is more than common. I would argue the 20% number is closer to the norm on many of todays homes. This would mean your 29.5 square would work for a 24 square roof.
Additionally, a 25 square roof on a simple, not too steep gable roof, is no where near the same as a 25 square roof on a 12/12 pitch with a couple dormers, etc.. Not only is the roof more steep but you have 4 valleys, two additional ridges, step flashing, more drip edge, on and on. On the simple gable you start at one and and fly to the other. On the dormered roof you cant make a run for very long without having to stepflash, cut, etc..
There is a reason why the per square price is given between a sub and a contractor. Its because the contractor is smart enough to know that he/she is not going to get the same price for a complex roof as they will for the simple. On the complex roof they will get a quote just like you do.
This is one of the sad cases where a little knowledge (which is far from correct) makes life miserable, and I dont mean for the one with "a little knowledge".
Mark
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this interesting note:

Anyone who uses a 10% to 20% waste factor on almost any roof is a thief. We routinely use a 4% waste factor on our bids and are almost always exactly right on the amount of materials required. For example, the last roof we did (just finished, in fact) was one bundle shy on the Tamko 30 year shingles and we had about a half a bundle extra for the hip and ridge shingles. With a 4% waste factor. (Actually it may have been a 3% waste factor on this roof as it is a simple ranch style house, gables, with one very small hip out back. Child's play to get the numbers almost exactly right.)
-- John Willis (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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"John Willis" wrote in message

In this area, it's common practice to leave at least 2 bundles with the customer.
Why would you want to cut your jobs so close that you have to send someone to run and get a bundle of shigles? That isn't the smartest management I've seen.
Waste is factored into the style of roof. If so simple, you shouldn't have run shy of any amount. That sir, is a waste in itself.
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this interesting note:

more toe stumpers in their garages!:~)

We have a few spare bundles on hand left over from other recent jobs. Most of the brands we use as well as most of the popular colors.

Not true. The amount of shingles you will need will vary depending on the number of valleys, how many rakes there are, if there are any walls that abut the roof, even the width of the various planes will affect the amount of waste shingles.
What's truly wasteful are those companies that send out high powered salesmen whom the homeowner will never see again. These salesmen don't know how to roof a house, they only know how to make an 'estimate.' They have to build in a large waste factor to account for the fact that they don't know what they are doing. The next problem with the waste issue is the subcontractors who, when they need small piece of a shingle, will use an entire shingle and throw away all the 'extra' when just a small piece is all they needed. What is wasteful is hiring subs who don't know what they are doing and who ruin houses by tearing off an entire roof, yet not being prepared for that occasional shower or thunderstorm. What is wasteful is having to return to a completed job because some sub couldn't be bothered to install shingles correctly (as if the instructions aren't written on each and every bundle!:~)
There are far more wasteful practices than the need to occasionally need to return to the warehouse or supplier to pick up another bundle of shingles or a new flashing that may have been overlooked or a few more tubes of roof cement or poly-urethane sealer or another can of paint for the roof jacks and vents.
The best practice is to give the customer what is promised in the estimate. Our best customers understand that we do far more than what is written on the estimate and most of the details we take care of on their roofs are the very details others miss. Those are the details that make the difference between a happy customer with no leaks and a very unhappy customer who has to inspect the ceilings every time it comes a rain. Just today I got to touch up a mess created by some other contractor who couldn't be bothered to properly diagnose and seal the leaks left behind by his installer.
-- John Willis (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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Comments inserted

Hey John, what cha mean not true? Waste _is_ factored into the style of roof. You just explained it in detail what affects the amount, where as b/4 you said "Anyone who uses a 10% to 20% waste factor on almost any roof is a thief." Make up your mind, will ya? :o)
Other than that, I agree with everything else I snipped. Except the part on getting the job close to where someone has to run for pieces/parts. That's to costly when done over and over.
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this interesting note:

The waste factors we use vary slightly according to roof type, yes. But it varies within a very tight range-from three percent to five percent above the actual roof measurements. Never in my experience have I ever seen a residential roof in our area that couldn't be measured and estimated with this kind of waste factor. I still stand by my assertion that anyone who estimates a roof with a ten to twenty percent waste factor is a thief, or worse is very inexperienced.

It can be when it is constant and on every job, but every supplier I know of also charges some kind of re-stocking fee on returned materials. Over time that fee will add up to some significant expenses. Compare that expense to the slight cost of having to occasionally return to the supplier or warehouse to obtain a few extras (something that can be done when going to order for the next job or in the evening after work for the day is done) and to us this is a more efficient way to operate. We are usually about a square or less over what it actually takes to install the roof.
If you overestimate a roof and the hired help is paid by the square you have increased your operating expenses by a rather significant margin since the hired help will quickly understand that if they can use up as much material as possible (by cutting off a six inch piece from a whole shingle and throwing away all the 'waste', which is not significant if done once, but over an entire roof, on every roof installed, turns into quite a pile of cash) they will make far more money.
-- John Willis (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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