My 1925 sq ft 2-story Berkeley house needs a new roof badly. This will
be my very first deal with a contractor (although I did pay a GC to do
an inspection/bid when I bought the house)! It's a complete tear off and
there's considerable dryrot repair needed.
It's getting close to the rainy season, but a foundation contractor just
told me he suspects materials costs will skyrocket by the spring, so I'm
thinking NOW. I read the entire Berkeley Parents Network roofing page
(http://parents.berkeley.edu/recommend/home/roof.html ) and called a few
multi-recommended roofers (including Interstate and Jay). Jay hasn't
returned the call and Interstate (Bill Wong) simply told me they are
booked for the year.
I already had a bid from Westco (there's no mention of them at the
above-linked site), who's in the Good Service Guide. They're also
included on the recommended list of the BA Consumer's Checkbook, as
reported by KRON TV (they were sure to inform me of that in their bid
letter), but they are unable or unwilling to supply me with a list of
references other than drive-by's. Westco told me that their survey's
checkbox for "Willing to receive calls from our future prospective
customers?" is always unchecked, for the reason. Westco is willing to do
the dryrot repairs on a time and materials basis, and their rate for
that is relatively good ($65/hour - I'm told that's good). The guy said
they aren't finish carpenters, that they do "rough work" but I figure
it'll be good enough in this circumstance. Besides, I don't have any
ideas for other contractors to handle the dry rot.
The bid looks good (they want to do all the right things and their price
of $16,200 beats the other 3 bids I've gotten) and I called them
yesterday and got a start date (Oct. 24) and it's a go when I send in
the signed bid and downpayment, but I'm leary of signing without getting
direct feedback from their customers. Mike Lee did the estimate and he
told me they do more roofs than anyone in my area. Has anyone had
roofing done by Westco? Thanks very much for info.