I got a bid to put in a new roof, and it included removal of 2 layers
They got to work, and it turns out there were three layers of
shingles. We got the bill, and they now want to charge us an extra
$1100 for the removal of the third layer (32 square additional tear
off at $35/square)
Is this normal? Is it really so much more work than 2 layers?
Unless you multi-posted your question to alt.home.repair (which would be
bad because multi-posting is bad) I'm going to cross-post this to
alt.home.repair because the group you posted this to
(misc.consumers.house) gets very little traffic.
Was it your decision to not remove the original shingles when the job
was done the last time?
It's bad enough to shingle over the existing roof, but to do it twice is
Based on a typical 3-bundle per square, and a weight of 80 lbs per
bundle, you've got a weight of about 2500 lbs per layer.
That means there is 5000 lbs of extra weight on your roof (more than a
full-size pickup truck).
I'd say that yes, if the roofers were going to remove your top layer and
what they though was the bottom layer as part of the original quote, and
now they want to charge you an extra $1000 to remove a third layer, then
that's not really out of line.
In fact I didn't even know that it was legal to have three layers of
shingle on a roof (I'm sure that it's not where I live, as I know that
my house had an aluminum roof put on over two layers of shingle by the
PO, which required special permission from the building inspector,) so
the assumption that there were only two is reasonable IMHO.
It isn't legal, but that doesn't stop people from doing it. All you
need to do is, do it yourself, or get it done by a shady contractor on
I did it on a small section of my roof just to get through the winter,
and the "roofing police" didn't say a word to me.
I was up front with the roofer and warned him about the third layer.
He said "no problem" and didn't charge me extra. Of course it was a
small section, only about two squares.
The house is 60 years old, and this is the first time we've put a roof
So the previous owners probably just kept piling on the shingles!
We're glad to have them off, but didn't know if the price was right.
Thanks for the feedback.
Dude... What did you think, that removing another layer of roofing
isn't that much more work ? That is 1/3rd more nails, 1/3 more labor,
1/3 more weight and volume of debris that has to be disposed of...
Construction debris costs money to dispose of properly -- your
roofer is not going to absorb that cost as it would eat away much
of the profit on the job...
This was just one of those surprises that sometimes comes up
during the process of a project -- the only way you would have
known about this in advance was to go up on the roof and remove
shingles until you hit the roof sheathing before you called out
contractors to submit bids...
I don't see where there is much additional labor involved. You stick
the shingle removng tool (homowners usually use a flat shovel) under
all the layers at the same time. One doesn't remove shingles one
layer at a time.
More debris, yes. Labor? Not that I can see. there would be some
but not a lot.
+1 to that.
Clearly the contractor is entitled to an additional charge. But $1100
sounds high to me. There is some additional labor involved, even
if it's just hauling the debris to the dumpster, but if it costs X to
remove one layer, it surely doesn't cost 2X to remove two
or 3X to remove three. I'd say maybe 25% more for each
additional layer would be closer.
Also, while it might cost more for disposal, it might also cost
nothing. Dumpster's are frequently contracted out based on
size and as long as all the shingles fit, it could cost the same
for 2 layers or 3.
On Mon, 16 May 2011 07:45:00 -0700 (PDT), " email@example.com"
When I rented my last dumpster (for a roof job, BTW, though I loaded it with
other crap) they charged by the yard and the ton; X for the dumpster plus Y
per ton. In many cases the transportation costs exceed the dump fees. A
truck can only (legally) carry so much. Trash haulers are often overweight.
Umm yes, 3x the number of nails that has to be removed...
Those wonderful roofing scrapers tear the shingles more than they
get the whole thing in one piece with the nails... Especially
with many layers involved...
3x the amount of debris to pick up off the ground and put in a
Been a long time. Worked roofing in Texas back in the early 70s.
Reroofed mother's house in...um 80s, remodeled and reroofed my house
in 1984, reroofed garage and sheds in late 90s.
Yes I overlooked the labor costs of cleanup but it is not an
Forgot to add one comment on the removal subject:
Seems to me that removing 2 of 3 layers would take _more_ removal
labor than taking off all three. I can't even figure out how one
could do it in a reasonably fast method.
Gee, why would a roofer go on a roof in advance? Sheesh. Besides the
fact that you can easily see the third layer of shingles from the
edges and eaves, a roofer's job is to go up on roofs, and there are a
host of reasons that a homeowner should insist that the roofer get up
there to insure that the estimate and contract don't have big gaping
holes in them.
"Just one of those surprises" doesn't fly here. You are talking about
latent and concealed conditions. Deteriorated roof sheathing would be
an example of something that might not be discovered even after
getting up on the roof during the estimate. A third layer is not. An
additional 1/4" thickness or more of roof shingles is quite noticeable
from the edge, and all the roofer would have to do is count to know
for sure. How a roofer could miss a third layer is beyond me, unless
he didn't see the job, simply made a mistake and didn't investigate
adequately, or didn't miss the extra layer and was holding the extra
layer in reserve as an extra.
How can you be so certain what you would see from the ground...
I know a homeowner that replaced the drip edges on his roof when
he added a layer of shingles and all you can see from the ground
is a single layer... Something similar may have happened in the
The only way to *know* with certainty is to do some exploratory
surgery before asking for bids -- or allowing the winning bidder
to verify field conditions to solidify the actual dollar figure...
- how come the roofer didn't know? You can see an additional layer
from the edge of the roof, and a roofer can spot that from the ground.
- what does the contract say? Does it say removal of existing
shingles, or removal of two layers of existing shingles? If it says
removal of existing shingles the OP doesn't owe the roofer anything
and the roofer will have learned a valuable lesson in not making
assumptions and estimates without doing his homework.
- if you want to be paranoid and assume the worst, it's possible that
the contractor did know about the additional layer and decided to
'discover' it after the job was underway.
- removing three layers is definitely more work and expense for the
roofer than removing two. If you believe the roofer is shooting
straight, and the contract/estimate simply says removal, then split
the difference with him. You will both have learned a valuable
No, dumpsters are by size and also the weight of the debris
removed... You get charged based on both criteria...
Never seen or heard of a flat rate "dumpster"... Maybe you
are thinking of those cute "bagster" type gimmicky things
homeowners can buy at the local home center and call for
removal -- those are designed to burst right on your lawn
if you overload them...
How it happened, is I got about 4 different quotes for the roof, and
one contractor told me that I had 2 layers.
Then, another contractor, in his quote, mentioned taking off one
layer, I corrected him and he then said he'd take off the 2nd layer
for another $500, but then his boss called to say it would be
included. So the quote then said that they would take off two layers.
So, when they started work, and found the third layer, I was
expecting to be charged another $500.
Then the bill came, and the bill was for an extra $1100, so I was
surprised and I had no way of knowing if he was screwing me, and
actually charging me for both layers.
Anyway, sounds like it was about right, so I sent the check in this
morning, and it's taken care of.
thanks for the responses.
Okay, sounds like it all worked out in the end. You should be aware
that even in the little bit that you posted that there was stuff that
could be misleading and misconstrued. I'm still not clear on why the
contractor asked for $1100 for the third layer, when an additional
layer seemed to go for $500, but what's done is done.
You might have gotten a better final price if you had let the
contractors do their own estimating and let them assume their own risk
for the estimate's accuracy. That is what contracting is - risk
Many times an owner will start 'filling in the blanks' to prove to the
contractor that they are aware of what is going on and how things work
on a particular project. Sometimes that works, other times, not so
much. People that really know what they are doing don't tell the
contractor how to do their job - they only hire people who know how to
do their job. What they do is to control exposure and tweak the price
by using the contract terms. In the end though, it all comes down to
fairness and respect.
Even if the roofer had not charged you extra for that additional
layer, it would have been right of you to kick him something extra out
of a sense of fairness. That is also a good opportunity to take
advantage of other things at your disposal. If you own a business you
could give the roofer a discount on a purchase or something similar
where you can leverage a discount you get and pass it on in way that
the roofer would feel he got full value.
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