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.