Once you have selected the roofing contractor you wish to
hire (get 3 to 5 bids), you then have to select the type of roof you want. There are different types of roofs made by a
host of manufacturers. Two popular types of roofing in California (check your area) are asphalt tile and
concrete tile. Asphalt tile is the less expensive of the two. Once you have chosen the type of roof you
want, you will need to choose the quality of roof, usually presented to you in terms of the number of
years that the manufacturer will warrant the product (30, 40 or 50 years).
Depending on the type of roof you are getting, look
over your contract to make sure that all of the components for that style of roof are listed and whether
or not the company you have hired will charge extra for any portion of what you are to get. Common upcharges
include replacement of any wood that has been damaged by the sun, termites or other conditions. Common
replacement items include, but are not limited to shiplap, facia and rafter tails. If you don't know what
these are, ask the contractor to explain them to you. In the end, you may or may not be able to see what
has been replaced, depending on the type of configuration of your roof. Since roofers charge by the
lineal foot for replacement of shiplap and facia, this is a gray area where padding of the bill could be done.
Make sure your contract specifies the exact lineal foot charge for each of these elements. Rafter tails
are usually charged by the item.
Make sure that all warranties for labor and material are
clearly specified on the contract. Make sure the contract is dated and signed by a representative of the
contracting company. In a dispute, where there is confusion regarding what is stated or meant on a contract,
the benefit of doubt goes against the company that drew up the contract, however, this is no excuse for
not being careful on the front end to make sure all pertinent information is accounted for in writing.
Before you pay the final bill, do a complete
investigation of the work yourself, if possible, without actually going on to the roof. You should be able
to see a substantial amount of the replaced wood from the ground. Count the number of rafter tails that have
been replaced. The distance between rafter tails will vary depending on the way it was constructed, but
you'll find whole sections that are consistent in the distance between. This will assist you in arriving
at your own estimate of the amount of wood that was replaced. If the contractor's measurements for the
wood come close to your own measurements, just pay the bill. But if there is a huge discrepancy between
the two, make the contractor "prove" their measurements are correct. This is a place where many homeowners
have been "stung" by unethical contractors.
Check For Missing Wood Look for places where
replacement wood might be missing. Chances are it is just an oversight, but don't assume that the inspectors
will catch everything. Walk around your home and check to make sure all shiplap, facia and removed rafter
tails have been replaced properly. Here you can see that new shiplap was inserted in one section, however
on another section, it is missing. Look for any damage to wood that was not replaced by the contractor.
If you see damage, make them replace it at not cost to you. Don't let them tell you that the wood is
indestructible and couldn't possible have been damaged by the laborers. That's just not true.
Take pictures as the work progresses of anything the laborers do that may cause damage to your property.
Having pictures of things, such as beams dropped on shrubbery, as seen here, might be important to getting
a discount for damage done during the process.
Before You Hire a Contractor
Short Guide to Getting a New Roof
ROOFING IDEAS - HOW TO BUY NEW ROOF - HOME IMPROVEMENT TIPS - ASPHALT TILE ROOF - TILE ROOFS - GETTING NEW ROOF