Roof Triage vs freak-out


(Home Owner) I have an older (mid 60’s) family home that I’ve been holding on to for sentimental reasons.
I don’t know when or IF my dad had the roofing done, but he’s been gone for 25 years.
(This old house)

It’s a couple of hours away, so I don’t get down to visit it often. I visited recently and saw some sheet rock had fallen and could see some daylight at the edge of the roof (fascia?). Whether from recent storms of whatever, it has damage. I’m going down Thursday to meet with a claims person, but initial phone calls with insurance said they probably won’t cover it, because the house isn’t lived in and hasn’t had utilities in a while.
(Out of town, Out of pocket)

First step is to get it tarped (thanks
Do I just go through the (internet) yellow pages? Call roofing companies to get it tarped? Do carpenters do this or is this a roofing specialty thing?
(Buying time)

I’m going to assume that “I need a new roof”. What does that mean?
Do I just request an estimate from every roofing company?
I assume that the plywood is old, also. Do they just put another layer over the shingles, do they strip the singles off and put plywood down, or do they strip the plywood off down to the rafters?
Do roofing companies to repair of the fascia/roof where the breach is, or do I need a carpenter to do that before roofers do anything?
(What to expect)

I know I will need interior repair of sheet rock and painting, etc.
This is plenty stressful. I’m trying to learn a lot about what do to in a short time. Being out of the area makes it even harder. I don’t know anything about roofing OR companies.
I know I should have never let it go for so long or get this far. I’m hoping things aren’t too far gone.


Call a roofing supplier local to home that needs a new roof, explain your situation and they will give you names of appropriate contractors.

Since the home has been let go for awhile it is likely going to cost a bit more than usual.


Thank you Axiom. I will do that today.


As the newb roofing consumer… I know I need work done.
If I get the roof tarped, that buys a little time.

  1. What are slower times of the year for roofing? If I get it tarped fast, I can wait a little while for ROOFing, if that will help with better pricing/quality. Plus, I know that nobody wants to be on the roof when it’s 95 on the GROUND.

  2. Should I / do I NEED to BE there when they’re working on the roof? (from some of the “I’m can’t believe they did that” storied on here)

If I do, I’ll have to schedule/take time from work and travel down… so,
3a. How close to a schedule would a roofing contractor keep?
3b. ASSuMEing no greater problems, What kind of time-frame does it take to re-roof? How long would I have to be there - over night?
3c. Should I be on-site while they’re there?

Lots of questions… I’m just trying to do the correct things, and know what to expect.

Thank you


I’m making arrangements to get it tarped. Thanks for your response.

I just got to some Reddit roofing posts, and saw your post there from … (2013?), also. Almost the same words you gave me!

Someone posted Homewyse for general estimates… I don’t know whether it’s super accurate, but it’s at least a starting point for a generic roof…

It’s a start in the right direction. Is there any other source available to consumers that would give additional data points?


Avoid fall and springs as they are the busiest time for the roofers, wait for the lean period and receive quotes from more than one good roofers, do the comparison and choose the best one for your requirements and budget.


Thank you SharpAdam.
It looks like we’ll get some insurance coverage for the roof. The adjuster used Exactimate and provided the estimate in an email.
He said I could just give the estimate to the contractor and that they would work from that. He said that a contractor would use that and call him if they found anything else that required adjustment.

I had someone do an emergency patch on the roof (branch rubbed through the shingle and plywood), so I have bought a little time.

If spring and fall are avoided, that leaves summer, winter. Is summer a lean time?

There is some interior damage that is covered also. Can I assume that it would be more cost effective to have a contractor that does both roofs and interior, instead of getting bids separately?


Some good advive but the truth is roofer as my self can adjust the price 100’s to 1000’s of $$ pend the squares by using less of material -Cheaper underlayments less nails not replacing copper flashing closed valleys over open ect… and then you have the scammers I know it can get confusing. I just want to through this out there sense hands down CertainTeed has the heaviest UL rated shingle and if installed by a Certainteed Certified shingle or select qualified roof master. You can get a 50 year NONE PRORATED transferable at sale warranty which means your making a equitable investment instead of just a costly roof expense. Just go to and type in your zip the manfacture will supply you with more than qualified roofers.


Thank you NYBuilder. I will check that out.

When there are so many ways to get over on consumers, it’s really hard to trust. Everything throws off trust.

Not returning calls when you know someone has a limited time that they can be in town. Not to imply that my time is more valuable, just very limited.

Promising to send pictures of the work that was supposed to be done & not doing it even after a follow-up phone call request.

Instead of answering price questions, starting with "well, you know, you gotta have someone drive out there, and then get up on the roof, and then… ", and my favorite, “I tell you what… what do YOU think is fair… just name a number.”

Getting this house worked on is going to be an adventure, I’m sure.


To be honest I think its more suspect for a company to name a price without seeing the job than not being able to do so over the phone. To me that just screams that they use the cheapest sub’s they can find and pay them next to nothing. And because of that the sub’s will only care about getting done as fast as possible. These sub’s can’t afford insurance and HAVE NO CHOICE but to cut corners or else they end up making less than minimum wage.


Roofs have so many variables that impact pricing (condition of wood under roof/pitch of roof/number of layers/how many different angles/how many stories/can I get a boom truck close enough/ect). Everyone claims “oh you know, I just have an average roof”, then when you go to check it out its 3layers of old shingles/rotten wood everywhere/chimney about to fall over/trees in the way so you gotta carry every bundle up the ladder/ect lol. If someone insisted I name a price before I see it I probably wouldn’t return their calls either unless I was really needing the work.


Jake, I understand what you’re saying. He probably DOESn’t need the work, but I needed to get this taken care of. I’m just trying to get a hole at the edge of my roof covered before more rain comes in.

I was coming in from out of town and had spoken with the contractor by phone. I described the situation as best I knew and explained that this was to cover a breach at the eaves. It was just to get the roof tarped to buy time. He assured me that he could get it tarped, from the outside, even if I wasn’t there, no problem.

He quoted me an amount to tarp it, told me about how long it would take him, said he would use a 20x20’ tarp, etc. I’m not a construction guy, but I can look stuff up. His price was in line with what I’ve seen discussed here and other sites. I know how long it SHOULD take someone with experience - which is about 1/4 to 1/8th the amount of time it would take a no-nothing fumbler like me to do it.

I told him when I was going to be in town, asked repeatedly what he needed for payment (never got an answer) and he promised it would be taken care of.

Somebody I DIDN’T know / expect showed up and launched into “I can just tack some shingles over that. Got any shingles?” and then "I can just slide some metal under there and tack it down. Got any metal?"
OK, that freaked me out a little bit. I didn’t know what was going on and it’s sounding really suspicious.
No real information, no introduction, just some guy showing up and peering at the roof and sounding like he just happened to be driving by.
Finally get some more communications and it turns out he works for the other guy. Nobody told me. Can’t get the first guy on the phone. I’m counting down hours because I’ve got to be somewhere on time, 2 hours away and it’s all through heavy traffic and construction areas.

Fine. A solution is a solution. But that’s not what was discussed, and frankly, I have no idea whether metal was a good solution, but I need SOME solution.
The guy who showed up “has just got to go up the road to pin a door” and would be right back. I’d get taken care of.

Finally get a chance to talk to the first guy and I’m trying to figure out what’s going on.

I thinking, "this isn’t at all like I expected it. Is it more work to slide some aluminum or something under the shingles at the gutter? Is the metal more expensive? Is this going to get done!?"
Some more phone calls with the original guy.
I am trying to play the grown-up game and be responsible and ask questions and get reasonable answers, and I get the dialog discussed above.

I need to get this taken care of, and I’m trying to do the responsible thing. They’re calling for rain in the next day and over the weekend, and I’m still not sure anyone’s going to show up. I’ve told him that I’m still here and that I’m willing to stay as long as I can. I’ll take my wife to lunch and then come back if he can come by or can send somebody.

I am STILL trying to find out what he needs for payment at the point. I’ve got cash, checks, credit cards. I don’t like the idea of having someone work for me if I can’t even pay them (hence, “how much is this going to cost?”)

“Just leave a check in a secret place and tell me where…” I HAVE to get on the road, I don’t have a choice on that. I either trust him or drive up and drive back the next day (today).

“We’ll take care of you and I’ll send you pictures of the completed work. I promise.” These last sentences were repeated multiple times.

I have no idea whether it was a good solution. Right now, I have no idea whether it was even done. I do have an idea of the weather - I can check that online. Started raining today and it will continue through the weekend.

I spoke with him last evening, he assured me I was taken care of and that he has pictures and he’ll send 'em.
I called again and left a voice message. I have re-emailed him to make sure he has my email address.

I’m sure you can smell my frustration.


It does sound like you received some pretty crappy service. Hopefully you have been able to confirm that its been taken care of.

Btw, yes using shingles or metal is also acceptable for a temporary patch in most situations. That option shouldn’t have affected the cost of the repair either.

My earlier comments were more geared towards people who want a blind quote to replace their roofs based on x-amount of sq. ft.


Marc from you post I don’t want to make any assumptions. Therefore I will quickly state no one can give you a price via phone unless they are going to upsell you or hitting you with a high number. I will be frank with your statement of limited time you need the work done make it happen. Call a CertainTeed select installer they will set an appointment and be there