What to ask for in a roofing bid & roof vent install?


We don’t want the slant back vents, skylight, nor valley’s to leak. We are going to build a 1230 sq.ft split entry with an 8/12 gable roof in MN. We will need to send out requests for roofing bid. We got roofer names from going to new construction sites. The roofs are not checked by building inspectors in our city. So, I’m at the mercy of the roofers.

What do I need to ask for to be sure edges, valleys, a Velux Sun Tunnel skylight, and vents are done correctly?
Labor is what will be provided, as the lumber yard is bidding out the materials: GAF’s standard Timberline shingles and other items.

Slant back vents: Anything particular to spell out so they do not leak. It seems risky to cut so many holes in the roof. (No ridge vent).
Patchap, thanks for a reply.

Q: Who normally installs Velux sun tunnels, as the top part involves the roof and the bottom part involves the inside of the house? Roofer or framing carpenter?

Q. How do I know if roofer is doing valleys and other flashing correctly?

Thanks for any assistance.
-Mrs. M.


I prefer metal vents over plastic. The airvent airhawks are high quality, as are lomanco slants.

Sun tunnel and skylights, get velux units if they are available. They are high quality and relatively fool proof. Certified installer programs exist, so if your very worried get a certified installer.

Your kind of at the whim of the installer either way, installation is the most important aspect of your roof. Get someone you trust, speak to past clients if you can.


Why no ridge vent? Overall ridge vent imo is the best system to use. Power vents are great as well but the down side to them is that you have to make sure motor is maintained and the temp setting is correct for the season. Also they font look the best. Slant back vents don’t move very much air. And have a flat base on the ridge side of vent that runs parallel to the ridge and imo, that is never the best thought design considering water runs downhill. Same concept as why we install crickets on upper ridge side of chimney. So as long as there is adequate soffit ventilation and rafter ends aren’t blocked up continuous ridge vent is your best option aesthetically and functionally.
Youll want to make sure specs call for sealing cut shingle ends and upper back side of vent with roofing grade sealant around slant back. Any exposed fasteners used to install slant back should have a neoprene washer. Also youll want them installed at the same height and spaced according to spec to insure proper airflow. There are manufacturer calculation charts that have that info.
Also they require 7 nails per vent, which 3 will be exposed if done correctly.


I wouldn’t choose my roofers from new construction sites. In general, new construction roofing is horrible. Check out Angie’s List. Google best roofing contractor your city and check out their online reviews at places such as Google Business. Don’t necessarily go for the ones selling ad words, go down to see the ones that have an organic ranking. Pick 2 or 3, ask them for references from Customers they’ve done work for in your area in the past 6 months. Call the references. While the BBB isn’t a great source, if someone has been horrible, you will see lots of complaints.

As far as ventilation goes, for a gable roof, shingle over ridge vent is probably the best choice. Go for the 4’ plastic ridge vent instead of the roll ridge vent crap. The GAF Cobra Ridge Vent is a good one. I doubt many power vents are installed in MN and while power vents are a good form of ventilation, the failure rate makes them a poor choice if you have another alternative. Make sure the roofer installs it with 3" nails.

I’m not a fan of GAF Timberline shingles at all. Look at Atlas, I think they have a very good shingle at this time. 130 MPH wind rating. Ask your roofer to either put a gasket/rain cap on top of the pipe flashings or better yet, spend a little more money and get one of the lifetime pipe boots. Some are a bit ugly but pipe flashings are a major source of leaks.

Make sure Ice & water shield is installed in the valleys and eaves. With an 8 pitch in MN, I would guess two 3’ rows would be sufficient.

Were it me, I would not install a roof window or skylight. The new Velux are much better than what they were 5 years ago but I still despise them. A tunnel is much easier on the roofer, easier to flash and less likely to leak. Even then, unless having it is critical for you, keep in mind you’re putting a hole in your roof. Every time you penetrate the roof, you raise the chance for a leak.


Choose your roofer from the recomendation of your friend, family or neighbor.
If you dont have that, i would walk in to a local "roofing only supplier "and ask for a roofer that does “roofing replacements” only.

You really dont want a new construction roofer on your job. They probably wont know what to do.
They havent learned yet how some of their techniques are wrong and where they fail.
They dont get feedback when their roofing fails
Because the homeowner has no idea who actually did the work.
Also new construction roofing workers are the lowest paid workers, so yes you will get the lowest price
But you will have the least experienced also.
The difference in price will be nothing compared to having to do the job twice in a short period of time.


Agree with Authentic Dad about skylights.
Its always the people that dont have one,
That want one.

The people that have two or three of them for twenty years,
They have a different attitude about it.
Besides the leaks
Its like getting a sun burn in your living room when you dont want one. Lol.


I’ve only had 1 skylight I installed leak, it was a copper skylight and it had a bad solder joint on an upper corner.

I’ve never had a Velux skylight leak.


Axiom, if I knew you were the one doing her roof, I wouldn’t recommend against the skylight. However, I’m comfortable you’re not the average roofer either. I don’t recall us ever having a new one we installed leak either. But I sure have seen a ton of them done by other roofers leak. To be fair, the newer Velux are much better and easier to flash correctly. But I’ve seen some incredible hack jobs on older ones.


I install the curbmount skylights with the bubble because i have never seen one leak due to its construction.
Fixed, replaced countless glass skylights
Because the rubber seal between the glass and metal frame fails.

If my customer is convinced to use the glass,
i go ahead and pre-caulk where the glass meets the metal.


The new velux units accomplish that seal with a butyl tape rather than the old rubber seal. They are much better than they used to be


You’re not at the mercy of the roofer Aura contracts supply house who is referring you. Simply contact major Roofing manufacturer such as CertainTeed and ask for a shingle Master select installer or contact Owens Corning and ask them for a certified installer or whatever manufacturer sells the most equipment in your area no offense if anybody is in Iko installer but stay far away from their material just


Thank you gentleman for all you replies. I’m checking with GAF for an installer, have investigated ridge vents, and will be asking any roofer for their experience with Sun Tunnel (tube) skylights. :slight_smile:


Ridge vents are not always necessary many houses come with gable vents if your home has gable vents all you will need is proper intake vents in your soffit or sure vent at the Gable side and possibly one or two slant back mechanical & if you have an attic fan do not add any other venting other than intake