Your professional roofing opinion


#1

We signed a contract to replace our roof. The contact clearly stated that the contractor would remove all shingles and dispose of.

He started the job and about an hour into the project he informed us that he didn’t realize that there was three layers of shingles and he had to charge us $1250 more. I was not please and did not want to continue with the job but he already had $1500 of our money and had shingles already removed from our roof plus a dumpster in our driveway.

He did half of the roof but hasn’t shown up for 3 days but is dumping other debris into the dumpster on our property.

When I called him today he said he needed to “talk” to us and would show up at 3 pm and hung up. I left him a message saying I would not be home at 3.

It would seem to me that it’s not the homeowners responsibility to know that we had 3 layers of tiles and that the contractor had everything he needed to me a quote. Once the contract was signed, I would think he should honor the quote.

As professional roofers, what do you think?

Also, if I get him to remove the debris (all over the yard) and the dumpster, how much should I pay him? He finished half the roof in about 10 hour with 2 people working.


#2

If your contract clearly states to remove the existing roof to deck, then he is bound by contract to remove the existing roof entirely. This does not fall under the category of discovering unknowns. The burden falls on the contractor to determine the number of layers on the roof. By up-charging you, he is faulting you for his lack of investigation.

However, if you want out of this contract, you will most likely forfeit any monies you have given him. You will most definitely any amount above the original contract value.

Did you check this contractor before hiring him? If he intentionally low-balled the contract, this would not be the first time he has done this. A little investigation goes a long way when dealing with these fly-by-night contractors.

Most importantly, this is a case of get what you pay for. I am sure you had higher estimates from more reliable contractors, but you signed with the lowest bidder and now regret it. The only benefit of these lowball contractors, they keep us legitimate firms busy repairing their sub-standard applications. In the end, you will find yourself paying more because you accepted the cheap bid.


#3

Thanks Dan for your reply. I did accept the lowest quote but I did call references and checked his license.

He did finish half the job and if he cleans up and removes the dumpster, I feel like we should pay him. He did the work in sections and completed half the work so our roof is not exposed.

How should I calculate what is fair?


#4

I would not give him adime more than what was contracted. And nothing until the job was 100% complete.

I compete against the low price guy every day. This is part of his deal. Get into the job and then ask for more money.

Don’t let him take you for a fool. To tear off another layer shouldn’t cost that much more anyway.


#5

We need more information, the third layer could easily have been hidden.

Did you get other bids, if so how did they compare to the bid you accepted?

Did YOU know there were 3 layers of roofing on your house?


#6

Im the proffesional, i should know how many layers are on your roof. If im wrong…my mistake, my expense!!!


#7

DITTO Marshall


#8

I’m going with Marshall. I’ve eaten a third layer before, because the second roofer, cut the roof back for some reason. Roofer should eat this one. Part of selling the job is doing the inspection. I always do a core sample on flats, so what’s the difference here. I’ve made a few mistakes on roofs, but never once have I went to the owner for more money. You do the right thing and move on to the next project.

Homeowner is in the position that 1250 more is probably close to what the other bids were. Why not talk with him and come to an agreement on him finishing the project. This could end up dragging out if you don’t talk it out and find common ground, even though he is completely at fault. He obviously knows that to finish the job, he will lose money.


#9

you say “He finished half the roof in about 10 hour with 2 people.” 2 people and him or him and a guy? how many square is your roof? if you give him half the 1250 he is lucky and should consider it a gift. i would never charge a home owner for my mistake. but if a home owner offered to split an unforeseen extra cost in half with me it would be nice.


#10

A good contract should have a hidden layer “clause”.If not it is the contractor that should eat the extra cost of labor and dump fees.You are not obligated to pay him extra,if you feel the need to give him something than do,but I would not give him $1250,maybe the dump fee.$200-$300 MAX.If you gave him $1500 already don’t give a penny more until all work is completed to your satisfaction,maybe even pending an inspection.Sounds like you have to keep a good eye on this guy.Second thought pay for an inspection,who knows what this guy will do if he’s already slithering in the grass,lol.Good luck


#11

Bullshit guys ! a hidden layer can sometimes not be detected. It is a legitimate change order as is finding exessive rotted sheathing. espeacilly on hip roofs you somtimes can not get an acurate read on the layers. I have even found four layers on rare occasion.


#12

I agree with roofer J. I usually will write it in the contract that it will be x more per layer. I tell the homeowner that i have checked to the best of my ability and I highly doubt there are multiple layers but hard to know for sure. I always walk the roof and look in the attic too, but sometimes I find rotten sheathing even when i think there’s none. gotta put it in the contract. i think some home owners get scared when they see there’s the potential for unknowns but I would rather address it upfront than run into a situation like we have here.


#13

Your roofing contractor has an obligation to provide the services he outlined in his proposal. Period. If his proposal does not specifically state how many layers he is removing and disposing of, then “removal” includes everything. This is a classic example of why not to go with the cheapest bid.

What’s done is done… I would definitely recommend not parting with another dollar until your contractor fulfills his end of the bargain. NEVER pay him until the job is complete to your satisfaction.

As far as change orders, this does NOT fall into the category of unseen items. Multiple layers are easily seen by a good inspection on the roof when measuring to bid. Even if it did fall into the unforeseen category, as has been mentioned, a good Proposal will be specific as far as any unforeseen items, and a good contractor will have that conversation with the homeowner BEFORE a contract is signed and a deposit is made, making clear all of the “WHAT IF’s” that may come up. Nothing beats a good conversational relationship.

Yes, sometimes these things are missed though, and it is not fair for the homeowner to pay for your mistake or carelessness. Bad business and mojo.


#14

i agree with Premium Roof Services.


#15

I will call BS on RooferJ.

You should know exactly what you are getting into when you write the contract.

Anything less is unprofessional


#16

how do you tell there is any rot in the middle of roof field outlaw?


#17

Nice !! then you think that the roofer should just eat the extra labor and disposal costs ? real fair and square right ? your full of shit if you say you can always detect how many layers. This could be an honest unforseen, I would like to give this roofer the benifit of the doubt rather than through the poor guy under the bus, as some of you have. Shame.


#18

Thanks to everyone who replied. I’m the homeowner.

The contractor never got up on a ladder to do an inspection of the roof. I had no idea how many layers the roof had. In fact, I didn’t think it was legal to have this many layers. I did know the the roof had not been replaced in more than 30 years. He also admitted that there was a little additional section to the back of my house that he didn’t notice when he quoted the job so I think between the two he was trying to cover his costs. I’m the one who wrote the contract because I felt his was so vague. I used his wording but added things about when I would make payments, how long the job would take and specified the roofing materials used. The wording about the removal of the shingles was exactly taken from his agreement.

This morning (before I read everyone’s posts) I spoke with him when he came to pick up his ladders (the dumpster and half the roof shingles are still on the ground in my yard. To try to resolve the problem, I told him that I was willing to pay for the additional dumping fee $500 (I confirmed this with the dumpster company) and he would have to eat the labor. He tried to tell me how busy he was and that he would talk to me on Monday about his decision.

I feel like I have been as honorable about the situation as possible and now the ball is in his court.

Anybody on this message board work in the Boston area?


#19

A couple years ago I went with a guy to a ladies house to help him give a quote.We took his truck,and he had no ladder.The roof was 9/12 ranch.I climbed onto a hand rail on the deck lifted shingles,and guessed it was 2 layers…I stated that it looked like some rotten sheets in the middle,but that it will have to be addressed after we get the shingles off.
Turned out that the guy set me up with the lady,to do the job myself…She got a quote from a High Priced company that I know, so I didn’t think anything of it.(I am not cheap!) I won the bid ,and orally told her that unforeseen things may come up,and that costs more (mat.,labor,dump overages,etc.)gave her a hand written statement,with no written clauses.
I began the job only to find the previous roofer (like rooferj said)cut back 3 rows,and there was 3 layers on front,and 4 layers on the back…I immediately made the owner aware of this(like she didn’t already know)since she lived in the home for 40 yrs…she said her deceased hubby must have let this happen,and was all too happy to pay me what I wanted EXTRA to get the job done right.(I know that the whole thing was a set up)that is why the guy took me in his truck with no ladder.
I charged her what totaled out to be 550.00 per sq.
I was still less than the other company,and she got a good job,and I made money. The 30yard dumpster went from 350.00 to an extra bill of 975.00 above at 64.00 per ton you do the math,lol
When I finished the job,I sat down with my wife and drew up a nice legal typed written 2 page contract,with warranties…we found a lot of legal stuff from a site online…
I have been beat out by the guy that does this stuff all the time though so …I have mixed feelings for that.
I would compromise and pay for the overages on the dumpster though…It could be a lagit mistake…not to mention that you don’t want a disgruntled roofer finishing the job…


#20

[quote=“Lynick4442”]Thanks to everyone who replied. I’m the homeowner.

The contractor never got up on a ladder to do an inspection of the roof. I had no idea how many layers the roof had. In fact, I didn’t think it was legal to have this many layers. I did know the the roof had not been replaced in more than 30 years. He also admitted that there was a little additional section to the back of my house that he didn’t notice when he quoted the job so I think between the two he was trying to cover his costs. I’m the one who wrote the contract because I felt his was so vague. I used his wording but added things about when I would make payments, how long the job would take and specified the roofing materials used. The wording about the removal of the shingles was exactly taken from his agreement.

This morning (before I read everyone’s posts) I spoke with him when he came to pick up his ladders (the dumpster and half the roof shingles are still on the ground in my yard. To try to resolve the problem, I told him that I was willing to pay for the additional dumping fee $500 (I confirmed this with the dumpster company) and he would have to eat the labor. He tried to tell me how busy he was and that he would talk to me on Monday about his decision.

I feel like I have been as honorable about the situation as possible and now the ball is in his court.

Anybody on this message board work in the Boston area?[/quote]

I would accept that solution as fair.