I’m back on this again. It really frustrates me regarding this ongoing argument with Insurance Companies. Many Adjusters that don’t understand roofing want to apply 10% waste to gables roofs, 15% to hip roofs with no consideration for the complexity of the roof. They expect this waste % to include starter, hip & ridge, the wasted layer under the valleys and scrap. Obviously, on many complex, cut up roofs with multiple levels and lots of roof penetrations, these %'s are bogus and not accurate at all.

The flip side is these same Adjusters get upset when a supplement is sent in after the roof has been completed. So they don’t want to agree to your number up front but then they balk at paying up after the fact when reality is presented to them. You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

I’ve decided to try a more aggressive, proactive approach to “fighting” this upfront prior to building the roof. Part of my approach is to include several pages of calculations and “proof” that we will include with each estimate we submit. Assuming this can be done correctly, if they continue to fight applying the correct waste % prior to the roof build, it will hopefully make it easier to get the inevitable supplement approved after the fact.

I would add that some Adjusters understand and agree with our position on waste. Even so, company policy dictates they must apply 10% and 15% waste respectfully. They handle it by fudging the measurements a bit to allow for a couple of extra squares in their estimate. Personally, I think this is bullshit but at the end of the day, as long as we get paid for every shingle we put on the roof, I’m okay with it regardless of the path taken to accomplish that.

With all that said, I’d like some assistance in the way of opinions, experience, etc. for preparing my waste calculation presentation sheets we plan to use. These sheets are going to be done in Excel so we can plug in a couple of numbers and all the calculations will be automatic. Once this is completed, I will be happy to share these with anyone wishing to have a copy for their own use.

Okay, starter is straight forward, I figure 78 LF per bundle. Pretty simple, 26 shingles per bundle x 3. This is the reason we purchase 3 tab for starter instead of boxed starter. The boxed starter is over 100 LF per bundle. We often turn in our material receipts to support our supplement. On a bigger roof, we’ll lose one bundle in count if we used the precut starter.

We use 28 LF per bundle for hip & ridge. I believe this is accurate when you consider transitions and other factors.

The more difficult calculation is the one to determine the waste for the under layer in a valley. Whether you use some type of cut, or no cut, method for installing a valley, I don’t think the waste varies significantly. Per the manufacturer’s specifications, the end of the first layer of shingles must extend 12" minimum from the center of the valley, it is easy to see that for every 3 rows of shingles up a valley, you waste one. If you use a no cut valley method, they you have an additional shingle wasted for every 3 lf. So basically, and conservatively, I’ve been using the calculation of 2 wasted shingles for every 3 linear feet of valley. I would welcome some additional feedback on my assumptions for valley calculations in particular, I’m fairly certain my assumption of 2 wasted shingles per every 3 LF is conservative, perhaps too conservative.

Where I really need some help is countering the argument of recouping hip & ridge cap from trimming the rakes. Clearly, there is salvageable scrap with 3 tab but I haven’t come up with any reasonably accurate method for attempting to calculate it. I feel more certain, due to the variance involved, that it cannot be accurately and consistently calculated. If I had to throw a number out, I’d estimate in general you can salvage a tab from trimming the rakes from 33% to 40% of the rows.

I would appreciate any feedback, opinions, etc. you guys can provide on this. Perhaps I am being naive but I believe by presenting a fact based presentation to Adjusters will have a positive impact on how they scope the job. This correlates to less time fighting the battle and hopefully, more money in our pockets. I realize some will just ignore it but even if it helps with only 25% of the claims, that would be a significant amount of money that is added to our bottom line. Providing the documentation also gives the Adjuster who wants to do the right thing a tool they can present to their management to justify how they scope the job.

I’m tired of hearing Adjusters say “You’re the only roofing company doing this crap.” I get equally tired of saying back that just because the other ones you work with do it incorrectly doesn’t mean we will. It frustrates me, when talking to other roofing companies who do insurance work, I so often hear them say "we just do it for whatever the insurance adjuster ", no arguments up front, no supplements at the end. My own experience says that if one were to order from the insurance scope of loss as originally written, you’d be short material over 75% of the time. I’m baffled how so many roofers are willing to accept that. I realize a lot of those companies doing insurance work are Preferred Vendors and they are willing to just take it up the behind and say nothing in order to keep the gravy train rolling. But frankly, there’s no excuse for the rest to just accept this kind of crap.

Again, I will happily provide the finished product, in the form of an Excel Spread sheet with formulas, to any one wishing to see it and/or use it. I will even include a brief user guide to explain how to use it.