Possible dispute with roofing contractor

Hello, my partner and I just bought a small house that needed a new roof. We had a guy from a local contractor come over, got on the roof, and gave us an estimate (he did not take us up on the roof with him).

On the contract, and per a verbal agreement, they agreed to replace any rotted roof boards at the cost of $2.35/square foot over the estimated cost. We agreed to this and pay for whatever rotted boards they replaced. The contract also states that they would repair the fascia as necessary - however, another line in the contract states that any carpentry work on the soffit and fascia is to be negotiated.

They hired a subcontractor, who pulled off our old roof and replaced it with new shingles. However, we suspect they did not replace rotted boards, as there appears to be some gaps and rotted boards beneath the shingles (hard to tell for sure) and some of the fascia and soffits are still rotted and in need of repair - they did not consult us or negotiate that with us as per the contract.

Furthermore, when we asked them about it, they returned to inspect the roof and noted that a part of our roof was flat and should have been ‘flashed’, but that they were not contracted to do that. However, we cannot see this from the ground level, and now in order to flash that section, we’d have to tear up some of the new shingles. And because they never mentioned this to us while they worked on it/did the estimate, we had no idea we needed that work done. It seems odd that, if the contractor was up there to make an estimate, he would not notify us that we needed to flash the flat section, as this is pretty major and we suspect that water may leak through our roof.

They also sent a subcontractor to saw some of the rotted fascia - however, he replaced it with a board not fitting with the others, and now water runs down between the fascia and the roof.

We are very, very nervous about water damage, with heavy rains and the onset of winter. Do we have a right to complain to the Better Business Bureau? What options do we have?

I also have some pictures, if that would help. Thank you in advance.


Where are you from?

It is always a good question to ask who will do the roof.

Was this a roofing contractor or a contractor that does roofs.

You have a right to be concerned.

New roof means new roof. You wouldnt buy a car, and then the dealer say “well… the tires are extra.” The flashing is a part of a new roof. If he quoted you a new roof, then he owes you flashing.

I agree 100%.

I did buy a brand new electric dryer once, it didn’t come with a cord… :roll:

Flashing may or may not be an included item, depending on the severity of the existing in place.

I usually include 100% of any flashing that could be foreseen in advance.

In your case, they KNEW they were tying into a flat roof and did not mention it??? WTF?


I am in agreement with the others here & we also WOULD like to see the photos.

It wouldn’t hurt you to have a friend who isn’t afraid of heights or (the potential for) steep roofing to go up & take photos a bit closer in if you haven’t already.

Also, if your house has had the same kind of design & shape for @ least 5 or 6 years, your ‘layout’ may show up on Google Maps in the ‘close-up’ view.

If so, here are directions for a “screen shot”:

  1. Using Google Maps & the “satellite view”, find your house, zooming into the closest view possible (hopefully it’s the one that is “all the way in view.”)
  2. With the house ‘centered’ in the available view, press “print screen” on your keyboard.
  3. Open Paintbrush (assuming you’re on a PC & not a Mac) & press “ctrl” & “v” on your keyboard @ the same time. You have now “pasted” (or as I like to say, “dumped”) the image into your Paintbush screen.
  4. Without doing any other functions, L click on the image (‘grab’) & move / scrunch it up to the top L of your screen & eliminate all the stuff we dont’ need to see.
  5. Now, use the scroll bars on the R & bottom of the screen & trim up the bottom R corner to eliminate all the other stuff we don’t need to see (this is the hard part for some folks to understand). If you place your arrow all the way down there in the bottom R corner, you’ll see the single direction mouse arrow turn into a “double ended” NW to SE pointing arrow… this is the one that when you L click, will allow you to trim up the box & eliminate other stuff.
  6. Save as some sort of file name & location, then upload to PhotoBucket or any other photo hosting site of your choice.
  7. Paste the BBS link from PhotoBucket here…

Then again, you may think all of that is too difficult to do & just post your other photos here instead, which is OK.

@ The very least, I have now given a tutorial to the ‘regulars’ on how to do a ScreenShot. :smiley:

Hello all,
to answer some questions:

  1. I’m from Minnesota

  2. I’ll try and get on the roof/get an aerial view

  3. Here is a gallery of pictures:

villagephotos.com/pubbrowse. … id=2038109

Please note the bumps, how there seems to be shingles overlaid over rotted/broken boards, bumpyness, and how one of the faschia boards does not match the old one.

Further advice?


You have every right to complain. From the pictures you show certain areas of the shingles need to be removed and the underlying wood replaced. Think of wood rot like rust. It will keep growing. Also from some of your pictures of the field of the roof the tabs seem to be raised possibly from high nails. Picture 760 and 763 show this best. Have you made final payment? Was a permit acquired for the job and if so was it inspected?


Your chimney looks like it needs to be repointed. Could not tell for sure.


Your chimney looks like it needs to be repointed. Could not tell for sure.[/quote]

i was thinking the same thing.I can’t see any mortar on the joints.

Caphe - Many things are not right with your new roof. Think of bad of shape it is now. What will it look like in five years? Just looking at the picture’s my thought is you need a second tear-off. It could be repairable, but its hard to say from here.

Why did you pick this contractor? Was he the only one you called?

In regards to the flat roof… If he wasn’t willing to replace rotted wood (one section it looks like he just put one piece over some rot) why would he ‘flash’ into the flat if the contractor wasn’t paying him to do it. He could have called the contractor and pointed this out, but that is just speculation.

Please keep us updated as we find it interesting reading, we can learn something, and we can help you in someway. There is plenty of people here who can steer you in the right direction.

When ‘they’ returned to inspect your roof, was it the sub or the contractor?

The contractor didn’t notice the flat because he isn’t a roofer and just knows how to read a tape measure.

ok number 1 house is old as my great grandma ,num 2 yeah your roof looks like shit, number 3 you probably hired the cheapest mexicans found in minessota,

I need more time to review the photos to give you more accurate answers, but please do NOT walk on that roof.

That slope is too dangerous for you.

Real quick things that I remember seeing at a glance.

The contractors sub left many rotting rafter tails, which should have at least been symmetrically sistered in for structural stability. How far back? I couldn’t tell.

They installed new plank board decking over a rotted section without removing the rotted pieces and created one of those humps in the roof.

The chimney flashing looks like it will fall off the first time a small gust comes along, but I would need a zoomed in shot of the sheet metal along the base to see how they anchored it to the brick work.

Tuck-pointing was probably not part of this guys field of expertise as much as his roofing skills, so be glad he didn’t touch the masonry structure.

The one photo of the right hand side is a structural problem on that style of home. The used to add the gable side soffit overhangs after the main body of the roof and walls were constructed, so all of those wood plank boards end on the bearing wall.

The method of repair is to remove at least the same distance of board from the interior and then on the next one, go farther to the next rafter and then go back and forth, so all of the new boards seams do not line up again, so they need to be staggered. This brings the pivot point to the interior of the bearing wall, instead of directly on top of the wall, where it structurally sagged down. I am sure this was a pre-existing condition that should have been observed, both by you and your estimating contractor and a solution should have been designed to repair the structural stability.

I have done a lot of Sears Craftsman homes in Elgin, Illinois, where that model of open rafters was popular.

I guess I remembered more of the photos contents than I thought. So, until you post again, I have nothing more to add yet.


hey i see that on new construction that i do lol

Please keep your racial slurs to another forum, not this homeowner / contractor’s discussion board.

K? Thx. Bai.

Point taken. & I will guess you’re not even from “South of the border.”

984. Yes, you know you are seeing an extra board they installed on top of your decking and the results of the shingles going over the edge.

970. 2x4 fascial replaced with 2x6.
Not structural wrong. But cosmetically wrong.
Someone should have made another trip to the hardware store.

On the other hand , all fascial is 2x6 now. Always.
2x4 has no strength in this application and shouldn’t have been built like this in the first place.
It was built a looong time ago.

You say that there is really water running behind the 2x6? that wouldn’t be because of the incorrect 2x6 size but because of how they incorrectly installed the roofing.

968 Extra board on top of the sheeting.
Thats not how you do it. I haven’t ever seen it done like that.
But if i had done it, your bill would definitely, significantly, would have been higher.
Replace a couple of boards, then the rafters underneath it, soon enough your rebuilding the whole porch. He easily could have replaced the entire thing and it would have cost you a pretty penny.
Those guys were risking their lives on that thing.
I know its 1x6 TG but you cant span 5 1/2 feet.
thats why its bowing as you already know.

I wouldn’t have handled it like they did but you would have paid a lot more just for that area right there. I’ll bet they didn’t charge you anything.
they just wanted to get the job done.

In my state(fl), i would have to pull a permit and the city inspector would come during the job and after it. Those people are mean enough and powerful enough to make you tear it down and force you to either get rid of it or pay a State Certified General Contractor(GC)to rebuild it. It would be expensive.

If that second story gutter wasn’t installed, that whole porch would have been completely rotted away.
The downspout does need to be reinstalled by someone,regardless of whos responsible.

But, long story short, The shingles up against the hard edge of that extra board are going to fail before the rest of the roof does. It needs to be worked on.

967 like i said, 5 1/2 feet span across there is too much. There should have been another support rafter built underneath there.

On the second story valley, a 1x6 board is missing.
It doesn’t mean the roof is going to leak.
but if he nailed through the shingles in this area, than yes it will eventually leak.

Re-attach the gutter. its important there.

966 all issues already discussed.

965 a pre existing board moved over to the left 2 inches shown by the paint.
Another trip to the store for some white paint would have been nice but i have told many homeowners that i am not responsible for painting.
a li’l white spray paint and some eave metal would have made the whole area look good.
But many roofers in some regions dont use eave metal.
We call it eave-drip.

964,963,961 already discussed.

948another section of replacing boards that could get quite expensive. lots of feet of replacing boards just to get to that board.

I would have sistered a 2x4 next to that one.

959 It looks like the crown molding fell out there. If i am right, thats really not the roofers problem. If it is decking, than that could be a problem.

947 wood chipped off. May or may not be a problem.
Another spot where eave drip would have hid it and it would have looked beautiful.
In the roofers defense, This roof has never had eave metal on it and the new roofers were keeping with the tradition.
I wouldn’t have though.

958 i sure hope that gutter is functioning properly or it is going to rot out the bottom of that valley.

763 another bad building design common in its time. Expensive to fix. Hundreds. Should have been discussed before the job. Ed discussed it.

plus some nail pops.

top roof looks good except i am unsure of what is going on at the ridge on the left side.

956 the original builder used three different kinds of brick, with 3 different mortar colors. looks like it was installed by three different people. It does look like the middle set of bricks all need to be repointed but i am not positive.

761,952,760 already discussed

This is always the problem with companies that sub. a job like this…All the sub wants to do is get er done,and all the company wants is the check! So it leaves the H.O. in the end with this mess…I noticed 1st. that one pic shows where they went over the top of front left side of main valley. (It is impossible to replace boards if you do not remove the shingles 1st,lol)2nd. I noticed at a glance the rotten rafters. 3rd. I also saw the chimney joint issue that Lefty,and Z car mentioned…To be honest I have to say that this is not a typical re-roof job…There are way to many structural repairs that needed to be addressed…They just sold you new shingles…Now the problem is you have a band aid on a broken leg, so to speak…I have no idea what you paid for this job,but it was Too Much! I have no idea if you would have a leg to stand on in court,but I have to say that I would have parked my but in a lounge chair while they were doing the job,and had a bull horn to tell the workers what to fix (if they tore off enough shingles to see) while they were up there…( I also have to say) I would not have paid for this job! That is the type of thing that should not happen…I suppose that the city does not require a permit,therefore no inspection…

Thank you for your helpful comments.

And yes, I agree, please do not post racist comments.

We were also wondering if we should ask an inspector to come check out the roof re: the permit - if so, do we have any legal recourse with the contractor?