Roofer Charges Due to "Unforseeable Issues"


Hello everyone,

I recently had a roof replaced for $8400. The only two extras stipulated in the contract are for a permit fee (which I paid extra for) and for any rotted plywood that needed to be replaced. Within the first day of work, the roofer sent me three emails, each mentioning add ons due to “unforseeable issues that were almost impossible to pick off in the beginning.” The first email asked for 640 dollars for extra weight on the dump because of the second and third layer of shingles. He added “I am sorry but this is something we cannot avoid.” Later that day I get an email asking for $2300 because of the added labor to remove all the shingles, along with ten pieces of rotted plywood. He told me he would refund me back for any that were not used. The NEXT daI I get an email asking for $3750 for TWELVE pieces of rotted plywood, extra metal sheathing, and the extras I mentioned before. He told me I had thirty days to pay the extras. He recently asked when he could stop by to pick up the check. To make a long story short, I essentially told him to take me to court. I also forgot to mention that I told the roofer before work started that there were two layers of shingles already on the roof. Additionally, the roofers removed my gutter protection system and told me to call the installer and have them replaced. I already paid the $8400 for the roof, along with the $300 and change for the permit. I do not know how many pieces of rotted plywood existed due to his constantly changing stories. So now I am essentially waiting to be served with court papers for the extra “unforseeable issues” not in the original contract. I plan on counter suing for the reinstallment of the gutter protectors. Any other people have experience with this or are there any reputable roofers that can offer their insight? Thanks!


Paragraph breaks are your friend. Did you have a contract with the roofer? If so, I’d need to see it to offer advice. If not, he likely has a problem collecting.

I assume your roof must have been around 25 to 30 squares which makes an additional $600 for the second layer reasonable. It’s not just dump fees,it’s also labor. Decking is herbalist charged for at a rate of around $60 per 4 x 8 sheet for OSB.

Pure speculation on my part but it sounds like the roofer may have hit you with a low bid to win the job and is trying to make up with these extras. Not enough details to know that for sure. Was he the low bigger? If so, how much lower than the other bids?


Yes, paragraph breaks would help, Authentic Dad. I appreciate your response. He actually came in as the 2nd highest bid, but we negotiated down to be right around the 2nd bid. The highest was $9200 and the lowest was $7500 so the agreed upon price did not seem like a lowball offer initially.

Yes, we did have a contract. The only two extras he stipulated were for extra plywood he needed due to wood rot and for the permit fee (which I paid). I also told him that there were two layers initially so keep that in mind. I got very suspicious when he called me a nice guy on two different occasions. That gave me the impression that he thought he could take advantage of me.


I assume they didn’t contact you first before proceeding with the “unforeseen stuff”? I would never proceed with a job with an unknown expense anywhere near that amount without first consulting the customer. That’s ridiculous.


At any point did the roofer have you sign a “change order” for the additional charges to be added to the original contract. Our contracts state unforeseen issues will be handled by a change order. When we find Something wrong we notify the customer, Explain the additional work, show them pictures, and have them sign a change order.


No, I did not sign a change order. The roofer told me there were extra shingles and there would be extras about 20 minutes into the tear down. I was on my way out so I told him to send me a contract with the add-ons but he never did. All he did was send me an email listing all the charges.

I was going to take the add on contract and show it to an attorney to make sure I wasn’t getting ripped off. But I would have gone with a different company had I known all those add ons were necessary. An $8400 roofing job suddenly turned into $12,200.


MPA, if the additional work was nothing mentioned in the contract, would you still charge the customer extra or eat the cost? Let’s say, for example, you did not properly examine the roof to notice extra layer of shingles.


An extra layer isn’t always obvious. Regardless, good companies utilize documented change orders for any sufficient changes to the scope of work.

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We do not charge for extra layors if it was our miss. Our contracts state “remove all roofing material down to wood deck”. If one of our estimators mess up we just eat it and give him he’ll for a few weeks.


This is one of my biggest fears.
Getting stuck with a three layer tear off.
That is why i always give a proposal to replace the roof (instead of a roof-over) because mainly i dont want the next roofer to get fooled and lose all of his profit.
It could happen to me.
And really, i want to do the roof again in 20 years.

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Does having a second or third layer require an extra cost in metal flashing?


It usually does yes.

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Huh? Hard to follow.


3750 for twelve sheets of plywood? Lordy! I think you are being ripped off, or you hired an idiot. Would love to see the contract.



It was $3750 for all the ¨added extras.¨ I paid off the original contract for $8400. I will copy and paste the itemized list the roofer emailed me and can you tell me if it sounds like he is ripping me off? Sounds like a lot of BS.

This is the final revised totals for you home. It addition to the original contract you have the permit fee of $339.00

additional cost of the rake metal needed because of the three layer application that was completely illegal is $650

1100 square ft of the roof had an additional layer which is an additional $660.00

1000 square-foot of the roof had three layers For an additional $990.00

We ended up using 12 pieces of three-quarter inch sheet of plywood for additional 720.00

Added weight on dump added $400.00

Thats a total of $3,795.00 additional to the original contract.

I am more than willing to go with you to court for whoever put on that third layer and quite honestly this should’ve been disclosed when you purchased the house. We ended up using almost 250 feet of step flashing metal to which we didn’t charge you. I can promise you this roof all day long is $15,000 with most other companies and we have tried to keep the cost down as low as possible but with each step we’ve discovered something else that was almost impossible to pick off originally. It has taken us two solid days five professional roofing mechanics just to do this roof because of the previous sins of the roofer before. In good faith we could not not want to do the things we needed for you to be secure and water tight

Please contact me upon reciept of this communication.


Sounds to me like the roofer didn’t do a thorough roof evalustion before giving an estimate. Now that the contract is written they want more money, for their poor proposal. My estimate is a 100% guarantee. The price quoted, is the price you will pay. If I miss a second layer, its my fault, not yours. This new generation of contractors believes they can give a low intro price then pull the add on routine and catch you in a bind.



Ya, I agree. That was my assessment as well. Wish we had more roofers like you around!


The legality of having more than two layers is a non-issue. It is unfortunately common for 3+ layers to be on a roof. Most I have seen is 5 myself.

3/4" plywood is not normally used for roof decks but the price per square foot is reasonable and likely covered under the bad deck clause in the contract. However they should have documented the bad deck as well. If the price is different from your contract for this item it might be due to needing thicker deck to match existing, however he is responsible for knowing that when giving a square foot cost in his estimate.

I am honestly not sure how removing additional layers would result in more rake metal being needed, or step for that matter. I could see additional for a counterflashing but not either of those items. As for unforeseeable, that is not true. It might take some looking but you can almost always determine the number layers of shingles on a roof at the rake or eave. All the costs do look reasonable however.


Thanks for your detailed response, Dtris!



I’ve been doing this for a long time and I would love to know how you can see extra layers of roofing on gables or eaves if rigid drip edge metal is installed in between layers? It would be nice if we could bend it up to look on estimates but doesn’t seem reasonable to damage existing roof while assessing. I think having a clear and understandable clause in the contract for extra layers is more realistic.