I’m very uneasy about an “additional charge” that my roofer is about to present. Last weekend the roofing company completed a tear-off re-roof of our house. All seemed to go well. But last night the estimator called to say there would be an “additional charge” of $950 to cover sistering 12 rotted rafter ends. This was a big surprise, because …
1. We had a contract, not an estimate, to cover the job. There is nothing in the contract that says unanticipated repairs would have to be covered by a change order and renegotiated. The company agreed to do the job for a fixed price.
2. I was at home throughout the job and none of the crew spoke to me then to say they had discovered rot and that it had to be dealt with. I can climb ladders and could have had a look.
3. The estimator says that 12 rafter tails had to be sistered. I have partial access through the attic, and I can’t see the new work (assuming I’m looking in the right place.) The fascia is actually not attached to rafter ends but to L-shaped things hung from the rafters. (This is a 1905 house) I can see the fascia from the inside, part way, but no new wood.
4. I accept that rotted rafter ends are not surprising in a house this old. I am happy to pay a fair price and think the carpenters should have decent wages. But $950 seems high. I have sistered rafter ends myself and I don’t think it’s big deal once scaffolding is up and the roof sheathing is cut back if need be. At $60/hour labor charge (just guessing) that’s nearly 16 man-hours, or 2 guys for one day. I don’t believe that.
So what to think? I expect to meet with the estimator next week. The company is one with an excellent local reputation, but most of the clients have little carpentry experience. Am I being scammed?