I am looking to re-roof my home and definitely don’t want to do it myself. I have decided on asphalt shingles since they are much less expensive than other products and seem to be very durable. I have two bids so far for the same material, “certainteed presidential” and the cost from one guy is 2x the cost of the other guy? What’s up with that. I’ve pulled some roofing books to educate myself, but they are mostly about installing. Can you give me some heads up on what to look for and how these could be so totally different? Thanks… signed “roofing headaches”.
does the higher guy have insurance? workmans comp and general liability. these things add up. also if he has experienced crew he pays well they will spot things that some others wont.
iknow i wont roof over and i charge $100 a square to remove each layer and a $ 100 a square to replace and thats only labor material is another cost.
hope i helped you.
Just another day in paradise
Yep both are licensed, bonded & insured. Both are tearing off the existing roof... one is putting on #15 felt underlayment and the other #30 ASTM underlayment. I can't imagine that would make such a difference. One gives a 5 year warranty on workmanship and the other gives a 10 year warranty.
how do you KNOW they are both licensed ,bonded and insured ?
for a mere $20 a year I could supply a Cert. from the State I work in which a typical homeowner would interpret to mean EVERY worker on the job was covered by workers comp-------that wouldn't necissarily be true.
Has EITHER supplied you with copies of their licence, workers comp cert. and insurance cert. ?---or did they just say " Oh yea, certainly I am licensed, bonded and insured.
the 15# vs. 30# underlayment is likely WAY more important than you are giveing it credit for.
Perhaps the 30# guy is indicating that 15# is worthless and he is commiting to using higher grade materials wherever possible----that attitude may extend to other things as well--better icegaurd---better flashing materials, better detailing, more skilled and concientious labor---many things that you may never be aware of looking at the lower price.---or maybe not.
Perhaps the more expensive guy has more experience----and actually knows what he is doing----perhaps the much cheaper guy has missed something---or maybe not.
perhaps the more expensive guy has sized YOU up and decided you will be difficult to deal with---and is chargeing a premium
or---the cheaper guy is desperate---or just needs work bad---or is just starting out trying to develope a rep.
Perhaps the more expensive guy---has a brochure on his desk like I do for the Certainteed Presidential TL product----perhaps he realizes that the material might be a pain in the rear to work with
Or perhaps the more expensive guy is actually going to put the effort and name brand materials into installing the " Certainteed Integrity Roof System"---perhaps the cheaper guy isn't.
Perhaps the more expensive guy knows that the Spec. shingle costs him at least $160/square---is a specialty order that can't be returned---and perhaps he is measuring realistically----perhaps the cheaper guy isn't.
Perhaps the more expensive guy should have done a better job explaining all these things----or perhaps there is a reason why he didn't.
there could be many, many other reasons for a wide price difference---but based solely on the info you gave---my bet is that the more expensive guy is aware of something the cheaper guy doesn't know---or that the cheaper guy is choosing to ignore.
Best wishes with your project,
Getting 2 quotes is like trying to check 2 thermometers and see which one is right.
and getting three quotes still doesn't tell you much..
getting references helpsMike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore
Oh lord, maybe I should just throw in the towel right now! I can't even begin to address all the issues below so I'll just address what I can...
1. How do I know they're insured, etc... actually the cheaper bid says right on his bid that he will supply a cert of insur and references on request and that their workers are fully covered by Workers comp. insurance. Higher bid had nothing of the sort.
2. I'm a pain in the ####.... Both guys talked to me and I had the same conversation, so I don't know why one would think differently than the other. If that's the case, if I'm a pain, why bother to bid the job.
3. Experience... both have been in business for over 10 years.
4. Cheaper guy is desperate. Actually the cheaper guy told me not to re-roof right now if I didn't absolutely have to because the materials have doubled in price due to the cost of fuel skyrocketing, so he's actually advising to wait assuming that the prices will probably come down. He also said it doesn't make sense to do it in the "rainy" season. When I asked the expensive guy about the rain issue he said, no big deal, we do it all the time.
5. Materials... I didn't pick the materials. They recommended it.
I think that they majority of answerable questions.
What is the certainteed integrity system? Neither of the mentioned it?
As a "lay" person, I am more than happy to pay more for a "quality" job, but somehow such a huge price diferentiation makes it really hard to compare... If you see the attachement, you can view all the details. Maybe something will stand out to you that doesn't to me.
don't get defensive
you wanted to know HOW they could be such different prices
I just gave you a few things that popped into mind---- I could have typed all day--- I kept the list short.
however---- the material they BOTH suggested is not in-expensive---- How did they BOTH arrive indepentently at the same specific suggestion------ there is SOMETHING missing here--some bit of info we don't have.
also----to my knowledge---at least here---roofing materials have NOT doubled----they haven't even doubled in the 18-20 years I have been buying them----factoring in inflation---they are actually cheaper now than 18 years ago.
there HAVE been price increases over the last 2 roofing seasons---- but I have NEVER seen roofing material prices decrease---once they go up---that's the new base price.
supply insurance certs., refs. " upon request"------ this is an easy promise to make----------- In 18 years and several thousand customers of various size projects---- I don't think I have EVER had a customer request insurance certs.----maybe 1 in 20 -or 1 in 30 asks for ref.s ( most of my customers COME from referalls---they had the refs. BEFORE they ever called me.--------- so---it's easy for some one to offer" upon request" when he knows it's statistically unlikely he will have to deliver
Get the Certs from both----see if EITHER delivers.
Regaurding your potential to be a difficult customer------------( lets stay friendly here--ok)
You say you taked to 'em both---had the same conversation with both---why would one think differently than the other?-------- did you have the same impression of both of THEM---or did you like one better than the other. It works both ways
you have the same conversation with both--you are sizing them up---but they are sizing YOU up at the same time. Perhaps one of them is better at sizing you up---or NOT--it's just a possibility
------ why bother to bid the job?---- it's often easier and less confrontational to simply bid too high than to tell someone you would never work on their project. that DOESN'T mean that's what happened here---its just a possibility.
Certainteed Integrity System????
A lot of manufacturers have specific requirements that need to be followed to get the highest warranty rating for their upper end products. Have to use a special starter course--have to use a special ridge cap etc.------ These accesories are MUCH higher than some generic materials----an ordinary homeowner might never know the difference----but the accessories can REALLY add to the price.
you understand I don't personally care who does your roof--- I don't know you from Adam--- I am just telling you SOME of the reasons the prices could POSSIBLY be so different.
BTW---if you are in a neighborhood where Certainteed Presidential TL is considered more affordable than alternative materials----congratulations----but you need to investigate companies with a track record of serving YOUR neighborhood---ask around. concentrate on choosing the right contractor---- the right materials will be an easier choice once you have cound the right contractor.
Did mean to be defensive and greatly appreciate your insight... You aren't in California by any chance are you?
I agree, there must be something more here than meets the eye, but since I don't have any experience with this, I'm having a hard time trying to figure it out.
I will ask for insurance info, workers comp., etc. to be sure. Thanks for the heads up. Did you have a chance to open the attachment? Did anything jump out at you?
Also, I just talked to Kyocera Solar about their panels since I figured that since I'm re-roofing, I should at least look into it. He said that the felt underlayment was really important and it's basically garbage. He suggested "versus sheild"? or some kind of synthetic underlayment would be better. Do you have any thoughts on this?
Thanks again, I'm just an ignorant consumer trying to figure out how to roof my house!
Out of curiousity, do you know how many squares of shingles are on your roof? Is it a single-story or two-story house? What's the roof pitch? I'm assuming you're in California?
Having that info may help some of the folks here help you determine if the high price is right and the other is insanely low, or if the low price is right and the high one is out of reality. Of course, there's no guarantee that we'll be able to figure that out, but I think some of us would be willing to give it a shot.
I have no idea how many squares of singles are on my roof or the roof pitch.
Yes I am in southern california and it is basically a pretty standard 1953 Ranch style one story house. It originally had a wood shake roof that my parents had re-roofed in around 1980 with a low quality asphalt shingle like GAF Timberline fiberglass singles or something like that.
Wow, I greatly appreciative any help you can give me.
"I have no idea how many squares of singles are on my roof or the roof pitch." "Yes I am in southern california and it is basically a pretty standard 1953 Ranch style one story house. It originally had a wood shake roof that my parents had re-roofed in around 1980 with a low quality asphalt shingle like GAF Timberline fiberglass singles or something like that."How wide is the house and is there a way you can measure the length of the rafter?No one here can even give you a clue as to how much your roof should cost without knowing how many squares is on it.Also, you said that the roof originally had a wood shake roof on it back in 1980 and was re-roofed. Re-roofed means that you put a roof on top of the old shingles.Do you know if your parents had the shakes taken off and then plywood was put on top of the skip-sheathing/1x2's?Joe Carola
My mistake, they took off the wood shakes and installed 1/2" plywood over the entire roof area. Believe it or not I still have the original bid which was from 1981. They installed Jons Manville Woodlans Fiberglass Class A 25 yr shingle, but no where does it say anywhere how much. I'm going to see if I can get those measurements this weekend and get back to you all.
If you can't or would rather not get onto the roof to measure it, you can estimate the length from eve to peak by looking at and measuring the distance from eve to peak at the gable ends (unless it's hipped, but even then you could get a pretty good estimate), then divide the length of that wall by two and add the overhang on one side, and use the Pythagorean Theorem to find the hypotenuse (h = the square root of length squared + height squared). Multiply that by the length of the eve to get the square footage of that side; add all those together and divide by 100 to get the number of squares. Simple!
What is an .xls file ?
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
xls.....It's a spreadsheet file, opens with Microsoft Excel and probably some other spreadsheet programs.
Thank you.I don't have any of those programs. So had no idea...
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
Some people prefer to hire a roofer with a large crew who can do the job in 1-2 days (as opposed to hiring a small crew who will take a week)
BTW, that synthetic underlayment WONDERFUL to work with. Some brands that have been used by the pros here (and the newbies like me):
If you are not installing it yourself, I'm not sure what a selling point it would be to you. I think it would last longer than felt, but they will outlast your shingles too so really what is the point? (that's a retorical question to myself... as I used Titanium UDL with shingles)Rebuilding my home in Cypress, CA
Also a CRX fanatic!
aside from what Hazlett listed ...
maybe one guy is just more expensive than the other!
doesn't always have to be an underlying cause ... one guy just likes to live a comfortable life while the other is afraid to charge higher rates.
I tend to charge higher rates than my competition ... I also think I'm worth more ...
and can usually let the customer know why ...
but there are times when someone else will just plain do the same work ... same materials ... same quality ... for less money. More power to them.
Artistry In Carpentry
How many squares of roofing do you have?
The higher price is from a person with KNOWLEDGE!
The flashing MUST be replaced at "wall/roof" intersections because of the new reveal.
Cutting those shingles (480# per square) will need Popeye and a thousand blades.
That will be a pretty tough job. Doing it well needs time and attention. Remember, this is a 50 YEAR job. Mistakes can be devastating over that much time.
I'd want someone installing who's HAPPY to do the work well, even if it takes more time.
Darn good profits (most often) persuade the installers to read and inderstand the directions and make things right.
Square, Level & Plumb Renovations
If you look at both proposals
the more expensive guy has gone into a much more detailed proposal----specifying exaxctly what quality of materials and accessories he is going to use, how he will handle wood replacement etc.---pretty clearly---his price is his price---he knows what he is doing.
the second guy---is much more vague about materials, kind of skirts around exactly what accessories he will be using( he almost certainly won't be using the approved starters or ridge caps.--- he is quiet about what he is going to charge you for wood replacement---and at what rate( be prepared for a nasty suprise)
cheaper guy claims his work will meet the local codes----but so what---codes are a minimum standard--------- the more expensive guy---judgeing by his details---plans to do MORE than the minimum quality job.
Cheaper guy is going to charge you MORE---for permits etc. above the contract price( I am guessing the more expensive guy has handled that in his price---as I do in mine)
cheaper guy is chargeing you MORE for the applicable warranty----oh please!
now---- I don't know anything about roofing in California-------or how big your house is
but assuming the roof is--say 30-40 square. I could barely buy the MATERIALS for the price the cheaper guy is claiming he is going to charge you.
since we are talking about California---I would be tempted to suspect---what's the phrase---" un-documented workers"
I don't know if the more expensive guys price is too high-----but I do suspect he has a MUCH better idea of what he is doing----and he is certainly being more up-front with you.
But what he heck--- this is just my opinion.
I believe the roof size is about 40 sq.
so, if the roof is 40 sq.. then the one at $21500 would get about $538 /sq
and the one at $13200 would get about $330...
figuring materials at about $100... the rest is labor, overhead, & profit
for tear off & reroof, with those shingles, i'd be getting at least the $538....
but lots of roofers would be charging the $330....they may even be good roofers... just bad businessmen... or bad roofers and bad businessmenMike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore
Don't know what disposal costs are in your area or any other extras...is it a lower slope roof....how may gables and valleys.....The high quote does sound like it is - high!
I had a little piece of humour (definitions actually) about the building industry from JLC or maybe Bob Vila. One was:
Architects estimate- The cost of construction in Heaven
Is this what we have here? With materials at $100 per square, $350-400 should be a good deal for both contractor and homeowner. The $538 or a litlle is what we'd be paying for built-up roofs here.
figuring materials at about $100... the rest is labor, overhead, & profit
I don't know if you've ever dealt with "Presidentials" before, but they probably run $160+/sq and take expensive starters and hip/ridge accessories. I'd guess closer to $220/sq total materials cost. The low bidder's barely covering costs if he's above board.
http://www.certainteed.com/CertainTeed/Homeowner/Homeowner/Roofing/Prodindex/Shingles/AsphaltShingles/RoofingPresShakeProdIndex.htmBirth, school, work, death.....................
Your $100/sq. for materials doesn't fly here.
Back up and read his first post------ BOTH roofers are specifying Certainteed Presidential Shake TL
I am researching some materials for my OWN roof----and I have 3 brochures from Certainteed right now----Carriage House, Grand Manor----and As luck would have it " Presidential
your $100/sq. figure won't fly here----as my supplier informed me the Presidential would cost me $159.75/sq-------that's just for the SHINGLE--------- this is ALSO one of those products you have to buy special ridge cap for( no fair cutting up 3 tab shingles for cap !)
so---assuming the specified cap is gonna be used( they really RAPE you for those---and as you know---a ranch stile house uses miles of cap)---------- Material costs are likely gonna be EASILY over $200/sq.---shingles, cap, undelayment,flashing,vents etc. EASILY
Let's not forget DUMP---and remember this is California----bet THAT's Expensive----even in Ohio---that would cost me $400 or so
So how is the cheaper guy gonna possibly use legitimate employees covered by workers comp etc. at the price he is claiming he will do it for????? And still stay in business ?---and honor a warranty ?---- I don't think it can be done
however----if the cheaper guy is NOT using the proper ridge cap and the proper starter---if he is dumping the debris out in the desert somewhere---if his labor is day laboring illegal immigrants he pickes up from home depot each morning and pays $5/hour cash---if he has NO intention of honoring his "warranty"
then maybe he might clear a couple of thousand bucks or so
just my opinion
but the question shouldn't be " why is the more expensive guy so expensive"
it should be " why is the cheaper guy so cheap?---what's missing?---how am I being flim-flammed?"
BTW---- I had a big advantage here------luck had the info on "Presidential" on my desk when this guy first posted---since I was considering it myself----------- and being in the roofing business---- I comfortable making some " guesses" as to what the cheaper guy is up to---and why
but that's all they are---guesses----but I think they are pretty reasonably informed.
Best wishes all, Stephen
Hey---looks like Grant and I are typing at the same time.
Best wishes, Stephen
and using the same math....................Birth, school, work, death.....................
LOL----yea---it's like we are taking an open book test in school---or knew the questions ahead of time-----
Once you know the price of the materials and the squares involved---ding,ding,ding We have an answer!!!!!!
geesh.... so you caught me popping off without knowing..
alright... i'm used to Landmark TL's for about $79..or Hatteras even less.
but at $160 /sq.. say the material is $200 /sq and dump say $10 /sq
you're right.. i'd be about $100/sq OVER the higher price if we did it..
and my roofing sub would be right about where the higher price guy isMike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore
Yea,---- I think I am probably gonna go with the Landmark TL 's for my house
It's still a 50 year shingle---but about half the price as the Grandmanor, or the Carriage House ( never looked at the Hatteras 'though)
I got a notice in the mail about a week ago---- Landmarks will be Metric in the spring----and will have an increased " Nail Zone"---- 2 excellent improvements.
I think I am saying goodby to ELK.
stephen.. the Landmark is available in 30, 40, & 50 year Warranty & the Landmark TL is a different animal, thicker & a Lifetime Warranty..
then the new Landmark TL - IR ... Impact Resistant
and of course... most areas you can get it in AR also ( Algae Resistant )....
this next house I'm spec'ing Hatteras.. Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore
so the T L is " Lifetime---which theoretically makes it BETTER than the 50 year Grand Manor, Carriage House, or Presidential--------AND at roughly half the cost.
gonna have to get that Carriage House sampleboard OUT of my office and get ahold of a TL sampleboard to check out.
I am thinking the TL is going to look better on a big tudor than the Hatteras----but maybe I better look closer at the hatteras as well.
i think the Hatteras looks good on steep pitches.. the Landmark TL is a very nice looking Architectural and the TL has a lot of depth
Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore
No one has mentioned this... which (if either) of these roofers will get the old roof off and the new one on without trashing the yard, the landscaping, the gutters, and etc. If they are replacing roof-to-wall flashings, who's going to repair the siding?
At this point the original poster needs to check references. He'll never be able to determine if the guys doing the work are actually covered by comp, any paperwork supplied to the contrary. Comp is generally self-reported and as long as you are paying on a couple of guys you appear to be insured and your insurer will report that you have a policy and are up to date.
He also doesn't know how many things might become change orders during the job. Maybe what we need are some photos of this roof so that we can tell the OP what to require in the bid. Maybe we also need to send him in for an attic inspection.
If the low priced guy has references who are knowledgeable about the work and were satisfied with the outcome, he might be a fine mechanic and just not making very much money. There's a definite tendency on this board to assume that the more expensive guy is better, but it's not always true. I've been low bidder once or twice... it's embarrassing.
Thanks you guys, I think I'm getting to similar conclusions as well. I actually got hold of a local roofer who seems very legit, knowledgeable and honest. He actually is closing down his business to retire and because he says it has become virtually impossible for the "small business" guy to stay in business due to liability insurance costs, etc. He made a number of suggestions... He said he believed Presidential in our state was around $86 per sq. and Presidential TL was around $130-$140. He gave me the name of his roofing supplier who gave me addresses of houses that had the presidential and presidental tl material in the different colors so that I could actually see what it looked like. That was very helpful.
Regarding the ridge cap material, neither of them bid the certainteed product. One did high profile ridglass and the other "rapid ridge". According to this guy, tear off he said would be around $1,500, but I'm not sure if that was including disposal or not.
I went to the Certainteed site and I didn't see it saying another different regarding preparation... or "starters".
I asked him roughly if he thought the low bid was "in-line" and what he thought about the high bid. He said that he thought the low bid was pretty accurate, though maybe a tad low on the TL material.
I also asked him typically the ratio of materials to labor and he said it's about 50/50. Thus for the TL at $135 for 40 sq. I'd be looking at materials of about $5,400. He said since I already have plywood down permits would probably be less than $400. ...so $5,400 materials, $5,400 labor, $1,500 tear off and another $1,000 for felt and whatever I missed, would take it to a $13,700 number.
The high guy had a few extra's in his bid, i.e. some dormer vents and a small amount of potentially replaced plywood, but definitely not $8,000 worth of extra's. He felt this guy might be a "union" outfit, since that often drives the price up.
He also mentioned the same thing you guys did... who was I talking to, the owner, the guy who actually does the work, or some slick salesman. All of those make a difference on potential bid prices. Plus there was the obvious, dealing with a women they might think you won't know what they're talking about anyway, so that is a situation they can take advantage of and mark up the price.
I asked him for his opinion on a different product if I didn't want to spend this much, and he recommended the same material you are all talking about... the Landmark or Landmark TL. He said that the Landmark would probably be comparable to what I have now, the Johns Manville Woodlands fiberglass Class A 25 yr. shingle, where he felt the presidential would definitely be an upgrade as far as looks, etc.
Even so, I plan to see about getting at least on other bid, but you have been incredibly helpful in helping me to sort it all out. I will check with the low guy as to actual insurance and check his references as well. What I didn't mention also, is that we actually did a remodel adding on around 500 sq. feet to our house and a new garage. The low bid guy actually did the work. We did the remodel in '98 and have had no problems with the addition at this point, which is already 7 years. I don't think higher is always better, albeit the low bid might be too low.
If you think of something else we may have missed, let me know! Thanks again.... Last of all, I'm not absolutely positive that my roof size is 40 sq. It could be a little less, which might make my low bid more in line.
You guys are the best....
from... no longer confused roofing consumer!
Beware, courts have ruled in the past that "lifetime" pretty much means anything the mfg says it means -- not necessarily your lifetime or the lifetime of the structure. A specific long-term warranty is more enforceable.
If ignorance is bliss why aren't more people
It's clear the more expensive guy is running the better operation - he uses a spell checker on his bid - LOL!
We recently reroofed. Got two bids.
The low bid (got their card at a local home show) was a well-established company that is fully insured and does a fine job. We handled the bidding mostly over the phone, after they'd given us literature on the shingle choices at the show. They volunteered several references that had the shingles we were looking at.
The high bid was over 2x the first bid. They had slick salesmen who did a high-pressure sales job, like they were selling aluminum siding. Talked a mean streak, but their salesman missed three appointments before they finally got to us.
Guess who we hired?
(BTW, the reason we had to reroof, only 11 years after a prior reroof, is that the **Certainteed** shingles put on the previous time curled up big time.)