Welcome to our blog. This page is important because many people in the roofing business have absolutely no business being in the roofing business. The huge amount of negative customer reviews on the Internet is mind boggling. You need to stay away from these folks (aka Cowboy Roofers*) and know how to get the best roofing job for the best price possible. This blog will help you do that with fun, informative, and educational factoids about all aspects of roofs and roofing.
*Cowboy Roofers are the folks you should avoid hiring because they put their interests above yours and are marginally to moderately skilled at best. Cowboy roofers give a bad name to the roofing trade and worse yet they give a bad name to the large number of quality-oriented roofing contractors out there. Check out our Hall of Shame for examples of what happens when cowboy roofers get on your roof.
If you have a question that you would like SuperRoofer Joe Sardotz to answer in his blog or FAQs, please complete the Ask SuperRoofer form. Visit Joe's Contact page if you would like Joe to provide roof consulting and inspection services for you.
Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) had a busy September - October 2015, with Joe traveling far and wide to help property owners get a fair shake on their roofing. Here is a summary of each job, with links to more details and picture galleries. What do the Red Ryder Truck's golden hammers mean?
For details, please click the links and search for the title.
Summary of Roof Inspections & Roof Certifications (October 2015) - Summary of roof inspections, roof certifications, and new roof installation monitoring that Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) performed in October 2015 in both Washington and Oregon. Oregon cities included Ashland, Clackamas, Damascas, Gladstone, Happy Valley, Lake Oswego, N Portland, NE Portland, NW Portland, Oregon City, SE Portland, Tigard, and West Linn. Washington cities included Vancouver.
Photo Montage of Roof Inspections & Roof Certifications (September 2015) - Photo montage of roof inspections, roof certifications, new roof specifications, and new roof installation monitoring that Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) performed in September 2015 in both Washington and Oregon. Oregon cities included Beavercreek, Beaverton, Cedar Hills, Gresham, Happy Valley, N Portland, NE Portland, Newberg, NW Portland, Sellwood, St. Helens, SW Portland, and West Linn. Washington cities included Vancouver.
Project Management Commissioned 4/30/13: Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) has been commissioned by a busy professional to manage this residential roofing project from beginning to end.
ORC will be responsible for:
having quality-oriented roofing contractors bid the job;
writing the specifications for the job;
assist in deciding who does the roof;
monitoring the job on a daily basis;
photo documenting all aspects of the work;
emailing each day's photos to the owners to show the progress;
inspecting the completed job.
Managing your roof job is just one of the many services offered by Oregon Roof Consulting. I can save you time, money, and headaches and will make certain you get what you pay for. Guaranteed!
Bid Update: 5/15/13
The difference in bid prices was amazing considering that all five vendors were presented with the same list of products and specifications. Prices were requested for five different shingles: the difference in price for the same thing was up to $21,000! If the roofing companies were left to bid it their way, one would expect pricing to be all over the place. However, considering all were bidding the same job the same way, the pricing should have been closer. Bid monitoring is just one reason to have a qualified third-party owner advocate assist in the process, literally saving the property owner tens of thousands of dollars for the same job!
Successful Job Completion: 7/23/13
After the old shakes were removed, 1/2" plywood was installed. The plywood was gapped 1/8" everywhere, staggered properly, and all end joints are on rafters. Where necessary the original spaced sheathing was either raised or lowered so all horizontal plywood joints are over solid wood. The roof is Certainteed lifetime 'Landmark TL' in black. Included components are but not limited to:
Lead pipe jacks sanded, primed and painted.
9" continuous ridge vent.
Replace two 2X4 skylites with double E glass units.
Use two different color metal flashings (Black / White) depending on location.
Use 6" 'stem' or 'flapper' vents for all utility vents. Metal (never) plastic.
Ice & Water shield in all valleys and at all protrusions.
5-ply lifetime 'Mountain Ridge'.
Oversized 'D' metal at rake edges with bleeder strip.
6 double 'D' ring anchors evenly spaced around roof.
Chimney counter flashing sanded, primed and painted, then screwed to chimney flashing with 1/4" hex head sheet metal screws.
Shingles 6-nailed instead of the typical 4 nails.
Both chimneys pressure washed and sealed prior to the roof install.
The Price Comparison Sheet above is for a residential roofing project that Oregon Roof Consulting is managing (see "Residential roofing job management start to finish"). All bids came from top companies and all were presented with the same installation specifications and shingles to bid.
There is quite a contrast among the bids. We typically recommend tossing out the low bid, but in this case a very qualified vendor placed the low bid.
This roof installation project will be monitored and managed by Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) to make certain it is done correctly. ORC has saved the homeowner up to $23,000, depending on which vendor, shingles and other options are chosen.
Why the differences in pricing? Some typical reasons include:
Higher overhead from one company to another.
Estimating accuracy. (An estimator can make or break a company).
Some companies want higher profits with each job.
Some companies are busier than others. If busy, they bid high; if slow, they bid low.
Some companies feel that getting 80% of the desired price for a job is better than not getting the job at all.
The bottom line: It isn't enough to just take (or toss) the lowest bid. One needs to be smart about it, know the vendors, know the materials, know the proper roofing techniques, and make sure the roofing contractors follow through on the specifications. Contact Oregon Roof Consulting to help you find the best vendor with the best price and follow-through for your roofing job.
Unfortunately, many roofing companies avoid jobs managed by a third-party owner advocate like Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC). They simply are not accustomed to being scrutinized and monitored by a fully-qualified third party, and this is very uncomfortable for them.
I’ve found that for each company that is willing to cooperate with us, two more want no part of it. Contrary to being a bad thing, this reluctance by “the other two” weeds out potential issues and likelihood of conflict before, during, and after the roofing project.
If a company is confident in its abilities, there probably is nothing to be concerned about. A confident, competent company – especially one that is willing to be managed by an owner advocate – makes perfect sense to ORC. I see it as a win for all involved. The legitimate roofer gets a nice job, ORC saves another homeowner, and – most important – the owners paying for all of this are assured of value and quality with a roof they won’t have to worry about in their lifetime.
This roof in Lake Oswego had to be redone. The specifications for the install were clear and the contractor knew it would be inspected. The ball was really dropped here. (Click images below for larger views in new window. Scroll down to read the rest of the story.)
Removal of damaged plywood overhang due to use of too-long nails
Replacement of damaged overhang plywood
New roof (second install)
New roof (again)
What was wrong? Lots!
The contract specified 30lb felt, 15 lb was used.
Edge flashing used was not as specified.
Vents and pipes were not laid in sealant.
At least 85% of nails were either set too deep, blown through (indication of air gun malfunction), at an extreme angle, and/or improperly placed. This does not occur if a roof is hand nailed.
All manufacturers are very specific about fastening, and even though a little 'wiggle room' is allowed, this was not even remotely close. Way too much wiggling! Also, the roofers used nails that were too long at the exposed overhangs, which damaged the plywood such that the owner demanded it be done again. Two days after the job was completed, the new roof was torn off and done again. The difference between the two installs was like night & day.
This incident created a lot of unnecessary stress for all parties, cost the roofer a lot of money, and was an embarassment for the company and the roofers themselves. Just a bad situation all the way around.
Do it right: First time, every time!
The moral of this story is: "Do it right the first time! Do it to manufacturer specifications. Do what the contract says."
Don't let this happen to you. I hate to think of how many badly done new roofs are out there and how many property owners have no clue about it. Have Oregon Roof Consulting inspect your new roof!
Residential and commercial roofing project consulting in Oregon; Portland Metro, Oregon; Bend, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Washington State; and the Pacific Northwest area. Offering professional roof consulting, inspections, project monitoring, and certifications for property owners and homeowners.