LESLIE: Larry in Texas is on the line looking for some help with replacing roof or roofer. What’s going on?
LARRY: Well, we have a 15-year-old roof. We put 30-year Timberline shingles on originally. About 15 years ago, we had a hailstorm. I had the insurance adjuster come out and take a look at it and he said, “Yes, you need to replace it.” He says we’ve got about 35 squares to tear off and 39 to replace.
LARRY: He estimated 15 pound felt for most of it, 30 pound felt for our 12/12 pitch. He suggested a roofer company A that suggested shingle brand one.
LARRY: And I have worked with roofer B, who said no, we probably ought to go with shingle brand two.
TOM: Are they both name-brand shingles?
LARRY: Yes, I can name them if you want.
TOM: Yeah. Are they dimensional shingles, so do they look like the Timberline that you mentioned that you had before or …?
LARRY: Yes. They would be very similar to the Timberline dimensional.
TOM: And do they both have the same warranty?
LARRY: I think they both carry 30-year, although one I have not seen written copy from either one. And one of them indicated that after 10 years, the warranty may taper off.
TOM: All these roofers, all these contractors, they’ve all got their sort of attitudes and practices and they like one over the other. But let me tell you something, when it comes to replacing roof or roofer, the differentiator on a roofing installation is not as much the shingle as it is the guy doing the shingles – the shingler, so the speak – because it all comes down to workmanship. And if the workmanship is not rock solid, it doesn’t matter how good that shingle is, you’re still going to have problems.
TOM: And so, I would make my decision on replacing roof or roofer based on which roofer I was most confident in could do a good job. And whatever product he’s comfortable working with, then I would just accept that product and not try to force him to use another one. But the devil is in the details. It’s about the flashing, for example, and the underlayments and the ice-and-water shield and things like that. If you get a roofer that does a really good job with those details, then you’re not going to have any issues, and that answers the question about replacing roof or roofer.
LARRY: The adjuster missed one skylight in his estimate. He also missed one roof jack and he said, “Oh, well, we can pick that up when the roofer does his job.” Is that common industry practice?
TOM: I don’t know what he means when he says he can pick that up. If he missed it in his estimate, then I think you need to ask him to go back and revise the estimate to add the elements in that he missed. Because while you’ve got this guy’s attention and while he’s into the job and you guys are talking on a regular basis, I would just – I would ask him to revise it. It should be no big deal for that to happen. We don’t want this to go to installation and then there’s a payment dispute, you know, three months from now or something and nobody remembers what was said to who and when.
So, yeah, you want to get it in writing. You’re right. If he mixed the count up, if you add six skylights and he wrote down five, then you make him change it. That’s not a big deal. You can do it now.
LARRY: OK. Well, I did a lot of quoting when I was still in the working world and yeah, counts are important.
TOM: Yep. It’s his job.
LARRY: One quick note. My wife wanted a fishing tank out in front of the house and had one contractor dig that one and it didn’t hold water. I had another contractor say, “I can do that.” So I have called it my money pit, with apologies to your program.
TOM: Well, that’s OK. We will lend it to you for that purpose. You say a “fishing tank.” Is that like a goldfish pond, that kind of thing?
LARRY: No, it was about a ¾-acre pond.
TOM: Oh, my goodness. Wow.
LARRY: But here in Texas, they’re called “tanks.”
TOM: OK. Well, alright. Is there anything living in that fish tank right now?
LARRY: No, it’s not holding water. So I’m going to put more money into it and fill it back in.
TOM: Oh, boy. Alright. Well, listen, whatever it takes to make your wife happy, right?
TOM: Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us, Larry, at 888-MONEY-PIT.