—by Frank Davey
Hello! I’m Frank! I’m a relatively new friend of the Hermit Haus Redevelopment family.
While talking with Lee about the work needed at the Meadow Arbor 2 house, we agreed on the importance of accurate material estimates for comparisons with subcontractor bid proposals. Lee then asked me to share a recent “catch” we had with a roofing contractor.
Here’s a little background. Tree branches had “wind raked” some of the composition three-tab shingles on three portions of the roof. I called a legit (all they do is roofs) contractor who gave me a price of $675 to replace approximately 300 square feet (sf) or 3 squares of shingles. (The roof is a 20-year roof that is 12 years old. The rest of the roof is in good shape aside from a couple of spots where ladders have folded the edges of the shingles).
My material costs estimates (Home Depot) were: 9 bundles of shingles (3 bundles = 1 square and covers 100 sf) for $198.00 and one roll of #15 felt underlayment (covers 416 sf) at $14.85 for a grand total material cost of $212.85 + tax (if I were to do it myself). How did this guy get to $675?
A very common roofing contractor practice is to estimate for #30 felt and use #15. (To play Devil’s advocate for the roofer, it may be their policy to use nothing but #30 felt (thicker than #15). I saw no need for #30 felt because the roof is past half of its life). The price is the same for both, but #30 covers 200 sf less. Shingle and felt overages are carried to the next job then the next until they end up paying $0.00 for materials on a “labor only” job.
Be wary of roofing contractors who try to sell you one of three or four shingle colors for a “really good deal.” It may be, but the odds are that there’s a good reason for it. He probably gets the same shingles I get from Home Depot for 10%-20% cheaper from his supplier. We usually DO end up paying more for materials, but watch out for gouging contractors.
Now that you have the background, I’ll share part two of this roofing fix next time….
Frank Davey is our San Antonio project manager, and a fellow FortuneBuilders student. He finished Meadow Arbor 1 and is now working on Meadow Arbor 2 for us, and getting a few tweaks done to our St. John’s project to get it back on the market or rented.