Friday, July 19, 2019

A Gut Check Back on Day 18

I mentioned in my post back on Day 16 that I had asked the contractor to quote doing the rest of the roof when re-shingling. I'm pretty familiar with the cost of shingles and labor so I thought I knew about what it would cost. However, the contractor came back with a really high number and that gave me pause.

Looking into it deeper, I saw that the contractor priced it for doing the job right. Let me explain. Someone in the past, perhaps the original builder had sheathed the roof in 1/2" plywood which has a lot of flex in it, especially when it has aged for nearly 50 years. This isn't particularly good for shingles when say somebody walked on it causing it to distort and elongating nail holes or even tearing the shingle. The contractor priced adding another 1/2" of plywood on top of the existing sheathing before shingling to take care of that problem and allow the shingles to last a lot longer, especially when people might walk on them.

I had noticed the roof had a little more give to it when I walked across it but chalked it up more because I'm not as small and light as I used to be. So to have someone smaller and lighter point this out as not being the way it should be done, took me by surprise. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt that we should consider doing the extra step rather than ten years down the road after I or someone else falls through the existing roof. Unfortunately, it means a change order and an extra expense.

In the end, we had a long look at project cost incurred and estimated for the near future and decided the right thing was to do the re-sheathing if the contractor met us partway in price. We are hoping that this sends the signal that we don't have unlimited resources and that he can't milk us for project overruns on his part by charging a premium for every change order. After thinking about it, the contractor met us in the middle and we are going to get a new layer of sheathing and a new roof, taking care of all those problems on our back roof that I previously mentioned.

With the roof completely done, new gutters as called for in this project and when I finish painting the siding we installed several years ago, the outside of our house will be pretty much complete once the addition is done. That means I can focus all my future efforts inside or on the property itself.  A small hurdle but one I am looking forward to getting over.

P.S. About a week has gone by since I originally wrote this post and set it to publish at a later date. Yesterday, the new shingles were being installed and after they left, I went up on the roof to inspect what had gotten done. I climbed up on one of the hipped ends that was the only part not shingled, not wanting to walk on the shingles when it was so hot in the evening. On my third step, I heard wood splintering underneath my feet and quickly shifted my weight. Turns out the contractor hadn't yet added the additional sheeting to that end yet because they had been a few pieces short. They are doing that now this morning as I type and will be finishing up the shingles today. Makes me extremely glad though that I went ahead and got the additional layer of sheathing put on.


Susan said...

Geez, makes me extremely glad you didn't go through the roof! Sounds like you have a good, professional and honest contractor.

Ed said...

Susan - You and me both are glad. As my dad always says, I felt the beating of great wings for a second or two.

Kelly said...

Ditto what Susan said!

There are times when cutting corners on cost are not a good thing. (and I'm getting the impression that was done more than once by the original builder) I'm glad you're getting things done properly now.

Jeff said...

it sounds like you have a decent contractor!