Archive for May 2007

May 17, 2007

Roofing is Not Brain Surgery.  There are many Wrong ways to roof a house.  But…There is only…One “Right Way”, By Following All of the Manufacturers Specifications.  Over 90 % of All Roofs Done – DO NOT Qualify for the Manufacturers Long Term Warranty!!!  ( According to studies by GAF Roofing Corp., Air Vent Inc., & Alcoa )

10 Important Tips You Should
Always Follow On

“What You Should Know

Before Hiring Any Contractor!!!”

1)        RELIABILITY:  Verify that the contractor you call has been in business in your area for At Least 10 Years.  Over 85 % of all roofing contractors are out of business in less than 5 years, way before the warranty expires and before many roofing problems begin to show up and cause problems.  85 % of those remaining do not last till the 10th  year.  (Department of Labor Statistics) 

2)        INTERVIEW:  Make time to meet with any contractor you call, in person, at your home to review the proposal and detailed specifications.  Try to select a Knowledgeable, Organized, Experienced, and Locally Established contractor who will take a personal interest in your roofing project.  Choose one who has an established track record of many similar roofing projects done in your local area.  If they will farm out your roofing job to an unknown subcontractor, you should interview them as well.   

3)       REFERENCES:  Insist on a minimum of at least 20 – 50 recent job references &

also several from each year they say they were in business.  Ask for customer

testimonials.  Drive past several of the jobs to check for proper venting, flashing

details, and general appearance.  Ask previous customers if they were satisfied and

if they would use them again.  Contact your local

building inspector for verification.

4)       BUYER BEWARE:  Be suspicious if any contractor requires you to get the roofing permit.  The party who applies for the permit is responsible for building code compliance.  What happens when the roofing specs do not conform to the local codes?  Why won’t they be responsible for it?  Also, Do Not Ever pay more than 50 % when paying a deposit. 

5)       ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER:  Make sure that the contractor actually has a physical location that you can find if you need to locate them in the future, not just a mailbox etc., drop box.  Do they have an actual office and material storage shop or just work out of the back of their pick up truck.  Make sure they have an actual local telephone # and not just a cell phone.  When problems occur, it is much easier to find someone if you already know how to, in advance.  Check out his drivers license address. 

6)       LICENSE, INSURANCE AND BONDS:  Insist on receiving a copy of the Contractors State of Illinois Roofing License, General Liability Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance and their Roofing Bond.  Don’t just assume they have it because they tell you so.  They should have enough pride in themselves to include a copy for each customer. 

7)       PROPOSAL AND/OR CONTRACT:  Insist on a very thorough and detailed written proposal and examine it for complete descriptions of the work and specifications, including approximate length of the job and payment procedures.  Verbal agreements should be added to the written agreement.  You MUST, by law, be advised in writing of your 3-Day “Right To Rescind” if you change your mind and receive all of your deposit money refunded to you. 

8.)       EMPLOYEES OR SUB-CONTRACTORS:  If your contractor farms out the job to a sub-contracting crew, they too must supply you with their Roofing License, General Liability and Workers Compensation Insurance and Roofing Bond.  If they don’t and someone gets hurt, you may be liable.  The sub-contractor should be interviewed as well.  Dedicated trained experienced Employees are more desirable due to continuing training and experience. 

9.)       CONTRACTOR TRADE ASSOCIATIONS:  Quality control begins with dedication, the amount of proper knowledge and previous training from past projects and from advanced learning through many contractor trade associations.  Memberships in any related trade association and certificates of completion from manufacturers product training classes authenticate the more dedicated professional.

10)    USE YOUR NOGGIN:  85 % of all construction lawsuits involve roofing related

problems.  You only have one chance to make the “Right 1st Choice”.  If one

contractor tells you something extremely different than another contractor, then

either do your own research or have the contractor provide documentation to justify

and support his analysis, especially about Intake & Exhaust Ventilation, Plywood

versus OSB Board or Particle Board, Ice & Water Shield & Flashings.

  You need to be concerned with the initial price only once… But you are goingto be concerned about Quality…for many years to come!!!

The following named Roofing Contractor is an esteemed selected board member of the Professional Roofers Advisory Council, (PRAC).  If You Want Solutions, Not Problems, Call…

Right               (847) 742-6644     

   Way           (847) 426-9730

       Roofing Company                


May 17, 2007

The areas where “Flashings” get installed are the most common source of roof leaks!

Rarely, are they done correctly!  Does that sound too negative about the trade I partake in and make my own livelihood from?  Well, when you see so much crap out there, every single time you are doing an inspection, it really ticks me off, that roofers do not know how to do a proper job of installing flashings.  (I won’t even discuss what plumbers and “Handy-Men” do to the roof flashings too.  The common roofer is bad enough!)


May 17, 2007

Are you having a problem with how your shingle roofing seems to have been applied, or an unknown question as to why it is prematurely failing?

Ask those types of questions here.


May 17, 2007

This area is where you should be asking about specific details and specifications to be included in your Roofing Proposal.


May 17, 2007

People say, ” I was told to get 3 bids “. 

Well, using that logic and the roofing industry statistics for the per-centages of residential shingle roofs being done improperly and not up to the manufacturers specifications, you would need to get more than 10 bids, YES, I said over 10 bids, just to possibly find the one contractor who is going to do the job right.

The problem with getting 3 bids, is that almost every single roof done, looks adequately good the day and the month and even possibly for several years down the road after it was done.  Then the incorrectness of the adherance to specifications comes into play.

Then the problems begin to surface.

Then, you can not find the contractor who gave you a 10 year labor guarantee.  Well, he seemed like a nice guy, right? 

Here are some of the most important aspects you should research about the roofing contractor, prior to hiring them to do a project that is understood to have about a 30 year life cycle.  Darn, thats a long time.  I hope you choose the one out of the 10, who will do your roof the “Right Way!”

Check references and then ask the previous homeowners how everything went.

If you fail to do that, you only have yourself to blame.

Check out references from 10 years ago, 5 years ago, last year, and current jobs.

Who will be providing the most detail in their proposal will also probably be the one who will put the most detail in there job sites.

Do they use their own in-house trained employees, or do they farm out the job to an unknown subcontracting company that you never met when you thought you were hiring company A.

Over 90 % of all residential shingle roofs are installed incorrectly according to the major manufacturers own research studies. Therefor, only a little less than 10 % even qualify for the long term peace of mind warranty you expect.

Questions to ask:

1)Reliability: Over 85 % of ALL contractors are out of business or have changed names within the 1st 5 years and out of the 15 % who remain, 85 % of them are out within the next 5 years according to the Department Of Labor statistics.

2) Interview: Meet with each of them and go over all of the WRITTEN details. If it is not in writing, it is not part of the agreement.

3) Beware of any contractor who does not get the permit for the job and wants you to get it. The person getting the permit is the party responsible for following the building codes.

4) An actual address and phone #. Not a pick up truck and a cell phone. How can you find them if anything goes wrong?

5) An actual copy of their License, Insurance, and Roofing Bond, if required in your state.  They are all required in Illinois.  Remember, there is Property Liability Insurance, Vehicle Liability Insurance, and Wormans Compensation Insurance.  This also goes for the subcontractor they did not tell you about.  They need all of these insurances too.  OH!  By the way.  Call up the insurance agent listed on the certificate of insurance and verify the information and most importantly, see if have “exempted” themselves from being covered with the Workmans Compensation Insurance.

6) A detailed well defined scope of work, and not a one page generalization of things.

7) I already discussed employees vs sub-contractors. Why? Because something always gets overlooked when passing the buck through multiple chains of command. It does not matter that they will put up a dozen immigrants to make sure the job is done in one day, but it does matter that the job is done correctly by trained and skilled and hopefully certified roofing mechanics. Why? Because most roofs fail within 12-15 years. They are supposed to last up to 30 years and longer if done the Right Way, which is by following the manufacturers specifications.

8.) Do they belong to and/or participate in any contractors associations where they continually strive to broaden their understanding of current technologies and implementation methods?

9) Walk away if something they are feeding you sounds like a bunch of Bull. You only have one chance to do it Right the 1st Time. Anything after that point is just a repair.

10) References. They are the most critical of all aspects to appreciate to differentiate the various contractors.

Find the contractor you know will fulfill all of the job scope requirements and pay them what they deserve. A 25 % to 50 % difference in price is common, and so too is poor craftsmanship and minimal specifications using the non-name brands with no proven quality and a track record of long term duration. 

Everybody can buy the same brands of shingles in the market place.  It is how they are installed, that makes the difference for the long term success.  Remember, anybody can do a cheap job wrong.  It takes talent, experience and a continuing dedication to their craft by using highly trained and certified employees that determines the difference.  This also is true for the initial specifications which were written in the first place.  A good technician can only do what the contract specifies him to do.


Do I have enough attic intake ventilation

May 3, 2007

 ShingleVent II install


You mentioned proper balance of venting. I am building my 2-story house which has 1342 sq ft on the second floor. Since I am putting ShingleVent II at the ridges and have drilled holes in the blocking at the eaves my calcs say I need 4.47 sq ft of venting (1/300). I have 5 sq ft at the ridges but only 3.27 at the eaves. Is this a problem since I have 8.27 sq. ft. total?



Most Commonly Misunderstood Or Under-Appreciated Concepts About Residential Roofing

May 2, 2007

My name is Ed.  Say, HI ED!!!

Okay, we have introduced ourselves, so the intent and purpose of this newly created roofing blog will be to bring up the most common questions I come across and have read on various Contactor discussion forums I participate in. 

You may post and ask your questions directly here, or you may decide to additionally do some internet research.  Once you post your question, I will do my best to reply in a prompt and attentative manner to all respectfully made queries.  All of my advise is my own opinion, but based on many years of continuing education  about all things roofing related, for the past 29 years.

If you would like to see a sample of my posting demeanor and depth that I plunge into for the correctness of any particular answers, you may check out my User Name, Ed The Roofer, where I Post and Moderate at and its sister site and at where professional contractors try to assist each other and the curious home owner on how to best find solutions to a particular problem.  Also, although I am not a home inspector, I have been requested to articulate on roofing and ventilation related problems and solutions on the site that is strictly for the National Association for Certified Home Inspectors, and I graciously and enthusiastically have been assisting the Home Inspectors with their specific Roofing and Ventilation Questions.

I hope to hear from you soon.