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5 Reason Your New Roof Cost More than Your Neighbour

Updated on December 5, 2015

What Did Joe Pay?

When it is time to replace the roof on your home and get some roof estimates it is very common for the home owner to go over to their neighbours home that has recently gotten a new roof for tips, pointers and maybe a little idea of what they paid for the service. If you have two houses on the same street that needed a new roof then both will cost the same right? Well not quite right, there are a few factors to consider before your jaw hits the ground because for some reason the neighbour got away with a steal and you are considering selling one of your kidneys.

Here are five big reasons your roof estimate is going to cost you more.

Reason 1 – How Many Roofs Are We Taking Off?

Now days most roofing companies are following the guidelines that the roofing material requires them too. The liability today with a new leaking roof is too high to take short cuts. If there are still roofing outfits out there that are taking real shortcuts then they are probably not going to be in business for very long or are not planning to.

So when a roofing crew comes across a roof that is sitting on a roof that is probably sitting on another roof then we start to get two ideas in our mind. The first is that back in the day it appears that there were a lot more roofing companies and home owners taking short cuts and the second is that this home owner is going to have to pay a little more.

The first instinct of the home owner is to just do the same but may I advise against this as it is not good for the home and if you are really planning to spend that kind of money on a new roof why waste it on a short term shortcut.

This situation costs more for the obvious reasons from additional labour required and addition waste to remove. It is not good for the home to continue to add the thousands of additional tons onto the roof and to trap the moisture and old rotting shingles below the new.

Some homes out there have more than one roof
Some homes out there have more than one roof

Reason 2 – Where is Your House?

When you bought the house the great appeal was the steep, angled driveway. It is the kind of driveway you have to drive a hundred feet to get to the home. The problem is that when it is time to get a new roof the ideal location to store the new roofing materials is on the roof. If you want to save money on labour then is would be ideal to place the waste bin right below the eave for the waste to be disposed of.

So here is the additional cost. If you have a driveway that is steeper than fifteen degrees then you have a little problem because the truck that has a crane and allows for the material to be placed directly onto the roof cannot do its job. Therefore the roofing crew is required to hand carry the entire new product onto the roof. The same can be said for the disposal of the old material if the truck that halls the bin cannot drop and pick up the waste.

All this slows the re-roofing process down and requires additional labour. Generally the crane that a roofing material delivery truck uses can reach up to sixty feet to place several tons of material as long as the surface it is sitting on is flat.

Where your home is located can make a impact of your re-roofing cost
Where your home is located can make a impact of your re-roofing cost

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Reason 3 – Shrubs and Fragile Ornaments

If you happen to have a natural green thumb and you take pride in the condition of you flower bed and little man made fish pond with a little waterfall and bridge that goes over then you in for a real treat. Roofing is a difficult job and a dirty one. When the old roof has to come off the roofer has to stand on a angle way up above the house ripping, twisting and pushing the old nailed down roofing material which then slides down and may even roll over the eave onto the property.

A lot of roofing companies in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver take pride and work hard at protecting their customers properties but this takes a lot of work. Generally when you have a well maintained property there are objects and obstacles that make it difficult for the roofer to dispose the old roof. Protection like sheets of plywood and tarps are required to not only protect the shrubs and fragile from the falling debris but to also find a way to get all the waste around the property and into a waste bin.

This process takes a bit more time and equipment to ensure that there is no damage liability after the new roof has been complete.

Your garden is beautiful but I have to move several tons of waste through
Your garden is beautiful but I have to move several tons of waste through

Reason 4 - Steep Slope

I have always said that roofing is one of the hardest jobs in the world. I mean just imagine what it must be like to stand on a forty five degree angled roof several stories above the ground carrying roofing product that weighs fifty pounds or more and doing this all day!

Comparing a roofing job on a low slope to a steep slope is like comparing chalk with cheese. A low slope roof can take half the time as well as much less labour intensive when you consider that a low slope can have the roofing material loaded and placed directly onto the roof where as the steep slope roofing crew has to hand carry everything up. Factor that roofing on a steep slope in just a slower process and that if you are paying roofers by the hour than this is an additional cost to the home owner.

Some roofs are so steep out there that the roofing crew will be required to build and utilize scaffolding to ensure that the roof can be installed safely. Companies that offer these products are generally renting the equipment by the day so it is essential that the job is well planned and executed.

Installing a new roof on a steep slope takes a little more time to do
Installing a new roof on a steep slope takes a little more time to do

Reason 5 – Previous Small Short Cut

I do not like to blame actions of roofers and home owners from previous times because in many cases people made these decisions based on misinformation rather than add additional cost and fees to your current situation. There are old practices in roofing that affects home owners today in the old wallet.

Roof vents are placed on the roof to ensure that moisture is released from the attic. This is done for two reasons, one is that it helps moderate the temperature in the home and as a result you spend less on energy consumption and the other is that if you can keep the home dry which means you minimize the mold, rot and damage that can occur in the attic and ceiling. But if a roofing contractor failed to include enough vents back in the day and it is time to replace the roof, you may be in need of new trusses and a deck. This may be required because the trapped moisture has caused so much damage that it is in no condition to continue supporting a new roof.

Working out how many roof vents is not actually hard and can be self taught in a matter of five minutes. This is fundamental as a home owner to ensure and will become the biggest long term money saver when it comes to roofing.

Other shortcuts may include a roofing crew that failed to install underlay and as a result portions of the roof deck are rotten from small but constant leaks that caused long term damage. There is also the possibility of the previous roofing crew skipping on the install of flashing, which is the metal required to protect the attic from water coming through the areas where there are obstructions like chimney’s and skylights. Instead the roofing crew may have saved money utilizing roofing goop to hold these areas together and now that you are in need of a new roof and it turns out you also need of a mason and carpenter!

Rotten Roof Deck


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