Author Topic: Need Advice on New Roof/Choosing Contractor  (Read 1505 times)


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 154
Need Advice on New Roof/Choosing Contractor
« on: May 23, 2017, 12:27:23 PM »
House needs a new roof!  We have 4 estimates, 2 were on the lower end (10-13K) and two on the higher end (22-24K).  Of course, we don't want to pay more than we have to, but we also want to do it right.  All are bonded/workers comp/insured/licensed specifically for roofs/recommend installer of the manufacturer of the shingles we chose.

The higher end estimates include (we think!!) all new decking.  The lower end estimate says that the decking will be evaluated and replaced as necessary for $70 for a amount of measurement I unfortunately cannot recall at the moment.  If the whole decking needs replacing we think that could come out to around 8k.  It says plywood is included so we think they would install plywood over the existing deck (if not damaged) to satisfy the shingle warranty requirements.

The higher estimates say that new decking is definitely required, at the very least because of CA regulation against keeping wood shake when re-doing any roofs.  But what we're not clear on is whether we have "wood shake decking" (is that a thing?)  We at least have wood boards that are either considered decking or sheathing, it's difficult to figure out on googling alone with our amount of knowledge.  It sounds like we definitely have wood shake somewhere in the layers of our roof, but we're not clear if that can be taken off and the wood boards stay, or if the wood shake IS the deck and thus must 100% be removed.  What we can see is that the boards are pretty discolored and likely very old (the house was built in the 40s but we can't say whether the decking was ever entirely replaced since originally constructed)

So which contractor might be more correct - we can keep the decking (allowing for spot repairs) or we need to replace the entire thing.  Of course the higher end contractors tell us "Any roofer knows that you'd need to replace that, they are trying to hide the true cost of a new roof from you."  But I'm sure of course they are happy to replace things that maybe doesn't need it?  Not knowing anything about roofs, we are having a hard time deciding what the best option is and who is being the most honest.



  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 778
Re: Need Advice on New Roof/Choosing Contractor
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 12:48:15 PM »
My parents just went through this in SF, I believe wood shake roofing is just that, wooden roofing shingles. They are a fire hazard, a perennial issue during home inspections, and an occasional issue for home insurance on resale. My parents came across this as they were researching getting solar. Oddly, solar became a particularly good deal for them, not just for the reduced energy costs, but because the solar company contracts with a roofer to replace roofs that need it as part of the panel installation. My parents had needed a new roof for a while, and thanks to the contract negotiation by the solar provider and the credit they provide, my parents are only paying $2200 out of pocket for a new roof. In San Francisco that is a good deal. That includes removal of all shakes and shingles, replacement of the sheathing below, and new asphalt shingles. Reroofs generally come in two styles, a new layer of shingles over the old (cheaper) and a replacement of the sheathing and then new shingles, better as the shingles are in better contact with the sheathing. Adding solar may be an extra benefit and you can kill two birds with one stone.


Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!