Roofing replacement

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
rayson
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:46 pm

Roofing replacement

Post by rayson »

I always appreciate the wide range of experiences and advice Bogleheads share here. So, I'm seeking your wisdom regarding my roof.

I live in the midwest, and we have a Cedar Shake roof that is about 20 years old. There was a severe wind damage last month, so I hired an independent contractor to assess the damage. He recommended that the roof be replaced to avoid any future leaks and quoted a ~$40K cost for a new roof. Before biting the bullet and paying out of my pocket for total replacement, I opened a claim with my insurance company (Safeco) to see if they would approve full replacement. Safeco adjuster looked at the roof and recognized there was wind damage. But, only gave a check for $1K for repairs. I have neighbors whose roofs have been fully replaced by their insurance companies (obviously not Safeco). At this point, is there any option I can pursue besides making a payment out of my pocket?

Thanks for sharing any advice or experiences!
krannerd
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:05 pm

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by krannerd »

My recommendation....get more quotes. The one contractor you spoke with may only be interested in full replacements and not repairs. You will find others who have different opinions and willingness to work on your roof. You'll also see how much pricing can vary between contractors.
United2008
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:01 pm

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by United2008 »

What's the square footage of your house and how complex is the roof (e.g., lots of different gables, etc)? We just replaced the roof on our 1700 sq foot house with the nicer comp shingles (inc new gutters, etc) and the total cost was about ~17,000, in a high cost market.

Roofers are all over the map on pricing - we received quotes ranging from 12k-30k for roughly the same job.
Mudpuppy
Posts: 6667
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 am
Location: Sunny California

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by Mudpuppy »

Insurance pays out for damages due to covered events. An aging roof is not typically a covered event, even if there was a covered event causing damage to the aging roof. In other words, insurance only has to replace the damaged areas and won't replace the entire roof unless the damaged areas are extensive. Your neighbors could have had more extensive damage or could just be saying that they got more coverage than they actually received.

Also, I second the recommendation to get other roofing company quotes. 20 years is not too old for a cedar shake roof that has been well maintained. On the other hand, if it has not been maintained, then there could be early failure of the roof.
Topic Author
rayson
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:46 pm

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by rayson »

House is 4300 sqft, so roof is pretty big. The contractor gave me an alternative quote at $17k however for architectural asphalt shingles. That may not be a viable option because all homes in the neighborhood have Cedar shingles.
United2008 wrote:What's the square footage of your house
@krannerd, @Mudpuppy - thanks for your input, I'll seek alternative bids for comparison.
invst65
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:04 am

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by invst65 »

I am replacing my 19-year old shingle roof on my 1540 sq ft, single-story home in the Tampa Bay, Florida area because my insurance company did an on-site inspection and told me I had to.

Lowest estimate was $7,900 - highest was $10,500. Going with the lowest because I liked the company.
User avatar
Cruiser
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:28 am

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by Cruiser »

As was previously suggested, I would seek additional opinions.

I have to respectfully disagree with Mudpuppy. I think results will vary depending on the insurance company and also if the event was declared a catastrophe for the area. I get the impression - and have been told by contractors (take it for what it's worth) - that if insurance companies declare an area a catastrophe area, they are much more prone to insuring more damage than if it hadn't been declared a catastrophe.

In my case, we had a brutal windstorm last fall that resulted in the area being declared a catastrophe. My company (State Farm) paid to have my relatively old roof completely replaced due to shingles that had been lifted up or flown off on two of my four slopes (as well as interior water damage due to a leak that was caused near a chimney from the shingle damage).

Circling back to my prior point, I think a lot of it has to do with your insurance company. The contractor I hired for my repairs said that, in this area, State Farm is one of the best to work with and generally covers more than other insurance companies.

That's my personal experience, having never filed an insurance claim until this past fall. Always looked at insurance as a pain to pay for. But you're always glad you paid for good insurance when you need it.
edge
Posts: 3524
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: NY

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by edge »

If you replace don't go with cedar. It is horrible. Doesn't last long, looks bad after 1 year (like a hut), and is expensive.
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23365
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Yikes! As others have suggested, I would get additional quotes from other independents.
I would not mention that you already had an insurance adjuster look at the roof, nor would I mention what others have quoted - do it blind and see what others will quote you and have them detail exactly what level of work is being performed. A $40K job is a lot more than just ripping up old shingles and placing down new ones.

Aren't you glad you don't have a home with a slate roof? They are even more expensive.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
edge
Posts: 3524
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: NY

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by edge »

40k is not unexpected for a large cedar roof. At least slate looks better and lasts longer.
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Yikes! As others have suggested, I would get additional quotes from other independents.
I would not mention that you already had an insurance adjuster look at the roof, nor would I mention what others have quoted - do it blind and see what others will quote you and have them detail exactly what level of work is being performed. A $40K job is a lot more than just ripping up old shingles and placing down new ones.

Aren't you glad you don't have a home with a slate roof? They are even more expensive.
daveydoo
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 1:53 am

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by daveydoo »

rayson wrote: all homes in the neighborhood have Cedar shingles.
I'd avoid cedar next time. We're in a high-fire area and CC&R's originally required shake roofs. I didn't realize how dumb that was until I unthinkingly tossed a few shake scraps into the fireplace to kick-start a sluggish fire. They're like napalm, I kid you not. If you don't believe me, buy a single cedar fence board (e.g., at Home Depot) and do your own experiment. Although I suspect even that's not as dry and thin and flammable as a shake. We've since changed our CC&R's to permit asphalt and the neighborhood is slowly changing over. I'd never get cedar again (although I like the look, and our "unmaintained" roof has probably held up better than the neighbors', who've pressure-washed and treated them, etc.). We'll need to re-roof in a few years and every dry Fourth of July, we just cringe and cross our fingers.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"
user5027
Posts: 886
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by user5027 »

daveydoo wrote:We'll need to re-roof in a few years and every dry Fourth of July, we just cringe and cross our fingers.
You could always spend the day on the roof with the garden hose. :idea:
IowaFarmBoy
Posts: 894
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:19 am

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by IowaFarmBoy »

Initially, I was shocked at the $40k quote. However, after doing some quick googling and rough calculating, it doesn't seem crazy.

Your house is 4500 square feet. Your amount of roofing will be more because of overhangs and because there is more footage of roofing due to the roof going upward at an angle (think pythagorean theorem). Back in my contractor days, I found that multiplying the square footage under the roof by 1.5 go me in the ball park on most houses. So that would mean about 6750 square feet of roofing. (This assumes that the 4500 feet you report is the total footage covered by roof and includes garages, porches, etc. The simplest case is this footage as a one story house. If you have a simple two-story box, your 4500 feet would need to be divided by 2 before applying the 1.5.)

Googling indicates that $6-9 per square foot is typical so that would calculate to $40,500 (6750 x $6). I have no idea how accurate the $6-9 number is and it could vary wildly by geographical location. My 1.5 factor can be off depending on pitch of the roof, etc., but it is a good starting point for a rough estimate.

More bids are always good. If your HOA allows, I would strongly consider a nice architectural asphalt shingle.
jharkin
Posts: 2706
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:14 am
Location: Boston suburbs

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by jharkin »

Cedar is expensive, no doubt about it - but it CAN be a good option and a very long lasting roof if done properly. It cannot be installed like asphalt, and companies that cheap out and do it that way will lead to an early failure. The shingles have to be installed so they have an airspace underneath to breathe. Red Cedar tends to last longer than eastern white. Shingles meant for roofing are treated with a fire retardant so the dont burn like napalm ;)

On the other hand, cedar is considered more of a fire hazard than asphalt so its more expensive to insure. Its a lot more expensive to install and it will require periodic cleaning and fail early if your roof is heavily shaded and prone to grow moss. In ideal conditions however Ive been told it can last 30-50 yr.

Having said all that - I am a new England antique house guy - I love the look of cedar, but considering the costs and maintenance I would only invest the effort in a historic restoration or a very high end custom home.


As far as insurance, in addition to the other commentary above about damage vs. full replacement another factor is whether or not your policy carries a replacement cost rider. If you dont they are only going to pay you depreciated value even if they write off the entire roof for replacement.
Last edited by jharkin on Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Rob5TCP
Posts: 3548
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:34 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by Rob5TCP »

Last week I replaced the roof on my rental property. I have 1/3 of a villa 2800 foot roof (914 sq feet was mine).
For weathered wood colored fiberglass asphalt shingle; it was $3,500; the town was just south of Sebring, Florida.
I obtained 3 quotes and they were all close. The association uses these three because they are responsive and prices are reasonable.
My roof was fine actually, but the unit on the other side had issues and it could not be replaced only on that side.
I think this was the original roof which would make it 31 years old.
The total cost for 2800 square feet was $11,000.
Last edited by Rob5TCP on Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
rayson
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:46 pm

Re: Roofing replacement

Post by rayson »

OP here.

Wow, awesome comments from everyone. Thank you!! I learned way more than I imagined about all types of roofing materials and fire hazards in this thread alone. I have some due diligence to do for alternative roofing materials and alternative bids.
Post Reply