Roof Replacement (Bait & Switch?)

5 Replies

I recently entered into a contract with a roofer through my PM company and I have some concerns. I have yet to receive the contract (received the estimate) for which Ij paid half ($4500) to start the job, though I have asked the PM for it on many occasions. Roofer started teardown and tells PM that they were unaware that there were 4 levels (2 shingle, 2 wood), and PM states that roofer explains there will be an increased cost.

I advise that I had a roofer who gave an estimate just two mos ago and could tell there were 4 without a teardown (emailed them the estimate showing this) .. Roofer was supposed to call me to talk about the specifics, yet has not called me (to this point).

How should I approach this?? He already has gotten half the job out of me and started, yet I am unsure what I can do with respect to this price gouge??

(1040 sq ft shingle roof, ranch style home in Akron, OH)

@Andre' Arceneaux this is always one of the struggles when working with out of state property managers. When I started with management companies I was too lax in letting work be started without a firm written bid, but now I am much more intentional about not authorizing work with out a good bid process. The other thing you should check is whether the "roofing company" is part of the PM company or if it is a separate company all together.

@Andre' Arceneaux Immediately call the city/county Building Department to confirm a permit was pulled on the job. Whether the contractor or not is bonded is meaningless if a permit was not pulled as the city/county will not pay out the contractor's bond money without a permit. This leaves you unnecessarily exposed to shoddy work and I believe gives you an out in the contract. Knowing whether or not a permit was pulled will give you leverage in stopping the job and/or switching contractors. Proceed as you see fit at that point.

The next thing you should do is read your contract. Is there an out at this stage? How are change orders handled?

I always get pictures of the stages of the roof progress so you know that they did the job right. In roofing it is exceedingly easy to hide shoddy work under a layer of nice looking new shingles. Things like ice and water shielding, chimney flashing, and headwall flashing are important and, in my experience, building inspectors don't get on the roof to check they are there. The onus is on you to validate these things and I have found getting images of the job in progress is a good way to be checking. Trust but verify.

Having said all this, do you really want to fire this contractor with the roof torn off? What if it rains? You might be best served using the strategies above and taking this as a lesson learned for the future.

Overall, I am concerned that this contractor does not have good attention to detail if they missed this in their quote so I would be on their case about proving the rest of the job is done right.

Not to rub salt in the wound but $9k for an 11 square roof is outrageous in my area. I just had a similar job (cedar shake, 2 asphalt, and redeck) done on a 21 square job for a similar price. The bottom line is that I recommend getting several quotes on any job you have done.

Your price seems high. If you are not working with subs you have experience with and you are working thru a PM there is always a high chance you will over pay. Most times the PM get a % of the job so very little incentive on them to get the best price for you.  You also want to make sure they are not getting some other kind of kickback from the subcontractor. If you are not local you should insist on getting at least 3 quotes on work that costs more than $1000. Perhaps you could hire a local building inspector to stop by the job several times and get up on the roof and get you some pics. Lots of roofers have flat pricing for a square (100 sqft) of shingles including a single layer tearoff. I always want my roofer to have actually looked at the job to determine how many layers need to come off. The only thing they cant see is damaged plywood and that is usually quoted as and extra with a cost of $X per sheet that needs to be replaced. 

@Andre' Arceneaux Sorry to hear you are having trouble with your roofer. I’m from the Akron Area and have a well trusted contractor that does very reliable work. PM me if you’d like his contact info for an estimate. 

I have a different take on this. Our area experienced a large hail storm in June 2019. In my case, my insurance claim was adjudicated before I started getting estimates. I had two estimates I was considering when an agent for another roofer showed up and I figured it wouldn't hurt to get one more estimate. My big mistake was letting the so-called "insurance specialist" badger me into giving him the insurance estimator's report. His bid was in the middle and the company's BBB rating was A+ so I thought I would be OK. Much to my shock and surprise, at the end of the job the roofer submitted a supplemental claim for code items that were not in their original bid . This made his final price more than $3000 over the highest bid I had. I'm refusing to pay the roofer the amount of the supplemental claim and he is suing me. His compromise was to get me to pay him a reduced amount and give him additional business for deficiencies, not damage, because he will file another supplemental claim with the insurance company. Additionally, he wants me to retract the complaint and negative review I gave him on BBB.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you