Roofing Advice for a Rookie

6 Replies

Hi BP Community!

I'm a rookie just getting started in Real Estate. I currently live with my fiance in a 4 bd/2.5 ba home that is much larger than we need. To get started building our portfolio, we want to rent a more appropriate space for ourselves (a 2 bd) and then rent out our current home to collect the remaining cash flow.


Our home needs a new roof (we have a flat roof in Los Angeles), and while it's not critically urgent to repair, we figured we should do it now before placing a tenant in the space. 

I've gone about finding roofers by calling local roofing supply stores and getting some referrals of their best customers. Of the roofers coming to our home, they are all in the range of $10,000-$15,000 to replace the roof. I've whittled my list down to two options, based on price, meeting these roofers, and cross-referencing online reviews I've read about the companies.

I'd love to ask for advice on the two options I have, because I'm starting to feel analysis paralysis. Basically both of these companies come from a roofing store referral, and both have strong reviews on Yelp as well. Company 1 is quoting $10,350 and Company 2 is quoting at $12,800 for the same job.

Where I'm getting hung up, however, is that I just got a bad vibe meeting the roofer from Company 1 (who is priced cheaper). I felt he was trying to up-sell me with other options, and also told me that the material prices would be going up in a few weeks because their contracts with their building suppliers were changing (although I don't remember his exact wording anymore). And he also was telling me about financing I could get if I didn't have the money myself to pay for the job. Finally, personality-wise, I just didn't like him.  However, when I searched this person's name specifically on the company's Yelp page (he is not the owner of the company), he too had a few great reviews.

I felt much better with the roofer from Company 2 ($12,800). He felt more like a straight-talker, seemed knowledgeable on some other things perhaps overlooked by other roofers, and I liked him. He did tell me though that I would also pay $200 to have a separate crew install a plastic covering on the roof from the inside of the house to prevent debris from falling through inside. So I guess we can put it at $13,000. I tried to see if he would reduce his price since I had a better competing bid, but he said he could not come down.

So essentially, I'd be grateful for opinions on who you would choose. Maybe I'm being too sensitive regarding Company 1 guy's salesmanship pressure, considering the company appears to be reputable. I'm trying to figure out if it's worth paying about a 30% premium for the guy that I "felt better" about...considering I'm so new to anything home-related.

Thank you for any advice or guidance BP!

If the reviews are believable and were from actual customers, then I would go with the better price. I am not in the business of spending an extra $2,500-2,700 because someone is more friendly. If I am worried about their business legitimacy, then that is a different story.

Do you have any local investors that you can ask about them to ask about their experiences?

Reviews and referrals are everything in this business. he might just be pulling your leg about costs going up yada yada cause he wants the business, but it doesn't mean he'll do a bad job. I also would go with cheaper dude #1.  

@Robert Gati I understand the need to minimize cost, but I also know from experience the cost of dealing with someone that I don’t trust, or that I’m not comfortable with.

If we encounter complications midway through a project, I want to be working with someone who feels honest and real.

if it's not critically urgent, why replace it? seems you could do minor repairs over the next few years, if any, and use that 12k to go towards acquiring another property?

@PatrickDaniel, @David Zheng , @Matt Clark , @Mark Fries - Thank you all kindly for your responses! We've decided to go with the cheaper option.

Mark - There is a leak in the roof that spurred it all. It's not leaking into the house...yet. It doesn't rain that much in LA so it hasn't been critical, but we need to fix it. The roof is nearing the end of it's life anyway, so we figured it doesn't make sense to patch it, only to replace the roof not too much later.

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