Watch this whirlwind tour of a completely incompetent roofing job

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Pretty damn reasonable price for that service. Fair play.


He definitely uncovers every shingle thing.


Off sides.


This is why you never, ever, ever hire any kind of home contractor out of the phone book or off of an ad flyer.

A high quality honest and competent general contractor is worth his weight in gold, not just for when you want to build an addition or do a major reno, but for his ability to recommend honest people who know what the fuck they are doing for when you need a pipe fixed or a room rewired or a furnace replacement or a new roof.

It sucks that home maintenance is an industry where you have to go on personal recommendations and referrals to find someone who provides work that’s worthwhile and won’t need to be torn out and done over, but that’s the way it is.


By the look of the garden, he needs to sack his landscaper too.

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The inspector said that the homeowner originally had a tile roof. Those are supposed to be good for at least 50 years, and require special roof construction to support. Why on earth would you want to pull that down and use asphalt shingles (and black ones at that)? And what happened to them? Makes me wonder if the original roof was incompetently installed too.


This had me immediately scratching my head too. Why on earth would you want a black roof? It absorbs heat in the summer and loses it in the winter.


Shows what going for the lowest bidder can do I think. Its been a few years since I worked in the industry, I don’t know about local rates, and the video probably doesn’t show the full picture, but that looks like a pretty big and pretty complex roof, and frankly $20K seems very low-ball for the job. Hereabouts, especially if the contract included removing the old tile roof, I would have expected at least a third more, if not double that price. Sometimes you just get what you pay for.


Even the roofer he choose was highly referred
Makes me think “overbooked and subcontracted the job”

That roof is also the poster child for why fancy rooflines are a bad idea. All the changes of plane are hard to do well.

ADDING: They seem to have installed to save as much as possible on material, and the surplus probably ended up sold on Craigslist. Billed the proper amount and wal;ked off with 10% of the shingles still in the truck.


That’s what I thought too: it’s not just a bad roofing job, but also a bad roof design. It has many places for water to pool and to seep in, and it could also trap flammable debris and sparks from forest fires.

Tiles are better so close to flammable trees.


The one thing he’s got going for him is that it doesn’t look like it rains there more than once a year.


Your contractor is only as good as the worker he leaves at the job. I’ve had great and crappy work from the same contractor.

Problem is always that you have to become an expert just to hire the expert. I need a new flat roof on a rowhouse, one guy say hell use the latest tech rubber sheet to wrap up and over the parapets, the other says “look, those parapets are falling over! They need to be torn down and rebuilt, wrapping them in a barrier causes the the masonry to rot out even faster”. My head is exploding.


How old is it? Not that it’s a direct comparison but a building down the street from me had this scenario, and the parapets wound up on the sidewalk about two months after the roof was replaced. Whoops! It happened in the middle of the day, too. V fortunate that no one got crushed.

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The building? Ca 1900, still has gaslight piping here and there in the ceilings, but not a high stoop house like built a few decades earlier. A few years ago we had an issue with stucco falling from where the cornice should have been, it has been stuccoed without using wire mesh.

When’s the last time the masonry was pointed?

Sounds like headache, anyway.

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I have no idea, I’ve owned it 20. It’s now beyond pointing, he wants to tear down the parapets and rebuild them to the tune of $7k.

I gotta say, watching this I fully understand why roofing work among the most dangerous jobs there is. This guy is just walking around on steep surfaces with possibly loose shingles and irregular surface. He’s not wearing any safety harness. If he trips on anything, anything at all, he has a major injury. Of course the chance of slipping is very small but if you’re on enough roofs enough times it’s likely to happen. There really needs to be some better safety technique for that kind of thing. Thinking about it…

Woof. Good luck.

Thanks. Thing is, I’m a professional craftsman, machinist, and mechanical designer of 35 years experience, do much of my own interior reno work, and am still frustrated and mystified by this process of trying to hire an honest, competent professional contractor. I cannot imagine someone with zero construction/mechanical knowledge trying to navigate this minefield.