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Finding a roofing company, metal roofs, and DYI roofing

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  • Finding a roofing company, metal roofs, and DYI roofing


    I climbed up on the roof yesterday to have a look at the chimney and was shocked to see that the shingles (second layer) are literally disintegrating in some places.

    I bought the house a couple of years ago, and never worried about the shingles because on the sides of the house they look like new, and I assumed that the vertical shingles would fail first. Not so.

    Now I'm planning to save enough money to have the roof redone next year, just have to make some decisions first:

    1) How do you find a good roofing company? My mom had her semi reshingled for 3500$ while the salesman from Home Depot quoted over 8000$. He sounded compentent but he was a professional salesman, not a pro. Is it reasonable to assume that bigger quote means better quality? One company I contacted said they don't do quotes at all, they charge for an evaluation which they will subtract from the job price if I sign up for it. That sounds great except I still don't know if they're good or are just trying to lock me into their services.

    I live in Markham (north of Toronto)

    2) Given the realities of today I am unlikely to spend the rest of my life in this house, but I'm not against trying to. Given that - should I consider getting a metal roof instead? My understanding is that it will last longer than I will live, is maintenance free, and is overall great. Its only problem is the price. Does anyone here have a metal roof? Do you think it is worth the money for its own sake, and if I need to sell the house - will I get my money back?

    3) I definitely want to hire a great professional crew to do the work, I wouldn't even dream of doing this myself for the entire house. But are there parts you can see a healthy DYIer doing himself? Could I for example remove the existing shingles myself? Mess around with the gutters or flashing? Something else?

    Thanks in advance
    Andrew Smith
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  • #2

    Re: Finding a roofing company, metal roofs, and DYI roofing

    Insured, WSIB clearance certificate so if one of the roofers falls you are covered.


    • #3

      Re: Finding a roofing company, metal roofs, and DYI roofing

      I have a metal roof - about 15 years now.
      Yes it was costly, but both neighbours have replaced their shingles since then - we all had our roof done within a month or so of each other.
      Hy-Grade recently did some aesthetic repair work, and installed a new snow guard on a place no one thought there'd be one needed, gratis. That snow release can be problematic depending on what you have around you house.
      I'm happy with it, but sometimes in a driving rain it is noisy.
      There are some companies out there which have a more pleasing look as far as I'm concerned.

      "Being so impressed with the beauty of nature, I never cease to be amazed at how the
      'touch of the human hand' can transform it into another kind of beauty that is so uniquely human.
      John Snow, Outdoorsman and Retired Teacher


      • #4

        Re: Finding a roofing company, metal roofs, and DYI roofing

        my old neighbour was a roofing contractor, as was his father & grandfather, same name and business. he is who the insurance companies call to fix problems, emergency repairs, etc.

        when our old house needed new roof we had him quote & do the work. the father was doing quotes (no more labour for him) and they were free. he brought ladder, measured, inspected roof, then came back day or so later with multiple written quotes (25yr, 45yr shingles, etc) also would NOT scrimp on somethings. he used iceshield back then, now uses it with another membrane on rest of roof... he wouldn't save a few $$ and leave it out or replace with tar paper.

        neighbour on other side of us, and other neighbours on block went with "XXXX Roofing" cheapest quotes, done in 2 days, 10yr warranty, etc etc. thing was 2 years later they didn't exist, and neither did warranty. their quote guy was a labourer who just hopped out of truck, walked round house and said then & there "ya, we'll do it for $xx"

        our roof came with 10year labour, lifetime of shingle (25year) warranty (they were approved and trained installers... really just a way for shingle manufacturer to screw DIY's out of lifetime warranty he explained)
        so when we sold the home a selling feature was that a 35year old company would provide transferable warranty, remaining labour, and full lifetime (remainder of 25years)

        my neighbour was a great guy... so great he was kind enough to replace a few shingles for the neighbours who didn't use him when XXXX Roofing was making rounds. I know of atleast 2homes he repaired during & after a heavy storms after owners found shingles in their yards.

        difference in the quotes was about $1500 (ours cost $3700 for small 1000sq/ft 2story home) that price dif seemed huge to others... until they had him over fixing it.
        he said (my memory may be off a bit) but insurance pays $150/shingle for him to work afterhours/emergency calls.

        blah blah blah.

        protect your investment, find reputable/established contractor, spend a bit extra and ensure warranty is transferable to future owners if applicable.
        Last edited by beakie; 11-14-2017, 07:45 AM.
        [insert something witty here]


        • #5

          Re: Finding a roofing company, metal roofs, and DYI roofing

          I put a steel roof on my garage in Ottawa, after the 30 year shingles lasted 20 years ..... I almost wish I had done both the house and the garage in steel when I first built the garage, but the money just wasn't there.

          I have steel on my house now (in Monteith) and I just don't worry about it at all. Snow slides off it, rain runs off it. If we have a fire locally the sparks won't set it on fire. I'll be dead 25 years and it will still be just fine .....BUT.... I don't care about resale value or neighbourhood values or appearance etc. There "may" be codes where you are that dictate what you are allowed to do, so you may want to check that out too.

          I have to do my garage roof here in Monteith ... probably next year or the year after. It 'll be steel. The flashings, facia, soffit etc will be aluminum. It will be one less thing for me to worry about as I get old.


          • #6

            Re: Finding a roofing company, metal roofs, and DYI roofing

            Years ago I was on the board of directors of a condo where I lived. Having compared prices, warranties and ultimately the overall value, we decided to go for the metal roof with a local, reputable company. If memory serves me well, the cost was about 30 to 40% higher than top of the line felt shingles. I moved out of the place about 10 years ago but I'm still in the general area and visit some friends from time to time, and so I know there have been no issues with the roof at all. It's about 15 years old now.

            The snow is not a problem with that roof because it is textured just like the regular felt shingles are. In fact, I say the metal roof would keep the snow from sliding even better than regular shingles. There was also no noticeable change in the noise intensity on days with heavy rain. Perhaps it was a little quieter. The roof was installed on strapping over the existing shingles.


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            • #7

              Re: Finding a roofing company, metal roofs, and DYI roofing

              We have had a Hy-Grade steel roof for sixteen years now. We have had only one problem with some roof caps loosened in a very bad windstorm. They immediately came out for a free repair. This was eleven years after the install. If you are going to be in your home long-term a steel roof is definitely the way to go. We would have replaced the original shingles sixteen years ago and would be looking at a second re-roof in the next few years.


              • #8

                Re: Finding a roofing company, metal roofs, and DYI roofing

                Our house has a steel roof and its almost 20 years old and have not given it a thought. The garage I put up this summer we put a steel roof on. I like the look and I like the do it once and not worry about it again approach.
                Whether you go steel or shingle contact a supplier to the pros is a good source for the right contractor. I know Spar Marathon in the Toronto area is a large roofing supplier but I am sure there are others.


                • #9

                  Re: Finding a roofing company, metal roofs, and DYI roofing

                  Thanks everyone. Sounds like steel is what I want.

                  I looked briefly for metal roofers a couple of years ago and could only find a couple in the GTA (I'm just north of Toronto, in Markham). Though maybe it's easier now, there seem to be more google results.

                  Sounds like Hy-grade was good for a couple of you? I'll give them a call to see what they say.

                  I'm planning to build a small addition to the house, but hopefully the roof won't need too many modifications for that.
                  Andrew Smith