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Home Owners FAQ NYC Roofing Contractor quotation

 

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Do I have to be home to obtain an estimate?

My roof has only one layer at this time can I layover the existing shingles or is it better to rip them off?

What weight felt paper should I use?

I Need Some Work Done, What's The First Step I Should Take?

When are the roofing materials delivered and will they block access to my driveway or garage?

Do I need to be home while the work is in progress?

Will there be any accumulated dust or debris in my attic area?

Do I need to protect items inside my house from possible damage?  

Do I need to protect items inside my house from possible damage?

I Have A Design And Am Ready To Hire A Roofing Contractor, What Now?

How Do I Shop For The Best Price?

Selecting The Best Bid.

Do I Really Need A Licensed Contractor?

How Do I Hire A Contractor?

I've Already Hired A Contractor And Now I'm Having Problems.

Can I Check To See If Complaints Have Been Filed Against A Contractor In My Jurisdiction?

 

 

Q: Do I have to be home to obtain an estimate?
A:
No. Most companies will obtain the necessary measurements and inspections from outside the home. However, meeting with each estimator allows an opportunity to discuss your specific goals in obtaining a new roof and you may find each estimator will have slightly different recommendations in terms of materials and suggested options. This is also an opportunity to get a feel for a company's performance in the scheduling and keeping of appointments.  

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Q: My roof has only one layer at this time can I layover the existing shingles or is it better to rip them off?
A:  
A number of factors come into play in making this decision. Older shingles tend to cup as they dry out and age. The new layer will follow the contour of the existing shingles which may cause your new roof to look bumpy or uneven(see example). Also, the existing rows of shingles must have been run straight when installed. Again, the new layer will follow the old pattern and may lead to a visually unacceptable appearance.

Of greater concern is the inability to inspect the roof deck for heat damage, rot or loose decking. While the wood can be inspected from inside the attic space for broken boards or water damage, loose decking can not be determined without removing the shingles and existing felt paper. The best way to determine the actual condition of your roof is to tear off the old shingles and under lament and inspect the wood decking. Chances are that long term shingle decline may have lead to deteriorated, rotted or delaminated roof decking, or even wet attic insulation. These may need to be replaced. We may find hidden electrical conduit, roofing nails popping through or bowed plywood decking which may not be seen until the existing roof system is removed. We will bring these items to your attention. Click here to see the steps we take to perform after the shingles are removed and (or) plywood is installed.

As wood becomes moist from humid air and condensation that collects in the attic space, it may swell slightly. As it dries out, the wood returns to its natural position. Over the course of 20 years or so, this swelling and relaxing of the wood can lift the decking nails slightly which may prevent the wood from laying flat. This will be the only opportunity for the life of your new roof to address this condition.

Q: What weight felt paper should I use?
A:
Roofing felt paper, sometimes known as "tar" paper, is an underlayment that is installed between the roof decking and roof shingle. Commonly used weights for residential housing are the 15# and 30# underlayment's. In the past, 30# felt was often used in conjunction with the organic asphalt shingles then on the market. Today's fiberglass composite shingles offer greater durability and a longer life expectancy in a thinner and lighter format. Many manufacturers today recommend using 15# felt with their 20 year and 25 year fiberglass composite shingles available in our region. While many consumer publications continue to recommend 30# felt for reroofing projects, we suggest the Shingle Mate .  

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Q: I Need Some Work Done, What's The First Step I Should Take?
A:
The first step you need to take is to decide exactly what you want to do. This sounds silly, but you need to have a very good picture of exactly what you want to do as the first step to ensuring your satisfaction. We'll use the example of remodeling a kitchen but the steps would be the same regardless of the project. You need to know exactly what you want to do in order to get bids from different contractors so you can compare apples to apples. Are you going to gut the entire kitchen and start over or just replace the cabinets? Do you want a center island? A professional stove? Do not even start to think of who to hire before you know what the job is. How do you know what you want? There are several ways to get going:

  • Hire an architect to design it for you. Architects are trained to look at a space and help you decide what you want to do with it. The advantage is expert advice. The down side is added cost to your renovation.
  • Buy a computer program. There are many programs on the market that are basically "architects in a box". The advantage is low cost but you lose the expert advice.
  • Magazines are an excellent source of ideas. They are inexpensive and offer a wide range of styles and information about different products that are available.
  • Look around. Tour houses for sale or friends' houses that have a kitchen like the one you want. Take pictures and notes.
  • Ask some contractors. Some contractors even offer a free design service. It is fine to use these services and advice but do not be pressured into signing up yet.

It does not really matter what the source of the design, but the point is to have a firm idea of what you want to do. Real wood cabinets or laminate? Real marble counter top or Formica? Ceramic tile floor or linoleum? Solid brass fixtures or plated? Once you have it written down from floor to ceiling you're ready for the next step.

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Q: When are the roofing materials delivered and will they block access to my driveway or garage?
A:
Generally, we schedule the materials to be delivered by our supplier two days before your planned roofing date. In most cases, the materials will be loaded directly to the roof area of your home, allowing you unimpeded access to your parking area. If there are reasons your roof cannot be loaded (power lines or tree branches in the way, or if your roof has too steep of a pitch) you will be notified in advance of the situation. We do request that you keep the driveway area clear of vehicles on the day your delivery is scheduled unless someone will be home to move the vehicles when the supplier arrives.  

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Q: Do I need to be home while the work is in progress?
A:
No. In fact many folks prefer not to be home when the hammering starts!
We do not need access inside the home providing there is an outside electrical outlet we can use in the case of bad wood or if you have chosen the option of a ridge vent system. However, if we have noted the possibility of damaged plywood, some homeowners like to be home to inspect the decking and assist in making the decision of how much decking to replace in cases of cosmetic consideration. 
 

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Q: Will there be any accumulated dust or debris in my attic area?
A:
Yes. In all roofing jobs, some of the finer grit will fall between the cracks of the plywood or plank board decking. In cases where a ridge vent system is installed, sawdust will fall into the attic. We suggest removing or covering any items stored in the attic space if dust or debris accumulation is a concern.    

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Q: Do I need to protect items inside my house from possible damage?  
A:
Yes. On all roofing jobs there is a degree of vibration which comes down through the framework of the home. While it is not necessary to panic, it is recommended you safeguard fragile items such as glass globes on chandeliers, pictures which are not securely mounted to the wall, or the "old family heirloom" on the mantel. Items in the kitchen cabinets should not be affected, nor should there be a need to empty the china cabinet. If in doubt, take a few minutes to protect any non-replaceable items.     

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Q: Do I need to protect items inside my house from possible damage?  
A:
What often separates roofing companies is the quality of the site clean up at the end of a job.
Professional roofing contractors should remove all roofing debris, clean out the gutter system and do a thorough cleaning of the grounds and landscaping. Included in this is the use of a magnet to pick up any nails that have reached the ground level. The perimeter of the home including lawn, landscaped areas, driveway and support vehicle parking area should be included in the search for nails.

We are roofing contractors that are dedicated to stamping out dishonest home repair contractors. Every time a homeowner is ripped off by a dishonest contractor it hurts everyone in the industry by the loss of the customer's confidence and this, in turn increases the difficulty of doing business for the reputable contractors. How many of us have had a bad experience with a contractor? According to consumer watch groups, contractor. complaints rank second only to auto repair complaints. Fix a roof is here to assure you that you are dealing with a reputable contractor who really will do a good job and we ensure that the project will come out beautiful and you will be satisfied after all that's what our business is built on.

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Q: I Have A Design And Am Ready To Hire A Roofing Contractor, What Now?
A: After completing the first step you're ready to hire someone to do the work. This is the most important part of the job so take your time! How do you choose a contractor? Pick up that big, yellow book and let your fingers do the walking? How do you know that contractor is qualified? What's their record? How do they perform? Are they on time? Do they finish the project? While the phone book or newspaper ads can be one source of contractors be sure you thoroughly check their credentials. Particularly:

  • Are they qualified? Ask to see their state license. Then call the state to be sure it is a valid license. Ask what trade organizations they belong to, then call the organization to confirm. (See our section on Licensed Contractors)
  • Find out their record. Ask for a list of past projects and go take a look at their work. Call the state and ask if there are any complaints against them. Call the Better Business Bureau, both local and state chapters, to see if they have any complaints. Call the local trade organizations to see if they have any complaints.
  • Check out their performance. Ask for a list of references. Call the references and ask if the job was done well, as promised, when promised and completely. Ask the references to be specific. What project did they do? Did they arrive on time, at the same time every day? Did they clean up the job site? Did they finish the project when promised? Did they work continuously on the project until completion or only in spurts? Then ask the references if they know of any additional references and call them. Be cautious of a contractor that supplies three or four references and then the reference you call supplies the same references to you. The references could be "arranged" and may not have even had any work done at all.
  • Are they insured? Ask to see a valid Certificate of Insurance. Then call the Insurance company to confirm that it is valid. You are responsible for all workers on your property. Are you ready to be sued by the guy who falls off your roof?

You could save yourself a lot of time by limiting your search to roofing contractors already approved by Consumer Affairs. FixARoof - Quality Construction Inc, has personally done work for employees of Consumer Affairs. Only the most reputable and qualified companies can will be chosen to work for them this is your assurance of a quality project. After compiling your list of possible contractors you're ready for the third step.

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Q: How Do I Shop For The Best Price?
A: After you have completed step one and step two you're ready to shop for the best price you can get. You've already separated the wheat from the chaff in step two so the contractors you have left are the cream of the crop. Price is where most people fall prey to disreputable contractors. They get an unbelievably cheap bid and jump at it. Remember the old saying that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You shouldn't be looking for the cheapest price, you should be looking for the greatest value! The best way to shop for value is to ask for bids on your project. Give each contractor, from the list you made in step two, a copy of the written list, the one you completed in step one, of what you want done. This ensures that each contractor has the same understanding of the project and you will be able to compare the estimates on an apples to apples basis. Give the contractor a firm, but reasonable deadline to submit bids by, usually two to three weeks later. That brings us to step four.


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Q: Selecting The Best Bid.
A: Please note that this section is not called "Selecting The Cheapest Bid" but is called "Selecting The Best Bid". The first thing to do is to look at the bids as a group. They should all be in about the same price range. If a bid is way out of line with the rest, take a careful look at it. If it is higher than the rest, perhaps this contractor knows something the rest overlooked such as something you didn't include that must be done to bring the project up to code. If it is lower than the rest be particularly cautious. What is it that is costing less? Is it inferior materials or just lower prices? Don't be shy or afraid of sounding un-knowledgeable, you can always call the contractor and ask any questions you have about the bid. The final selection is a trade off of choices and you must decide what you want. Don't just automatically pick the lowest price. Pick the best trade off between price and quality. For example, one bid is for custom cabinets while the other is for off-the-shelf cabinets. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and neither is inherently better. Just take your time and make a well informed, carefully considered decision.


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Q: Do I Really Need A Licensed Contractor?
A:
Only if you like your home and want to keep it. A license does more than just ensure that the person you're dealing with isn't a fly by night operator, it gives you important legal protections that truly could mean the difference between keeping and losing your home. Here are just a few of the potential problems:

  • Unlicensed individuals are considered your employees. That means you are required to provide them with workman's compensation insurance. If you do not provide this insurance not only are you in violation of the law, you could be held responsible for paying their salary for the rest of their life should they get hurt.
  • Unlicensed individuals have no liability insurance. That means no protection of your investment from faulty materials or workmanship. Theft from the job site isn't covered and a worker's carelessness that leads to injury or property damage could leave you holding a very large bill.
  • Unlicensed individuals leave you unprotected against a mechanic's lien. If the contractor you hired to do the work doesn't pay his suppliers they can put a lien on your house.
  • Individuals not licensed do not have bonding protection on their jobs through the state fund, which means you don't have this protection.
  • Unlicensed individuals can not apply for permits on the job you hired them for. Without a permit, not only are you again breaking the law, you are afforded none of the protections the permitting process offers you.
  • Your job will not be covered by your homeowner's insurance because insurance companies won't cover bootleg work.
  • You may encounter problems when you attempt to sell your house. Some counties may even require you to rework the job, costing you twice.
  • Officials can, and do, even require the entire removal of the non-permitted structures.
  • Permitting is done to ensure that the building codes are met. Building codes are there to ensure that the job is done correctly. The unlicensed individual probably doesn't even know what the codes are, and is even less likely to follow them.
  • If the codes aren't followed and the job isn't done correctly severe injury to you or your family could result from using the incorrect materials or through faulty workmanship.
  • People often "poo-poo" the building codes when it comes to "simple" projects like a deck or garage but it is no laughing matter when an improperly built garage or deck collapses, leaving a family member buried under five or six hundred pounds of wood.

The bottom line is that there are lots of reasons not to hire a unlicensed contractor but only one reason to...price. We think the safety and well being of our families are worth a little extra. How about your family?

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Q: How Do I Hire A Contractor?
A:
Once you have decided upon the job, solicited bids for the job and selected the bid you are going with, you're ready to hire the contractor. The most important aspect of this step is the contract. We couldn't possibly cover all of the potential pitfalls of a legal document, so we'll leave that up to your attorney, but we can give you a few pointers.

  • Be sure that the contract specifies everything you and the contractor have agreed to, including time of completion, work to be done, types of materials to be used, etc. Not only will this protect you legally, but it will avoid misunderstandings between you and the contractor.
  • Get any change order in writing. If you decide to go with cherry instead of oak cabinets get a change order in writing. A contractor's verbal assurances that something will get done doesn't mean that it will really get done. Again, to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings, get it in writing.
  • Be sure the price on the contract is the same as the one on the bid. If the contract and the bid are different documents be sure to read the whole contract to be sure it matches the bid. Be sure that how much money is due, and when, is spelled out in the contract as well as the amount of any deposit that is required.

After you are satisfied that the contract is what you want, now comes the time to spend some money. Almost always the contractor will require a deposit to begin the work. The amount will vary depending upon the size and type of job. State laws vary but State law in New York, for example, allows a contractor to require up to 1/3 the cost of the entire job as a deposit. Most contracts will also have a schedule of payments that will be payable as work is completed, but you should never agree to making the final payment until after all of the work has been completed and approved. Finally, welcome the contractor into your home. You and he will be a much better team, and as a result you'll get a much better job, if you work together. All reputable contractors want to do a good job and will give you their best if you let them.

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Q: I've Already Hired A Contractor And Now I'm Having Problems.
A: First make sure you are really having problems. This is like the "check to make sure it's plugged in" step. We all know it's plugged in until... oops! Are you sure the contract, or written changes to it, say cherry cabinets and not oak? Go look. Sometimes in the flurry of activity that surrounds a home remodeling job we may want cherry and we may mean cherry but we never actually get around to telling the contractor cherry. Communication sometimes breaks down on both sides, but assuming the contract does say cherry, your first step should be to politely bring it to the attention of the contractor. Don't assume he's trying to rip you off. It's probably just an honest, and correctable, mistake. If the contractor refuses to change his mistake (you must not have hired one of our members) try negotiating with him. Perhaps he would prefer to reduce the price of his services in exchange for you accepting the oak cabinets. Remember you may be 100% right and would win if you take him to court but do you want to have an undone kitchen for two years while your case slogs through the courts? Try to work out a mutually beneficial solution. If that doesn't work call the home improvement commission in your state and your local Mediation Center for help. They may be able to do a little arm twisting for you. At this point use your most powerful weapon, the check book! Don't write any more checks until the contractor agrees to a solution to the problem. Now this, obviously, only applies to more serious problems. You'd be hard pressed to explain in court withholding a check because a nail was missing. Your last recourse is to sic your lawyer on him. The most important thing you can do is to report the contractor so, at least, others will not suffer the same fate. The best way to avoid even having to read this section is to hire a contractor in the first place!

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Can I Check To See If Complaints Have Been Filed Against A Contractor In My Jurisdiction?
Yes. The following agency will provide information on complaints filed in their localities.

 

  
 

 

 

FixARoof Roofing Specialist • Office: (718) 442-5221
Toll Free: (800) 826-1432 • FAX: (718) 442-3014
1075 North Rail Road Ave, Staten Island, NY 10306 USA • e-mail: info@fixaroof.com

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copyright 2003 fixaroof.com ®, all rights reserved. fixaroof.com ®

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FixARoof Roofing Specialist • Office: (718) 442-5221
Toll Free: (800) 826-1432 • FAX: (718) 442-3014
11434 Richmond Road Staten Island NY 10304 • e-mail: info@fixaroof.com

   Tell us how we can improve this site to better serve your needs. Privacy Policy

copyright 2003 fixaroof.com ®, all rights reserved. fixaroof.com ®

              design and fixaroof.com ® are service marks of Fix a Roof-NEW YORK, NYC

 

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