Slow season for roofing? better prices?Comments on master roofer

cindywhitallFebruary 6, 2014

Is there a slow season for roofing when I might get a better deal? A neighbor got a roof about a month ago and it was freezing. He used a very high priced (high pressure/high priced sales pitch company that I would NEVER consider).

I wondered when the slow seasons are and if there would be any price breaks.

I had an estimate April 26, 2012 for Timberline 30 year dimensional roof with tear off of existing layer and 25ft of ridge vent. I have a 2800sf home (2-story) with a hip roof. The price then was approx $8000. I think it was $5800 without removal.

I have seen them do a fair amount of building around here. I don't see them on the GAF Master Elite list, but I do see 2 companies I would never use (the above mentioned overpriced, hard sales pitch-2-3 hr sales presentation with "sign today" pricing) the other is one a neighbor is about to use but the owner (or prior owner) just pled guilty to false tax reporting (see below!) and an employee also pled guilty to unreported income. I'm not sure how it turned out, but I would worry about who to turn to in a few years if the roof was bad....

Anyway, Is there a slow season where better prices can be had??

Not using this guy! "From early 2007 through late 2009, Morton cashed $3,946,046 of Kenal�s gross receipts at a check cashing agency, the majority of which he did not deposit into his business bank account and did not report on his individual income tax returns. For the 2007, 2008, and 2009 tax years, Morton had unreported gross receipts of $1,343,348; $1,471,430; and $1,131,268, respectively, causing a loss to the IRS of $241,412.

Morton faces a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a fine of $250,000, along with restitution to the IRS. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2014. "

This is a review of another "master elite" that I would never use. This is one of many similar stories and I have experienced their persistence just knocking at my door. I did get the sales guy to admit it would be in the 20's when I let them set me an appt. I told him before he came in not to bother if the price was in the teens or above. He admitted he wasn't close so he didn't waste my time or his coming in.

"A couple young guys were walking around the neighborhood with information about roofing.I asked them to leave some information because we have been interested in replacing our roof.

Right away they called their "office" and put me on their cell phone to talk to a "manager". Thought this was odd, I could have called on my own cell if I wanted. An appointment was set up for a few days later. To keep this short and to the point, a very high-pressure salesman came to my home, stayed for 3 1/2 hours and quoted us a price 15,000.00 over 3 other estimates.

Total roof price 22,000. Then said he would lower it by 5000 if we signed up that night.

We did not, too high pressure and very overpriced.Be careful, they are good talkers and once they are in your home it is very hard to get them out, kinda like ants. "

Thanks for reading and replying.

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You need to stop shopping prices and start shopping reputation. I know this is exactly what you don't want to hear, but I have to say it.

A successful roofing contractor knows his costs and needs and deserves to make a profit. He needs to screen out customers that are trying to beat him out of what is his.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 10:38AM
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Your two year old 8K quote is probably 10K by now. The slow season for roofing is winter. It's also the worst season to install roofing. There's not enough heat produced to activate the seal between the shingles. Most roofers I know don't reduce their prices any in the slow season at all. They'll take an emergency job, but for an actual quality reroof, they will wait until the weather warms up. And they are already booked past June. Because they do quality jobs. That is the type of roofer that you need to look for. Stop shopping price. Ask a tradesperson that you have had a good experience with who they'd use to do the roof on their house. Ask at the local professional supply houses. Stay off of internet review sites. They are an industry wide joke.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 11:11AM
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Cindy, I would have thought you'd learned your lesson with your hvac experience. You can get the best possible price or you can get the best possible job at a fair price. You can't have both. Pick which one you want on your roof. `

There's one major roofer in my area and many other smaller ones. When the estimator for the big guy came out, he said "We're not the cheapest but we are the best". He left me with an 8 page (double sided) list of the jobs they'd done in the recent past. I checked with two and went no further.

They were about 20% more expensive. They did a simply awesome job from start to finish. I was so happy to have hired them.

It's now a few years later and the roof looks awesome. There have been NO issues for follow up or call backs. You get what you pay for.

(PS - as Live wire says, comp shingles have "tar" strips on the underside that bond to the layer below when they get hot. It may not matter, but I'd wait until the time of year when the roof can get hot before having a new one put on. Unless you want to have leaks or water sitting under your shingles.)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 1:00PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Find someone with a good rep and concern yourself less with the price than the specs.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 2:43PM
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I agree with the others about shopping reputation. For best pricing, it's best to get on someone's schedule, and wait your turn. Trying to find someone "hungry" to do it cheap, is asking for problems. If they're hungry, chances are they're not good at what they should be.

One way to shop reputation, is by starting with roofing supply houses as LWO suggested. They will not refer you to a certain roofer, but all of them usually have business cards from different companies/individuals who do business with them. It's a start for your search. Personally, I would stay away from any searches at the big box stores.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 6:40PM
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Got it. I'm afraid of the big companies now too based on some reviews I've read, and the one who practiced tax evasion.....My hvac company was a big one with a good reputation, but I just got the lazy installers that day I guess.

How do you folks feel about Angie's list?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 9:35PM
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Sophie Wheeler

AL is a big joke. No contractor that I know appreciates the shakedown that they try to run on them to get a better listing. The best contractors are found by word of mouth.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 10:08PM
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Cindy, I think maybe my comment wasn't as clear as it should have been.

The reputation for the "big guy" in my area is two-fold - they're the best and perhaps the most expensive. I was attracted by the quality, which two random references and then my own experience later confirmed.

If you're looking for a quality job and can afford it, ask around to find out who has the best reputation. It could be more than one contractor but I'd guess it's unlikely to be one of the smaller ones. (A top quality operation grows).

Good luck

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 4:49PM
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Oh Dear. I have to respectfully disagree with LWO and hollysprings in the same thread.

" Stay off of internet review sites. They are an industry wide joke."

"The best contractors are found by word of mouth."

I have been a member of homeadvisor for over 5 years and have a 4.68 rating out of a possible 5. I get lots of work from my reviews which I've worked incredibly hard to earn.

Make sure the review site makes a reviewer be a customer of the contractor. Yelp doesn't do this. I would never participate on a site where I couldn't publicly respond to a poor review. I've gotten a few and I wouldn't change or remove them even if I could. They are pure gold for the credibility they add.

I show up on jobs and customers tell me "I read your reviews. What's with the lady with the caulk?" and take my side.

I just wrote an article on this subject.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 10:49PM
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Trebruchet, are all service providers in an area rated and listed, or only the ones who "apply"?

What I'm asking is, is this a rating site for consumer information or an advertising/marketing site for contractors?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 12:51AM
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As my former DH, GC would say, he's got bills to pay and mouths to feed just like everyone else.
Do you take a pay cut when your job slows down?

I agree so much about quality of work and reputation. I just hired 2 guys for $800 over everyone else to pour a concrete slab. They were going to fix my gutters (Thompson Creek's lifetime warrantee evidently lasts as long as they're on site.) and move some things. I liked them.

They spent 2 days cleaning building materials and crap out of my back yard and stacking the materials in my shed. They tore out my fence (3 different types = ugly) of 30'x75' and recycled it. They poured a pad for my generator. They ran and dug a pipe for my down spouts which finally took all this water away from my foundation.

I couldn't hire 2 men for $800 to do what they did over the course of a week.

Price is important, but quality and reputation...

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 5:52PM
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"Trebruchet, are all service providers in an area rated and listed, or only the ones who "apply"?
What I'm asking is, is this a rating site for consumer information or an advertising/marketing site for contractors?"

I can only speak for the ones I've had experience with. I got a call from the Yelp salesman. His inability to keep non-customers from reviewing me was my objection he was unable to overcome. You may drive by Bob's Pizza and find the parking lot disgusting and write that. Maybe the trash blew into Bob's lot and he didn't know. You weren't his customer, yet you get a say and Bob can't respond. That's unfair.

A customer told me I'm on Angie's List, in fact that's where he got my number after getting my name from homeadvisor. I've never paid Angie's List a penny and am not aware if I've been reviewed or not as I'm not a member and therefore unable to check. I suppose I should.

homeadvisor considers itself contractor advertising. It's free to homeowners, so you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by calling in. They bill my credit card for every person in every trade in every zip code I've selected whether or not I get the job after they refer you to me. I close enough jobs to easily pay for the one's I don't get, so the system works perfectly.

The testimonials on homeadvisor are incredibly powerful.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 7:37PM
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I would highly suggest using Mortons Roofing the one you mentioned previously - yes they were in the paper but if you look a lot of companies - good companies have ended up on there as well. With that said I just had them out to do work and can not say enough about them plus I used them because word of mouth - everyone I have talked to could not have been more pleased. If you want cheap then you might pay the price oh and who ever you use make sure they have enough insurance and can list you as an additional insured - learned that one the hard way.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 7:42PM
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