Cedar Roof --- replace or restore

nosoccermomOctober 28, 2013

I have a cedar roof that's about 20 years old. I had it inspected and was told that it needs to be replaced because it's too far deteriorated.
Those in the know, could you have a look and let me know what you think? Can the roof be repaired?

If not, replacing with cedar would be twice the price of asphalt, so I don't think we'll go for that.
The company suggested Certainteed Landmark Composite. Any feedback on that tile?

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GreenDesigns

That's well beyond replacement. That's immediate concern replacement. Landmark is OK, depending on which Landmark, but it won't really give as realistic a look for cedar as a more expensive choice. Like everything, you get what you pay for here. (Appearance, not construction quality. Construction quality is OK on any of them.)

The Presidential Shake is a more accurate representation of a shake roof.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Fori is not pleased

Remember, there's more than the price of the shakes--you will perhaps need plywood sheathing with composites that you wouldn't need to put in with cedar.

Also, be honest with yourself. Don't those fake wood roofs look kinda cheesy?

You must have some serious weather for your roof to look so tired after 20 years. I just replaced mine and it was over 50 and didn't look quite that bad. I have no climate here though. :)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 4:32PM
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GreenDesigns

Once upon a time, you could get 40-50 years out of a cedar roof. You're lucky to get 15 years out of modern cedar shingles. The quality isn't what it used to be on them at all.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 7:23PM
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nosoccermom

Thanks all! I'm in the DC area.
I wouldn't go for a fake cedar look but just for a "normal" greyish roof. In fact, similar house styles in the neighborhood don't use cedar anymore.
The estimate includes:

⦠Removal and disposal of all layers of existing shingles, caps, and tarpaper (felt)

⦠Inspect roof deck for water damage or dry rot. This does not include fascia and soffit inspection, which must be specifically requested by Client.

⦠Installation of new aluminum drip edge on the roof eaves to protect the exposed edge of the roof deck

⦠Installation of new tarpaper (felt)

⦠Installation of ice guard on eaves and valleys, and around chimneys and skylights

⦠Installation of new Client specified roofing material, secured with galvanized corrosion resistant roof nails according to roofing material

manufacturer specifications (no staples will be used)

⦠Replacement of all vent pipe collars with new neoprene maintenance free pipe collar flashing

⦠Replacement of existing ridge vent with similar style ridge vent

⦠Replacement of all aluminum step and apron flashing (additional charges will apply for copper flashing or etching into brick)

plus clean up

Now, if there's sheathing required, shouldn't that have been included?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 8:46PM
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millworkman

You cannot assume it would be, and as well you very well may need soffit vents as if you do not currently have them the ridge vent would be useless.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 9:32AM
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nosoccermom

Thanks for the info.
I do have soffit vents.
Now, how do I find out whether I need (new) plywood sheathing underneath? Is this something that can be evaluated ahead of time, or is this something that only will come out once they take the old roof off?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 10:37AM
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live_wire_oak

Did they pay a visit to your attic? They should have. I'd still be getting quotes personally. You DO want them to inspect your facia and soffit while they are there. You'll probably have some sections that will need replacement, and you need to know what those costs can be up front if a change order is needed. Always expect that you will need to have some type of change order on a roofing job. Especially with cedar.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 1:30PM
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millworkman

In the attic you should be able to tell. You will see 2-1/2" or 3" wide strips (lath) visible. If the shingles are directly on the other side of these strips you will need sheathing. Depending on where you are in the country the lath (2-1/2" or 3" strips) was either applied directly to the rafters or on top of the sheathing. In the northeast in years past the lath was applied directly on the rafters and sheathing was not used in cedar shingle roof applications.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 4:06PM
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nosoccermom

Thanks for the info. They did not go in the attic. I will have a peak and see what it looks like. They didn't go up on a ladder but only took pictures from ground level.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 5:24PM
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GreenDesigns

" They did not go in the attic. ... They didn't go up on a ladder but only took pictures from ground level."

Then these aren't the contractors that you want to use. The ones you do will do both, and will give you a detailed bid more suited to the individual job rather than a boilerplate estimate based off of a generic roof. They may also be higher priced than these guys, as it sounds like they aren't including necessary portions of the job deliberately to make the bid seem low.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 10:00AM
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Fori is not pleased

Decking. That's the word I needed. Where I am (1950s CA), there's no decking under the shakes so you have to add on that expense when converting.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 3:36PM
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nosoccermom

OK, so for a complete and as accurate as possible estimate, I need:
Inspection of soffits and fascia (is this something they can do ahead of time, or something that only shows up once the shingles have been removed --- when I have no choice to agree to everything?
Establishing whether there's decking/sheathing or not underneath.

In both cases: How much the cost will be.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 4:32PM
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David

The fascia should be inspected if you have the gutters replaced. It shouldn't cost too much to have the gutters done along with the roof. The soffit can be looked at ahead of time.

Decking is typically used for most roofs today and the presence of it under the existing roof is quite obvious when looking at the the underside of the roof in the attic.

The cost depends more on the labor costs at your location than the materials.

A composition shingle roof will increase the attic temperature and probably also that for the internal living area.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 9:55PM
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nosoccermom

I now established that I do have decking underneath.

So, I'll ask them to inspect the soffit ahead of time.

And also give me an estimate for gutter replacement.

Increased internal temperature is an issue since there's already a problem with less airflow in one of the bedrooms (i.e. cold in winter, hot in the summer).

I'm pretty sure that labor cost in my area is at a premium.....

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:02AM
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David

Then, you'd have to consider different roofing material. For example- metal, concrete, plastic composite, ...

Composition shingle roofs are essentially tar soaked mats covered with stone granules. The tar absorbs and retains heat far more than alternate materials.

There are coatings that are available that do reflect more heat.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roofing materials

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:04AM
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PRO
Sophie Wheeler

The problem in your bedroom is most likely due to an insulation issue rather than an air flow issue. Would the bedroom happen to be over an unHVAC'd area like a garage for instance? When you were up in the attic, did you get a chance to see how deep the insulation is?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 1:48PM
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nosoccermom

The problem in the bedroom has been from Day 1; there's very little air coming out of the two registers. And yes, insulation may be an issue because the room is kind of extending, i..e three outside walls.

I've been getting estimates for roof replacement, and they are all over the place, using Certainteed Landmark TL or Pro roof shingles.

Do I want a roof ventilation system (on the ridge)?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 3:53PM
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David

Since you had a ridge vent system, stick with it as that is the most efficient and weather proof passive venting available

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:35PM
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nosoccermom

I was told that I didn't have a ridge vent system...

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 4:26PM
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millworkman

Cedar shingle roof's breathe through expansion and contraction and the shingle lathe. A asphalt shingle roof will need to rely on a ridge vent and soffit vent system so you should definitely use a ridge vent.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:23PM
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nosoccermom

Thanks for all the info.
Now, the next question is how come my estimates so far vary by 50% for as far as I can tell the same work with the same material?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 9:48AM
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zagut

You have a roof covering that doesn't last very long.

Replace with the same you get the same.

Go with asphalt and lower your expense.

Real cedar shakes are nice but they aren't worth it.

Why do your estimates vary???

Think "Quality" of workmanship.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 4:55PM
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nosoccermom

How do I evaluate the estimates that vary from 5K-9K with basically identical material?
And how do I evaluate if one roofer says that he can do it on one day, the other says it'll take three days?
House is a 2-story, about 45x28 feet, normal slope.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 10:47AM
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