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Repairing a Built-up roof - remove + rebuild, or add a layer?

Repairing a Built-up roof - remove + rebuild, or add a layer?


  #1  
Old 03-02-04, 11:04 AM
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Repairing a Built-up roof - remove + rebuild, or add a layer?

Hi everyone,

I just moved into a house that has a small BUR above the kitchen, seperated from and one floor below the main roof. The former onwers let water pond over a large area of the BUR, and although it is dry now, there is no question that the water damaged area needs to be replaced.

It is approx 8' x 15' with a slight pitch and one drain leading to the ground floor. I have received two differerent recommendations from contractors:

1. Remove the old BUR layers (there are a few), repair and damaged wood beneath (extent unknown at this point), and rebuild the roof. Cost = $850 + any materials costs for replacing the wood beneath, if there is damage.

2. Simply add another layer of rubber roofing on, without tearing up the exisitng roof. Cost = $850.

So, two different methods, same cost. Does it make sense to go with the first option and deal with any underlying damage, or is it reasonable to simply add another layer and prevent new damage? There is no evidence of leakage through the bottom into the house.

Sorry this is so long -- thanks for any thoughts you may have!
 
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Old 03-02-04, 01:11 PM
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There is not even a question here about what to do. Tear off the old roofing, look at a d replace any damaged wood, and put a new rubber roof on it. Do not add another layer on the old ones. A bad mistake. Good Luck
 
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Old 03-03-04, 06:57 AM
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Does that price sound reasonable - $850 to remove the old roof (8" x 15") and rebuilt it?

Thanks for your advice!
 
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Old 03-05-04, 04:47 PM
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A lot of areas have a 2 roof rule. If you have 2 burs now you would be required by the building dept to tear-off. Besides, that's how you will get a good, long lasting job.
Jim
 
  #5  
Old 03-05-04, 08:33 PM
MattG_
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Estimate of estimate

First, congratulations on owning a low pitch roof and having the courage to come forward with your problem.

Now, on to those estimates. Your contractor says $850 either way you go: tear up and re-roof or slap some rubber over the top of the existing. What about the other contractors? You did get other estimates? Rule number one on hiring a contractor - get more than one estimate.

Secondly, break-down the estimate and apply common sense. Any estimate of this nature involves two major areas of cost: material and labor. How can putting a layer of roofing equate to the same cost as putting on a layer AND pulling up old roofing?

I'm not saying the two approaches can't be equal in cost, but restated, HOW can the roofing job cost the same for both procedures when more labor is involved in one method? The answer is one or a combination of several: unknown to the Chinese contractor the beads on his abucus were stuck on $850, unknown to the contractor a solar eclipse caused the contractor's solar powered calculator to freeze, the felon roofers are trying to count anything over 40 hours toward their court ordered community service obligation by not charging for labor, the material costs on reroof are decreased because the roofer is going to use laminated shelving paper instead of the EPDm, or lastly the bill is going to be much higher if you have a tear off because more labor costs will be billed in as + material costs.

Try my approach: pull your baggy jeans down about midway to your butt, put on a baseball cap and pull it sideways, and then lose your Irish brogue. Say respectfully to the contractor, "Sup man, like how you gonna get $850 either way." It helps if you're holding a bottle of malt liquor.
 
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Old 03-06-04, 09:59 AM
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Jack, Matt, Morgan:

Thanks for your candor and insight into the tricky issues involved in being the owner of a flat, water-ponding BUR. Not once did I consider the abacus angle in the pricing estimates I received. Thankfully, that was pointed out in time.

Those estimates are from two different contactors. It is just a coincidence that two different contractors, not having been told what the other bid, came to the same price -- especially since the proposed solutions were different.

I think it makes sense to tear up the old roof, assess the damage, and rebuild. I wouldn't save $$ by covering up the old roof, and I think it is asking for trouble to put another 200lbs of material over the damaged area without knowing how sturdy the support is.

I was just wondering if $850 is a fair price to tear off an old roof that is 8' x 15' and then rebuilt it. It sounds reasonable, and I wouldn't want to go with someone less reputable just to save a couple of dollars.
 
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Old 03-06-04, 11:02 AM
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You're talking about less than square & a half of area here right, 8'x15', don't know where you're located, but for this area I'd consider that high even for a tear-off & reroof on the labor.
 
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Old 03-06-04, 01:21 PM
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I live outside of Philadelphia, so I do risk getting big-city prices on bids.

What does "one and a half" square mean? That was also what the contractor wrote on his bid sheet. I initially thought that roofers calculated prices in terms of square feet, but (8*15)^.5 = 10.95. I'm not sure how you get to 1.5 after that.

Thanks again everyone!
 
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Old 03-07-04, 05:00 AM
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A square is 100 sq ft. Out here, bur tearoff runs about $40/sq plus the dump fee. If you are ponded, you might condifer adding some tapered insulation to get the water off.
Jim
 
 

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