Charge for removal of additional Layers of underlayment

I’m in the middle of a roof replacement. The contractor "inspected’ the roof and provided an estimate. There was a lot ($5000) of “unexpected” wood rot that I am ok paying for even though he seems to have padded the amount of wood…

Now for the concern, He also discovered that there were 6 layers of underlayment instead of the usual one or two. But he is also asking for an additional $5 per square per layer (So $25 per square) for tearing off the additional layers of underlayment. He also needed an additional dumpster due to the amount of material. He has added a charge for the dumpster as well. This seems super shady to me. The contract states that he will tear off and dispose of all materials.

What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance for your input.

Experiencing extra charges is not uncommon however these variables should be tabled prior to signing the agreement. There is nothing worse than navigating through unsubstantiated charges and you should have those charges justified, and ratonalized, by the contractor. We earn our profits on the visible and measurable tasks. Things like the occaisional extra flashings and wood rot are, in many cases, unforseen and best managed at a cost plus arrangement.

A competent roofer should be able to forsee the common “unknowns” ahead of time and not rely on “extra charges” to bulk their profit.

A good contractor is also a good communicator.


I gotta ask, what sort of underlay requires another dumpster? Unless this is a huge job, I just don’t see it.


I think the 2nd dumpster was for the wood that was torn off.

Our contract does outline additional charges for wood replacement. Which is fine.

The contract states that the roofer will remove and dispose of old materials. There is not additional consideration for “extra” layers of underlayment.

I guess that I’m really asking if I should even consider paying him for removing the extra layers of underlayment and the additional dumpster.

Should have been calculated in with the deck replacement.


Wow, a $5k rotted wood miss? You must of had some serious leaks in the house. That much decking that is bad and he inspected the roof? It just doesn’t seem like they know what they are doing. I might miss a few sheets but never, ever $5k worth. Was this the only bid you got?


Drive by or google earth estimating at its finest!

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A good roofer will have a couple rules. The first one is to always inspect the deck, whether thru walking the roof or by visual inspection is possible. The second rule is to always count the layers of shingles.

You might run into a building that has more layers on one section than another, but 6 layers would be an inch thick. Also it makes tear off a nightmare from the sheer amount of nails in it.

I generally like to include the number of layers that are being removed in the scope, so this can’t happen. If the contract does not specify the layers and says remove all, then you can argue with him about it if you really want.

But $5 for each layer is about half of what is charged around here. If you want to negotiate then maybe offer to cover the labor but not the dumpster.

There is only one layer of shingles.

Six layers of underlayment,

My bad I misread it. I have never heard of anyone charging for that before.

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Thanks for the answer Dtris!

Our sales guys have never put on a roof and they miss layers often so this doesn’t surprise me one bit. The outcome usually comes down to how good of a relationship they have with the customer. Most of the time they get the extra money even if the contract says tear off all layers…but not all the time. At $5 a sq per layer id feel lucky, we charge a lot more…$25 per and if steep more.

No matter how many times they miss layers it happens again and again. A roofer would not have missed that many layers unless they used a satellite report to get squares and didn’t put eyes on the roof in person.

You charge $25 per layer of underlayment for tear off?

No, appears i misread your post. $25 per layer of shingles… that includes the underlayment.

$25 per layer?? I’m glad I don’t work in your area. We charge $70 for walkable pitches.

Yes, additional layers are $25 per sq for shingles for a walkable roof.

So 40 squares would be $1,000 gross. Disposal would be $250 plus gas and dump truck driver, 3 men at $18 per hr. ($30 per hr minimum actual cost) 8 hrs to tear off 40 square equals $720. This is a huge net loss. Am I missing something?

You guys don’t charge much for tear off, I charge as much to take them off as to put them on and generally decline multi layer roofs.

@Tileman I asked about removing underlayment NOT shingles.

We moved on from that