Apologies in advance if you guys hate homeowner questions around here.
Had a new roof installed today, and i’m troubled that some of the techniques and materials specified on the contract were not delivered on-site. Primarily 3 things:
- Hand nailing vs air nailing.
Contract states shingles will be applied with 5 “hand-nailed” galvanized roofing nails per shingle. However, i noticed the guys are air-nailing. I question one of the workers on site and he tells me this is the way they always do it, and that he’d take 6 nails with a nail gun over 4 hand-nailed nails any day. I call the owner (the guy who wrote the contract) and leave a message and when he calls me back and I ask him why they are air nailing when the contract says “hand nailed” and he immediately says that they should be hand-nailing the job and he’ll call the foreman right away.
But then he calls me back and tells me the contract was in error and his head roofing guy had always spec’d the job for air nails w/ 7 nails per shingle (note that his worker just told me 6) because it will be better for wind resistance on our two-story house. I smell bullshit and when I explain that i’m upset about hearing different things from him and his employees at different times, he gets indignant because he thinks i’m accusing him of being a “flim flam artist”. He also says his crew hand nails all the time (despite that his worker tells me otherwise).
But what can I do? The roof is 75% done at that point, so there’s no choice but to continue. So, I let them finish the job. I’m not intending this to be another hand-nailing vs. air-nailing and i’m convinced that if the guy running the nailer (and it was only ONE guy using the nailer) knows what he’s doing he can probably do just as good a job as a crew with hammers. And honestly, if he hadn’t written “hand nailed” on the contract I wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow but I guess when I sign a written contract for several thousands of dollars ($12K total, including roofing and siding my garage) I expect the words on the contract to mean something.
- Cutting 25-year three-tabs for ridge caps.
The contract states all surfaces will be covered with limited-lifetime-warranty architectural shingles. However, they are using 25-year 3-tab shingles to cut down for ridge caps. I question the owner about this and he says it’s standard practice and when I ask him about warranty issues he says “absolutely none” He says the pre-formed caps are too expensive and nobody wants to pay for them, and again I point out that the contract should say that.
- 15# felt vs. 30# felt.
Contract says 30# felt, but the rolls on site are clearly marked 15. I haven’t had a chance to tell the contractor about this one, but i’m curious what story he’s going to come up with that 15# felt is somehow better for my roof.
They’re supposed to start on the garage on Monday, and they asked me if I wanted it hand-nailed or air-nailed. I told them to continue as they were (if they don’t normally hand-nail, I don’t want them practicing on my garage).
What should I do? Forget about it and move on? Ask for a partial refund? Tell them to pick up their stuff and don’t come back? The contractor in question is highly highly rated on Angie’s list, at the very least I intend on documenting my experience there.