17 Dec 2009, Posted by Shawn in Contractors,Showcase, 0 Comments, Short-URL:http://portlandbuilt.com/dw8rj
It rains in Portland. It rains a lot. If you own a home in Northwest Oregon, you know that Portland winters can be merciless on roofs. Just this last summer I spent a week of time on top of my house, repairing a really bad roofing job around my chimney.
What Makes for a Good Roofer
Most crews can handle the basics of 3-tab roofing installs. A nailer and a bundle of shingles isn’t rocket science. Where you start to separate the good from the bad comes in how the roofer handles the penetrations in the roof system – the chimneys, vent pipes, and (most importantly) the skylights.
Skylights are notorious for causing problems in roof systems. Poorly installed skylights cause countless issues with wet insulation, mold, damaged drywall, dry rot, and so forth. Most of us have seen the telltale signs of a bad install – stains around the perimeter or “downhill” from the skylight.
Roofing: The Devil in the Details
So, when you’re selecting a roofer it’s important you get someone who pays close attention to the details. Take the crew on the Live/Work project, for example. Here’s a detail of the flashing on the top side of the skylights:
See how the flashing directs the water away from the skylight? It’s cut nice and low, so it looks good, but still does the important job of keeping water away from the edges of the skylight frame.
A Great Roofing Crew
The roofers on this project, T-Mix Roofing of Portland, also went the extra mile on the shingle installation. Most roofers use 15# roofing felt, with shingles nailed on top. Todd’s crew first put down a butyl-rubber membrane, followed by a layer of 30# roofing felt, then a layer of shingles. We didn’t ask for this level of effort, but as Todd said, “the last thing I want is to be called back to a job.”
Moral of the story – the next time you’re looking to hire a roofing contractor, get into the details. Find out what underlayments they’ll use, the brand of shingles, how they’ll handle the flashing and venting, etc. Ask for references, and call on them. There are a lot of companies out there that do the fly-by-night routine, so take your time and find a reliable business.
Big Kudos to Todd and his crew for a job well done!
In my effort to find a roofer for the Live/Work project, I called two businesses who didn’t return my calls. One roofing company had a big website filled with glowing customer testimonials; the other company came recommended by a contractor I know and respect. While it’s good to get into the details of a bid and experience, sometimes the “business basics” (like, RETURNING A PHONE CALL) are good indicators of the business’ attention to detail.