credentials for selecting a roofer

Guest User
10/12/2002
In a previous email "caulking, jacks, and curbing" I received feedback that again reinforced my thoughts that my roofing company, a large, well known one here in San Antonio, is just incompetent to have done the job. There were other problems that I didn't bring up, but the company has already agreed to tear off the entire front of the roof to make reparations. They are trying to weasel out of doing the entire job properly and their warranty, and it has consumed a lot of my time having to research out how a galvalume roof is properly installed. Being a trusting consumer and thinking that even a big name, good reputation roofing company is going to know how to do their job is not a good stance to take in hiring a roofer. So that others won't have to go through the ordeal that I am still going through in having had a metal roof poorly installed, can you please answer the following questions for all? What types of credentialing should one look for in selecting a roofer? Are there state agencies or organizations that approve a roofer's credentials? Should they have had specific training in the type of metal roofing that they propose to install? Is the entire company or just an individual credentialed or approved to work with a particular kind of metal roofing? Are annual trainings required? Can someone that just has on-the-job-training claim that they are qualified to install metal roofs? There are many conferences and training sessions available, from my internet research. In getting all my roof problems repaired, how can I ensure that the new crew or their supervisor is competently trained before they start? I will definately have my housing inspector over regularly during the corrective procedures to ensure that it is being done properly. Lily Engles
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
10/12/2002
Lily, I am sorry to hear about what all you have gone through. In some states, contractors need to be licensed. That is not the case in Texas though I don't think. First of all, be sure to ask your contractor what insurances they carry. Feel free to ask for proof from their agent. Next, the best thing you can do is ask for references of jobs they have done using the product that will be installed on your roof. Go look at the jobs and talk to the owners. If things seem okay, find out who the actual installers were and then ask your contractor whether those installers will be on your job. Also, most metal roofing manufacturers offer training programs of some sort. Inquire with your contractor as to whether they have any installers who have been factory trained. Furthermore, you might want to learn a bit about the installation procedures yourself and then watch the job a bit. That said, though, keep in mind that the realities faced on actual roof installations are not always "textbook" so some procedures may need to differ a bit from the installation instructions.
Guest User
10/12/2002
Contractors doing sloppy work is the rule, not the exception. My sister and brother-in-law had a new home built, and they paid a premium price for a lot of sloppy workmanship. I like the wording my sister used recently - "getting poor quality workmanship is extremely normal"! We have two more friends having homes built, by the most recommended builders in the area. Both are getting sloppy built homes. It's just the norm these days. Our metal re-roofing job started September 9 2002, and it's not complete yet. The workmanship is sloppy and the roofers did not even read the installation instructions. The new metal panels are bent and dented much more than could be called a few accidents. When I offer helpful suggestions, they make an effort to do worse. Of course, I get blamed for all the mistakes. Most people in this business have a disease called excusitis - meaning they have excuses for everything that goes wrong. Our roofers were highly recommended to be the best available. I'm sure glad we didn't get the worst. They pulled off the old shingles and said the tar paper was in good condition. It rained for 24 hours and our insulation, ceilings, walls, etc. got rain soaked. I've been working in the attic since, and will be working up there again today. I'm adding 2 x4s between the ceiling joists, so the sagging sheetrock can be pulled up straight, hopefully. I only have about 50 more to add. Of course, I have to move the insulation around in order to get to the ceiling. I have a bad cough from breathing insulation for over a month. From the holes in the sheetrock we have a fine layer of fiberglass insulation covering everything in the house including the beds. It does tend to keep one warmer, though. You tend to move around a lot scratching and this warms you up. Of course, being 20 degrees outside and no insulation in about half the ceiling make the house nice and cool. A good thing, is that I've lost considerable weight from not eating much. My wife is a paraplegic and has learned to do more for herself, since I'm working 12 to 14 hours a day. At least I have a Chocolate Lab to take out my frustrations on! Our roof needs to be totally re-done, but it won't happen. We could barely afford to have it done wrong once. I had rather pay someone else to repair the water damage, but I don't play the lottery. About your questions: What types of credentialing should one look for in selecting a roofer? Do it yourself if at all possible. Look at the roofers other jobs and ask the owners of these homes. Of course, this is still no guarantee. Get a construction attorney to put every thing in writing for all to sign with a witness. If your state requires it, make sure the roofers are licensed, bonded, and insured! Some states do not require it, though. Should they have had specific training in the type of metal roofing that they propose to install? I checked with MBCI, and they offer training courses to roofing company employees, but this is no guarantee that the roofers will do a good job. Again, check out their workmanship on other jobs, they've done. Should they have had specific training in the type of metal roofing that they propose to install? Some probably do, but I suspect most learn on the job. All the training in the world for a person that doesn't have the ability or care, is not effective. A person that is careful, caring, and good at working with their hands, would only need to read the instructions and watch a correct installation. Is the entire company or just an individual credentialed or approved to work with a particular kind of metal roofing? Someone else needs to answer this one. I just don't think many roofers have credentials, or have been approved for any purpose, unless it's commercial work. Can someone that just has on-the-job-training claim that they are qualified to install metal roofs? I would say yes. I would prefer someone with lots of on-the-job-training if the training is correct. A lot depends on the person's capabilities and temperment. Are annual trainings required? Someone else needs to answer this question. In getting all my roof problems repaired, how can I ensure that the new crew or their supervisor is competently trained before they start? It's hard to ensure anything! A crew that all have families that they care about, and a crew that doesn't hang out in bars, smoke cigarettes or other, is a good start. I'm very sorry for your roofing problems! Please don't let it affect your health! I hope and pray your roofing problems are solved to your satisfaction, Mark
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