May 13, 2006.... Ok, we were pretty lucky to make it through the winter with our existing roof. All the tiles (asphalt based shingles) are curling and everytime there is a strong wind some chunks of roofing tile fall down onto the lawn. Below is a picture of the roof as of today.
Now comes the fun part of finding a contractor that will fix the roof at a reasonable price and also in a hurry because it is not long now and we can expect the usual Calgary rains. I decided I would try and get this project done with some "due diligence". It is worthy to note that with Calgary's overheated housing market we might have difficulty with this project. The contractors are definitely in the driver's seat under current conditions. We might have to go with the first available as opposed to the cheapest or best quality. Well, we will try to achieve a good price and good quality.
A google search yielded a page from the Southern Alberta Better Business Bureau with some tips on how to go about hiring a roofing contractor. Here is a quick summary of the tips:
* Get references.
* Written estimates from two or more companies.
* If they ask for money ahead of time they must be licensed & bonded with Alberta Government services plus they need a city license.
* Make sure they carry liability insurance (protects you from damage they do to a neighbour).
* Make sure they have an account with the Worker's Compensation Board.
* Guarantee should be in writing including workmanship and transferrability ( if you sell)
* Are they a member of the Alberta Allied Roofing Association?
* Will you be able to holdback 10% to ensure there are no liens placed against your property
Once we digested all this good advice we surfed over to the Alberta Allied Roofing Association's website and found a list of members. I called several of the companies and received a variety of responses ranging from "we can't even estimate until two or three weeks" to "we don't do residential" and " we are too busy to quote". Rather than go through all the responses, I will detail here the companies that do respond and their quotes.
The first estimator to get here was from "Freeze Maxwell Roofing", he mentioned that he was already in my area and so it was simple to come over and do the quote. He climbed up on the roof and measured off everything. His quote comes in at $4,370.00 plus GST. He also said the normal wait at this time of the year was 2 to three weeks but he could try to fit me in earlier since he agreed the situation was approaching dire.
After starting this article, I noticed an Ad that showed up from Home Depot. I hadn't really considered using a national chain like this at first. I have called them and spoke with their National Installation centre personnel and they have assured me their local contractor would contact me shortly. Interestingly enough Home Depot is not directly listed by the various trade groups locally but they do have that strong guarantee that is backed by the fact of their huge size.
The next estimator to arrive on Saturday May 13 was from Bricor Roofing Ltd. Total estimate when adding in the same options as where included on the first quote is $4,510.00.
On Tuesday May 16, the Sunik Roofing estimator came by and quoted $4261.18 and included a few things the others did not. The problem though is they could not commit to doing any work for at least three weeks.
My deadline for making a decision is Tuesday afternoon (May 16) it appears that the home depot estimate is going to be a no show. Both Home Depot and another roofer showed up the next day (Wednesday) but we had already awarded the contract to Bricor Roofing.
Friday May 19, 2006 I heard a large engine rumbling outside, sure enough the delivery truck was already here with my new shingles. This truck is one awesome piece of equipment. I could tell the operator really enjoyed using the hydraulics to maneuver the heavy load around.
May 25 2006, we have roofers pounding in nails, removing old shingles, installing new flashing and vents. Below are the in-progress pics.
May 26, 2006. The roofers finished the complete roof last night and did a great job!. On a side note, they removed our satellite dish put down new shingles and put back the dish in exactly the right spot, saving me from having to re-calibrate it. This morning the rains started and it looks like it is "socked in". The job is done to my great relief and just in time.