01:09PM | 05/26/04
Member Since: 05/25/04
1 lifetime posts
I need advice on my roof. Last fall, our roof started leaking, and we decided to replace the entire roof, reshingle it and everything. (We've owned the house for 24 years without touching the roof.) A few contractors came by, and we picked one, and just signed a contract two weeks ago. In the meantime, we were alerted to a significant sag in the section of the roof over the garage. (This section spans the garage and the side hallway of the house. The garage is connected to the house. This section of the roof measures at about 26" x 24 1/2".)

When we told the contractor about the sag, he told us we shouldn't worry about it, and that the 30-year architechural shingles he will be installing will possibly hide the sage. He also said that by "jacking up" the rafters inside the roof, it might possibly cause collateral damage to the walls of the garage, and he didn't want to do that. Then our next-door neighbor showed us a side view of what our roof is doing, and we saw fairly pronounced bowing occuring on the front and back walls of the garage, in addition to the sag in the roof.

We called the contractor back, and at first he said his company doesn't frame roofs, then when he understood he might lose the contract (there is no possible way to get two separate contractors, one to fix the sag, the other to install a new roof),he said he could bring in a framer to replace and rebuild the entire roof structure, rafters and all to the tune of $8,000 (on top of the $12,000 we are paying to replace the roof itself).

My agonizing questions: I have the understanding we really should do something about the sag, but I have no idea if this is a structural problem or not. The contractor didn't even look at the rafters inside to figure out what was going on. Is $8,000 too expensive to rebuild a roof of this size, or are we being taken for a ride? And if we do go ahead and rebuild it, will it fix the bowing of the front and back walls? What would you do in our shoes?

We have determined we definitely need to replace the roof, but I don't want to move ahead with anything until we make a thoughtful decision about what to do concerning this sag, which is extremely noticeable from the street. Please help!


08:02AM | 05/27/04
Member Since: 12/01/02
93 lifetime posts
I think it would be difficult for someone to say whether you are paying too much without knowing what the underlying problem is. If someone is going to remove all the rafters, sheathing and ceiling joists and replace then it sounds a little steep but that depends on what part of the country you are in.

If the problem is something that does not require replacing all the materials then maybe it is excessive. Can you see what the problem is? Are there ceiling joists or collar ties holding the rafters together?


06:07AM | 05/28/04
Member Since: 01/21/03
66 lifetime posts
If the sag is over a load-bearing wall, then you need a structural engineer to have a look, just in case the problem is with the foundations or the wall. If the sag is between load-bearing walls, then possible suspects are sheathing deterioration, shifting rafters, or poor workmanship getting exposed. A general contractor would be the appropriate authority to contact to verify that. In both cases, expect to pay for their consultation.

Don't agree to rebuilding anything until you know exactly what is causing the sag, and why. Then you can decide what the appropriate action is. As for your contractor's attitude, I would feel very uncomfortable about him. His first message to you that the new shingles would cover up the sag may be true, but in my opinion irresponsible if he didn't take the time to understand why there is a sag in the first place. His second proposed solution of "jacking up" the rafters continues to show his lack of interest in understanding the cause of the sag. As for his method of throwing an estimate of $8,000 at you for repairing the sag, without going into the attic and figuring out what's going on, it borders on irresponsible malpractice. But if you chose him because he had the lowest price, you now know why.


04:49PM | 05/30/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1280 lifetime posts
I wouldn't wate time with someone who is quoting youa price without even going inside to see what is going on.

nine times out of eight when a ridge is sagging and the walls parrallel to it are bowing out, there is a need for a structural ridge beam or for rafter ties. It sounds to me like aws though this was neglected in the original construction, as it often is with garages. Very often, it is not difficult to jack up the ridge and use cables to pull the walls in straight again and add the rafter ties. Unless there are other problems or the place has "learned" the bad shape too hard, then it can probably be done for a couple of thousand without tearing things apart.

is proficient help that hard to find down there?

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