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I just got an estimate for a new roof on my home for $23,000.00. The roofer did an inspection inside and stated that there was sapping on the wood beams at the highest point on the roof. He stated that this is caused by poor ventilation. I also have a crack that goes the whole length of one of the rafters. My roof is large about 3425 and has high pitches which is why it is so expensive. The price includes proper installation that would provide the proper ventilation that is needed and they would also repair the cracked rafter. I am just sick about this and don't want to be ripped off. They would also remove the sap which he said is not necessary because the new roof would prevent further damage. But they would still remove it.

My question is: Do roofers normally check the inside of the roof as well as the outside or is this a sales pitch? Is it the norm for roofers to install a new roof with regard to ventilation? I could get a cheaper roof, but don't want to put a band-Aid on a roof if it's not properly ventilated Thanks.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Good question; hope that answer is helpful. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Jul 16 at 12:06
  • Why would an honest roofing contractor want to install new shingles over a compromised structure. That makes no sense. But check the things he noted yourself. If there are structural issues you should be able to find them yourself. – jwh20 Jul 16 at 13:09
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    Always get multiple estimates. This is to get a good price, but its also to compare all the work that each company wants to do. – JPhi1618 Jul 16 at 15:12
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    "Sapping on the wood beams" sounds just a WEE bit suspicious to be overly concerned about. Pitch pockets (ie, tree sap or resin) happen, the pitch leaves, ends up on the surface, it's not a big deal, and removing it is certainly not needed (and therefore a waste of money.) It does not automatically mean the roof is poorly ventilated, though many roofs are poorly ventilated, but that shows up in ways that matter as ice dams, etc. I concur with "more estimates" and a possibility that they are trying to upsell things you may not need. – Ecnerwal Jul 16 at 16:33
  • That looks like a very good price to me. I had a similar size roof replaced about 8 years ago in a low $ labor area. – blacksmith37 Jul 16 at 18:41
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A good contractor will inspect (as far as possible) all the supporting walls and internal beams, trusses etc to give you a good price.

This does not prevent issues coming to light that have been hidden but that can happen.

You could get a different contractor to give you an estimate as well so you have a comparison ie it is good if they both find the same issues that need to be dealt with and, hopefully, the prices are similar.

  • In many years of homebuilding and home ownership I've not encountered a roofer who wanted to look at a home's trusses or walls. It probably happens, but it's not typical. – isherwood Jul 16 at 14:45
  • @isherwood That may well depend on your location compared to mine - experiences can be different... – Solar Mike Jul 17 at 8:46
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No, it's not normal. A roofer will normally check the condition of the roof sheathing, to which the roofing is attached, and maybe fascia, which supports the metal drip edge. They don't normally enter the attic unless you request ventilation updates or other work. Roofers aren't necessarily carpenters and usually aren't qualified to assess structural issues. Of course there are exceptions.

Roofing contractors typically handle roofing. Ventilation is more part of the insulation/building envelope system (though lack of it can adversely affect roofing longevity). Obviously some contractors are wider in scope of work and ability and will want to do as much for you as possible. That's not typical, though.

All that said, I seen no reason to be alarmed. Get another opinion. That's part of the quote-gathering process and your due diligence.

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