I hired a local roofer to redo my roof. One of the items in the contract is to "INSTALL 7/16” OSB SHEATHING OVER EXISTING ROOF BOARDS." The roof boards are rough sawn 3/4 inch thick pine, with a 1/2 - 3/4 inch gap between them. Yesterday I found out they installed the roof without sheathing. The roofer claims that they decided it wasn't necessary. He says installing architectural shingles over wood planks is a widespread practice, and has offered me a 10% discount. Apart from the fact that I think he shouldn't have made this decision without consulting me, I'm trying to find out to what extent the lack of sheathing will compromise the quality or lifespan of the roof. If there's a problem, the discount won't take me far. Would appreciate any advice or suggestions!

closed as off-topic by BMitch May 5 '15 at 14:20

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  • 4
    A contract is a contract. Make him remove the shingles, install the proper sheathing and the put on new shingles. If you do happen to accept the discount make sure that it encompasses the cost of the sheathing material plus the labor to install it. You may need to contact a separate contractor to get a fair accessment of these costs. – Michael Karas May 2 '15 at 17:42
  • 4
    In my opinion, 10% is a small token of a discount, no where near enough, especially since he did not do his due process of notifying you. That is a breach of contract. Tearing the roof of will make him squirm. THEN he will give you a REAL discount. Get this all in writing. For what its worth the 1X6 works for the base, as long it is ALL in good shape. He better give a warranty in WRITING, for more than one year. The company I was a supervisor with for 22 years, had the roofer warrantee their roof for 5, sometimes 10 years – Jack May 2 '15 at 19:07
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's a legal question, including contracts with builders, or contractor negotiation. – BMitch May 5 '15 at 14:20

One of the first things you might want to do is look into the building codes in your area to make sure that the work performed meets code. In Montgomery County, Ohio planked sheathing is considered spaced sheathing. Therefore as roofing contractors, due to code, we have to install 3/8 or 7/16 OSB over-top of the existing planks to meet building code. Many contractors in my area do not know this code, or if they do they just ignore and continue to violate. Hope this helps and best of luck with your situation.


  1. Can I use the existing roof sheathing? Section 905.2.1 states “Asphalt shingles shall be fastened to solidly sheathed decks.” Therefore, if the existing sheathing is in structurally sound, it can be used for the new installation. Exception: If the existing roof sheathing is spaced lumber or damaged such that it will not hold a nail, it must be covered or replaced.

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