"Do you sub-contact? How do you pick them?"
Thank you for submitting a question to our website about subcontracting. That is a frequently-asked question, if ever there was one.
Yes, we do use subcontractors. In fact, all the full-service roofing companies we know of in El Paso County who are large enough to need crews, other than the owner and his son, use subcontractors, even the one that markets itself as "having employees, not subcontractors." Some companies might also have some employee crews, but during the high season when there is more work than 1 or 2 employee crews can handle, they all hire subcontractors.
The reasons for this makes total economic sense. Roofing is seasonal, plus it's dangerous enough for insurance to be higher than it is for any other trade. During the winter, we're drinking from a fountain, but during the summer, we're drinking from a fire hose, especially in a hail storm year. No company can afford to keep half a dozen or so crews on the payroll all year round waiting for high tide. The company that tries to do so will find itself paying out so much in insurance and payroll costs that they would have to charge twice as much for their roofs. Effectively, they would be unable to compete in the marketplace. While some customers claim they would be more comfortable if the installation crew were all employees, really, if they had to pay twice as much for their roof, do you think they might change their minds?
With good subs, though, if one company has no contracts for them on a given week, another one probably will. The crews get to stay alive during the winter, too, by picking up work where it can be found while the general roofing companies conserve costs. The keyword here is "good" subcontractors. Like any business, subcontractors earn their reputations and are either sought after or not, depending on how well they've worked for the local companies. The local supply houses usually know who the long-time, always-working crews are.
Another upside is that the subcontractors are their own businessmen, and the roofing companies are their customers, whom they work hard to please in order to continue receiving business from them, especially from those that pay the most and timely. Also, many subcontractors are not set up for the whole marketing effort, with all the expenses that selling roofs entails. They do what they do best without having to hire salesmen, secretaries, office space, Dex ads, etc., in order to get business in their doors. That's what we do for them. It's a very close and mutually-beneficial relationship. The only reason the crews are subcontractors to us and not the other way around is because the general contractor has all the administrative structure to collect and process payments, so customers pay the general roofing company and not the crews directly. Of course, if a property owner can find a loose crew to do their job and bypass the general roofing company, they can get a pretty good deal. That's risky, though, which brings up your second question: How do you pick them?
Good general roofing companies add value to the process, besides the fact that you can find them through the normal advertising channels. First, they bring oversight to the crew's work. If the crew, for some reason, did not perform well, the general contractor will take whatever measures are necessary to get the work done well. They will have pulled the permit for the roof and have to make sure it has been installed at least well enough to pass Regional Building Department's inspection. If a loose crew were hired, and if they did substandard work, they could easily walk away, and the property owner would have no recourse against them other than to not pay. But the property owner would still have to deal with a poorly-installed roof which will cost even more, at that point, to get it done right.
Also, a good general roofing contractor will offer some sort of warranty against leaks and installation mistakes, even if the crew who installed the roof was let go. Western Roofing Specialists offers a 15-year, non-prorated, warranty against workmanship errors which also includes interior repair from leaks caused by installation errors. Our crews are held to this warranty by contract, so if they're a good crew, they will fix any error and will be back-charged for any interior repair costs. Only very good crews will accept these contractual terms and stick around even after they've been called to account on a job. And if they don't stick around, as the general contractor, we will pay out of our own pocket to correct any workmanship errors and fix drywall. Fortunately, this doesn't happen all that often, but our reputation and A+ BBB rating depend on it on those few occasions that it does happen.
By the way, substandard work and unaccountable crews can and do happen even when the crewmen are employees of the general contractor. As they say, "Good help is hard to find!" In those instances, the crews get fired, but only after the general contractor has satisfied all the bureaucratic red tape that goes along with firing people in this country. The subcontractor system makes that a whole lot easier, too.
We pick our crews very, very carefully. It starts with the search: word goes out that we need another crew and, almost like magic, crews call and come by the office (in droves, sometimes). The first standard before we even interview them is, do they speak English well? While we don't discriminate, we do require crews who will be able to communicate effectively with our customers, so if we can't easily understand their English, out they go. If they speak English well, the next criteria is do they live in town and for how long? We hire only local crews who live here with their families, send their kids to school here, etc. We do not hire the storm-chasers, living 8 men to a hotel room, and who are here today and in Texas tomorrow. As mentioned, we hold our crews to our warranties.
Once we've picked who we think will be a good new crew, we start them out on a few repair jobs to see how well that works out, how well they interact with the customer and perform the work. If the repairs go well, we'll give them a small re-roof contract. If that goes well, we'll give them a more complicated re-roof. If that goes well, too, they're pretty much in like Flynn unless and until they give us reason to dismiss them.
Now, having said all that, we do have long-time, loyal crews at the core of our company. Our A+ crew has been with us since the beginning and is our standard against whom we compare all new crews.
I hope this answered your question. If not, please give us a call.
"Do you have real people in your office to answer your phone? If so, when is it possible to call and have someone answer the phone."
Good question! By your email address on the form and the entry on our caller ID, we can see that you also left a voice mail saying, "If you can't answer your phone, your customer service sucks, and you don't deserve my business."
Yes, of course we have real people in the office who answer the phones all day long. Thank you for considering that maybe a few other people in town would like to speak with us as well. Thank you for considering that sometimes several people may call at the same exact time and that we have no idea a third, or even fourth, call is coming in and a message is being left while we're on both other lines. Thank you for considering the possibility that once in a while us humans take ill and must recover in a more suitable location than our office, thereby leaving the staff short-handed when multiple calls come in.
Thank you for leaving your message. We certainly would have called you back as soon as we could, but now we know that we do not deserve your business. Learning that we do not deserve your business freed up enough time to respond to your question. Thank you.
"I bought my 1895 built house 3 years ago. It has T lock shingles, installed in 1998. The shingles are in good shape, and most important, have kept the water out. However, with the recent monsoon rains, I noticed water staining on the ceiling of the second story, directly where 2 vent pipes in 2 different locations emerge from the roof into the interior of the house. There is no other water staining observable on the interior of the house except in those 2 spots. It is pretty clear to me that the flashing around these 2 pipes need attention and re-sealed. I have had a roofing company come out to do an estimate for repair, and they won't even consider it, and tell me I must purchase a whole new roof! I understand T lock shingles are obsolete, and when they fail, I fully intend to replace the roof. But jeez, buying an entire new roof now is rather like throwing the baby out with the bath water, isn't it? Isn't there anyone who actually REPAIRS a roof, rather than force the homeowner to spend $10K on a roof they don't even need? Does Western Roofing repair existing t-lock roofs? Thank you."
Thank you for asking this question. It touches on a few important points that we'd like to address.
First, you say the roof was built in 1895 and that you bought it 3 years ago. Did the sellers give you information on the history of the roof, such as how many layers of roof are under the top layer of t-locks? In our experience, these lovely old homes in the downtown area often have the original wood shake roof, then at least 2 more layers of old asphalt shingles, usually more. Commonly, as each new overlay is installed, the edge metal covers the layers below, so by the time you're ready for a new roof, the estimator can't discern how many layers are really up there for his costing because the layers are hidden by the edge metal. That can all be dealt with in the contract, but the real unknown is whether any of those old layers have asbestos. It goes without saying what a big problem asbestos is going to be if it's discovered during the tear-off.
But what does that all have to do with replacing just 2 leaky pipe jacks?
Here's the issue: In order for those pipe jacks to be properly replaced, all the shingles around them have to be removed all the way to the decking boards. Then, all the layers have to go back so the pipe jacks aren't sitting in the bottom of wells. Now, all the layers that go back on don't have to be the original roofing material, and probably can't be because those extremely old layers will probably turn to dust when they're pried up. It is difficult to tie-in 2 different shingle types. For instance, a decorative diamond shape shingle with a modern 3-tab means the tops and bottoms of the shingles aren't going to line up. T-locks can't be tied into any of the long, narrow shingles such as 3-tabs or dimensional models. They only tie in to each other. So, unless the roofer can come up with enough t-locks for the top layer or two, he's already out of luck unless he believes he can get them up without tearing them.
Further, if yours is one of those Victorian style homes, the roof is likely to be too steep to walk and no less than 2 stories, possibly 3. If it's a gingerbread style, it's going to be very steep, also, just not extremely high. Steep means it will have to be a two-man crew for safety reasons, and three-man, at least, if it's also high. So, if it's steep AND high, the crew will have to be attempting a very delicate operation in a crazy dangerous environment. Although roofers are all tough guys, to be sure, even the toughest will balk at a job like that.
Last, but not least, you have the unknown factor of disturbing an old but otherwise water-tight system. Any modification at all runs the risk of unintended consequences, that is, causing a leak somewhere else on the roof because the "seamless" system no longer has the exact same configuration. No roofer will offer any kind of warranty in this situation, but when the first repair turns into a future "leak chase," even though you are billed for each attempted repair, bad feelings are bound to arise and the hapless roofer will most likely be blamed.
Now, if the previous owner who had the current t-locks installed in 1998 paid to have all the old layers removed, the spaced decking overlaid with plywood or particle board and the t-locks are the only shingles up there, then most of the above is of no consequence, and replacing the pipe jacks would be as easy as a steep and/or high repair job can be as long as the roofer can get a hold of a few replacement t-locks, even if they don't match colors. We would be very happy to estimate the job, as we do have a handful of t-locks left; however, if the first scenario applies, we'd have to say the same thing as the other guys: We're sorry, but re-roofing is the only valid option.
We hope this information has been helpful for you.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like one of our specialists to come by and take a look at your roof.
Do you also clean gutters? With the latest storms we desperately need our gutters cleaned. Do I schedule an estimate or is there a flat rate for a residential gutter cleaning?
Thanks, TK, for submitting your question on our website. Last year, we attempted to provide gutter cleaning services and had offered a special through one of the local "daily deal" services. What we discovered is that there are gutter cleaning services that specialize in that kind of work, and we aren't one of them. We decided it was better to send customers to those companies rather than dilute our roofing services with a gutter cleaning-only add-on. Of course, if we re-roof a house, we'll clean the roofing debris out of the gutters at the end of the job which necessarily includes getting non-roof debris out of them, as well.
So, we checked out the Better Business Bureau for companies that do offer stand-alone gutter cleaning services and found quite a few. Here is the link to that page on the BBB's website: http://www.bbb.org/us/bbb-accredited-businesses/matched/Gutter+Cleaning/Colorado+Spgs-CO/bbb-accredited/ . If you hire one of these companies and are very happy with their service, we would love it if you would write back and tell us about it. We're always looking for good companies to display on our "Referral to Other Services" page.
Do you install solar tubes in Colorado Springs,CO?
Thank you for asking about the tube-type skylights. Yes, we do install them. We also enjoy working closely with Solar Design of Colorado, the great guys who sell the Solatube brand tube skylights (See our "Referral to Other Services" page on our website). The tube lights are usually pretty easy to install, and because the tube runs through your attic, there is very little interior work to be done to get you all set up. Just carve the drywall ceiling to the size of the tube bottom, insert the lens of choice with a trim ring around it, and you'll be seeing natural light pretty darn quick! No having to frame for drywall up through the attic to the underside of the roof. It's a great way to go to get light into those dark areas without spending an arm and/or a leg.
If you would like an estimate to install these cool units at your house, just give us a call, and we'll send our representative to assess and estimate the project with you at your convenience.
It's raining and my roof just sprang a leak. What do I do?
First thing: Don't panic! We know that's kind of hard to do when water is pouring through your ceiling onto your carpet or hardwood floor. A few drips aren't too terrible, but a lot, that's a different story. To make matters worse, these things usually happen at night when roofing and insurance offices are closed. But still, don't panic!
Of course, start catching the water. If the water is coming through a light fixture, turn off the light just to be safe. Then call Western Roofing Specialists and, if it's after hours, leave a detailed message. Please know that, even if a roofing company offers 24-hour emergency service, there isn't much they can do until it stops raining. It is extremely dangerous to climb ladders and try to walk a roof when either are sopping wet. Might as well plan to have a sudden impact with the ground. Please don't try it yourself. Wood and tile roofs can't be walked at all when they are even slightly wet, so do not expect that someone will be willing to deal with the leak as it's happening. Even if a roof can be walked while wet (like a flat roof), the remedy for the leak most likely won't work while the roof is wet because almost every possible fix will involve some sort of adhesive. So, alas, there just isn't much that can be done in the midst of the rain. But if your insurance covers interior damage caused by a roof leak, and your deductible isn't too high, you'll probably fare better than you think you will while you watch the sky drain itself into your living room.
I've seen your advertisers (sic) on tv and had a few questions. To answer these questions, I went to your web page and looked up the answer. Unfortunately, I didn't find the answer. So now I will ask directly...... 1) What is the relationship between a good roofer and a tuxedo? I'm not getting the point of this. Please help. 2) If my roofer is dressed to go to a formal outing, how am I supposed to believe he is experienced at roofing? 3) If said roofer is in the aforementioned clothing, how do I take him seriously?
Dear John Doe,
Thank you for asking about our TV ads! We are delighted that your question itself proved the purpose. You have seen our ads; the man in the tuxedo (with the dog, of course) was memorable enough for you to question its purpose; you went to our website to see if there's any mention of why a roofer would wear a tuxedo; you sent us an email. Ta-dah! The purpose is revealed. The tux is memorable. It is memorable precisely because you would not expect to see a roofer in one, right? No more than you would expect to see a dog on a roof (although we have actually seen dogs on a roof. See the photos below). Making your company's brand memorable in your service area is what effective advertising is all about. Can you remember the name of those guys in their daily duds standing in front of their building? How about the name of the company showing a roofer working on a roof? Us neither.
Whether or not you can take us seriously because of a tuxedo is up to you. Would the roofer on a TV ad be more credible to you if he were wearing dirty, old, ripped-at-the-knees jeans and a Grateful Dead t-shirt as though he just came down off a job in progress? Only you can say.
But that's not how we roll.
If the average roof in Colorado is 7 years, and the warranty is 20 - 30 years, is the new roof covered by the supplier who makes the material or your insurance?
Thank you for asking a question on our website! You pose a good question that a lot of people ask.
The short answer is: probably your insurance. The reason the average lifespan of a roof in Colorado is only 7 years is because of the hail and high winds we get in this region. I'm speaking here of the common asphalt shingles. The odds are pretty good that your roof will suffer a weather event beyond the capabilities of the materials to withstand within a decade of installation. Your homeowner's insurance policy should cover you for the loss. It never hurts to review your policy and how it applies to your roof. Some insurance companies are changing how they insure your roof and what your deductibles are (sometimes they are more for your roof).
That having been said, it also happens that shingles can deteriorate rapidly due excess heat in your attic, causing heat blisters, or from manufacturer's defects. Most likely, the manufacturer will not accept a warranty claim for heat blisters since the problem was a pre-existing lack of sufficient ventilation. A defect would present as excessive granule loss early in the life of the roof, or, when they have a certain wind rating but blow off in lighter winds when the roof is still pretty new. Another defect would present as delamination, meaning the layers between the underside and the topside granules separate. Manufacturers often pro-rate their warranties so that the older they get the less they'll pay out for defective shingles.
And having said all that, if the roofing crew failed to use the required number of nails per shingle for the manufacturer's wind warranty, then the responsibility falls back to the roofing contractor. If your contract calls for a high-wind application which requires 6 nails per shingle (for most brands), and they only use four, you have a legitimate complaint for your contractor.
As with most types of warranties, the manufacturer's warranty is only for manufacturing defects in the product. Workmanship warranties are for installation quality. Neither covers events or pre-existing conditions beyond the manufacturer's or installer's control. Manufacturers and contractors can't prevent hail and high winds, destructive animals or falling trees. That's what insurance is for.
I hope this answers your question. If you have more, please feel free to call us at 719-591-0053 or submit another question on our website.
Does your company restore metal roofing for residential properties? Our roof is in good condition but the color has faded from a deep brown to a light tan. The home and roof are aprox. 15 years old. Our home is a rustic style log, stone and stucco home. The roof looked great, but the roof has faded very rapidly in the past 3 years. We have seen a few roofs that have been painted but do not want to have to repaint every few years. Some can restore the roof and use a multi-step sealing and coating and seem to have great results, does your company restore metal roofs? Does it last and do you offer a warranty and how long if so?
Thank you for sending a question through our website. And an interesting question it is.
We take it you have a smooth, standing seam roof (also known as vertical seam, rugged ridge or ribbed roof), not a granulated stone-coated steel type.
We also take it that the product did not have the Kynar factory paint and seal when installed. Although every roof fades from the sun over time, especially at our altitude, the Kynar paints look qood for quite a bit longer.
You are correct in that simply re-painting the roof has short-term results; however, if a good painter power-washes, primes then paints, you should get results that last longer than just a few years. Either way, no post-factory restoration will serve as well as the original paint job and will be subject to chipping, peeling and more fading.
While we don't paint roofs ourselves, we would be interested in looking at the roof and inspecting for damage. If fading is the only issue with the roof, we can recommend a good painting company. If there is damage, we can help you process a claim, if you would like us to.
If you would like us to take a look, please send your address and contact numbers. We'd be happy to schedule a good time to meet with you.
Thanks again for visiting our website and sending in a question.
Do you do metal roofs on cabins 7 miles down a dirt road out of Florissant ? Cabin is 960 sq feet....
Thank you for your interest and your question. Yes, we can do a metal roof on a cabin 7 miles down a dirt road out of Florrisant. Of course, we will need to come to the property and measure, inspect for all the details, etcetera. We would charge a trip fee of $50 to come give the estimate, due to the distance and the time required, but if you hire us, we will refund the trip fee on the final invoice.
I'm sure you well know that mountain living poses a lot of challenges for the construction contractors and homeowners, alike. One of the prime considerations is access to the cabin. Is the dirt road wide enough to permit a big delivery truck to pass? Are there any steep sections of the road or driveway that might prevent easy delivery to the site? Is the cabin structure itself in good repair? Is there enough relatively flat ground near the cabin for the dump trailer? Will you have the patience if the project suffers delays due to weather, errors in the material order and things of that nature? Due to the distance from suppliers of specialty roofing materials, any shortfalls in material or equipment that would pose only a minor inconvenience to the crew on a job in town, will be a major time loss on a job 40 or 50 miles from town.
Another question is whether there will be electricity available for the crew's power tools. All these things and more will be carefully noted and solutions applied.
I'm sure you're also wondering how much such a project would cost. That will depend on all the factors involved, of course. But a good rule of thumb is that a metal roof deep in the mountains will cost at least twice as much as a regular asphalt roof, and more, depending on the type of metal system you choose. So, if an asphalt roof would cost, let's just say for the sake of easy numbers, $4,000, a metal roof is going to be at least $8K. Of course, until we can see the building and crunch the real numbers, we can't give a reasonable ball-park figure.
If you would like to proceed with an estimate, please call our office, at 719-591-0053, Monday and we'll schedule a time to meet you and look at the cabin.
Do you ever provide coupons?
Hello "Mr. B",
Thank you for submitting a question through our website! The answer to the question of whether we offer coupons is: sometimes, yes. When we are running a promotion to introduce ourselves to potential new customers, we'll often use a coupon value for it. Often, they are targeted to specific segments of the market, such as Realtors or property managers. Sometimes, we want to remind our past customers that we're still in town and ready to rock! Right now, we are in between promotions, but we'll be sure to let you know when we have a coupon promotional for you!