About a year ago we decided to put up solar panels on our roof.
Since our roof was about 15 years old, our solar installer recommended that we re-roof first. We had several roofers by, but were getting different advice and wildly different quotes.
We started to feel a bit over our heads and somehow it occurred to us to search for a roof inspector to get some independent advice.
Good thing for that, because it lead us to Dave. Dave has been extremely helpful to us. He started with a full inspection. He wouldn’t tell us which roofer to hire, but steered us in the direction of picking someone reputable. He also pointed out a number of small service jobs that were needed on the roofs not requiring replacement (our house has several roofs). He reviewed our roofing contracts to make sure that everything was included. He also fielded several calls from us offering useful advice.
After the roofers left, Dave came by with his son for a second inspection. I had thought it would be just a formality since I hired reputable roofers. However, he identified some critical deficiencies and omissions that would likely have led to leaks. This included a connection from our flat roof to the neighbor’s roof that wasn’t attached firmly enough and some metal flashing around the chimneys that hadn’t been done. I e-mailed Dave’s report to the roofers and they addressed theses issues within days and sent their own inspector to make sure it was all correct. Dave had me take photos of all their work and he confirmed that the roofers had done a great job remedying everything.
There was also one small reminder from Dave gave us that turned out to be a big help. We did our roofs in two stages: an urgent roof before winter, a second roof only after getting approval for solar. We assumed that we would just use the same roofer for both, but Dave reminded us to always get three quotes. Doing so, we found a new roofer, who would work with the solar installers to protect the installation points and honor their warranty even with solar panels attached to it. This was a big deal to us since our first roofer voided their warranty if anything was attached to the roof. Now we have solar panels plus a ten-year roof-warranty – again thanks to Dave.
We spent well over 10 thousand on the roofs themselves. By spending an extra 400 or so on Dave’s roof inspecting, we made sure that the roof got done right and we found a roofer that would warranty our roof after solar-installation. It also changes your bargaining power when you have your own expert. The roofers responded to Dave’s report right away, without any fuss or bargaining.