How do you find out if your Roof Really Totaled? When a homeowner incurs a loss covered by their homeowner’s insurance, they typically will receive a loss statement from their insurance company which itemizes the dollar amount being allowed for each component of the damaged property. For example, when a roof is damaged to the extent it must be replaced, your insurance company will send you a loss statement which indicates the number of squares of roofing to be “Removed” and the number of squares to be “Replaced” (with a waste factor included). Then, depending upon the specific characteristics of each roof, there may also be additional allowance to: “Remove steep roof”, “Replace steep roof” (with a waste factor included), “Remove high roof”, “Replace high roof” (with a waste factor included), as well as an allowance for roof vents, pipe jacks, chimney flashing, valley flashing, skylight flashing, ridge cap, drip edge flashing, step flashing, etc. What we now find rather disturbing is, although it used to be standard procedure for a loss statement to provide allowance for “every” component of the roof, there is a growing trend to omit allowance for valley flashing, step flashing, chimney flashing, etc. and the reason we are told is “unless there is visible damage to those flashings, no allowance is being given”. Another reason they give is: “We quit providing an allowance to replace valley flashing, step flashing, etc. because we found that many roofers were not replacing those flashings even when we provided an allowance for them so we just quit providing an allowance for their replacement”. Regardless of what some contractors might be doing, we find absolutely no justification for not providing an allowance to replace key components of the roof. Even if these flashings are not damaged and can be “re-used” it takes considerable additional labor to “salvage” those flashings! Yet, some insurance companies provide absolutely no additonal allowance for the labor required to detach & re-attach these flashings to the new roof. Thankfully, many insurance companies have not taken this position because homeowners are being shorted the necessary funds to “totally” & properly replace their roof when no allowance is given for “every” component of the roof. Case in point: Let’s assume a roof is 50 Square and has no ridge, no valley, no step flashing, no chimneys, & no skylights and the insurance company has determined the fair loss amount to replace this roof to be $13,150.00. The same 50 square roof could quite feasibly have 150-feet of step flashings, 250-feet of valley flashing, 1 chimney, and 4 skylights. A few insurance companies are allowing the same $13,150.00 loss amount, when there is indisputably more cost involved to replace the 2nd roof. Anybody would logically conclude that it will take a whole lot more labor to replace the 2nd roof than the 1st roof because you have to cut shingles at an angle parallel to the valleys and imbed the shingles in mastic along the valley. You have to separate the existing roof from the existing flashings around the chimney and skylights and then cut shingles around the chimney and skylights to properly re-connect the old flashings to the new roof, etc, etc. When we argue this point, some claims representatives will compromise and offer an additional amount, but some do not. In those instances, the homeowner has few options. They can either dispute the insurance company settlement amount being offered (per the terms of their policy), attempt to find a contractor willing to work for the amount the insurance company has offered, or pay more out of their pocket to get a good company like Larry L. Vaught Roofing, since we are going to replace those flashings and are going to charge a fair amount to perform the work correctly. Overall, we find most insurance companies continue to provide a fair loss amount to replace roofs, but we see a growing trend to “omit” allowances for numerous components of the roof that were previously routinely provided. So, when you receive a quote from a roofing contractor that is significantly more than the amount your insurance company is offering, I wouldn’t be so quick to conclude that the roofing contractor’s bid is too high. It could instead, very likely be the result of your insurance company not providing allowances for all of the components of your roof. And you thought your roof was “totaled”. Little did you know they weren’t allowing for replacement of many of the “flashings'” (i.e. the key components of the roof that are vital to providing a water tight installation).
What makes Vaught Roofing a Better Roofing Company? We are in fact a local, family owned business (2nd generation) that takes pride in its work and we will be there to stand behind our work. Larry Vaught went to Ruskin High School in the 50’s & his two son’s, Kevin & Mike Vaught went to Hickman Mills High School in the 70’s. We all were born & raised in Kansas City. Yet, since the April 3rd hail storm there are countless out of town roofers in the area who are making every effort to mislead you into believing they are a “local” contractor. We saw the same thing occur in 1992 after a large hail storm hit the area. It wasn’t long after those roofs were replaced and the out-of-town contractors (a.k.a. storm chasers) left, that we started getting calls from area homeowners asking us for estimates to fix their roofs. As it turns out, although the roofs were still under warranty, these homeowners couldn’t get their out-of-town contractors to come back in town to fix their roof problems. Since we see a lot of roofs once again being replaced by these storm chasers, we expect to have a booming repair business for years to come!
Regardless of whether or not a contractor is “local”, you should specifically be aware that many contractors (out-of-towners & locals) fail to achieve the level of craftsmanship provided by Larry L. Vaught Roofing. We are a better roofing company because we provide: “proper” installation of step flashings where the roof adjoins siding, skylights, chimneys, etc. Many contractors are undoubtedly replacing roofs in a fashion whereby the step flashings will not be “one per course”. Especially when a wood shake roof is being replaced with a composition shingle roof. Step flashings are typically installed every 10-inches on a shake roof, but must be installed every ~5-inches on a typical composition shingle roof. So, in order to provide one step flashing per each course of shingles, at the very minimum, additional step flashings must be installed (or all step flashings be replaced) when switching from a wood roof to a comp roof. Yet you will find a lot (probably more than half) of the wood shake roofs that are currently being replaced with composition shingles will end up not having one step flashing installed per each course of shingles as is required. You will also find most metal valley flashings being installed are 20-inch wide, not 24-inch wide as required per building code. I could go on, and on, and on, but will end this tip of the month by simply saying Larry L. Vaught Roofing installs step flashings properly, furnishes 24-inch wide metal valley flashing, takes pride in their work, is a 44+ year old local contractor, and is absolutely the best choice for your next roofing project.
Are you in a big hurry to get your roof replaced after the April 3rd hail storm? If so, is it because you think you only have so long to file a claim & only a short period of time to get the work completed? Well, maybe the following information will help. I recently asked an agent of one of the largest insurance companies to tell me how long homeowners have to file a claim & how long they have to get the work completed. Here is his response: …..Their homeowner’s policy does not give a specific time by which a claim must be filed. Their policy simply indicates claims must be filed in a timely manner and they do not deny claims based on delayed reporting. They go on to say, the customer has two years from initial loss payment date to complete the work and must submit receipts to support payment of replacement cost benefits…. So, if your homeowner’s policy does not require you to file a claim by a certain date and you have 2 years to complete the work once the initial loss payment has been made, why the big hurry? All I know is we have received countless calls for reroof estimates and the vast majority are quite upset to find they may have to wait a month or more for our estimate. “Yes”, a month or more, but if you have 2 years to replace your roof and you can get your roof replaced by the best company in town, why would you settle for an inferior installation just to get the job done sooner? Of course you can rationalize and convince yourself that there are little if any differences between Larry Vaught Roofing & those other contractors that are all too eager to start your roof tomorrow, but you would be drastically mistaken. I’ll offer some examples of those “differences” next month, but until then I suggest you look back at some of our past “Roofing Blogs / Consumer pitfalls” and also learn more about those differences as discussed on our website.
Make sure your Insurance Settlement Amount is based on equivalent roofing material. Virtually all composition shingle manufacturers offer 3 weights of laminated (a.k.a. “Timberline” type) shingles. Typically, the lightest weight laminated composition shingle offered weighs ~250 pounds per 100 square feet of roof area. The middle weight shingles weigh ~285 pounds & the heavy weight is ~300 pounds per 100 square feet of roof area. These shingles were originally warranted for 25 years, 30 years, and 40 years respectively. Then in ~2002 virtually all shingle manufacturers increased the warranty periods to 30 years, 40 years, and 50 years respectively. So, lets assume you had a heavy weight (300 pound) 40 year warranted roof installed in 1997, then in 2008 your roof is a total loss due to hail damage. The shingles, equivalent to the 300 pound heavy weight shingles on your roof, are now warranted by the manufacturer for 50 years (or in some cases a “lifetime”). However, in many instances we have witnessed insurance companies offering a loss amount based upon the middle weight (285 pound) shingle, claiming the original roof installed in 1997 was a 40 year warranted shingle, so they are only going to offer a loss amount based upon the value of current 40 year warranted shingles. However, just because your 300 lb. shingles installed in 1997 may have only been warranted for 40 years at that time in history, you should be entitled to a 50 year warranted roof (by today’s standards), if you are to receive a loss amount sufficient to receive a new roof equivalent to the 300 lb. shingles you originally installed on your roof. Another situation we have observed which may result in an unfair loss amount involves those homeowners with cedar shake and cedar shingle roofs. Again, the loss amount “should” be based upon the cost to replace your roof with “equivalent” materials. Yet, we often find homeowners are offered a settlement amount sufficient to remove and replace their wood roof with a composition shingle type material that often is valued at much less than the cost to remove and replace the wood roof with an equivalent wood roof. The cost to remove and replace a wood roof is currently considerably more than the cost to remove and replace the wood roof with even the heavy weight / 300 lb. variety of laminated composition shingle. In fact, the cost to replace a wood roof with another wood roof is sufficient to afford one of the heavier weight (~365 pound or greater) composition shingles available in the market today. Granted most claims are settled fairly, but we caution you to be aware that settlement offers may occassionally not be based upon the amount necessary to replace your roof with “equivalent” materials.
Here are some tips to help guide you through the calm after the hail storm that damaged many homes in our area on April 3rd. #1 Do not call your insurance company & file a claim until you are confident you have significant damage. If you file a claim before you know whether or not you have damage and later find out your roof sustained little or no damage it could count against you (i.e. frequency of claims filed). #2 Don’t sign a contract with someone knocking on your door who offers to “handle your claim”, no matter how enticing their offer may be (i.e. offering to cover your deductible, etc.). There are too many reasons to explain, but consider Missouri is currently considering legislation to ban this type of activity so there are obviously some serious concerns. And, just think about it. When someone is willing to pay your deductible, do you think they are really going to provide you the same amount of goods and services as someone who is not incurring a thousand dollars or more in expenses (i.e. your deductible) to get your job? #3 Unless you have such severe damage that your roof is leaking, do not get in a big hurry to replace your roof! Most hail damaged roofs will not leak for several years. They just wear out a few years sooner than they would have, so choosing a contractor based simply according to who can start the job the quickest doesn’t really make good sense & can be very risky. #4 Insurance companies typically offer a fair settlement amount (i.e. enough funds are provided to hire a good contractor) so don’t choose a contractor based soley upon “price”. You are being provided a significant amount of funds so apply those funds wisely. You actually are being presented a wonderful opportunity to get the job done right! #5 You will find in most instances that when an insurance company’s loss amount is figured correctly, it is more than our quote. If insurance is offering less than our quote, in most instances we can negotiate a fair settlement amount so you can have the best roofing contractor in the Greater Kansas City Area, Larry L. Vaught Roofing, install the roof you really deserve! #6 Don’t choose a roofing company based upon the “wow” factor. Let me explain; You’ve undoubtedly eaten a lot of name brand pies that you find at virtually every store nationwide. The companies that make these pies really know how to “market” their product and as a result, sell a lot of “digestable” pies. But, I think you would agree these pies don’t compare to the home made pies you’ve looked forward to at the little family owned diners. You can consider roofing contractors in the same way. Larry L. Vaught Roofing isn’t one of those nationwide companies with bill boards & ads displayed everywhere you look, but we do “serve-up” a fair number of roofs each year that are every bit as special as the best home made pies you’ve ever had the opportunity to experience!
Do you need a Hail Storm Roof Repair?
When you receive a Roofing Proposal please be wise. A few days ago my service representative shared a story with me that left me totally baffled. His story was about a homeowner whom he had recently presented our reroof proposal to. As is typical of all of our proposals, it was quite detailed & professionally prepared. It provided a written quote for various GAF shingles, included the GAF System Plus extended warranty (50-years of non-prorated warranty coverage), along with options to install ice and watershield underlayments where recommended, additional intake vents, additional exhaust vents, and specifications detailing every aspect of the work proposed. We actually take a considerable amount of time preparing all of our roofing proposal to account for the specific needs of each individual project. As it turns out, this homeowner showed my representative two other proposals they had already received. One was a printed standard form that had blanks for the contractor to simply write in the roof type & price by hand. That bid was ~$1,000 more than our quote and it did not include many things that we had included in our quotes (like the GAF System Plus extended warranty, new flashings where the roof adjoins siding, etc). The other proposal he was shown was a hand written note on a plain white sheet of paper that simply indicated the roof type & the amount quoted. That was it. There were no specifications provided to indicate whether or not the contractor would be replacing flashings, what type underlayment would be installed (if any), etc, etc. Yet, the homeowner indicated they were going to hire this contractor because that contractor’s roofing proposal was a whopping $400 less (on a $12,000 job). As much as we respect a homeowner’s right to choose who they want, in this situation we believe they are making a huge mistake. Over the last 44+ years that we’ve been serving the greater Kansas City area, we’ve seen so much shoddy workmanship performed by these types of contractors that we fully expect this homeowner will end up getting a roof that is worth several thousand dollars LESS than they are paying that contractor because; they won’t be getting snow resistant vents, won’t get two plies of underlayment on roof slopes less than 4-in-12, won’t get mastic installed along the edge of valley flashings, won’t get 24-inch wide metal valley flashing, won’t get new step flashings installed where the roof adjoins the siding, won’t get new metal flashings around the chimney & skylights, won’t get an extended warranty, won’t get US citizens installing the roof, won’t get the roof installed by “employees” of the company (i.e. a sub crew will install the roof), and on, and on. It’s easy to come to this conclusion if you consider that I personally prepare around 15+ proposals per day (for over 25-years now) and usually find that at least half of these proposals are submitted to repair “faulty workmanship”, quite often amounting to several thousand dollars “per job” in needed repairs. Granted, we reap the benefits of selling 100’s of thousands of dollars worth of roof repairs each year to address the faulty workmanship performed by these “bargain priced” contractors, but we would much prefer helping homeowners make “wise” decisions by encouraging them to take the time necessary to find out what they are actually getting (by written contract) for the “price” before choosing a contractor. In virtually every instance, you will find the lower priced contractor is providing a whole lot less than the savings being offered. And more often than not, the “cheapest” contractor is NOT proposing to perform the full scope of work necessary to meet the minimum installation requirements and NOT providing a roof installation adequate to perform properly during its entire life span.
Effective January 1st, 2011 GAF increased the warranty period for shingles of their 30 year & 40-year warranted shingles to “lifetime” warranted shingles. Many other shingle manufacturer’s have since followed GAF’s lead & increased the warranty period for shingles at their companies as well. So, if you have a material labeled as being GAF 30 year or 40 year warranted and the material is installed after December 31st, 2010 the material is in fact now covered by GAF’s “lifetime” limited shingles warranty.
Warranty Period for Shingles
Larry Vaught Roofing is also a GAF Master Elite certified roofing contractor and Certainteed Shingle Master certified roofing contractor. As such, we are able to provide our customers with material warranties that far exceed the warranty period most roofing contractors are able to offer. To learn more about these warranties, which provide non pro-rated warranty coverage of materials for up to 50 years and even offer to back our workmanship for up to 20-years contact us or visit our Roof Warranties information page.
Beware many Roofing Sub Crews Often are not Covered by Workers Compensation Insurance. Since construction is a dangerous job, laws mandatorily require businesses who perform services in the construction industry to provide Workers Compensation Insurance coverage for their employees. But those same laws provide a loop hole which allows “owners” (those having at least 10% ownership in a business) to waive Workers Compensation Insurance coverage upon themselves. So, many sub-contractors have taken advantage of this loophole by creating Limited Liability Corporations (a.k.a. LLC’s) consisting of 10 laborers or less, so that each of these laborers will then own a minimum of 10% of the LLC The LLC then purchases an insurance policy which will indicate they have General Liability Insurance AND Workers Compensation Insurance. However, if you were to investigate, you would often find that the policy provides Workers Compensation Insurance coverage only for the LLC’s “employees.” But the LLC actually has no employees. It only has “owners” which have all waived Workers Compensation Insurance coverage for themselves. This can literally save a sub crew hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, but in the event of an accident they are NOT covered by Workers Compensation Insurance. It’s a big risk for the workers, a big risk for the contractors who hire these workers, and can be a big risk for the homeowners who allow these workers on their property. Yet, this has actually become the standard method of operation for many roofing contractors in the construction industry these days! So how do homeowners protect themselves from contracting with a company that does not provide Workers Compensation Insurance coverage for those performing work at their home? My insurance company suggests you: 1)require an insurance certificate be provided “directly from the issuing insurance company” (not directly from the contractor) 2) require a certificate of insurance be provided for not only the roofing contractor you are doing business with, but also require an insurance certificate from every “independent contractor” (i.e. sub crew) being sub-contracted to perform work at your home 3) require the insurance certificates indicate that “All employees of the above named insured, including officers and members, are covered under the above listed workers compensation policy” 4) and be sure the policies indicate that “residential roofing” is the classification for which the general liability coverage and workers compensation insurance coverage is being issued. Of course, you are likely to find a lot of contractors are “unwilling / unable” to meet these requirements, so you may have to search a little harder. But, finding a contractor that provides Workers Compensation Insurance coverage for “all” (including those performing the dangerous task of replacing your roof) is definitely worth the effort! To help you with your search, I can recommend the name of one company right now that provides Workers Compensation Insurance Coverage for “all of its employees, officers and members” and that is Larry L. Vaught Roofing!
Since many homeowners do not have a clear understanding as to how a disputed roof damage claim is handled per the terms of a standard Home Owner’s Insurance policy, to follow is a general explanation of the process. Let’s imagine you are advised by a qualified roof inspector that your roof has sustained significant storm related roof damage so you file a claim with your insurance company. An adjustor is sent to look at your roof, but they determine the roof has little or no damage. What should you do next? Well, you can choose to no longer pursue the claim or you can dispute the insurance company’s decision. If you wish to dispute their determination, you would typically contact the insurance company’s claim center and request a “re-inspection.” Through re-inspection, the insurance company’s adjustor will typically contact you to see who you would like them to meet with at the time of re-inspection. You would probably choose a roofer you trust and believe qualified to best represent you at the time of re-inspection, but the choice is totally yours. The intended purpose of a re-inspection is to provide both parties the opportunity to assess the condition of the roof “together” in hopes that an agreement as to the extent of damage can be arrived at. “If” both parties are Haag Certified Roof Inspectors, we believe you will stand a much better chance of the dispute being resolved at that time. However, if re-inspection is not performed strictly according to criteria established by Haag Engineering, the likelihood of an accurate assessment is much less likely to occur and the ability of the parties to reach an agreement is therefore much less likely. In the event a re-inspection does not result in an offered claim settlement amount to your satisfaction, the next step is to inform your insurance company that you wish to proceed according to the terms of your policy to resolve the dispute. This step is typically referred to as arbitration (a.k.a. appraisal). Through arbitration, you and your insurance company are to select your respective representatives. Those representatives are then basically charged with the responsibility of choosing an umpire acceptable to both parties and providing the umpire with supporting evidence of their position. The umpire will then normally inspect the roof personally before then rendering a binding and final determination of the loss amount. Granted, the procedures to resolve a disputed claim will vary from policy to policy and those noted above are simply a generalized explanation of the process, but we hope you find the explanation helpful. In conclusion, when you 1st decide to dispute a claim, we strongly advise that you do all you can to assure “BOTH” parties (your representative and the insurance company’s representative) agree to: Re-inspect the roof at the same time and according to criteria established by Haag Engineering, which is best achieved only if BOTH parties are Haag Certified Roof Inspectors. There are a lot of competant roofers and adjustors who we find do a great job of accurately and honestly assessing storm related roof damage. However, we also all too often encounter roofers that indicate a roof should be replaced when there is actually “NO” damage and have encountered insurance adjustors who would not get on the roof, even during a re-inspection! There are valid reasons for differing opinions, but those differences are likely to be far less when the representatives involved in assessing the damage are qualified and willing to perform an assessment of the damage according to criteria established by Haag Engineering. And “YES” Larry L. Vaught Roofing does have Haag Certified Roof Inspectors on staff.
Vaught Roofing Can Repair Your Roof Damage
We service the entire Kansas City Metro area check out our Roofing Contractor Coverage Map of KC. Our trucks and roofing contractors will travel to your location within our coverage map. We will also travel to you in order to provide an estimate for your roof repair.
Key employees of Larry L. Vaught Roofing are enrolled to become Haag Certified this December. Haag Engineering is a recognized industry leader in the assessment of hail damage to roofs and offers training so those passing the training will be Haag Certified as an expert in the assessment of hail damage to roofs. Becoming “certified” by Haag Engineering will greatly assist us with being able to offer you the most accurate assessment available (i.e. you stand a better chance of resolving your roof claim with a Haag Certified contractor). And we continue to: Maintain the GAF Master Elite Certified Contractor status which is bestowed upon no more than 3% of all contractors nationwide, Maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, Receive the highest honors from Angie’s List (On their “Honor Roll”), Meet the requirements to receive the GAF 2010 Consumer Protection Excellence Award (Received this award in 2008 and 2009), Meet the requirements to receive the GAF 2010 Training Excellence Award (Received this award in 2008 and 2009), Strive to meet the requirements to receive the GAF 2010 Installation Excellence Award (will very likely complete 7 Golden Pledge warranty jobs by year end which receive a perfect 10 rating by the GAF inspector).