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misola 05-01-2012 09:28 AM

New home owner
Bought a house I want to live in. I want to tear off the entire pitched roof and replace it with a flat roof. Some structural and other problems. Feasible? Is it worth my hiring cheap labor to tear it all off, then get bids from reputable people on Creigs List?

oldognewtrick 05-01-2012 04:12 PM

Not to offend, but everything you've described screams of failure. Structural problems will require an engineer or a contractor qualified to assess the situation. Cheap labor for demo, sure, having someone to oversee them, thats the issue. Reputable bids from Craigslist, problem.

TxBuilder 05-03-2012 11:51 AM

That's a pretty huge project.

I would contact roofing companies and get bids.

You may have the skill set to pull it off, but many do not.

nealtw 05-03-2012 05:35 PM

Cheap labour sounds like inexperienced people working above ground level, taking things apart without understanding how they are put together or the proper proceedure to follow.
I do have to ask the question. Why?

misola 05-04-2012 06:51 AM

I'm trying to keep costs down. It seemed that I could have some what experienced construction labor needing extra work pull the shingles, crowbar the plywood, and maybe cut the rafters and drop all into one of the big trash things at $10 an hour. And having previous bids from legitimate flat roofers to put the new roof on. My house inspector suggested there are some semi skilled people on Crieg's list that may be able to do this. But if a roofing company can come in with a similar cost bid, then fine. I just want people's idea of if this would be more cost effective, feasible and worth my doing the first part. Any input will still be appreciated.

nealtw 05-04-2012 07:40 AM

So you think you can get experienced and qualified help for $10 an hour. What's the problem with that?

itiswhatitis1 05-04-2012 10:36 AM

What happens when they fall off the roof. Are you going to pay there bill. Cheep $10.00 could cost you a lot more later.

CallMeVilla 05-04-2012 08:33 PM

Going from a pitched roof to a flat roof makes me wonder already. The pitched roof shed water far better with fewer problems. Why kill a perfectly good roof anyway?

You need an experienced lead guy who can direct the grunt labor. Pay him more and get better results. Around here, even grunt labor wants $100 a day . . . but your price at $10/hour might get some guys.

Good luck.

AlwaysOneMoreProject 05-07-2012 06:31 AM


Originally Posted by misola (Post 72160)
Bought a house I want to live in. I want to tear off the entire pitched roof and replace it with a flat roof. Some structural and other problems. Feasible? Is it worth my hiring cheap labor to tear it all off, then get bids from reputable people on Creigs List?

The problem with cheap labor is that they're cheap because they can't get work elsewhere, and they can't get work elsewhere for a reason. At the same time, expensive labor isn't necessarily expensive because they're good.

What are the dimensions of the building? And what are the structural problems?

misola 05-08-2012 08:17 AM

I'm going to close on this house in a month. Inside it's 1250 square feet, but can't measure the outside for a few more weeks. The inspector I hired (who is a licensed builder also, but not practicing now) found that the older (1940's) part of the roof was made with rafters that were 8' and nailed together to make them 16'. That part of the roof is sagging in the middle. Not a huge problem immediately, but needs to be addressed. The newer part of the roof (1990) has some mildew on the inside and needs newer bigger air vents along the bottom. He says the newer part should come off and be replaced so the mildew doesn't spread or at least be coated with something. Stupid part (he said) is that the whole roof was recently redone with shingles over the old shingles and nothing else was addressed. This is why I'm thinking of tearing the whole roof off and putting a flat roof ( that I much prefer) on. Facts are the pre agreement states the seller has to repair or deduct from the price what the mortgage leader demands to be done and up to $10,000 for things the inspector found. Fact is that I'm in Michigan and with the economy here, he said there are skilled people on Criegs list. No one wants to under pay people but another fact is that I'm a disabled vet and this is my first house, so I live on a fixed income and have no way to improve my lot in life. I feel it's fine for me to save money hiring skilled people that wouldn't be working or want to work more in the summer, if I am able to. I'm purchasing the house through the Rural Devlopment program and I can also borrow up to $20,000 at 1% interest for 20 years, for repairs or upgrade's for reasonable purposes. But of course, every dollar I borrow comes off my monthly income for the next 20 years. If I can't get this done economically, I'll just put up with the sagging roof part and hire someone to coat the inside of the other part to stop the mildew. No problem either way. I never had a house in the first place and am 58 years old. Wanting things in good order and having some of my ideals (flat roof) etc. is fine in the perfect world, but I've lived in public housing for many years and know that there is no perfect world. No complaints, as every day above ground is all gravy, we always said.

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