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Branden_wilson (Branden_wilson)
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Username: Branden_wilson

Post Number: 81
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Monday, January 04, 2010 - 11:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

heartstone, i'm really surprised you didn't notice that the slate bible and this site are major efforts already. coming from someone who's holding the truth and doing everything but standing on the street corner and shouting it, we need the consumers to stop being so ignorant. i lose more jobs to the guys like you hired first time around than anything else. there are far more crooks in the building industry than honest professionals.

thanks mostly to joe, the information IS out there. when i heard i may be getting a chance to install my first slate roof, i got busy. i went straight to my local book store and bought the best books i could find on the subject, the slate roof bible and the slate roof book. i read both from front to back and studied the heck out of them. then, i got several pieces of slate and some slate tools and began practicing the techniques i learned. there's no way i would have installed a single piece of slate without being so confident. i would have gladly passed the job on to a professional before i ruined my name.

here in south florida a good lot is at least a mil or two, those 3 to 5 mil homes are notorious for being nightmares. even in the 10 to 20 mil range there's still more hacks than craftsmen. the difference is ALWAYS the homeowner. there's areas on the island of palm beach where you can't find a single mistake anywhere but the rest of a1a all the way to miami is mostly flashy junk. you'll also find that there's not a single mortgage on the island of palm beach, some folks even pay 400k or more a year in property taxes but it's not the money that makes the difference. when i work on those homes we have months of planning before we ever touch the home. i have to deal with architects, builders, contractors and usually agents. we plan out every single detail and i am put to every test imaginable. i also have to build mock-ups for all of my jobs and so do my competitors. the "other" jobs i bid on are all about numbers. when it's all about numbers, i never get the job and coincidentally those jobs never get done right.

the big difference in your case this time around seems to be your involvement and the effort you've made to educate yourself. this is the correct way to do ALL things unless you REALLY trust someone. there's a whole lotta law out there and if you violate that law you can't plead ignorance in a court of law. you're expected to know ALL of it. can you skate by with a little knowledge and a good attorney? sure! but real piece of mind comes from knowing the truth. everyone has their own agenda, the agenda of almost every single contractor out there is their "bottom line".

sounds to me like you were told a lot of things by a lot of different people. i don't know how much of it you actually "believe" but it's obvious that you've done your homework and things are going to work out a lot better for you this time. the difference is YOU. if you wanna help others, tell us how to reach folks like you. all of the info is out there but people just love the sales pitches especially when the numbers work.

one thing i have to say is i'm very impressed that you are sticking it out especially for the "next guy". americans have a real hard time giving a crap about the next guy and you're spending a lot of money and effort so your problems don't get passed on down the line. there is a reward for that type of behavior, it usually doesn't come in the form of money or instant gratification but for those of us who look at the "big picture" it's far better than that.
http://www.youtube.com/user/REALSLATER
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Old_school (Old_school)
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Username: Old_school

Post Number: 358
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 06:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Heartstone and Joe, Those stories are enough to break a person's heart! I can tell that you spent the time and did due diligence to get things done correctly, but you expect that someone in the larger scope of things would step up and do things correctly. LIke you said Heartstone, the lawyers are useless in the long and short run and they take everything and leave you worse off than before. You were dealing with building and roofing "contractors" and not builders and roofers; or slaters as the case might be.

On another forum, I hear a lot of the "contractors" bitching about the quality of the help that they get, etc. I tell them to go out and do the work themselves, do less of it and do it right. I don't think that most of them get it either. I am not saying that all slating contractors shoud do all the work themselves, but at least they should know how to do it and what to look for. Most of these people out there couldn't pour water out of a boot if you printed the instructions on the heel; in any language!

ALL of us have stories about the screwing that people are giving themselves a lot of times, even after we have tried to tell them what is going on and why. We lost one last year that was supposed to match the original roof of the church that we had worked on 15 yearws earlier. Graduated Multi color slate, copper flashings and a goofy spec on the underlayment. The other price came in at the cost of materials. I told the architect,and the GC what was going on; plus the other "roofer". They ended up going with no graduation and they omited to blend the colors. All blotchy, and it didn't match. They don't care, because they "saved" money. You could tell us stories about that. You learned more from reading Joe's book than the GC or the roofers will ever know. It is not that difficult, but it does take attention to detail. I hope everyhthing turns out ok. Good luck!
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Heartstone (Heartstone)
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Username: Heartstone

Post Number: 10
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 04:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Clarification. I am fixing it because it is the right thing to do and my most of my kids are grown now, plus I can't afford to keep it. I invested so much of myself in this house over the last 15 years, somehow it needs to turn out right. Everything is fixable for about $600-750K and it would cost at least $5 million to build new today. My hope is someone will buy it and have the enjoyment of family, parties, weddings and know that the house was restored like it should have been built the first time.

Joe I have pictures if you are interested for your book and it is a good idea. The Youtube video's are very helpful, maybe you could make an instructional video series and sell it to contractor associations, licensing groups, architects, wholesalers etc and they would really get it that it is not just "roofing" but it is a craftsman skill that takes years of learning. Owners would be more informed as well. Just a thought...
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Branden_wilson (Branden_wilson)
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Username: Branden_wilson

Post Number: 78
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 02:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

sounds to me like the typical process of building a modern american home. one has to look deep beyond the surface in all things to find truth.
http://www.youtube.com/user/REALSLATER
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Heartstone (Heartstone)
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Username: Heartstone

Post Number: 9
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 01:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Main Problems were moisture intrusion from rain, soil and ocean air from exposure during framing, bad grading, lack of crawlspace venting, leaking decks, poor roof flashing, gutter issues, plaster below grade with no screed, crawlspace below grade, no foundation drainage, no foundation waterproofing, bad weather stripping on doors and windows, bathroom exhaust fans terminating in attics, leaky HVAC system aided by stack effect. ALL code violations! All of these defects, a perfect storm, caused wet framing, condensation in the closed cathedral ceilings and mold problems. The roof was “beautiful” (minor problems) just needed venting, according to the experts, roofers and architects, etc. and we never had roof leaks. My family was sick, we had to move out, even though the interior was new without problems other than air quality and high humidity.

After 4 years in design/build and $2.5 M in cost , then 3 years in the house, problems started showing up. It has been the last 8 years in trying to figure out what was wrong, litigation and settlement, (attorneys kept the money, fees and costs don’t you know) and now I am finally able to fix it with my divorce settlement. I will never live in this house again but am fixing it in order to sell it. It has been the nightmare of ground hog days.

As the roof was being removed some issues started showing up that were explained by my on site roofing and waterproofing expert as destructive testing leaks, flashing issues, etc. Now in hindsight, these were the slate mistakes.

1. 7 inch exposure with 2 inch head lap on 16’s
2. Inadequate side lap
3. Over and under nailing causing breakage, nail leaks, slates at gable ends flying out in the wind, large % of nails not counter sunk or holes too big, holes too close to center
4. Many slates that were leakers and shouldn’t have been used
5. Black Mastic used as standard practice to attach slates
6. Bithathane strips holding the ridge and hip slates on the roof and to prevent leaks
7. Black Mastic holding on the clay ridge tile
8. Mastic on and under the valley metal
9. Roof penetrations sealed with failed mastic under copper covering incorrectly lapped
10. Too small of z bar flashing when roofs met walls and edge metal and installation around chimneys
11. All flashing penetrated by nailing of slates
12. Leaks and breakage from improper planks during installation, walking on roof
13. Some slates installed upside down because holes incorrectly put at heavy end
14. Incorrect installation of valley slates
15. Not enough slate overhang at gables and eaves
16. Gutters draining from upper to lower roofs forced water up under slates which cause leaking into roof and rot in the plywood.
17. Slate mistakes caused 2x6 solid decking at eaves to begin to rot
18. Over reliance on underlayment
19. Low slope porch roof very inadequate head lap, new porch roof to be copper
20. Starter slates face up
21. No shim under starter
22. Thick and very thin slates put side by side
23. Slates installed below underlayment in some areas
24. 8” slates installed in high drainage areas at eaves without extra overlap
25. Wrong size copper nails too long or too short
26. Inexperienced Spanish speaking crews that can’t or won’t do it right
27. Lack of supervision of crews by roof contractors who learned the wrong way (hopeless) which causes false expertise. “Everyone does it this way in Montecito”
28. Lack of knowledge by architects that don’t include specs and create design problems
29. Lack of knowledge by Generals who place too much responsibility and faith in subs because the problems haven’t showed up yet.
30. Homeowners who place too much trust in contractors and are convinced by the entire team slate is just roofing, done everyday. All bids come in the same because that is the way it is done locally.
31. Homeowners who want and willing to pay for the best are overwhelmed with the millions of details and decisions while building. Plus have families and other responsibilities. Slate is the best but not used for 100 years like on the east coast, so problems are now showing up in large homes up and down the California coast. There are dozens of lawsuits just in Santa Barbara County. My ex-builder remodeled Opra Winfrey’s house and he has 4-5 lawsuits so far and lives in Mexico most of the time. My ex-roofer did Rob Lowe’s house which had issues.
32. Slate wholesalers recommend incorrect practices and high volume installers vs. best
33. Once problems show up fingers are pointed everywhere else, no responsibility
34. Too much emphasis on how it looks not the proper way to do it.
35. Homeowners intimidated when they ask questions or observe the process. Architects and Contractors who get defensive.
35. Experts who are not experts on slate and give wrong opinions

And that is only the roof, not all of the other defects I am researching and repairing.
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Joe (Joe)
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Username: Joe

Post Number: 494
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 12:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Old school - it's a combination of apathy and ignorance, but a lot of ignorance. One recent job I looked at (as a consultant) on a high end mansion using 3/4" VT unfading gray slates had an inch of negative headlap all over the roof. The installers were well aware of the mistake as they slipped bibs in to cover them up. Most of them had slid out. The GC had no idea how a slate roof is installed. They, of course, made a LOT of other mistakes on this roof. They're just about done reslating it now.

On another roof - multi-million dollar home - huge - new Indian slate from Pete Papay (nice slate) - again inadequate headlap ranging from 2" to negative 1.5" but averaging about an inch, maybe 1/2". The installers couldn't read or speak English (they were hispanic).

On another - 3.1 million dollar home, Chinese black slates, again little or no headlap and lots of other mistakes, the roof crew were inexperienced but probably talked a good game. The GC didn't know anything. She got sued and lost a 1.1 million dollar judgement.

Another - college dormitory - Chinese black slates, about a half inch headlap and in some places negative inch and a half.

What happens in some cases is an established roofing contractor subcontracts. Or else they hire new people who claim they know how to install slate and don't. Sometimes it's just roofing contractors who believe they know what they're doing (but don't know what they're doing) and won't listen to anyone. They bull there way ahead only to screw up the job.

FYI - I have seen so much of this that I will be putting together an installation manual that will be downloadable. I will be looking for a peer review committee to help me by reading and commenting/correcting/adding/editing. Those on the committee will receive credit in the book. I hope to start on this this winter (and finish it before spring).
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David_spradlin (David_spradlin)
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Username: David_spradlin

Post Number: 62
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 11:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

90% of the problems I run into on new work is just like OS said, GCs who don't know a thing about slate roofing and look at numbers and speed of install only, which make for pretty bad results. Homeowners generally have more interest in doing the job right (for obvious reasons), but still have a problem excepting the costs involved in a properly installed slate roof. Which is why you see most going with concrete tile instead or a "high-end comp". This situation seems like the architect or engineer screwed up if venting and drainage are the issues, unless they called for one thing and the GC did another.
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Heartstone (Heartstone)
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Post Number: 8
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 10:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It is a complicated and long story. I have my own opinions about "what happened" and am happy to share as brief as possible with some pictures if you are interested. Should I continue here or start a new thread or just re-post to the old thread, "New Slate Roof Problems"?

I appreciate all the comments and will pass along the offers to help.
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Slate_man (Slate_man)
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Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 555
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2010 - 06:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

David that job didn't materialized.

Old School if there fixing venting, would that not be the GC. Home owner hire a GC hoping they know what they are doing.
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Old_school (Old_school)
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Username: Old_school

Post Number: 356
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Saturday, January 02, 2010 - 08:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe, I know it is an old question, but do you think that the problem is apathy or ignorance? The next questions are is it some combination of those two things by the contractor, the roofer or the homeonwer? In other words, do the homeowners not know and the roofers not care, or is it that the building contractors just try and make themselves look good by shaving costs and they beat the roofers up so much that they don't care, while the homeowners again just don't know?

We never were told what the problem was with this roof, just that they had to redo the drainage around the house and for some reason the roof had to go with it. Sounds fishy to me!
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David_spradlin (David_spradlin)
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Username: David_spradlin

Post Number: 59
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 02, 2010 - 02:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Not far, about 5 hours. Unfortunately, I'm committed to some interior remodels with a friend in the bay area through the spring. Summer and Fall were very slow. So I figured I better jump inside for a while. But you know how that goes the second you do that the roof calls start coming in. But I've resigned myself to be content playing arm-chair slater for the time being.
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Joe (Joe)
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Post Number: 493
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Posted on Saturday, January 02, 2010 - 12:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have seen several beautiful houses like this with new slate roofs that have had to be completely removed and reslated, for a variety of reasons, but mostly lack of headlap.
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Old_school (Old_school)
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Post Number: 355
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Posted on Saturday, January 02, 2010 - 12:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey David, is this job anywhere near you? Sounds like a real tragedy to me.
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David_spradlin (David_spradlin)
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Post Number: 58
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Posted on Saturday, January 02, 2010 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Plywood is only required in certain regions. Liam, did you ever get any where with that job in Palo Alto?
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David_spradlin (David_spradlin)
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Post Number: 57
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Posted on Saturday, January 02, 2010 - 11:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

From what I've seen, you will not be disappointed in Ray's work. I met with him on a project of his a month or two ago and his work was beautiful.
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Slate_man (Slate_man)
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Post Number: 554
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Posted on Saturday, January 02, 2010 - 07:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Heartstone if Ray Kroeck needs any help, I am will to come out, with a few guys! I also would like to work with Ray.

Take a look

www.slateaffair.com
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Old_school (Old_school)
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Post Number: 352
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Posted on Saturday, January 02, 2010 - 01:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Heartstone, Wow, what a waste! A beautiful house and they had to tear everything up again. I hope that the 3/4 inch space is enough on that size of a house! Here in Michigan, and everywhere I suppose we call that a "cold roof" and we do many of them as a retrofit, but mostly on homes that have a lot of ice buildup in the winter. Fot that long of rafters, a 2" gap or space would be better. The first time I did a "cold roof" I used 1 x 3 for the spacers and it didn't work at all (FYI) We mostly do 2 x 4's on edge now and have NO ice in the winter when we are done. Insulation is important too, but then this is Michigan and we have a whole different climate than California.

You have a very limited amount of soffit to work with to get the air into the "attic" you are making too. I hope that you made sure to leave gaps between the new "rafters" and at the valleys so that the air can move where ever it wants to. You have to make sure and have a good quality ridgevent too, and I don't know of many that work with slate. For what you are asking, I believe that $1,000 a square is fair. I hope that they also installed at least 3/4" plywood for the deck if it is required by California law.

If you would like, feel free to contact me regarding the design of the ventilation system, before you go farther. I would hate to see you go through all of this hassle and still have a design problem. I can Email you pictures of what we do and why for your information. John.R.Crookston@charter.net or 269-806-1266 cell phone. Good luck all!
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Heartstone (Heartstone)
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Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 09:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Old School, I was trying to spare you all the gory details.

All landscaping, irrigation and drainage had to be removed in order to create a curtain drain filled with gravel that is 8' deep around 3 sides. We had moisture and "mold" in the roof cavities coming in from the moisture in the crawl space, into the house and going through the
t & g ceilings because of a faulty HVAC system. So, we have already removed the slate to the ground with a Pettibone forklift, removed most of the flashing, the sheathing, and the insulation. Then we installed 1x3's on top of all the rafters, etc, installed new insulation and new plywood decking, which in California is REQUIRED by code and insurance due to earthquakes. With the new 3/4" opening created at the eves we installed a Cor-a-vent breathable foam product and then covered with brass screen crimped with copper edge to prevent bats, bugs and fire embers from entering. We have gaps at the ridge to allow the roof to vent. Then new underlayment was installed and the slate loaded back where it came from basically. Yes we have scaffold in place which is my cost.

No, the roofer did not sort it or organized it when he removed it or loaded back on the roof. We are currently sorting it (on the roof) and taking an inventory. All of the copper flashing has been removed (except z bar) and most of the eave metal and gutters have been reinstalled already. I still need some edge metal, most valleys, a couple of crickets, z bar for plaster and re-do chimney flashing, the stones have been removed. I believe the ridge and hip covering will be extra as well. No plaster or flashing removal or copper labor or materials is included in the new estimate, it is only labor to install the slate. If we need to remove the slate or move it I will do that if asked. If $1,000. a square is a fair price then my question is answered.
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Old_school (Old_school)
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Post Number: 350
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Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 05:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So do I get this right? The house has been slated BEFORE, and they did a terible job. The pictures you posted are of this house. It has to be redone because of "ventilation issues". The landscaping has all been completed and there are people living in the house. It is between 18 to 30 feet to the eaves with stucco and stone finishes on the exterior, and the copper flashings behind all of this is suspect too. We have to figure redoing/replacing all of the flashings (worse case senario) and it looks like we will have to figure hand carrying most everything in and out. On top of this, the original has to be torn off and the building and it's finishes/interior, protected from the elements. Disposal costs are also in question!

I just re-read your original post..It sounds like the roof has been stripped and it has underlayment on it as well as the slate is "loaded" How and where have they "loaded" the slate? Is there scaffolding around the building? Is the slate stacked flat on the roof in the way of striking lines? Is it stacked in the valleys in the way of installing the copper flashing? Is it blended?

Sounds like 1/2 square a day per man is a good average to figure on if all of that has to be done. $1,000 a square sounds like a deal to me all things considered. If Ray can't do it, I would recomend Branden, but I would still figure the $1,000 a square because it is going to take that much at least. (Not yanking your chain Branden, but it is the truth) If you want quality, you are going to have to pay for it. Considering how much they have spent on the house and roof already, and the fact that they had to tear it all off, I wonder how much more they can afford to "save"? Get someone that is good and get out of their way. That is my recomendation for what it is worth; and it is worth a lot, because it comes from experience. Note, Good judgement normally comes from experience...Experience on the other hand normally comes from bad judgement.
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Heartstone (Heartstone)
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Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 04:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Joe,

Yes, he was here Monday. I was googling "clay ridge slate roof" and saw the video you reference, saw the link here as well and called him. Really nice guy and seems very experienced given all his photos. There seems to be agreement on the per square price. I am waiting for his references and a solid price including all copper work now that he has the roof plan. I may have misunderstood him on 1/2 square a day, he may have been referring to hips, valleys, skylight details, etc. Once I get his contract I will have a better idea.

I wish I would have found him earlier but he apologized for not being easier to find (not on your list) and he just saw the video after I mentioned it.

Thanks.
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Joe (Joe)
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Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 03:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Have you contacted Ray Kroeck? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh0-kYPxREY
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Branden_wilson (Branden_wilson)
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Username: Branden_wilson

Post Number: 73
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Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 01:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

yeah, i'd say that's fair. what a beeeeeautiful home! i'm sure your guy could do a better job blending the slate this time too. good luck this time around, keep us posted with progress pics.
http://www.youtube.com/user/REALSLATER
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Heartstone (Heartstone)
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Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 01:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Slate Roof California-north

These are pictures of the original slate roof. I am now doing a re-roof due to ventilation issues and what I now know was a poor slate installation. Sounds like the price estimate I was given to re-install the slate on the new underlayment was a fair price at $1000 per square. Pictures should confirm.
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Heartstone (Heartstone)
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Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 01:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Slate Roof California-east
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Branden_wilson (Branden_wilson)
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Post Number: 71
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 10:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i live in palm beach county, nothing but big homes with disaster roofs here. i've been sitting at home for almost two months now while there are several slate and clay roofs being destroyed by roofing contractors in my own back yard. i have a two month project in the bahamas that begins in march then i roll right into a three month slate roof in ft. lauderdale. untill then, i'll most likely have nothing to do. i could easily work out something with your roofer where i can do all the work and he can still make money and sit at home which is what they usually like to do the most. i'm not against teaching someone who is willing to learn how to do things properly. i've never been to cali but i travel often for work. i'd rather be slating your roof than sitting at home but it may be better for you to find a local guy. either way, please make sure there's at least one experienced slater on your roof and make sure they have experience with chinese slate and you'll be ok. a guy like this should be able to prove this to you with photos and references.
http://www.youtube.com/user/REALSLATER
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Slate_man (Slate_man)
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 547
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 05:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Any pictures?
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Slate_man (Slate_man)
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 545
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 05:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Its hard to say what is rigth with out a plan. From what you told us it seem fair at a $1000.00 per sq. I would think he would be installing more then a 1/2 a sq!

The last job I did in 1997ish in CA was $700 per sq and if i did it a again i would be more around $900 to $1300. Here a few pictures.

CA

2Mon with about 4 guys for most of the job.
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Heartstone (Heartstone)
New member
Username: Heartstone

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Friday, January 01, 2010 - 01:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the replies.

I am in the Central Coast, big expensive homes with badly installed slate roofs. The one slater in California that is listed never called me back after repeated phone messages and email attempts on his website, so I figured he was out of business or didn't want to drive a couple of hours.

You guys are so encouraging of any experienced roofer who has a passion for slate so it is confusing whether he could do it or not. But I agree it is a trial by fire and I can't afford any mistakes.

What about the per square price and time estimate by the slater I contacted? He is not a member of the slate association but has been mentioned on the site? (That is why I contacted him but I realize it is not a recommendation, just a name in a message board). Is it reasonable for the price and time estimate? I appreciate Brandon's response and will pass it along. The current roofer has the license and permit, so it would be under his contractor license. I had understood that a slater should be able to do a square a day at a minimum average. So I will await more replies.

Thanks again.
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Branden_wilson (Branden_wilson)
Senior Member
Username: Branden_wilson

Post Number: 70
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 10:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

hello, i am a two man slating crew NOT a roofing contractor. i'd be happy to talk to you about slating your roof but not here. my prices are reasonable and my work is top notch. we've all gotta start somewhere but old school's right about yours not being a good roof for someone to learn on. also chinese slate has it's own batch of issues, it's good slate but can't be worked with using traditional techniques. i have quite a bit of experience with chinese slate, you can even ask the folks at american slate about me. i can be reached by email at southfloridaslate@yahoo.com and you can see some of my work by clicking on my youtube channel below. i can do the job for half the time and less money than your "roofer" quoted you and all i do is slate. good luck either way. btw a slater should be able to average at least 1 square a day by himself no matter what the situation.
http://www.youtube.com/user/REALSLATER
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Old_school (Old_school)
Senior Member
Username: Old_school

Post Number: 349
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 09:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Where are you in california? I know that is a big state, but we have at least one member out there. Starting to slate on that roof is like learning to swim in the 30 foot deep end of the pool with sharks swimming in it!
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Heartstone (Heartstone)
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Username: Heartstone

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 08:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PS. The slate is 75% 10x16, 15% 8x16 and 10% 12x16 laid in a random pattern. It is China Strata Grey with a natural split texture for a rustic look.
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Heartstone (Heartstone)
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Username: Heartstone

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 08:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am currently trying to get additional bids for a Slate Roof installation in California. The roof has underlayment and slate is loaded. It is 100 squares of slate on a complicated roof with many dormers, hips and valleys and of course large field areas. It is mostly 9 in 12, with 6 in 12 dormers. My current roofer is excellent with 30 years of experience but I now realize he does not have the knowledge or employees with experience with slate, given the 1st weeks of installation disasters. I now have the bible (a little late) read it cover to cover and spent days on this site. I got him the bible and tools for Christmas (I know, moan). He is persistent and sincere in his wish to complete the job and insists he can learn how to do the slate right, no matter what it takes. He is bringing in an ex-slater who was from England to oversee and is willing to hire an experienced slater at his cost if necessary. He is open to my concerns and did not get defensive when I pointed out the mistakes. I have a respect for his passion to get it right, just don't know if it is possible or if I want him to learn on my job.

I just had a slater come and look and give me an idea on price to do the job. He estimated $1000 per square (labor only to install my slate), plus all material and labor for copper flashing and any additional materials. He also said it would take 3-4 months or more with himself and an experienced assistant working full time as they could only average about 1/2 square a day. Given other cost estimates this may be high and I need some perspective. I do not want to make a mistake on this and I need some advice or feedback. Additional names would also be good, California is slim on experienced slaters.
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Old_school (Old_school)
Senior Member
Username: Old_school

Post Number: 329
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Monday, December 21, 2009 - 01:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Branden, don't be so full of yourself! We are not criticizing you for not being anything or for being anything. I admire your grit and determination to swim against the normal current as it were. I read your posts and see your work and hear how you do things and accomplish things and I see a picture a lot like myself 30 years ago. I was a working fool and nobody could tell me anything...I already knew it all. The one thing I found out too late is that it is what you learn AFTER you already know everything that will make a big difference in your life. I know it has in mine!

Stick to your principles and be happy that there are some of us out there that actually know how to put on slate and also have the state mandated paperwork. BOTH are good things. One of these days we are going to get a chance to meet and boy do I have some stories to tell you. The word around town is that "you can always tell a Crookston,....but you can't tell them very much!"

It is all good!
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Branden_wilson (Branden_wilson)
Senior Member
Username: Branden_wilson

Post Number: 65
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Monday, December 21, 2009 - 10:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

speed is not even on my list of concerns and heck yeah i could do it in a week even if it's 12's, i know what i'm doing. just so you know i've never done a single illegal job, ever. i always work for licensed contractors and they either put me on the payroll or pay me cash. either way, they cover the ins and comp cause they're gettin all the bread and they trust me. enough with all the slater hating. i work with a partner. most of the pics on this guys website show two guys as well. i recently did 30 sq 10x20's all cut up and even humped up all the slate by hand, start to finish in 10 days. i don't hurry at all either. i'm actually faster on a 12/12 than a 5/12 and this was a 5/12. that's cause i don't walk on slate. enough already, there's not a single licensed contractor in my tri-county area that can properly install a slate roof. they need me and i need them. i don't want anything to do with running a business cause it will only get in the way of my slating. you like runnin a business so much, come spend the 50k and i'll be happy to let you profit from all my hard work. i'll bet anything you can't get a license down here, give it a shot. i bout to leave this site like i left the roofers coffee shop. is there a new revised version of the slate roof bible that i haven't read somewhere? cause i keep looking it over and over and it seems like you old grumps really sold out. i'm 29 and since i was inspired by the slate roof bible i've been grindin my butt ever since. you should respect that. you guys remind me of the big guys at the gym who laugh and snicker at the new guys who are skinny and just startin out. no wonder the trade is dying out, no room for the new guys. you'd respect me more if i went into debt or had someone hand me something but since i work hard for it, it takes longer but it will last longer. the guys out there screwing up all the slate roofs are licensed contractors not slaters at least down here anyways. all these laws you guys create are not helping things. i came here cause i thought we'd have something in common but we sure don't. thanks for the slate roof bible joe, just wish it was true.
http://www.youtube.com/user/REALSLATER
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Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration (Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration)
Senior Member
Username: Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration

Post Number: 106
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Monday, December 21, 2009 - 06:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

First off, in this economy, you are fortunate to be contemplating such a job and "yes" $450/square sounds good.

Based on your listing here, you are a business owner with the proper licensing, etc. I checked out your website. So you're not a gypsy drifting from town to town with a bag of tools one step ahead of the building inspector. You have overhead. You know what that is. There's also something to be said for keeping busy and the momentum it creates.

You have done a slate roof already. How many days did it take you? Divide the number of square by those days and that's (approx) what you can expect as your output. Are you removing and disposing of an existing roof? How big are the slate? It takes longer to install a roof of 16x8's than it does 18x12's. That is important.

Are you supplying the ice & water? The copper flashing & nails? The 30# felt? All important things to know.

We did a 38 sq roof in Hudson in August of 2008 http://www.wardhamilton.com/portfolio/new_slate_roof_boston.htm and, at that time, it broke down to $1420/sq, including slate. This number is a little skewed in that it included the specified stainless steel flashings and fasteners, as well as a ridge vent detail. The MEANS published rate for a one layer rip off, new slate roof in metro Boston is/was a little over $1400 in 2009 (all labor & materials included.)

To clarify my answer: Yes, $450/sq for labor ONLY to install slate (customer provides all materials and there is no existing roof to rip off) is on the mark. And if Branden is saying he can do it in a week you should fly him into Logan and pay him $100/hour (cash) to do it.

(Message edited by olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration on December 21, 2009)
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Old_school (Old_school)
Senior Member
Username: Old_school

Post Number: 328
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Sunday, December 20, 2009 - 11:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And a partridge in a pear tree?

Pbates, what are you comfortable with? Are you working by yourself? Are you supplying the copper nails, flashings, ridge lath etc.? How steep is it? How high? do you need scaffolding? How about an old truck, ladders, hand tools and liability insurance? If you fall from the roof and get hurt, what are you going to do? Do you have anything else to do?

All of these things make a difference. So does the cost of living in Massachusetts as opposed to Florida or Utah or Michigan, RealSlater is a real slater and he knows of what he speaks. Keep track of your time and expenses and let us know how you make out. With no overhead, you will do alright, but any overhead at all will eat you for breakfast. Good luck!
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Branden_wilson (Branden_wilson)
Senior Member
Username: Branden_wilson

Post Number: 64
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Sunday, December 20, 2009 - 10:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

most of the guys here would probably disagree but i'd say you're right on the mark. now that may not be enough for a new truck, office rent, health ins, union dues, breakfast at starbucks every day and a partridge in a pear tree but for us workin folks 10k for a week's work is very rare. i'd be all over it. make sure to keep us posted with pics and don't be afraid to ask for advise. we've all gotta start somewhere. i did my first, second and third slate roofs for 200 a square. way to get what you need. sounds like you're off to a good start!
http://www.youtube.com/user/REALSLATER
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Pbates (Pbates)
New member
Username: Pbates

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Sunday, December 20, 2009 - 06:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm a Massachusetts roofer doing my second slate job. It's a small, straight shot, 22 square, one chimney, and the slate is provided for me. I'm charging him $450/square for labor. Am I off the mark? Does anyone have the going rate (approximately)? Thanks for any information you can provide!

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