We interviewed six contractors for this job. The estimates came in with an enormous spread. Some said only minimal repair was necessary and only wanted a few thousand. Sears walked in and wanted to give us a super high tech roof insured for 100 years for well over $40k, except that in the end they refused to work with our flat roof anyway.
Jay Gioia from Above it All Roofing met us extremely quickly after the initial call. We were very educated about our roof, as he was the sixth contractor to speak to us about it. He spotted all the issues we were aware of, was aware of the current code specifications, and gave us an on-the-spot estimate with a nicely prepared form. Out of six contractors, he was the ONLY one who was capable of producing this level of estimate on the fly.
He also informed us of a silicon-based super white product to roll onto our low slope roof that effectively has sealed it against future water intrusion and made it enormously reflective. Super high tech and wonderful, but not too expensive. We were very excited by these options.
The entire time, Jay was just… easy to work with. We had to be sending constant paperwork to our insurance company to prove we were actually replacing the roof. Then Jay’s estimates were too “quality” for the insurance, because they were beyond code. Jay told us the new codes actually required this level of quality. We spent weeks talking to the code office, Jay, and our insurance. Turns out, the current code specs are anything but clear. Depends on the permitter you ask. But in the end, Jay was correct, and he helped us get thousands of dollars more from our insurance by writing several different estimates to conform to their ever-more-strict requirements. He really put up with a lot from us, and I deeply appreciate that.
He also made contact with the HVAC installers and worked out a coordinated time. The two sides worked together well and were very cordial the entire time.
When the work crews came, they took off the old roof in record time. As seems usual for a situation like this, the home-owner does have to work a bit to make sure the work crew foreman, Jay, and the owner’s ideas are coordinated during the job. Our roof held some surprises. We revealed more extensive water and termite damage in the wood than anticipated, and needed to coordinate our termite company to come out so they could spray into the walls and other places only opened up during construction like this. The entire time, Jay was just mellow, “Hey… do what you got to do and let me know when we can continue.” We shifted work between the high and low slope roofs as necessary to accomodate the four contractors on the properly simultaneously (electrical, HVAC, termite, roofing). Our roof ended up also having almost double the rafters expected, for some reason they were positioned very close together in our odd construction. Jay just accepted the increased cost and time of extending all that timber out to the new roof edge.
In the end, we had a brand new roof that dropped our internal temperature by 5 degrees from color and quality alone. But the new awnings had necessarily broken the old stucco around our house. Plus the old gutters had been pulled off to make space for the awnings, and they were still on the ground. This part is where I learned that the home-owner does really need to think through every little contingency for a contract, as I hadn’t ever discussed stucco repair or gutter repair with Jay beforehand. Fortunately, Jay’s a really good guy. He split the $3000 cost of stucco repair with me, and referred me to an AMAZING stucco fellow (Plastermaster), and he also sent his gutter guy out at no charge to fix the gutters. They installed brand new gutters at no additional cost.
In the end, I feel like although Above It All Roofing’s estimates might be higher than some others, the level of service and quality you get matched the price. Plus I felt the opposite of being nickeled and dimed to death… unforeseen events appeared that Jay either accepted into the original estimate without having to, or split the cost with me. This kind of responsible, professional behavior is absolutely worth rewarding with additional business. Plus, you really don’t want to be dickering around with your roof year after year while it damages the rest of your house every rainstorm. I want it done right, and I don’t want to think about it for a decade or more. Jay gave me that feeling.
I stand by my very high recommendation of this company for your roofing work, and specifically Jay Gioia as an employee. He also had the perk of responding to his email, something few other contractors would do but something I consider pretty vital in today’s workplace.