Overseeing your Metal Roofing Contractor

March 27, 2010 | Filed under: Roofing Help Podcasts

Today I want to talk about how to oversee the contractor who is putting a new roof on your home.

One of the things I want to caution homeowner is that, even though they may think they’re doing the right thing by standing over their installation crews back and watching their every move, they probably are actually working against their best interest if they do that. Because a crew that feels pressured or feels like their every move is being watched is actually going to do everything they can to speed up the installation, and get on to the next job, because they don’t necessarily like that kind of tight oversight. So you’re actually working against yourself by standing over and really watching every move of your installation crew.

However, do you want to make sure it’s installed properly? Absolutely!

So, my advice is always learn as much as you can about the roof system that you’ve chosen that is going to be installed on your roof. Learn as much as you can about it. If you can get installation instructions, read through them, and just every once awhile, or maybe at the end of every day, take a look at the roof installation from the ground and if you see anything that you question, the next day bring it to the attention of the crew and just ask for some explanation of it.

Keep in mind though, there’s always more than one way to skin a cat. Often times even though you may read the installation instructions, there may be things about your roof, there may be things about the environment in your area that actually require installation to be done a little differently than how the manual actually prescribes. So keep open to the fact that that there may be more than one way to do things properly. If you have a question that you absolutely are not getting a good answer from the installation crew and it still bugging you, contact the manufacturer of your roofing. Perhaps even email them a picture or something to take a quick look at.

But again, you don’t need to stand over your contractor or installation crew every second, and in fact ,that can even work against you, because it makes them speed up the job and that’s not always good. But by the same token be a wise consumer, keep an eye on what’s going on, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

todd Miller

has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.

You may pull quotes from this article provided you include a link back to the original article on this site. You may not reprint this full article, or even a significant amount of the article, without explicit permission. To gain permission, click here.

7 responses to “Overseeing your Metal Roofing Contractor”

  1. Debra Argetsinger says:

    Our roofing contractor installed a metal roof on our home and garage, both have a 12:12 pitch. After completion, it was brought to our attention that only 1/2 the number of exposed fasteners were used to attach the AG panels. The manufacturer’s installation instructions call for a fastener on each side of the 5 raised ribs at the eave and 1 next to each rib thereafter at about every 9″ (horizontal pattern). The vertical pattern should be at 24″. Our contractor installed the fasteners with 1 next to each raised rib at the eave (9″) and 1 fastener every 18″ (every other rib). The vertical pattern is at 36″. We are concerned that our roof is not sufficiently attached. The contractor is convinced it is ok. If additional screws are added, can it be done without scratching, denting and bubbling the appearance? Placing screws in between existing screws will cause cosmetic problems, Yes? The roof was completed in February and we have not paid him in full. Do we have a problem and if so, what is the best fix?

    • Todd Miller says:

      Thank you. First of all, I always encourage following manufacturer instructions. That said, the fastener placement being recommended sounds a bit like it might be based upon an uplift test they performed for high wind coastal areas. I am not sure where you’re located. Have you talked to the manufacturer and told them what happened? They might be able to estimate a wind load expectation based upon the fastening that you have. Really, these exposed fastener roofs are usually quite wind resistant and the fastener pattern you have sounds fairly common. My gut tells me that, unless you are in a very hurricane prone area, you are probably in good shape but I do suggest talking to the manufacturer. Could fasteners be added? With care, yes, that seems reasonable to be able to add fasteners with no ill effects.

  2. Debbie Argetsinger says:

    Thank you for your quick response. Actually, we are in North Carolina. Not on the coast but close enough to get many above average winds. In fact Fran’s eye crossed over us a few years back and caused much damage. Metal roofs have become very popular here in the last year. All that I have seen (and I have been looking) have been installed as per our manufacturer’s guidelines. I have not seen another like ours. Our contractor has assured us that to add the additional screws that WE want WILL scratch and dent our roof. I say adding the additional screws that should have been placed at the time of installation will cause scratches, dents and excessive ripples, beyond what should be expected with this type of roof. They can attach it sufficiently but then my new roof will look like a rollercoaster. Do nothing, I may lose my roof and have extreme movement when our Carolina heat hits. And look like a flag blowing in the wind. I feel like we are being asked to pay a great deal of money for a bad product, either way.

    • Todd Miller says:

      I am sorry for your experience. Choosing the right contractor and having the job properly specified is always so important. That said, I still would encourage you to contact whoever manufactured the roofing for their input. They will be able to best tell you how their product has been tested. They also may have some specific ideas for adding fasteners without damaging the roofs.

  3. Debbie Argetsinger says:

    We have done that but they have a relationship with the contractor. The company salesman said “If it were me, I would not want the extra screws, it would mean it’s just that many more to replace in 10-15 years.” !! This is a nightmare! If it were your home, what would you do?

    • Todd Miller says:

      I would ask the manufacturer to “put their money where their mouth is” (sorry for saying it so crassly) and provide you with a wind resistance warranty. I would request a warranty from the manufacturer for 140 mph winds for 40 years … and see how they respond. They may be very comfortable with that. And, there is something to be said for having fewer exposed screws rather than more exposed screws.

  4. Debbie Argetsinger says:

    We will give that a try! Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

how much sign

How Much Does a Metal Roof Cost?

Just ask Todd Miller

Get a straight answer

Thinking about a new roof?

How To Buy A Metal Roof eBook cover

Educate yourself for a better experience when buying a new roof

This comprehensive eBook includes everything you'll need from "choosing a manufacturer" to a "metal roofing checklist," and is sure to be a great tool for helping you make the best investment in you home’s protection.

Get your copy!