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Question DetailsAsked on 5/26/2017

A "handyman" charged me $4200 to fix some leaks and install roof ridge in my roof above my living room. Too high?

This is what he charged: Repairing of Leaking Roof On Two Story House

- Removal and Replacement of all Roof Ridges Ist and 2nd Floors (Approx. 210 Linear Feet)
- Removal, Reseal and Re installation of Shingles at Side of Dormers(2) and Room Side
- Patched and Sealed Various Locations on Lower and Upper Roofs (Approx. 18 Different Locations)
- Patched Around Chimney Area
- Painted All Vents on Lower and Upper Roofs (City Requirement)
- Inspected and Cleaned Rain Gutters Front and Back

I think I was way overcharged and I still had leaks.

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3 Answers


Hard to determine without seeing the actual situation first-hand, but sure sounds high to me at first glance for a handyman roof repair - in my area a normal about 1000-1500SF reroof would run about $4-5/SF including flashings, shingles (assuming asphalt shingles), ridge vent (assuming that is what you meant by roof ridges), etc - so sounds like you paid half to fully as much as a full roof replacement. However, looking at all you had done, sounds like the work was well on its way to being a good portion of a tearoff and replace in scope, so might be in the range.

Very rough off-the-cuff guesstimate below, in the order you listed - and assuming the 18 patches were each just a couple of square feet in area or just patching flashing -

1) roof ridges - typically about $2-3/LF if shingled ridges, or around $7/LF installed if replacement ridge vents - so $450-1500 depending for that - assuming your 210LF is right - sounds like an AWFUL lot of ridgeline for a two story house unless you live in a mini mansion - usually more like 50-100LF for a normal sized two story depending on roof configuration >

2) dormer/step-up story siding R&R - say about 300-500SF maybe with 2 dormers and a step-up wall, so about $1500-2500 with asphalt shingles

3) patch 18 locations - say about 1/4 hour each and maybe $10 materials so about $25-30 each x 18 = $450-540

4) repair chimney base flashing or sealant - could be from about $50-100 if just sealant on existing flashing to around $300-400 with all-new flashing

5) paint vents - assuming about 5, say 1/2 hour with a couple of $4 spray cans = $25

6) clean gutters - say twice length of ridges (on both sides of house) so 420LF gutters - probably about $150-300 including inspection

That gives me about $2625 - 5265 total - obviously a lot of variation there depending on your dimensions and type of roof, but puts his price of $4200 not much above the midrange of $3945, so just offhand I would not say this does not look like a ripoff.

I agree it sounds like a lot - but you had a lot more work done than a normal roof repair (especially with 18 patches) - normally this would probably have been identified by a roofer a reroof job, not a repair - though if it lasts for another 10 years you may have gotten your money's worth out of it, especially if the workmanship was decent so a buyer's home inspector does not call it unsatisfactory.

Course still having leaks does not help - though few roofers will guarantee their repairs (as opposed to reroofs) will be leak free, especially with 18 patches - easy for him to have missed a spot or few which are leaking.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


LCD, the only "new" materials was the upper roof ridge. It was only the area above my living room. I did not ask him to do anyting with the chimney, that was to the back of the house and was not my problem. All he did was take off some existing shingles and put them back on. Because I still continued to have leaks, I do feel I was ripped off.

Answered 3 years ago by Brymichmom


Well - if no new materials other than the ridge, that would drop my off-the-cuff estimate by about a thousand or two $ - so I agree, looking more like you are being overcharged.

The other way to look at it - assuming maybe $400-800 for ridge vent material or $100-200 for shingles if a shingled-over ridge, then figure his normal billing rate for the labor amount of maybe $3400-4000. Probably around $40-50/hr in most areas, so did he spend roughly a week and a half to three weeks on the job, pretty much a full days work each day (which would be overkill on labor time for what you had done - entire roof could likely have been redone in roughly 40-50 man-hours (though materials cost would have been probably two or three thousand $ in that case) ?

The chimney thing - if you told him specifically what parts of the roof were your responsibility (assuming this is a multi-unit building) then you should not have to pay for that part - but if you said you wanted your roof fixed and did not make clear what part was yours and what part someone else's responsibility, then he would logically have assumed the entire roof so that charge would have been legitimate.

As for $ payment - if you have not paid yet, then negotiating time - including documentation on materials purchased (with reasonable markup - typically 10-15% for this sort of job) and of labor hours spent on the job. As for rate - if you did not have an agreement up front on labor rate he should be able to document to you hids normal rate - from his business records, perhaps a rate quoted on his website, etc. If more than around $50 (maybe $60-70 in the few highest cost areas of the US like NYC and its high-priced suburbs, Boston, SFO, CT area, Beverly Hills, SIlicon Valley for instance) and there was no rate agreed to up-front (as there should have been), then you may have a legitimate argument over his billing rate too.

If already paid - then you are pretty much SOL - though if you are handicapped or elderly and feel you were taken advantage of, many areas and states have elder fraud units to help with that - call your local police department (non-emergency number) or city/county district attorney's office to find if there is one in your area.

I would say next time (for the remaining leaks) get an expert - a Roofer - to address your leaks, and this is generally most preofessionally done (though very few roofers go to the expense) with a thermal infrared camera to locate the wet spots and track back to the entry point at the most uphill part of each wet spot. In a building where the attic temp is significantly different than the outdoor air temp can be done pretty much any time (like during winter heating or summer A/C operation), but sometimes has to be done in early AM or evening when the wet area is heating up or cooling off slower than the rest of the roof. Nighttime or very early AM generally best overall on roofs with little under and over temp difference.

Unfortunately, since you still have leaks and his workmanship might be at issue and given the 18 patches, it is quite likely that most roofers will say the roof is past its useful life and needs total replacement (at typically $3-10/SF for normal asphalt shingles, normally around $4-7/SF in most of the country on normal slope roofs).

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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