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Question DetailsAsked on 3/31/2018

Can I refuse final payment on shoddy roof job

Did not replace rotten decking before applying roofing. Roof leaking after supposed to be finished.Four month's after contract signed work not complete. No drip edge applied.

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1 Answer


Assuming replacing the decking and drip edge was in the contract (though if rotten decking was unknow before tearoff he should have notified you of the problem and negotiated a change order to replace it), then certainly you can refuse payment for a reroof job which is incomplete - not to mention still leaking.

If the damaged sheathing was unknown, it would be gross negligence on his part and highly unprofessional to do the reroof over rotten sheathing, not to mention contrary to building code.

And if he refuses to repair it correctly then next step would usually be calling his Bond to get the bonding company to get the job made right.

Drip edge required to be used in roofing in some areas and of course generally good practice, but not (it my knowledge) required by the general building code. In some areas the practice is to run the ice and water shield long (past the sheathing) by 1/2-1 inch to serve as a dripedge as it curls over with time.

Bear in mind, if the sheathing was NOT specified to be replaced in the contract, he would have the right to fiar compensation for doing that now - a tough thing to negotiate after the fact because he is likely to quote a very high price to try to recover the cost of the reroofing again. Always better to have a per SF charge (even though should be done by the sheet, not in small pieces) in the contract for sheathing which you then, during tearoff, mutually agree needs to be removed and replaced.

BTW - warranties I have seen do NOT allow for reinstallation of shingles (assuming this is a shingled roof) in cases like this - the reroof should be with new shingles because they will be weakened and cracked duyring removal of the fasteners.

As for the 4 months and not complete yet - did the contract have a completion date in it ? You also say not complete after 4 months - is that causing the leakage - you might have a claim against his insurance company for that if that is the case. If what you meant was the drip edge was not in after 4 months, then he obviously did not intend to put it on in the first place, because the drip edge goes on early in the reroof - directly on the eave edges on the sheathing before the ice and water shield and water barrier (roof wrap), directly over the ice and water shield on rake/gable ends. Very hard to do after the fact, especially if the ice and water shield is on which adheres well (like Grace) or the starter/end row shingle nails are anywhere close to the edge of the sheathing, because they will prevent the drip edge from being slid up into place.

For a no-change tearoff and reroof like this you are going to get a lot of pushback- so may need an attorney on board, and he will likely initially get an expert assessment of the situation done by an architect or engineer for evidence to support the continued leakage and shoddy workmanship issues, and to certify that the sheathing is unsuitable as is.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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