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  1. #1
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    Default Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    i drove by the house i'll be inspecting and noticed a weird roof situation in back. A porch was added on the side of the house. At the peak, the roof starts 4-6" below the house roof peak, but has a slighter lower pitch, so it ends up 4" or so above the house roof out at the fascia. It looks like roof shingles were placed across the two roofs on the lower halves after they cross each other. It doesn't seem right to me, but i'm new to the business. How would you approach this?

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    I'm having trouble fuguring out what you are trying to explain. Please tell me you took pictures............


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Sorry, it was hard to explain. i haven't done the inspection yet so i haven't taken pics yet (i was just in the neighborhood so i thought i would drive by).

    A porch was added on the side of the house with a slightly different pitch. It starts out 4-6" below the roof at the peak. As the two rakes come down the crisscross about halfway down and then the porch fascia is actually a few inches higher at the bottom then the roof fascia. And roof shingles were used between the two roofs (sloping from the upper roof to the bottom roof).

    Is that description any better?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    If it looks wrong, call it out as suspect.
    It looks wrong because nobody else builds roofs that way. It will leak, plus anything goofy like that lowers the home's value. Make sure your client realizes that.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Jon,

    As I am envisioning what you are describing (which is dangerous, to say the least) is that they have a tie in flashing between the lower gable roof and the higher gable roof, only that tie in flashing is covered with shingles.

    Is that about right?

    If so, then it would depend on the slope of that tie in flashing as to whether shingles where allowed there or not - most likely not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    That's pretty much it. It certainly doesn't look right from the ground. I haven't been on the roof yet (doing the inspection tomorrow) to look down at it to see where the water is going.

    I'm thinking i'll end up recommending it be corrected by a roofer. I'm a newer home inspector so i was wondering if anyone had encountered something like this before and what they had recommended.

    thanks.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Errickson View Post
    I'm a newer home inspector so i was wondering if anyone had encountered something like this before and what they had recommended.

    I have not seen anything as I was describing, and, depending on what you find, it may (probably) needs to be removed and replaced with a proper flashing over the sheathing behind it (presuming there actually IS sheathing behind it). The flashing would be allowed to make perpendicular bends from roof to roof, using shingles the slope would need to be correct, the flashing above and below the shingles would need to be correct, and the shingles would need to be installed horizontally, not at an angle up that section which is the 'easy way' (and the 'easy way' is almost never the right way).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    for those who were curious here are some pictures of the roof i was trying to describe...

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Jon,

    See the flashing on the right side in your first photo?

    That is what should be on the left side too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Way wrong-- write up the mess for sure.


  11. #11
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    That has to take the dumb award for any type of construction technique.

    There has to be somewhere to submit that mess for the prize. That roof line match up will never be right.


  12. #12
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Might not look nice.But does it leak?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Garrity View Post
    Might not look nice.But does it leak?
    Does not matter if it does not leak.

    It is wrong, leaking or not.

    And it needs to be corrected, leaking or not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14

    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Might not look nice.But does it leak?
    I told a Realtor today that a shake roof needed to be replaced-- it was not even questionable. Her snippy reply was: It's not leaking is it? Mine: Call and ask the next time it rains...... Her snippy reply: Don't nit pick this house to death. Gotta love it.


  15. #15
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Are you a shake roof expert?Do you have a picture of the shake roof?
    Do you call something out because of its visual appearance? The builder could have done a better job and the person who applied the shingles could have done better and who knows about the underlayment.But does it leak?Whether it leaks or not the comment should be " have a professional roofer examine the roof". If it does not leak,is the roof functioning properly?Can you condemn that roof for it's visual appearance?


  16. #16

    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Are you a shake roof expert?
    I live in the land of shake roofs, and inspect them weekly. I've got the NW Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau info. pretty much memorized word for word at this point. Been inspecting them for about 9 years now, so I've seen my share, and am comfortable inspecting them. Define "expert" for me. No, I'm not a certified installer.

    Do you have a picture of the shake roof?
    I've got plenty-- they go in the report.

    Do you call something out because of its visual appearance?
    I couldn't care less about visual appearance, as long as the roof will do it's job. I do care about: Missing shakes, rotted shakes, deteriorated interlayment with daylight showing through to the attic, improper head and side lap, improper repairs, rusted out flashing, and other stuff like that.

    The builder could have done a better job and the person who applied the shingles could have done better and who knows about the underlayment.But does it leak?Whether it leaks or not the comment should be " have a professional roofer examine the roof". If it does not leak,is the roof functioning properly?
    The roof is 20 years old. This roof will leak when it rains, that's a guarantee. Luckily, there's 12" of blown in fiberglass in the attic to absorb the leaks. Just because you can't see a leak or evidence of one, does that mean for sure the roof is not leaking? My definition of a leak: any water that seeps below the surface of the roof covering is a leak.

    My statement in the report was: There are numerous issues with the roof at this time; including, but not limited to X,Y,and Z. In my opinion, this roof is at/ near the end of it's useful life. There is a possibility that you can find a roofer who is willing to repair this roof, but I do not believe that this will be cost effective solution. Have your roofer give you bids for repair vs. replacement. If you can find a roofer willing to repair the roof, ensure he will provide you with a written guarantee that the roof will not leak when he is finished with his repairs. (bank owned-- purchaser will be paying for any repairs if they go through with the deal)

    Can you condemn that roof for it's visual appearance?
    This particular roof? Yes, due to the fact that upon visual examination, the roof was falling apart


  17. #17
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    The 1st line of my post was regarding your shake roof, the rest was about the original post.


  18. #18
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
    Michael Garrity Guest

    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    " This roof will leak when it rains, that's a guarantee. Luckily, there's 12" of blown in fiberglass in the attic to absorb the leaks. Just because you can't see a leak or evidence of one, does that mean for sure the roof is not leaking? My definition of a leak: any water that seeps below the surface of the roof covering is a leak."


    The insulation will not absorb the the leaks.I t will remain a wet blob up in the attic and should be replaced.Do you tell every client that every roof has potential to leak?Do you condemn something without evidence to back up your statements?


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Regarding my roof -- i stated in my report the roof was a non-standard installation. There are no visible signs of leaks, but the inside of the house has also been freshly painted. They should have the roof evaluated by a licensed roofer.

    There is flashing under all that mess, but I don't know if it leaks or not and looks unprofessional.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    I live in the land of shake roofs, and inspect them weekly.

    I couldn't care less about visual appearance, as long as the roof will do it's job.

    The roof is 20 years old. In my area, they are all 20 yrs old. That's when we started running out of 800 yr old cedar. Californians bought the last of it.
    Just because you can't see a leak or evidence of one, does that mean for sure the roof is not leaking? My definition of a leak: any water that seeps below the surface of the roof covering is a leak. The underlay will hold for a while, but your client needs to know about it. Every split or rotten shake is a leak, even if 99% of the rest are good.

    There is a possibility that you can find a roofer who is willing to repair this roof, but I do not believe that this will be cost effective solution. More shakes get split from the patching process, just from foot traffic.
    Good comeback there, Brandon.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Errickson View Post
    Regarding my roof -- i stated in my report the roof was a non-standard installation. There are no visible signs of leaks, but the inside of the house has also been freshly painted. They should have the roof evaluated by a licensed roofer.

    There is flashing under all that mess, but I don't know if it leaks or not and looks unprofessional.
    From the pic#1, it looks like water running down the low slope roof will go right under the overlapped portion. The last pic shows cracked shingles at the bend. Wind can lift that whole mess where the shingles are unsupported. The flashing underneath isn't visible, possibly riddled with shingle nails, lapped which way? So, yeah, you can judge a roof by appearances, and that one appears to be a leaker.


  22. #22

    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    The 1st line of my post was regarding your shake roof, the rest was about the original post.
    My bad. I just figured you were giving me crap last night, but forgot the smiley face.

    Do you tell every client that every roof has potential to leak?
    No.
    Do you condemn something without evidence to back up your statements?
    Of course not. Why do you ask?


  23. #23
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    "Regarding my roof -- i stated in my report the roof was a non-standard installation. There are no visible signs of leaks, but the inside of the house has also been freshly painted. They should have the roof evaluated by a licensed roofer.

    There is flashing under all that mess, but I don't know if it leaks or not and looks unprofessional"

    Jon,that's exactly how it should be reported.No big fuss.No blanket condemnation.It is a crap job,that's a fact.Not difficult to fix.


    And the other John.I'm sure you look great in your cheer leading outfit.

    And Brandon,before becoming your own boss how many thousands of inspections did you do?I was just checking your website and wondered if you have final tally.

    The home inspector works for his client but should also be fair to the house.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Garrity View Post
    No big fuss.No blanket condemnation.It is a crap job,that's a fact.Not difficult to fix.
    As you stated: "It is a crap job,that's a fact.", which means the report should also state the same and recommend that it pre properly repaired by a properly licensed roofing contractor - again, as you said "Not difficult to fix.", so recommend it be fixed.

    The home inspector works for his client but should also be fair to the house.
    There is no such thing as "be fair to the house", doing anything like that is not being fair to your client, that thinking is being fair to the seller, who is not your client in any way - you are screwing your client to try to appease the real estate agent and help save a deal ... which IS NOT the inspectors job.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  25. #25
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    The home inspector should write a fair and unbias report on the house.It doesn't matter who is writing the check.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Garrity View Post
    The home inspector should write a fair and unbias report on the house.It doesn't matter who is writing the check.

    A "fair and unbiased" report is not "fair to the house".

    A "fair and unbiased" report tells it like it is, bluntly and to the point. That is what you were hired to do by your client, usually the buyer but in some cases (pre-listing inspections) may be the seller.

    Same "tell it like it is, bluntly and to the point" report.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  27. #27
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
    Michael Garrity Guest

    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    "A "fair and unbiased" report is not "fair to the house"."

    Not only is it fair to the house but also fair to the buyer and seller.If a HI is under pressure from a buyer/seller/agent there is a possibility that his report might be bias towards or against that person which would not be fair to the house.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Garrity View Post
    "A "fair and unbiased" report is not "fair to the house"."

    Not only is it fair to the house but also fair to the buyer and seller.If a HI is under pressure from a buyer/seller/agent there is a possibility that his report might be bias towards or against that person which would not be fair to the house.

    A report which is "fair to the house" is not "fair to the client" - the client is asking for your unbiased professional opinion without regards as "to the house" - is everything 'working as intended', not is it 'working as expected for being XXX years old'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  29. #29
    Don Belmont's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Garrity View Post
    Are you a shake roof expert?Do you have a picture of the shake roof?
    Do you call something out because of its visual appearance? The builder could have done a better job and the person who applied the shingles could have done better and who knows about the underlayment.But does it leak?Whether it leaks or not the comment should be " have a professional roofer examine the roof". If it does not leak,is the roof functioning properly?Can you condemn that roof for it's visual appearance?

    Huh. Of course I call out a roof based on it's appearance. And I have no problem condemning a roof if the visible condition warrants that conclusion.

    I also comment on whether it was leaking at the time of the inspection. And include whether there has been rain. But based on age and visible conditon I have no problem saying a roof is at or past it's useful life and that replacement should be budgeted for now.

    The question to me is what my clients hire me for? To tell them if the roof is leaking at one point in time and not comment on it's overall condition as displayed by it's appearance. (The agents would love that)

    Or do they hire me to apply my expertise (that they do not have) to try and give them a clear, unbiased and accurate assessment of the true condition of the house.


  30. #30
    Don Belmont's Avatar
    Don Belmont Guest

    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Errickson View Post
    i drove by the house i'll be inspecting and noticed a weird roof situation in back. A porch was added on the side of the house. At the peak, the roof starts 4-6" below the house roof peak, but has a slighter lower pitch, so it ends up 4" or so above the house roof out at the fascia. It looks like roof shingles were placed across the two roofs on the lower halves after they cross each other. It doesn't seem right to me, but i'm new to the business. How would you approach this?
    A leak waiting to happen (if it isn't already). Of course the agent will probably argue that your job is to say only whether it leaks now.

    It's clear there are unsupported shingles. That's not good. Easy to break under snow or ice conditions. It also tells me that whoever was dealing with this was not a professional roofer trying to do the best job for a bad situation.

    Write it up. Tell client to get it looked at by real roofer sooner rather then later.


  31. #31

    Default Re: Two roofs, different slopes, roof overlaps

    And Brandon,before becoming your own boss how many thousands of inspections did you do?I was just checking your website and wondered if you have final tally.
    Why don't we keep it to the discussion at hand. This has already been covered, and is a hijack to the thread-- do a search in the archives if you wish.

    If you have any constructive criticism for me or my website, feel free to comment; I'm always striving to improve. It's just a rough draft at this point, and I haven't gotten around to making any of the changes that my editor has recommended.

    The home inspector works for his client but should also be fair to the house.
    Michael, are you a home inspector? I did a quick search on- line, and didn't find any info.


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