Repairs for angled, short roof require lift, scaffold

Sunday Signal
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Question No. 1

I’m a property manager in the Valley, though I live in Santa Clarita. 

We’re at a two-story building with the roof that is not flat, but angled and short. 

We’ve gone out for bid on it and these men are telling us that they can’t access this with a ladder so they either have to bring in scaffold or some sort of lift device. 

It sounds to me that they are trying to take advantage of us by charging us extra for these lifting systems. 

Are we wrong in thinking that they could use ladders and do part of the work and then access the rest of the roof? 

It would save us money to not have to pay for lifting systems, do they really need this, based on what you see in the picture? 

We just want to be sure that we aren’t being taken advantage of. 

Martha M.

Answer No. 1

Martha, what you are being told is absolutely necessary on this type of roof. 

You cannot safely access a roof with that pitch, by reaching over to set tiles. 

It would be incredibly risky and likely end in a severe accident. 

You will absolutely need to factor in those additional costs with your roofing proposal. It’s just part of what the costs will be for this style of roof. 

Any roofer that tells you otherwise will be risking not only his men but your insurance as well. 

Whatever you do and whomever you choose, be sure to have their carrier send you their Certificate of Insurance. 

Once you receive it, double check that it is current and active, and that they are carrying general liability insurance as well as worker’s comp. 

Both are very important when you have contractors working on your property especially at such risk. If any roofer even tried to apply tiles this way, the finished look wouldn’t turn out well anyway, there is no way to get the product straight from the angle that a man would have to be in order to reach. You’re looking at a failed roof here, absolutely needs to be changed, and you will need to factor in the additional equipment for all of the above reasons. Good luck to you.



Robert Lamoureux has 38 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at robert@ims

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