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When the wind blew, Seattle area homeowners Sandy and Gary Kerr found cedar shakes raining down from their roof. That’s what led them to synthetic shakes from DaVinci Roofscapes.
“Two years ago we had a typical wind of 30 to 45 mph,” says Gary Kerr. “As a result, almost 40 original cedar shakes blew off our roof. That created a potential roof leak issue.”
“We quickly hired someone to fix the roof, but it was just a band-aid. We learned the company didn’t use long enough fasteners to secure the new replacement shakes for the long term. Plus, those shakes were curling badly. With the winds we get fairly regularly, we made the decision to invest in a new roof.”
The Kerrs didn’t want just any roof. Their home, created by William Buchan Homes, relied on the cedar shake roof to enhance its curb appeal.
“When we contacted Elite Roofing & Remodel they offered us a number of roofing options,” says Kerr. “One of them was the Bellaforté product from DaVinci. My wife and I were immediately attracted to the synthetic shake tiles.”
Kerr explains that the simulated shake tiles intrigued them. They looked very much like their original cedar shakes. “There’s an inch of thickness at the butt of the Bellaforté Shake,” says Kerr. “Overall, these synthetic shakes really resemble the look of true cedar shakes.”
“A significant factor in our decision was that the synthetic shake material can withstand a multitude of environmental elements. Its wind- and fire-resistant properties were a major attraction for us. And, from what we can tell, the product is virtually maintenance-free.”
Sold on the Bellaforté product, the next stop for the Kerrs was their homeowners association.
“There’s a design standard in our community that defines the replacement materials you can use on your home’s exterior,” says Kerr. “We submitted the Ridge Owners Association (ROA) standard forms and information on the DaVinci products.
“We were told it would take about a month to receive word on their decision. They gave us their approval in just four days!”
Getting rid of their old cedar shakes wasn’t as simple as “huffing and puffing and blowing your house down” as in the Three Little Pigs nursery rhyme. Because of the large, special feature driveway at the Kerr’s home, extreme care was taken to remove the old shakes.
“We were thrilled that the Elite team laid down plywood strips on the driveway as a first step,” says Kerr. “Next they brought in a dumpster with rubber rollers!”
“This company and its employees respected our property. They protected our outside furniture, the landscaping and our driveway. They even covered up many of our favorite shrubs and plants. And, every night they took time to really clean up the work space. We can’t say enough good things about them!”
After going through the roof replacement experience, the Kerrs are truly pleased with their new synthetic shake roof. Plus, they learned a few things along the way.
Here are the five tips Gary Kerr offers to other homeowners who may soon be in the same position of thinking about a roof replacement.
Tip #1 – Give your roof an “eye test.” If the shakes are curling and/or there are growing gaps between the shakes, then it’s time to start thinking about a replacement roof.
Tip #2 – Ask friends and neighbors for roofer recommendations. Then, get at least two or three references and check them out.
Tip #3 – Ask each roofing contractor, “What is your assessment of our roof?” Find out whether your roof really needs to be replaced immediately … or if it has a few years of life left. The answers you get may really help you select the roofer you wish to work on your home.
Tip #4 – Examine each estimate and quote VERY carefully. Be diligent in reading the fine print. You need to really understand the terms, conditions, materials, warranty of product and warranty of service.
Tip #5 – Be prepared to make a down payment to the roofer. Something between 15 to 20 percent is not unreasonable, since they have to order the roofing tiles. Anything above this percentage should be questioned and possibly negotiated.
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