Questions & Responses:
Roofing estimates to replace flat roof?(1 response)
roofer recommendation(5 responses)
Roofer specializing in Spanish tile?(0 responses)
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Recommendations Specific Roofing Issues Related Pages

2011 - 2013 Recommendations

Looking for a knowledgeable roofer that does vents

Jan 2013

I have a pitched roof and was told that I need to have vents. Does anyone knows a roofer that has experience with different vents installation and that is knowing the pros and cons of the different types. Anon

Any roofer who puts on new roofs should be able to do vents. -homeowner
Several quality and professional roofers you might contact are: Haight Roofing at: 510-532-1504, Precision Roofing at:510-436-7575 and Nicholas Roofing at: 510-848-4433. All have been in business for a long time and perform very good work. I have used them all and have always been very pleased with their work. Roger
As a licensed general contractor for 15 years, I recommend Westco Roofing Inc from Oakland. Westco is a reputable, knowledgeable company that can almost certainly solve your vent issue. Call them at (510) 533-5270. Jonathan

Need a licensed independent roofer

Aug 2012

I would like a recommendation of a roofer. I especially would love to hear about an independent roofer (not in a large company). He/she must be licensed and insured. I live up 36 stairs and have a 2 story house so there is some distance from the street to the roof to take down and up material. I have 3 layers of leaky roof material that need to be removed and replaced with a solid roof. Hoping to find someone that won't cost me a fortune. Anon

Jay Roofing is the roofer for you. We got his name from BPN recommendations about 5 years ago when our very pitched and old roof started leaking. We got estimates from 5 roofers. Jay's estimate was approximately 60% of the next lowest estimate for the same work. We were slightly concerned at that difference in price, but we decided to go for it. Jay did a repair to tide us over until the rain stopped. Then he and his crew came out, installed a great-looking roof, and cleaned up after themselves. Five years have passed, and we have had no leaks or problems since then. Jay is very personable and does a great job. Highly recommended. Meryl
Good quality roofers are: Collins, Haight, Nicholas, Precision,and Westco. Roger
I recently used Planchon Roofing 235-1158 and found their price reasonable (less than 4 other bids I got) and their work professional and fast. Julie
I relied on BPN archives to find a roofer for my mom's house in Oakland. I got bids from several companies and went with Precision Roofing, a family run business, because I was impressed by the experience and professionalism of its owner, Michael Green. As opposed to the others, Michael got on the roof and found several holes made by squirrels, which he patched before it rained. In addition to doing a good job on the roof and gutters, there wasn't a scrap of debris to be found on the grounds. I subsequently had them do some work on my Berkeley Roof and all went well.

I haven't had terrible experiences with roofers in the past, but the company that did my house 10 years ago subcontracted the gutters to someone who did a shoddy job and didn't return phone calls when the flashing around the chimney failed after a few years. So I was impressed that Precision Roofing offers a 15 year warranty for labor and workmanship, and they'll extend it for another 15 years if you have them return and do routine maintenance. Michael takes pride in his business, he's employed the same people for years and provides them with benefits and vacation pay. I think that's impressive as well. Their phone number is 436-7575 Berkeley Home Owner

We had our roof replaced one year ago by Adrian Gomez Roofing, and I highly recommend him. Quality work and reasonably priced (comparing 3 competing quotes for the job). From what you describe, it sounds like he may be a great fit for you. You can contact him at adriangomezroofing [at] Adrian Gomez Roofing (510) 582-1892

More details - Our house is a 107-year old, 2-story A-frame shape, a style that is commonly seen in Berkeley and Oakland. Because our house is narrower than most, the pitch of the A-frame roof is about as steep as it gets, a definite challenge for roof work. We had a complete tear-off (3 layers), down to the skip sheeting. The new roof is GAF brand asphalt shingles (40-year as I recall) plus roofing felt, over foil laminated OSB plywood sheeting.

You didn't ask for this, but, hopefully useful: to familiarize ourselves with roofing materials, roofing techniques, and more so that we could make good decisions and know what to ask, we ended up watching a lot of educational Youtube videos that were posted by the shingle manufacturers and a variety of roofing companies throughout the country. I highly recommend doing this to help with decisions on materials and to guide you in terminology and conversations with your roofer when you start talking about roof vents, valleys, gutters, any trouble spots where water could collect, and other details.

Another thing: Roofing, especially tear-off, is messy work, no matter who is doing the work. I was happy with the cleanliness of Adrian's crew, with how they contained and cleaned up the mess, and with the manner in which they protected the sides of our house and our neighbors (there is not much space between us and our neighbors). Even so, there were old roofing nails found in the dirt and groundcover around our house. We had a couple of very strong magnets (one rare earth magnet and one 18' long bar that was a kitchen knife holder before we had kids). We encased the magnets in plastic bags, attached string, and dragged them around the yard to find the nails. I found a bunch myself, and paid my son 5 cents per nail after the easy ones were all found (it was a well-spent $20). Be sure to wear sturdy-soled, close-toed shoes (like hiking boots) while this is going on. Linda

In need of roofer recommendation

April 2012

Does anyone have a recommendation for someone to replace a roof? Even better if they are specialized in using environmentally friendly techniques and materials. THANK YOU! Orinda resident

Precision Roofing Company 510-436-7575 We were very happy with their price and their work. SO happy to not have water leaking when it rained this winter. Phew. no leak
We had our roof replaced by Alco Roofing out of San Leandro and were very satisfied with the quality, price, and professionalism. Al did what he said he would and didn't try to push us into expensive extras or add on anything beyond the bid price. We didn't ask for any kind of special environmental roofing products, so I can't speak to that, but we've had no problems with the roof, it looks great, and they cleaned up really well after the job.

Experience with Armstrong Roofing of Emeryville?

April 2012

I need a new low slope composition shingle roof (tear-down) on my small, but many-roofed, leaking 2-story Berkeley house. I need to add exterior rigid insulation to an uninsulated 'vintage' plank roof. I received a cold call from Armstrong Roofing of Emeryville. Has anyone used them? Any comments? Any good recent experiences with reasonably priced roofers that you can recommend? Lyrinda in Berkeley

We recently had to have our roof replaced as it had been leaking when it rained hard the last few years. We did get a quote and have a presentation by Armstrong roofing. The quality of the products seem about the same and the price was very high. We ended up using Precision Roofing Company 510-436-7575 and I am very happy with the results and had no leaks even with the recent downpour. They were clean, quick and the price was resonable. Mike

Roofer who will do repairs

March 2012

I had some roofing done a few years ago by a roofer who was recommended on BPN, Ira Fabricant. He re-roofed our duplex in Berkeley and my cottage in Oakland. Just after he was done, the cottage leaked around the Sky Light and he wanted to charge me to repair it (so I got someone else to fix it). Now, a few years later, the duplex is leaking because Ira replaced some of the flashing when he re-roofed, but not all of it. He didn't replace the flashing around the vent housing on the North side of the property. So, I'm wondering if anyone knows of a good roofer who repairs the work of other roofers and also a roofer who will (ideally) come back and fix their own work free of charge if the roof leaks? Thanks for your help! Claire

Rob the roofer (510-655-9811) came out and gave us an estimate on some roof repairs recently. He was recommended by another roofer who was too busy to help us (ah, rainy season). He was friendly and knowledgeable. Homeowner
Two very good roofing companies are Precision Roofing at 436-7575 and Nicholas Roofing at 848-4433. We have personally used both companies and have been very satisfied with their work. They are professional and responsive. Roger
Carl Rowe at Rowe Roofing is the man! It simply doesn't get any better than Carl. He does free estimates and guarantees his work and he means it! He came out in a horrible storm one night at 10 p.m. and did a temporary patch on the roof of a rental house when part of the bedroom ceiling fell in with my pregnant wife and I under it. He advertises by word of mouth through past customers. Twice now somebody told me they knew the 'best roofer' and I said 'I doubt it' and they said 'his name is Carl'--they already knew my world's greatest roofer! He just did work for a friend in Lafayette who was delighted. Reasonable prices as well. Carl knows asphalt shingle roofs and has been in business a long time. 510-657-9278 He is also a nice guy to deal with!! under a perfect roof by Carl 15 years later

Roofer recommendations needed

Sept 2011

We're looking for a great roofer to replace a 25 y.o. roof in Rockridge. Any recommendations (or people to avoid)? Thanks!

I highly recommend Adrian Gomez Roofing. He replaced our original 1915 Rockridge roof which involved 5 layers of roofing on a relatively steep slope. Did great work, crew were professional and pleasant (we did keep them supplied with drinks), and we were very happy with the process. Adrian's cost was slightly lower than a big firm's estimate but I would have paid more in hindsight because he was honest and didn't nickel and dime me on what could have been considered extra work. We hired him back a few years later to redo the flat garage roof and had same pleasant experience. Adrian Gomez Roofing (510) 582-1892 Karen
We just had Collins Roofing do ours (they & Nicholas Roofing both have many great past reviews on BPN). and they did a fantastic job. Very quick. Cleaned up every day. Looks wonderful. Tell Seamus that Norm sent you. Collins Roofing. 510-655-2223 Norm

Need Roofer recommendation and advice

Aug 2011

I am in the process of getting bids for a new roof and would appreciate any recommendations for roofing contractors who work in the east bay -- I live in Walnut Creek. Also, this is my first time dealing with a new roof so if there are tips you have for me on what to do and not do that would be great. Thanks! MJ

Carl Rowe Roofing at 510-657-9278 is the best guy for asphalt shingles. He has the best price and does the finest work. He doesn't advertise so all his work is by referral from satisfied customers and everybody he ever worked for is one of those I think. Carl hand nails each shingle personally-no nail guns or laborers. Carl has done several for me and has assisted with emergency roof leaks in the pouring rain in the middle of the night on short notice. He is honest and hard working. Carl also schooled me about roofing techniques and made numerous suggestions for how to add better protection for little cost. One example was his idea to use a rubber membrane rather than tar paper on low slope areas. Another was to use 30 lb. tarpaper rather than the 'standard' 15lb everybody else uses. Carl recommended over lapping 18-24' instead of the standard 12'. Just little things with minimal extra cost but huge suggestions for getting the best quality roofing job done right. Do yourself a favor and call Carl first. You'll be glad you did. jt
I just had my roof completely re-roofed by A Better Roofing Company, Jon Morrison (925) 370-1158. I was very happy with the finished results. They did a top quality job at a very reasonable price. He will come out, evaluate everything and answer all your questions. He's located out in your area too. Larry L
Call Sorin Feraru at 510-228-7366. Sorin has been taking care of various projects for us including replacing our old roof. He'll guide you through the entire process. I remember he gave us options as for what material to choose for the new roof considering our budget and how long we wanted to be the life of our new roof. It's tricky, because some contractors give you the lowest bid based on lifetime of the new roof, but you may end up spending more on the long run. So, contact Sorin and you'd be more than happy that you did.

Recommendations for roofers for new roof

June 2011

We just discovered we need a new roof. Can anyone recommend a roofer who can also help us change the line of our roof? --thank you in advance--

I highly recommend Sierra Roofing. We have used them many times over the years and are very happy with all of their work. 925-803-1601 jeannie
I recommend Carl Rowe of Rowe Roofing at 510-657-9278 for asphalt shingles. Carl hand nails all shingles, is very reasonably priced, has many years experience, and is very detail oriented, polite, and respectful. We rebuilt after the fire and the first contractor we used had found Carl. The contractor was awful and I fired him so the job was in limbo for quite a long time--except for Carl. Even though the guy that hired him was gone Carl stood by the work he had started and kept the roof leak proof and secure until we got a new general on board. He also came out to my rental home in a storm one night and helped me get a temporary cover in place at midnight after the bedroom ceiling came down. We had a baby due in a week and didn't need a leaky roof. It just doesn't get any better than Carl. Free estimates as well. Ralph Austin would be a good choice for a general to change the roof line. He is at 925-930-0323. happy homeowner
Sorin Feraru took care of our roof and we are very happy with the job he has done: the right price and on time. Also, since we went through a rainy season with the roof and had no problems, I can add great quality of the work. We highly recommend Sorin. You can reach him by phone at 510-228-7366 or by email at office [at]

Roof leaking - Contractor? Roofer?

March 2011

Hi all, Our roof has sprung a leak (!!), and we're looking for a recommendation. Is this something a Contractor would do? Or a Roofer? In either case, your recommendations (also, who to avoid) gratefully accepted. (Interestingly, this is on the remodeled (e.g., newer - 6 years old!) side of the house, not the 1916 side...Yuck!) Thanks so much, Tired of filling containers...

I had Michael from Precision Roofing come out to my house today to give me an estimate on some changes to my downspouts. He was prompt and very knowledgable, but what I really liked about him is how he counselled me NOT to do the work. He pointed out some of the challenges with changing my downspouts in the manner that I was thinking and instead suggested better ways to address some of the 'water' challenges here (that didn't involve me hiring his company). The fact that he didn't try to just steer me in a direction where he'd 'get the sale' I thought was very professional. I'd certainly consider Precision Roofing when I need a new roof down the line. Tom


Feb 2011

Looking for a reasonable and good roofer. dianna

We got some names off BPN and ended up choosing Alco Roofing. Al, the owner, was awesome- professional, straightforward, honest. He told us we could get a couple more years out of our roof before replacing, which we did. It gave us more time to save money for it so that helped. Then he redid the roof and was great -good price, good work (he did the work so was always on the job ), and cleaned everything up. No-one wants to have to replace a roof, but if you must, Alco is excellent. 510- 633-9744. Happy New Roof Owner

2009 - 2010 Recommendations

Reasonable, licensed Roofer needed

Oct 2010

Need reasonably priced, licensed and honest roofer who does good work for a Kensington home. The roof is old and has a couple of layers of old roofs underneath. Please advise! anon

Michael from Precision Roofing. Hands down the best roofer around. I use him whenever a client needs to take care of this the most important part of their home. he's at: 510-436-7575
Just got our roof and gutters replaced in July. Called Nicholas Roofing, Collins, and RK Roofing. RK was the lowest bid while the other two were about the same. I called reference with all 3 and they all got great reviews. Went with Collins because they were the most willing to talk to us when they came by to give a quote. They did the work quick and cleaned up after themselves just like other reviewers said. anon
We used Alan Wilson, Alco Roofing. He was great. We had an old roof (actually about four layers of roof). Alan's bid was reasonable (not like about half the bids we got). I think it is because Alan works on his own - there isn't a fancy receptionist, or a big fancy truck. He just comes and fixes your roof - really well. He did our whole roof in under a week. (Maybe if he had a big crew, it would have been done in 3 days instead of 5, but it was well worth the savings). Alan did our roof in 2008 - absolutely no problems. In fact, a contractor screwed up a portion of our beautiful new roof, and Alan came out on the weekend and fixed it for $50. Can't say enough good things about him. He was licensed, insured, and we checked his references. alcoroofingca [at] FYI phone is 510-366-1333. joni

Nicholas Roofing for small roof job?

April 2010

Has anyone had a roof done by Nicholas Roofing of Berkeley? Have a small roofing job and looking for comments (good or not so good) from former customers, recent or years past. Thank you. -Anonymous

We had Nicholas Roofing do a couple of shake patch jobs (see my rec in the previous digest) and also had our house reroofed by them a year ago (not small job, but not large either). I would recommend them for ANY size roofing job. Jimmy (the owner?) is very honest and worked hard to give us a good experience. Francesca
Both Nicholas Roofing and Collins Brothers Roofing get 5-star ratings on Yelp with the same number of reviews. I used Collins Brothers. I contacted Nicholas Roofing for an estimate for a small job. They gave me a reasonable price but I was uncomfortable with the statement on the estimate that the work was not guaranteed. So I looked again, found the Collinses and used them. They were fantastic and I'll use them again. PO Box 20818 Oakland, CA 94620 663-6674
We just used Nicholas Roofing for a 250 sf addition on our house. They were fantastic--fast, flexible in timing, and competitively priced. They researched the existing shingles' manufacturer, and found a very close match after learning the original supplier went out of business. We're very happy with the results. Highly recommended! Patti
I am an architect and have used Nicholas Roofing on both my own house and garage and also on roofs for several clients over the last 20 years. They are honest, reliable, and reasonably priced. A friend to whom I recommended them raved after they quoted her $600 to fix a small leak when other roofers had quoted thousands insisting she need a hole new roof. L.
We used Nicholas Roofing for a medium-sized roofing job. The owner, Jimmy, seemed competent and was easily accessible by phone. The work was done on time, as scheduled, and for the price quoted. Everything was cleaned up and hauled away. The guys who did the job spoke little (if any) English, so I couldn't really communicate with them. Jimmy quoted the job, but he was not present after that; he left it all up to his crew. Good luck!
Nicholas Roofing has done a number of jobs for me in the past year, from small to medium-large. These included removal and subsequent replacement of an attic fan, installation of additional roof vents, installation of a bathroom exhaust, and a tear-off and re-roof of half my house. Their work is excellent, costs are reasonable and their staff ? both workers and office ? are a pleasure to deal with. In 30 plus years of home ownership, including two large models and a couple of roofing jobs, I?ve worked with a lot of tradesmen. I?d rank Nicholas at the top of my list of the best, for both workmanship and customer service. optimoms

Roofer for rooftop garden/deck

March 2010

Need the name of a reliable roofer in preparation for rooftop garden/deck. This is a small job but need someone who does good work with attention to detail. Thanks in advance. -Anon

This isn't a recommendation for a roofer, but I'd like to recommend that you be sure that the structure you are building on to can support the weight of a garden. If you're just doing a few pots it's no big deal, but if you are doing large planters the weight of the soil needs to be taken into consideration. In that case you should have a civil engineer check whether the structure can effectively support the added weight. Cece
We used Ascential Roofing when we remodeled our house, and absolutely loved them. Eric didn't give us the cheapest of the 4 quotes, but he was friendly and professional, the site was cleaned every afternoon and he finished early. We'd definitely choose him again, except we won't need a roof for 30 years! molly
We love Planchon roofing. Good price, responsible, on time, wonderful job. Able to deal with the city. roof done and gorgeous

Repairs for shake roof

March 2010

We are looking for recommendations for a good, honest roofer (licensed contractor) to do some repair work on our shake roof. We think it needs the ridge caps replaced and possibly some additional repairs. We want someone who will explain what they are doing and who will guarantee their work. It may be a small job to some, but it is big to us and we want someone who will treat it that way. We want to maintain our roof so it lasts as long as possible. thanks Judy

I highly recommend Nicholas Roofing 848-4433. They patched our shake roof until we replaced it last year. (And they replaced it, with fiberglass or asphalt shingles--I forget the exact composition.) Francesca
This company helped us a lot. (skilled trade services) Hope it will help you too... Cristina
You should try Feraru & Associates. I worked with them on my roof and I'm completely satisfied.I had a leak in a very old roof which I was planning to replace for quite some time, so I called Sorin Feraru and he was very helpful. In his estimate he gave me a bunch of options to choose from to better fit my needs. I never had problem with my roof ever since. Call Sorin at 510 228 7366 or check out his website to see some more of his work.
Dec 2009

I am in need of an excellent roofer. We have a leak in our roof, and are looking for someone to find and fix the problem. Any suggestions??? Thanks! All Wet in Orinda

I had several leaks in my kitchen, leaking skylights and leaks and just inside my kitchen door. I interviewed several roofers, most didn't know what to do, or wanted to replace the whole roof. Ron Williams, the Roof Doctor, did a great job for a reasonable price. We have been leak-free so far this season. His number is 1-800-409-4910. He also has a website, where he shows the leaky roofs he has worked on, and how he fixed them. The website is

He was great to work with, does his own work, and I would highly recommend him. I went up on the roof with him and he explained all the problems he saw, and I learned a lot. I can tell he takes pride in what he does. Dry in Orinda

Try Calling Doug at CH Roofing in Concord at (925) 798-1089 8206;. We had them re-roof our house 20 years ago, and just had them do another roof this summer. They also put a new roof on our neighbor's house and they were pleased. Reasonable price, nice to work with and he comes back if there's a problem. Also, they didn't leave a huge mess. jb
March 2009

I'm wondering if anyone has had Dan Lynch waterproof their home, work on their deck, or done any services recently. We have a serious roof leak under a balcony and want to hire someone reliable. Thank you for any comments on Dan Lynch or suggestions about who we can call.

I cannot recommend Michael of Precision Roofing highly enough. We had roof leaks and window leaks about 4 years ago. He came out and figured out where the water was getting in. He not only fixed the roof leaks, but also the window leaks which had been plaguing us for years despite many other repair attempts. On top of that he guaranteed the repairs something I had not been able to get anyone else to do. 4 years later everything is still water tight. His number is 436-7575. jolie
March 2009

anyone has a recommendation for a good roofer to fix the flat section of a sloped roof. Its a small area, but its time for maintenance. thx thx homeowner

We had a roof installed by Ira Fabricant and can recommend him very highly. He has worked in this area for many years and is experienced with many different types of roofs and roofing issues. He can do repairs as well as installations, deals with skylights, works with a wide variety of materials, and is very efficient without cutting corners-- it's truly amazing how much he will get done in a day. He's very knowledgable and can give really good advice. Incredibly clean, responsible and sensitive to aesthetics--a real craftsperson. (510) 653-1680 happy and dry
March 2009

Does anyone know of a reliable and affordable roofer? Beth

Adrian Gomez is highly recommended. Honest, fast (very important I found out), follows through on what he says he'll do and when, fair price (lower than bigger roofing company), good work, and easy to work with. He took off 5 layers of old roofs on steep slope; new roof is beautiful. Also had him back to reroof a flat garage roof. Again, did a beautiful job. Adrian Gomez Roofing
Assential Roofing re-roofed my house (flat roof) last summer and did a terrific job. His pricing is very fair. Phone (510) 652-3533 contact owner - Eric Gascoyne. Sandy M
I know a great roofer and I recommend him hands down.His name is Sorin Feraru, he is a general contractor, and he replaced our entire roof. We are so very happy with his work. Never had problems ever since he has done the work for us.He and his crew are very professional and nice.I will never hire anyone else again but Sorin Feraru.You can give him a call at 510-228-7366, or you can visit his website Miranda
I highly recommend Nicholas Roofing at 848-4433; also They recently did an excellent job on my roof. I subsequently had them remove my old attic fan and replace it with a solar fan and they did this so seamlessly that I couldn't even see where the old fan had been on the inside of the attic. I researched BPN files and other sources extensively prior to selecting roofers. In addition to positive mentions on BPN, Nicholas was also recommended on Bay Area Consumerms Checkbook, Yelp, a list supplied by a Berkeley solar company, and by a personal contact in the remodeling trade - Nicholas had enthusiastic recommendations from the widest collection of different sources of any roofing company I interviewed. Estimates are done by Jimmy Cosenza; he and their entire staff are easy to work with and attentive to customer service. Their cost was very reasonable and they went out of their way to address some of my specific concerns that other roofers brushed aside q such as protecting the stuff stored in the attic with plastic so that demolition debris did not get on it. Our roofing job was done in conjunction with installation of solar panels, and the solar crew, who see a lot of roofs and roofers, remarked on the quality of the workmanship and the workers. optimoms
Jan 2009

My mother needs some roofing work done on her house in Oakland and is considering Central Bay Roofing Company because of a personal connection. Have you had roof work done by them? Do you have a different roofer that you'd recommend? anon

I had my home roofed a couple of years ago by Central Bay and would NOT recommend them. The workers were very loud, finishing work messy and lots of material scattered throughout the plants, etc. Anon

2007 - 2008 Recommendations

Oct 2008

Looking for a recommendation for a contractor to track down and fix a(composite shingle) roof (or gutter, not completely clear where it's coming from) leak on the exterior (2nd story) of my house. The roof has several years yet to go, so this is a small job. Thanks! Ragnar

Nicholas Roofing repaired our shake roof a couple of times. We were pleased with the results, even though they didn't last more than a year or two. (It was just to get us through the rainy season while we figured out what we wanted to replace the roof with.) Their number is 848-4433. Francesca
I just had a roof inspection done by Seamus Collins of Collins roofing. I'd highly recommend them to you: they looked at my roof and rather than upselling me, gave me some great information about my roof and offered to fix a few minor things.

They sent me a letter documenting the roof's condition for my insurance company at no charge. Totally above board.
Collins Roofing Inc. Phone/Fax 510-482-2227 Email: collinsroofinginc [at] Website:
Sincerely, Judiah

I would highly recommend Seamus Collins of Collins Roofing. He and his crew replaced the entire roof of our Oakland home in three days this past September. Our roof looks terrific and is absolutely solid and sound. Seamus can be reached at 510- 482-2227 or Kymry
Ascential Roofing - replaced my roof. The did a terrific job. Showed up on time, finished on time, and cleanded up and hauled away the trash. Contact Eric at (510) 652-3533. His email is Eric [at] Sandy M.
I recommend Ira Fabricant of Fabricant Roofing. He has done a couple jobs for us and has been great to work with in addition to doing good work. Ended up saving us a bundle on a repair to get a few more years out of our roof. Fabricant Roofing (510) 653-1680
Berkeley Resident
June 2008

Can anyone recommend a good roofer? Berkeley resident

Adrian Gomez and his crew were wonderful. He is detail oriented, trustworthy, and less expensive than other quote we got. Has done follow up work for us. Let me (Karen) know if you have any questions. Adrian Gomez Roofing (510) 582-1892 kej
Gabriel Benagas (650-515-8754) just did our roof and it is beautiful. He spent a lot of time with us picking out the right materials and trying to chase down what we needed. My husband was on the job the whole time and said he's never seen anyone work so hard. Very professional and very reasonably priced. Lynne
I can highly recommend Ira Fabricant of Fabricant Roofing. Ira installed a roof and skylight on a structure at my son's school, and did repair work on the roof at my home. Throughout the projects, he was timely and reliable. For my home project, he patiently explained in advance the work that needed to be done, why it was necessary and the estimated costs. I was very happy with the cost (which came in at estimate) and the quality of the work. He even went the extra mile and cleaned gunk out of my gutters while he was up there. All of the projects have withstood the test of time. Ira has 20 years experience in roofing -- he knows what he's doing. Also, he's a really nice guy. The number I have for him is 510-653-1680. -- a good roof over my head
We had a roof installed by Ira Fabricant and can recommend him very highly. He has worked in this area for many years and is experienced with many different types of roofs and roofing issues. He can do repairs as well as installations, deals with skylights, works with a wide variety of materials, and is very efficient without cutting corners-- it's truly amazing how much he will get done in a day. He's very knowledgable and can give really good advice. Incredibly clean, responsible and sensitive to aesthetics--a real craftsperson. (510) 653-1680 Very happily sheltered
Feb 2008

Small roofing job in North Berkeley -- seek reputable and responsive roofer. jr

I had good experience with Ace Roofing a few years ago. I have a small A-frame home. There haven't been any problems with my roof since, and their prices were good. Rahel
We moved into a new house and had a small roofing repair job that needed to get done. We checked the recommendations and went with Planchon Roofing over here in San Pablo. 510-235- 1158 Their bid was 1/3 of the bid from another contractor yet they did the job on time and with excellent quality. I will use them again if I need more work done. G. B.
Jan 2008

Hi, can anyone recommend a roofer who can actually repair leaks and will stand by their work? Thanks so much cr

I recommend Nicholas Roofing, 848-4433, which was recommended to us by a contractor friend. They have shimmed our shake roof to stop leaks in two places. I don't think they (or anyone else) would give a written guarantee (if that's what you mean by ''stand by their work'') but we got the results we were promised. The results didn't last but they got us through the rainy season and bought us a few more years on our roof. Francesca
Nov 2007

Anyone have any recommendations for a roofer? Erik

We HIGHLY recommend Jay of Jay's Roofing. He did our roof this past week in only three days, and the quality of the workmanship is extraordinary. In fact, we were lamenting the fact that we live in a place where only a few people will ever see the top of our roof! We think it should be a display piece. He had a crew of about 7 men who worked so efficiently and smartly, that our neighbor (whose office window overlooks our roof) called the moment they were finished to rave about how well they worked. He said he'd never seen such quality work by any workmen in the neighborhood. They cleaned up the yard and patio each day, even cleaning up all the leaves that we hadn't had a chance to get to. My husband (who has built roofs himself before) went up on the roof with him and they talked everything over together, and even this morning he (my husband, that is) went up on the roof just to enjoy it! Jay came when he said they'd come, charged us the exact amount he had quoted us, and finished in only 3 days. We had two other roofers give us estimates; Jay's was the lowest, and we liked him the best. Jay is a very kind, friendly, hard-working craftsman, and his crew worked unbelievably hard and efficiently. (510) 532-1975 roof happy!
Try Collins Roofing. You can contact them for an estimate. They were very easy to work with, and worked well with our solar installer. They are at Anon
I've used Nicholas Roofing (in Berkeley I think) on my home in Kensington and my mother's in Berkeley. He does good work and is easy to deal with. Good Luck! Tansy
Oct 2007

We're looking for a great roofer in the north berkeley area. Any recommendations? pamela

We were really pleased with Jay Roofing - his crew replaced the roof on our Albany home. Jay gave us the lowest estimate (by far), was prompt, polite, and professional. The job was done in 2.5 days and they cleaned up thoroughly as they went along. His number is (510) 532-1975. Katrina
For a roofer in the East Bay, call Alco Roofing, 510-633-9744. It's a small family owned business, and the owner himself will put the roof on. May not be the lowball quote (nor the highball either), but the job will be done right and everything left tidy afterwards.
Oct 2007

we are in need of a contractor/roofer/handyman who can fix a roof leak in the corner of our home. The water has started coming through the walls so there is more than likely the chance that the existing inside plaster or drywall will also need to be replaced/repaired OUR BUDGET IS LIMITED SO THIS PERSON WOULD ALSO NEED TO BE REASONABLY PRICED

I'm happy to recommend Sorin Feraru again for roof work. He's just finishing work on our roof now and it looks great. Everything was done in time and for the right price. You can reach him at 510-228-7366 cindy July 2007

Has anyone had experience with this company? I'd love to get some feedback about them. Their bid for a new roof was the lowest ever! Thanks! anon in Berkeley

Acker and Guerrero put a new roof on our house in 2005 for half the price others quoted us. We plan to remodel (really, we do, someday soon), so didn't need/want a roof that would last 50 years, we just needed something to stop our multiple leaks for the next few years until we get our act together. So far, so good, it's been nice not to have to do ''pot patrol'' whenever it rains. The crew showed up when they said they would, worked hard and got the job done when they said they would, then cleaned up after themselves. I'd hire them again to do the 50 year roof once we actually remodel... Kathy
July 2007

We had our roof done last summer by Planchon Roofing, (510) 235-4056. They were fast, professional, and reasonably priced. I liked the owner and the workers very much. We also love our roof! He was able to handle our city requirements and put in some great skylights.

In general, I highly recommend getting more than one bid, because the price differences were really big. A good roofer should tell you exactly where the shingles are coming from, and in fact you can go on the web and look at all the different products, prices, and even try them out virtually on different colored houses. I found the 40 year shingles to be just right. This roofer was willing to wait so that we could special order the color we really wanted and it was well worth it. Another thing--you should not have to get the permit yourself, the roofer should take care of all that stuff. You can also look up licensed contractors on the BBB (Better Business Bureau) website and see if there are cases or complaints. happy with roof

March 2007

Looking for roofer recommendations in Walnut Creek. The majority of recommendations in the archives are for the Berkeley/Oakland area.

Colonial Roofing Alan Liebig 925.676.5418 Alan did a great job replacing the roof on our house here in Berkeley in 2005. Very honest, efficient and reasonable. I believe he is based in Lafayette or Concord. I hope you contact him for a bid. gemma
Feb 2007

We just had our roof done by Jay Roofing (510-532-1975). His quote was very reasonable, he had great ideas and solutions for the particular problems the job posed, and he charged reasonably for the extra unforeseen work that cropped up. His crew was exceptionally careful of our yard and the neighbors' yards, their cleanup was absolutely spotless. In addition, he was able to handle a hostile neighbor with great skill and charm. And the work was done quickly. Absolute highest recommendation. marcella

2005 - 2006 Recommendations

Nov 2006

I'm trying to help my Mom find a good and reliable roofing company. The reviews are a bit old so I wanted to get some up to date recommendation to give her. Thanks, Laura

I just had extensive repairs done on the roof of my house and an adjacent cottage and was very pleased by the work. The roofer I hired (Victor Zarate, who I connected with via Craigslist) gave a reasonable bid (I got bids from two other people) and did an extremely thorough job. He (actually his wife, Hilda, who handles all the scheduling/bidding) was also prompt in responding to phone calls and questions. During the 3 days it took to complete the job, everything was cleaned up daily; Victor even cleaned all our gutters at no additional charge. Apparently Victor has 17 years of experience working for others and has just gone into business for himself. He is eager to build his client base and is a genuinely nice guy so is well worth considering for large or small jobs.Hilda and Victor can be reached at: 388-8519 or hilda[at] Vanessa
I would highly recommend R.K. Roofing and Construction in Oakland (phone number 510-536-7663) I am a UC Berkeley graduate, Civil Engineer, and have worked in the building construction and permit profession for over 30 years. When I needed to replace the roof at my house, I meticulously interviewed and got estimates from numerous contractors. I also checked references from previous customers. R.K. Roofing got the best references (even for the homes of other building contractors) and their price was among the lowest for the quality and scope of work. They were also Value Star Rated. They used high quality building materials, met or exceed building code standards, completed the work in two days, protected the areas around my house, and thoroughly cleaned the area when they finished. I have since recommended them to friends, relatives, and business acquaintances. All of them have been pleased with their work and their price. Calvin
I would like to second the positive review of R.K. Roofing.

Before we moved into our current house the previous owners had our whole roof replaced, but we discovered to our chagrin that the roofers had done a lousy job on a particularly tricky part of the roof where a pitched section of the roof overhung a flat section, resulting in a large leak. I followed up with the previous roofers to try to get them to fix it (there was a warranty, which the previous roofers claimed was not transferable, but they came out to try to patch the leak anyway). They came, they worked, they left--it leaked again.

I called a number of roofers to look at repairing this, and nobody wanted to touch the previous roofer's work. RK Roofing not only was willing to take the job, but they quoted me a very reasonable price for what they had to do, and they did a fantastic job. It has not leaked since. Richard and I went up on the roof together, and he explained to me exactly what he needed to do to fix it, and it was clear that it was going to be a big job. Ultimately, what they had to do is reroof the flat section of the roof, but it has been well worth it.

If I ever have to replace or repair any of the rest of the roof, they will be the ones I call. Basically, we made up for the money that the previous owners did not want to spend. Erich in Oakland

October 2006

We are in need of a new roof for our home and have recently received estimates from Hot Roofing and from Advanced Roofing. Has anyone had any recent experiences (good or bad) with either of these companies? Thanks, Bernie

We had our 40 year-old roof replaced this past September of 2006. We read many positives reviews in BPN of Jay's Roofing Company and turned out to be the best decision we made. Jay lives in the neighborhood. We made an appt with him. He came by and provided a thorough inspection and provided thorough explanation of problems and solutions, still, though being conscientious of our budget and providing suggestions in ways we can save money. He is punctual, knowledgeable, experienced, and trustworthy. He and his employees arrived at time and date indicated. They were meticulous in making it a point to keep our landscape clear of any debris. Because of the size of our big roof, it took two complete days to get the job done. Jay kept us abreast of everything he was doing and we were just truly blown away by the beauty of our finished product as even our neighbors asked for his business card. His contact number is 510-532-1975 leticia
I've had nothing but the best experiences with the roofer I use, Armando Salguera (510-669-0875 or 510-812-9097). I've been a general contractor for 28 years, and he's the best roofer I've ever used. By the way, I'm taking on new projects for anyone looking for a bid on additions, remodels, new construction. Larry
Sept 2006

I'd like to post a recommendation for Ira Fabricant (510-653-1680) for roofing services. The prior owner-a do it yourselfer--put on a roof with new materials but used 1940's techniques so there were some problems and leaking. WE got a number of bids and most companies wouldn't do anything unless they did a whole tear-off. Ira came, looked for leaks and problems all over and sealed a number of spots to help the roof last for another few years for a very fair price. NO rain yet but we were happy with his approach, reasonableness and realistic manner. Melissa

Dec 2005

We have had a roof installed by Ira Fabricant and I highly recommend him. He is very experienced, and has been working in the area for many years (over 20 I think). He can do repairs as well as installations, deals with skylights, a wide variety of materials, and is very efficient without cutting corners--it's truly amazing how much he will get done in a day. He's very knowledgable and can give really good advice. Incredibly clean, responsible and sensitive to asthetics--a real craftsperson. (510) 232-9028 cell (510) 653-1680 home office

2005 Reviews of roofers

Sept 2005

Re: Roofing - small repairs
I recommend Fabricant Roofing for your small repair in Walnut Creek. Contact Ira Fabricant at (510) 232-9028 or (510) 653-1680. He works all over the East Bay and does excellent work. Shana

August 2005

Great Roofer!
We used Adrian Gomez Roofing, 510-582-1892, after reading about him on Berkley Parent's Network. He did an exceptional job on our roof. He removed 3 layers off of tar and gravel and converted our roof to composition shingles. He installed a new gutter system to go with the new roof, using seamless gutters which he paints the color you desire. He accomodated all of our requests, including finding a more unusual shingle that we had selected. We were concerned about finishing the roof before we left on vacation, and he fulfilled his commitment to finish the job exactly when he said he would. His bid was the most professional (of 3) that we received. All of the details were typed up and faxed over. I found it very easy to contact Adrian to discuss details; he works in conjunction with his wife who is always available to answer the phone and gets back to you immediately. Adrian and his workers always left our house cleaned up, and was extremely pleasant to deal with. He is a genuinely nice guy! I cannot recommend Adrian Gomez more wholeheartedly. His pricing is very fair (cheap, even)and he does excellent work. Grace

I have a great roofer to recommend, who I noticed posted his contact info to the newsletter recently--Ira Fabricant. I want to enthusiastically recommend him (I tried to post a rec. earlier this year, and it somehow never came through).

Ira roofed a small building for us and was so skilled, well organized, clean, helpful at deciding about material, etc, I would never use anyone else. He has a very strong sense of craft and is nonetheless amazingly fast--you will not believe how much he can get done in a day, and how good it looks! Yet he is quite cost-conscious and can repair rather than replace if appropriate.

Here's his contact info:
(510) 232-9028 cell
(510) 653-1680 home

He's been working in this area for years and can provide additional local references, but please feel free to email me if you want more details about his work for us.

Re: rafter repair
Enrique Barraza of All Weather Roofing, Oakland, Phone# 510-483-6153 or 510-638-0735 recently completed similar work on my house--two segments of roof were removed due to dry rot, new plywood and shingles, new gutters, some downspouts--and I would definitely use him again. He knew exactly what to do, did excellent work for a slightly less than expected price, and is a very amiable person. One note is that he did show up at slightly different times than we'd agreed upon, so if this is of concern it would be good to be especially clear with him about timing, however he did complete the job EXCELLENTLY and within the time frame we'd agreed upon. All in all, I would recommend him highly! Nina
June 2005

Source of good roofing advice

I'm putting a roof on my backyard shed - it's small enough to do it myself, although I've never done any roofing. As a starter, I visited State Shingle in the Fruitvale district of Oakland.

Wow - this is the mother lode for roofing advice. The guys behind the counter answered all my questions and practically gave me a tutorial on how to install a flat roof.

Apparently most east bay roofing contractors get supplies at State Shingle - shingles, clay tiles, flat rolled roofing. Result is the counter staff know who's who. They are a great resource for finding a competent roofer.

They showed me the difference between cheap shingles and long-lasting ones, as well as pointing out what makes a good installation versus a bad roofing job.

Also, I saw they had skylights and attic vents. When I asked the guy at the counter about these, he went into details about the good and bad points of each. Impressed me with his competence and experience.

So even if you don't intend to do your own roofing, I suggest a visit to learn about what to ask prospective contractors. (I have no connection with them, other than as a customer who bought $300 of roofing supplies yesterday)

State Shingle - 900 37th Ave, Oakland, near the Fruitvale exit of 880. Phone 510 535 1311 (I think you'll get more information by visiting rather than calling)


I would highly recommend Interstate Roofing. They were very professional and did a great job with our roof. Their number is: (510) 639-0833 Suzanne
I highly recommend Collins Roofing based in Oakland:; 510/482-2227. They did a great,very rapid reroofing job for our house and studio in Berkeley last month at a reasonable price. One of the Collins brothers exercised close quality control over the progress of the job, and they were quite neat in the final clean-up. Suzanne
April 2005

Looking for a Great Roofer?
Jay Roofing is one roofing contractor I would highly recommend. He and his team are extremely professional and reliable. The quality of his work is excellent q he even does gutter replacement and advised me on leaks in my roof. He is very thorough (explains issues and problems). His estimate for replacing my roof was substantially less than other bay area roofers. His crew was prompt and left the premises immaculate after working each day. Jay is the owner of the company and I would HIGHLY recommend anyone to contact him for this type of work. Jay's number is: (510) 532-1975. Terry

Feb 2005

We were very happy with Pacific Coast Roofing. Their bid was lower than we expected and they did great work fast. (510) 912-5454 Betsy

2003 - 2004 Recommendations

Nov 2004

We need to replace our roof. We have received many referrals for roofers from various sources and wanted to know if anyone had any relatively recent experience with the below roofers, good or bad. Has your roof been through any storms yet would be additional valuable information. Also, information on reasonableness of cost would be appreciated.
* Caldwell Roland * Nicolas Roof * Elliot and Elliot * Hot Roof * Gilberto Perez
Recommendations for other roofers and other comments would also be greatly appreciated!! Thanks! Juliet

I used Bill Wong of Interstate Roofing Specialists in Oakland. I couldn't have been more pleased. Timely, efficient, and did a great job steering me away from hideous green roofing shingles. My roof has been through 6 winters with nary a drop getting through (there had been a hole in it, and El Nino came through, ugh!). Highly recommended, except that you'll expect further contractors to be on time and get the work completely done on time. :) Jennie
We just had our red tile roof redone by Acker & Guerrero (not to add yet another name to your list) but I felt compelled to write as they were truly outstanding. Professional crew, efficient, cleaned up every mess they made, and most importantly did a fantastic job. We feel like we got MORE than we bargained for. It also only took 1 week. I had gotten an estimate from Elliot and Elliot and they were almost double the cost and said it would take 3 weeks. Our roof has been through the storms we have had so far and we are dry and cozy and happy inside. I had read about Acker & Guerrero in the Good Services guide -- supposedly there are rather high criteria to get in to the guide and easy to get booted out. (need recommendations and no complaints, etc.) We had originally gotten 3 estimates from 3 different companies. A was the middle bid. high and dry
Hello, Someone asked in this last letter about roofers, and I thought I would put in an updated plug for Berkeley Roofing (call Christoph). I actually got the recommendation for them from this list and selected them to put a new roof on my 3 story house built on the side of a hill. The crew did a fantastic job, very timely, and professional, cleaning up after themselves and taking great care to ensure no rain got into the house during the installation process. I had three quotes, they were actually the lowest, and did an excellent job. I was so pleased I recommended them to my neighbors who were looking for someone to put a wood shingle roof on, and they did an equally excellent job for them. It was really a pleasure doing business with a roofing team that did exactly as promised. I weathered the rainy season last year with no problems, so I feel I can recommend them without reservation. Janice
I would also like to say that we were very pleased with Berkeley Roofing Systems. They did a great job - showed up on time, cleaned up after themselves very well. Also, we had a bit of a more complicated roofing job because we put up a solar system at the same time. They worked well with our solar contractor. At the time we did our roof, we also quoted Elliott and Elliott ( and someone else who I cannot recall at this time). They were far cheaper than Elliott and Elliott. Leslie
Sept 2004

We were pleased with Jay's Roofing, a recommendation we found on this site. A friend was equally satisfied with his work. Sherry

July 2004

Jay Roofing is fantastic. He was half the price of another recommended roofer, and did more work. The quality was excellent, Jay was very prompt, and the work was very clean. Jay's english is not fantastic, but that's a minor issue. I recommend him VERY highly (and I'm a tough critic). Jay's number is: (510) 532-1975. Jamie

April 2004

Pacific Roofing in SF did a wonderful job. Quick, clean, warranteed. 415-822-7000. good luck

March 2004

Our roof has recently leaked, and we are in need of a good roofing contractor to give us an honest evaluation of what the problem might be and how to fix it. I suspect the problem has to do with gutters in two discrete locations. In the past I have called roofing contractors who want to charge me $400+ to come and do a comprehensive evaluation. I do not think we need that, and therefore obviously do not want to pay for it. I am happy to pay someone for their time, but I want someone who will come and evaluate the actual problem, not try to sell me a whole new roof that we do not need. Any recommendations?

I recommend Jay Roofing and Construction. His phone number is 510 532-1975. He was recommended to me by someone who claimed he did her roof for about half the price estimated by other roofers, and did an excellent job. I saw her roof and it was very complex, multiple dormers, valleys, and chimneys. When I replaced my roof last year I solicited a bid from him and sure enough, he came in about half of the other bids. He also did a good job, completed it on time, communicated ongoingly about issues such as dry rot, and found low cost solutions. wwl
I have been very happy with Ace Roofing. They're incredibly responsive, and have worked hard at solving my flat-roof problems. Bob's the owner - 521-0988. Nancy
October 2003

I would like to recommend a roofer/roofing company: Adrian Gomez Roofing 510-582-1892. He was my choice after meeting 3 roofers and obtaining 3 bids. His price was very reasonable. Adrian was so knowledgeable, pleasant, sincere and thorough. Overall, a painless experience. He helped us select a good color roof for our house. He removed 2 layers of asphalt shingles in one day- a messy job, but he left the premises very clean. He also went into the garage to thoroughly clean any debris that might have fallen. The workmanship on the roof was excellent. He replaced an area with wood rot and also painted all the aluminum vents so that it matched the roof. He also installed seamless gutters. We were delighted with the results and our neighbors noticed. One even hired him on the spot to work on her house. Adrian has since returned to make sure we were happy with the results. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Adrian. Teri

I highly recommend Jay Roofing and Construction, (510) 532-1975. He did a thorough job for a little over half the other bidders ($14,000 as compared to $24,000 including new seamless aluminum gutters and some dry rot repair) He is experienced, communicative and honest. A real gem. High and Dry in Berkeley
Bill Wong has been mentioned before but I just used him for my Office/Playroom. Very straight forward complete estimate; right in the middle of other estimates; knowledgeable and good suggestions; new roof looks great and no problems. Robert
July 2003

My home had a great roof, put on about 25-30 yrs. ago, long before I moved in. It has a couple of troubled spots and the chimney needs some work - and it's summer! - so I think this is the time to replace it. I live in Oakland. The roof has a tar and gravel but a lot of the gravel has come off. Any suggestions on a reliable company that does good work, that finishes a roof to last for a decent length of time? Does such a company exist? (I've heard horror stories). lydia

Hilderbrand Roofing does a great job. We had ours replaced, they had three layers of roofing to remove and they had to replaced most of the wood. They also put in new gutters, etc. They did an excellent job fast. His name is John Hilderbrand, phone 510-886-9300. If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me. Vyoos
We took a recommendation from this newsletter for EG roofing and were very pleased. We HIGHLY recommend EG Roofing 925.634.5276 (Licensed, insured and bonded!) They were SPEEDY - 2 days to do the job, TIDY(they swept up all the dust and debris, and went around and picked up all the stray nails), FRIENDLY, THOROUGH, and PROFESSIONAL. Their foreman was beyond good! They had a mishap that resulted in some work needing to be done on the sheetrock inside, and he made it look better than new. They were super kind about it, and made sure we understood that they would take care of -- and they did, above and beyond what was needed. Plus, in talking to the guys, they like working for the owner, they say he is fair, pays well, and is a good person to work for - they get benefits, and he has helped at least one of them to buy a house. He came out when we were at work, sent us the estimate the next day, and work started 2.5 weeks later. He also included a list of houses in the area that he has done so I could see the various types and colors of shingles, as well as a list of people to contact for reference. He didn't require payment until after the job was complete - he sent us an invoice. And his bid came in under what 2 other roofers estimated. He also does repairs and can do housing inspections. Satisfied with my roof
June 2003

Hello, I am looking for a good roofing company for my house in Moraga. I just moved to the area and would appreciate any reference that anyone can give. I am looking for a company that does honest, reliable work for a fair price with employees that are courteous and clean. At the same time, if you know of any roofing company that I should stay away from, please provide me their name(s) as well. Thank you in advance. Thuy

Hi -- We are undergoing a big house remodel which includes our roof. Last ear, before we were ready to do the project, we had a leak and my contractor had me call E Roofing. I think they are in Pleasant Hill or Concord. I called them, explaining that we were going to remodel next year, but that we had a leak -- we were interested in using them as they work with my contractor, etc ... The owner, Eric, told me that they would patch the roof for free if it were under $200; otherwise would give me an estimate. They patched it for about $100 (this was last year). They just finished roofing our house last week and they did the ENTIRE house in 2 days! There were 9 guys up on the roof working away all day and they got it done in a jiffy. Also, they were very friendly and courteous -- never heard a bad word or inappropriate music, etc ... Hope this helps! If you can't find the #, feel free to e-mail me and I will get it for you. Good luck! Trish
April 2003

We are looking for recommendations for roofers that service the Berkeley area. Unfortunately, the UC recommendation list has several roofers that do not service the East Bay and/or are no longer in service. Any information appreciated! melro

We really liked our roofer, Brian Wade of Wade Roofing, (510) 526-1117. They're located in Richmond, but do work in Berkeley, including our house and the house across the street. Very responsive to some unusual issues (removal of old asbestos roof, solar panels, etc.) Karen
I used Pacific Roofing company is SF (415-822-7000) and they were very good. Did a wonderful job in a very short time. Cleaned up perfectly, very accomodating and well within our budget. We had our roof done two years ago and recommend them highly. Liz
March 2003

We're getting bids from Collins roofers and Acker & Guerrero to put a new roof on our house. Does anyone have any input on these companies, good or bad? Is there anyone else you would recommend or warn against? Thanks. soggy dwellers

I can recommend roofers Acker & Guerrero. They pulled off three old layers of wood shingles, put down plywood, and installed a very nice for us roof 2 years ago. The roof is perfect, they kept the job site clean, they did the work quickly, and were a good price. They later did two more roofs in our neighborhood and our neighbors were also happy with them. I'd highly recommend them. On another note, if you're looking for gutters too, I suggest you shop around for gutter installers, their price seemed high and they were going to sub-contract it anyway. Hilary
Last fall, Acker & Guerrero replaced the rear roof of my house and the entire roof of the garage. I had the work done because it seemed time to do so and I wanted to take advantage of favorable home equity loan rates, so I wasn't dealing with actual leaks. As far as I can tell, they did a very good job. The only thing I wish I had asked (or had them warn me) about was the debris that was likely to fall in my attic as they banged away on the roof. Had I known, I would have covered much of what I store up there -- though nothing was ruined, only very dirty afterward. Lorraine
We had Collins Roofing replace a roof last year, and I would recommend them without hesitation. They did a fast, clean job for the best price of the several companies from which I got estimates. They installed both a roof and new gutters, neatly and properly done. They also left very little debris behind, and no particular garden damage. And to boot they were friendly and easy to deal with. Highly recommended. Kate
Feb. 2003

We are trying to find a very good roofer to give us a quote for 1) a new roof, and 2) just redoing the gutters. Thanks! Susan P.

I can recommend VA TONG ROOFING CO.
FAX 510 532 -1033 phone 510 693-1683 Address: 927 E. 23rd St Oakland, CA 94606
We had a new roof installed -- the crew worked very quickly and cleaned up well. It was five years ago, so I'm not sure if they are in the same location. It was a family owned business. Cornelia
Jan. 2003

I am looking for a roofer to put on a new roof and repair some rotting facia board. Can anyone recommend a roofer who will do a good job at a reasonable price? In need of roof repair!

Do yourself a favor: if you're looking for a roofer, call Mark Lencl. The scary thing about many roofers is that they'll count on your ignorance to tell you you need more work at a higher cost than is necessary. Mark Lencl is not only WAY too reasonably priced, but he is one of those kinds of people who is more than a roofer, he's a *craftsperson.* What I mean by that is that he takes immense pride in his work and has a ''thing'' about being honorable. He doesn't use any of the shoddy, cheap shortcuts that you will get with just about every contractor, he'll fix your roof the RIGHT way. He did my mom's roof, and she was THRILLED. We'll never use any one else (most of his customers are repeat customers). His number is: 510.763.7438 Best of luck! ~Alesia

2002 & Earlier

Sept. 2002

I'm looking for a recommendation for someone who can replace gutters and evaluate our roof before El Nino gets going. We live in No. Berkeley and appreciate this list so much- thanks Lisa

We used Nicholas Roofing (on San Pablo near University) for our El Cerrito house about a year ago. They were the lowest bid, took less than two days to complete the job *and* gave us a sturdy, waterproof attractive asphalt roof. They subcontracted the gutters which were a part of the total estimate. This company, too, was prompt and efficient. Dorothy
Aug. 2002

I've checked the archives and there's no mention of Acker & Guerrero Roof Company. I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has had work done by them, as their estimate is significantly lower than the other I received, and it's very tempting to hire them. Naturally, I'm wondering why it's so much lower, too. Thanks! Lorraine

We used Acker and Guerrero for our tar-and-gravel roof replacement about 6 or 7 years ago. They did the job in one day and left our yard, driveway, etc clean. The roof has not leaked at all since then. I would recommend them; their price was very reasonable compared to the other bid we got (that was a one-man outfit, highly recommended and a very nice guy, but we just couldn't afford him.) Lisa
June 2002

Tile Roofer

I've looked at all the past recommendations for roofers on the website but I wanted to know if anyone had any recommendations specifically for a tile roofer. I have a spanish style tile roof and I have heard that some roofers who are great with a regular shingle roof sometimes aren't so great with the tile. thanks for your help. - Patricia

I can reasonably recommend David Robles of Robles Roofing (925) 679-9131. We had our tile roof replaced earlier this year and had a tough time finding recommendations for good tile roofing companies. Robles and Flagler were the two companies that were recommended to us. We got references for both and there were pros and cons for both. We finally decided to get back in touch with the guy who inspected our house before purchase 8 years ago, who had David Robles do the original roof inspection at that time, and we ultimately decided to go with David and were happy with the results. - Shoshana

RE: the inquiry about Frederick's Roofing: I have known Frederick's Roofing (Greg and Nancy) for a good 12 years. They are good trustworthy and good people. Moreover Greg replaced my roof 5 years ago at a very reasonable cost. The work was done fast and there were no surprises. In the future I will first go to Frederick's for Roofing and Roof inspections. -Julene

We used Pacific Roofing Co. (415-822-7000) last year and they did an amazingly beautiful and quick job. We had asphalt shingle but their add says they do all kinds of roofing jobs. To boot, i found them in an SF consumer booklet afterwards and it rated them very highly. -Liz
We used Colonial Roofing when our roof leaked and they were great! They came when they said they would, were quick and clean and the job cost less than their quote. Their address is 4345 Cowell road, Concord, CA 94518 & phone (925) 676-5418. Katherine

I can heartily recommend Christoph Lars of Berkeley Roof Services. 524-2352. Very professional, tidy, efficient. He came highly recommended to me by our realtor and our home inspector. Not the cheapest, but among the best.

We hired a roofing company called Eliot and Eliot (or Elliot and Elliot). We were very pleased with the company.
Here is an excellent roofer, recommended to me by other UCB parents, who gives good advice, is very knowledgeable and reliable and has reasonable prices as well. We used him 5 months ago. His name is Bill Wong, Interstate Roofing Specialist Corp., 510-601-6369 or 510-639-0833.
Ginger (5/00)
Our 80-year-old house still had the original roof under 6 or 8 layers of shingles. In 4 days, Collins pulled it all off, put down plywood, felt, flashing, and a new roof, and did a really beautiful quality job. They also arranged for new gutters and had them installed within a couple weeks. Collins' bid was very competitive with the other bids we got - they were recommended to us by the wonderful Irish Sweep who patched up our chimney. The Collins are three brothers from Ireland, state licensed, with a professional team of workers. James Collins, whom we worked with, was friendly, soft spoken, and very efficient. I highly recommend them. Collins Roofing 482-2227
Jonah (Jan 00)
We bought a house last spring, which needed a roof. Both our housing inspector and realtor independently recommended the same roofer, Bill Wong, Interstate Roofers, 908-5178 or 261-0833. Wong was described to us as an up and coming roofer, who does great work. Wong told us up-front that he was not the cheapest roofer, but that he would make sure that we did not have to worry about any aspect of our roof for the next 40 years. Wong pointed to the roofs of neighbors, showing where contractors had cut corners. We hired Wong, and he did an excellent job, taking a number of initiatives that we had not even requested (painting our utility box, reanchoring a wobbly chimney, covering low-lying areas that were not part of the roof) and for which we were not charged. Despite having a somewhat complicated roof, the job took only three days, the workers were lovely (mostly Hong Kong immigrants), and there was no mess. We would recommend Bill Wong to anyone.

Kristina 7/99

We recently used Berkeley Roof Services to replace our three-ply tar and gravel roof. We solicited bids from several of the local companies (Elliot & Elliot, among others). BRS did not submit the lowest bid, but they were definitely competitive, and relative to other bidders, they were extremely responsive, professional and did an excellent job.

Sarah 9/99

I would recommend Faith Roofing, who did a small job for us last fall after another company had advised us to replace our entire roof when a leak developed over our kitchen. They did the work well and reasonably ($500!) and we have not had any problems since.

Faith Roofing 800-774-0322 The owner's name is She (pron. Shay) Lewis

Dorothea (7/99)

This co. did very good work: no problems with my roof so far. It's been 5 years since installed. IDEAL ROOFING 510-536-1111. JAMES MERLONE LIC #501411. 3140 CHAPMAN, OAKLAND 94601. Good Luck! Dorothea Dorenz Nicole 7/99

We had a good experience with Pacific Coast Roofing. They came in way under other bids, and did a reasonable job as scheduled. Brian Palkowski is the main guy and he's very pleasant. They do other stuff too, carpentry, fences, etc. Call Brian at 510-912-5454.

Laurie 9/99

We had good luck with Planchon roofing. They gave us a competitive bid (many roofers we called didn't even turn in a bid or return phone calls, even though they said they were interested). Planchon also completed the job quickly at the price we expected, and we feel they did a good job. Dominic 9/99

Robert Wright is a wonderful roofer. He re-roofed our house last winter and went above and beyond the call of duty in doing it. There were some leaks while it was underway, because it rained halfway through, and he came out one evening at 9:00pm to fix them. He was honest, affordable, and a pleasure to deal with. Because of that he's usually booked long in advance, but if you can get him I highly recommend him. His phone number is (510) 538-8074


From: Nancy (9/98)

Regarding the inquiry about inexpensive roof repairs: When I had an extremely minor roof repair job, I waited until one of my neighbors was having their roof redone. Then at lunch time, I went over to the job site and asked if anyone wanted to do a side job for me at the end of the day. One of the workers agreed and I paid him $25/hour plus materials to do a very minor repair job. He did it during his lunch hour over 2 days. I don't know if it applies to the situation described, but it worked for me.

From: Judith (11/98)

I wanted to recommend a roofer, Pat Rossen. My first encounter with him was when he did the inspection of the roof on my home when I was contemplating buying the home. Although the existing roof was old, he said it did not yet need replacing. Each year, for the next couple of years, he came by to inspect my roof at no charge. Only once did he suggest a minor repair around the chimney, for about $50. Finally, after I'd been in the house for five years, he said I should replace the roof. I sought bids from several roofers. Pat's was in the mid-range, and I had a great deal of confidence in him from the years I'd had him inspect the roof. His well-organized team of 7 men replaced my roof in only one day. Two retired neighbors had watched their work as it progressed. Both independently commented to me that Pat's men had done an excellent job. I'm pleased with the results, both structurally and visually. No problems during last year's exceptionally wet winter. Pat can be reached at (510) 525-1242.

Using an unlicensed roofer

Nov 2008

Please let me know the ''cons'' of using a roofer without a license. (There are related questions in the archives, but I don't see exactly this). I got bids from two licensed contractors--very efficient, professional, expensive. Polite but not a lot of discussion of options, very busy--basically they want to do everything 1000%. A gutter guy came and contradicted a lot of what they'd said. So now a great fellow came--experienced, professional, willing to work with materials up there that can be salvaged,said the same as what the other ones said but with more specifics, etc. etc.--the only thing is that he isn't licensed. I had an unlicensed fellow do landscaping for me that worked out fine. But a roof is a big job. Are there consequences in terms of...I don't know, self-employed taxes, selling the house, etc. that I should stay away from? He needs the work, I don't have a lot of money, and he's recommended by a gardener who has worked for me for some years. Of course I want to say yes to him, but...should I? Needing Cons to Balance My Pros

Sometimes an unlicensed worker is fine. But, there are more unknowns and more risks. Sometimes they are complete charlatans and crooks.

The most obvious drawback is that you have no recourse if things turn sour - he doesn't do the job well, he quits, he doesn't stand by his work, etc. You are just out of luck and probably out of money. I've had friends use unlicensed workers for big jobs (foundation) and it was a disaster, and they just had to eat the money they had already paid him, and then pay a new guy on top of it. Of course, there are many stories where it all worked out fine. It's a lottery.

The less obvious thing, which may not matter to you, is that you are knowingly hiring someone who is deliberately breaking the law. If he has helpers, they will not be covered by worker's comp insurance, since you need a license to get a policy. If they get injured on the job, then what?

If he has no license, he has no liability insurance. This is not against the law, but it may matter to you. If he screws up the job and damages something, or injures someone, there will be no insurance to pay for those things. It will fall to you the homeowner, unless he chooses to make good from his own pocket.

If he has no license, he will not pull a permit for the job. Technically, of course, a new roof is supposed to have a permit. Many people don't pull them because then they raise your taxes. This didn't used to be a problem, but when real estate is tighter, it may degrade the value of your improvements a little if you have done them withoout permits. I know this can be a big deal for something like an addition, since there is always the possibility that the city will ask you to remove the unpermitted work. I don't know if this has ever happened for just a reroof.

Maybe you could find out from him why he doesn't have a license. If he's good, and has a lot of experience, and knows his business, he could get a license. Why hasn't he?

And maybe you should get more than two quotes from licensed contractors. Of course their quotes are more than the unlicensed guy's - they are probably paying for worker's comp insurance and liability insurance and all the things that protect you and the workers that the unlicensed guy does not want to pay for.

Replacing a Wood Shake Roof

Nov 2009

I own a Tudor-style home designed by Henry Gutterson, located in the Berkeley hills (aka perennial fire area). It has a steeply-pitched wood shake roof (like the original), which I plan to replace within the next year. Two very reputable roofing contractors both recommended architectural asphalt shingles (e.g. Certainteed Presidential series) over using Class A built-up/rated wood shakes -- and even over replacing it with slate (both have done nice jobs with slate in my neighborhood).

The easy answer for me would be to go with the wood shakes (I have quotes - they're only marginally more expensive), since they would be true to Gutterson's original design and since the underlayment and fire retardant would build them up to a Class A fire rating. But both contractors seem so hesitant about that (shorter roof lifetime), I'm hesitant, too (although the existing wood shingles are about 25-30 years old). I've looked at a few homes with the Presidential asphalt shingles, and they actually look okay.

I have 3 questions for the wise group reading this: (1) Would it be an architectural travesty if I went with the asphalt tiles? (2) Would the investment in a slate roof be worthwhile? (I've owned the house 17 years and plan to be in it at least 12 more years.) (3) If I decided to add a solar component later, which roof would be best? - Looking for help with my analysis paralysis

You might also consider Eco-shake, which looks similar to wood shakes but is highly fire-resistant and made entirely from recycled materials. What's not to like? I learned about it from my brother, who is maintenance supervisor for a state park up north; they use it extensively for park buildings. Jennifer
Your analysis paralysis questions: (1) Would it be an architectural travesty if I went with the asphalt tiles? No - it wouldn't be a travesty but I agree that the wood shingles will look better (2) Would the investment in a slate roof be worthwhile? Slate is heavier than the other two alternatives, so it would be wise to consult with an engineer before deciding this, as your investment might have to include costs for roof strengthening. There are other considerations such as the neighborhood, curb appeal, etc. but this could be worth doing. (3) If I decided to add a solar component later, which roof would be best? If you're pretty sure you'll be adding a solar array later, it would be best to put in the roof mounts for a modular system now, regardless which roofing material you decide on. (Also) If you're serious about the solar, this impacts your choice: i.e. why pay for a more expensive roof if half of it is invisible?

Foam Roofs

(Also see advice below under Flat Roofs
Dec 2010

Has anyone had a foam roof installed on a flat roof? Did it help insulate against heat loss from the house? How did the cost compare to a regular reroofing? Who does these roofs? Any recommendations for whom to call? Thanks. Linda Foust linda

Hi Linda, I've rarely spec'd foam roofs, but I did contact Armstrong a couple of years ago. They were helpful. If it is just the insulation factor you are after, this will be an expensive option, but if there are drainage issues which develop on flat roofs, this is the way to go. Good Luck with this! AB
April 2007

Does anyone have experience with foam roofing? We live in a house with NO insulation in the ceiling, and no possibility of installing any, due to the way the ceiling is built: it's just tongue-in-groove wood with flat roofing materials directly on top. I'm wondering if foam roofing would provide some insulation. Also, how long does a foam roof last? Is it more expensive than regular (flat-roof) roofing? Do you know of a good roofer who installs it? Any problems with it? Thanks. Linda

HI Linda,

I had a foam roof in my last house. I had a flat roof with tar and gravel, and during the summer heat, it was like living under a hot tarmac. With a foam roof, the contractor put in sheets of foam first, then sealed it, then some sheeting, then tar and gravel. This allowed the roof to also be molded to some degree to allow water to drain properly.

Sadly, this was in Sacramento, and I don't know of anyone here. I was able to get an R-26 rating from the foam, so it made a huge difference, and my air conditioning bills showed it. So did my heating bills in the winter. Foam works. Just need to seal it well.

One thing, it's hard to detect leaks in foam... you never know where the water is entering and coming out. So.. make sure your contractor's references are checked and double checked. _R

We had a foam roof installed two years ago by DuraFoam out of San Mateo. Our tar and gravel flat roof had multiple leaks and years of poor repairs. Durafoam sprayed and inch or two of foam over it, then applied a UV protector on top of it. We've had no leaks, our heating/cooling costs are down, and it's much quieter. One drawback is that we can't hear the rain on the roof. They offer a 10 year warranty that is extended to 15 when they recoat after ten years. And they are diamond certified. We are happy.
October 2006

Our house has a flat uninsulated roof which gets the afternoon sun. The result is that it is frequently very hot inside, 80's and 90's, and stays that way long into the evening (the downstairs is cool, as there is no roof directly overhead.)

I have seen advertisements and read about sprayed foam roofs, which supposedly insulate very well in these types of situations. Two local roofers who utilize these roofs are Armstrong (they advertise constantly on the radio), and Durafoam.

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of sprayed foam roofs, and can comment on the pros and cons? Any experience with either of the two roofers mentioned above? Any other suggestions? Sweltering in Berkeley

My house had an ancient foam roof that had been installed by Armstrong when we moved in, so it's hard for me to say whether they did a good job. Yes, it was leaking all over the place, but it had long exceeded its lifespan. We hired Able Roofing to fix it, and they were critical of Armstrong's work, but then they're competitors! Able did an okay job once, a terrible job a year or so later, and then claimed to have gone out of business. I wouldn't trust them. So then we ended up with Abril Roofing. They were okay -- not terrific communicators, but the work is acceptable. (I listed their # in the archives a few years ago.) There are too few good choices for foam, since it's so specialized.

Here's what we think about foam -- it's ugly, it's expensive, and it's hard to work with (any time you make a penetration in the roof you need a specialist with a tank truck to seal it). But the insulative properties are awesome -- we live in Orinda, and the house stays nice and cool in the summer. anon

July 2004

Three different companies have worked on my house's foam roof, and I think we've finally found a winner with the third one, Abril Roofing. They're located in Concord, but they travel all over (my house is in Orinda -- Abril came out to fix some of the very shoddy work done by another company.) (925) 674-9128 anon

Flat Roofs

(Also see advice above under Foam Roofs

Roofer - General Roofing Co. - Flat Roofs - IB Sys

Nov 2011

Has anyone used General Roofing Co.? Did you have a good experience? Did you install the IB system? Thanks, Kim

Michael Green of Precision Roofing Co (510 436 7575) came out to give an estimate to fix a badly leaking skylight. He took a look at it, tested with a hose, and pointed out a couple of missing screws on the frame. He suggested I replace the screws and apply some caulk under two corner shims. That took care of it. All at no charge. Nice guy! Daniel

Flat Roof - what kind to get?

Nov 2011

Time for a new roof on our flat topped house. If you have researched the options, I'd like to know what you know about the various kinds of roofing available. Thanks very much. Leaking again.

Last winter I had my flat roof replaced. I got three estimates and not only was precision roofing reasonably priced, they were the only company to offer a 10 Yr guarantee against leaks, he even offered a 20 year guarantee if I called him to maintain it at 10 years. Plus Michael at precision was a pleasure to work with. I believe he did a 3 layer roof when others were only going to do 2. Dani

Need to replace our flat gravel roof with poor drainage

Jan 2011

We have a flat gravel roof with poor drainage. We will be needing a new roof soon and would love advice about any different kind of roof we can get. Our neighbor has a foam roof that was put on their flat roof and they love it but I've also heard negative reviews on foam roofs also. Suggestions and advice are appreciated. anon

I have a 'flat roof' which used to be a foam roof. I had it replaced this past summer with a torch-on membrane roof, which is performing well.

Previously when it rained, my old roof would drain very slowly, taking many hours to drain after the rain stopped. I thought that enlarging the scupper would help, and it did, but along with that and from talking to my roofing contractor, I found that my foam roof was soaking up water. So in essence, I had a bathtub up on my roof.

On the positive side, I think that foam roofs provide insulation value, like attic insulation.

I've been happy with my roofing contractor, Hernandez Roofing Service, located in San Leandro. I was referred to them by my general contractor, who has been using them exclusively for the past 10 years or so. The owner, Cris, is very friendly and helpful.

Good luck and I hope this helps! Ken

Foam roofs are o.k. but this is also an opportunity to get yourself an attic storage area, by changing to a pitched roof system. Just a thought. AB
May 2010

Our flat roof has sprung leaks in several places. I suspect that it will need replacing soon. What options are there to the tar and gravel? I'm hoping to find something that insulates well and can be combined with solar installation. Or do I keep patching it?

Sounds like a good candidate for a foam roof. There are many benefits of a foam roof vs. your standard tar and gravel roof.

1. Foam roof has an insulation value of R-7 per inch and is covered with an acrylic top coat that makes is a cool roof.

2. The foam roof is sprayed on and is an absolutely seamless system. Because there are no laps and seams, there are no weak points which means, NO LEAKS.

3. If you are considering a full roof replacement, usually you need to tear off the old roof prior to re-roofing. A foam roof can be installed over the old roof once the gravel has been removed. This of course, will save on labor costs & the environmental impact of disposing of the old roofing material.

4. Foam roofs last much longer than standard roofing materials.

Dec 2009

My flat roof needs to be re-done, and I'm wondering whether I should do a ''cool roof''. I don't have air conditioning, so it would necessarily save me much money, but it seems like the upstairs of the house would be cooler in the summer at least. Does anyone have any recommendations? My primary concern would be durability. Also, any recommendations for roofers would be welcome! Ready for a new roof

With a flat roof it should be no problem putting a light-colored capsheet on, or some of the specially designed highly reflective cap sheets, which would give you the cool reflectance that you want. It wouldn't bug your neighbors, like it might if you have a sloped roof with white shingles. Just talk to your roofer.

One suggestion that we did on our flat roof that made a huge difference for both heat and cold is to install rigid insulation under roofing. This is a 2'' thick rigid foam that gets nailed down onto the roof and then the built-up roofing is installed over it. We saw a big difference in our summer comfort, and in winter the house did not cool down overnight the way it had previously. Adds some cost but very worth it.

Feb 2008

Anyone able to recommend a roofer for a flat roofed bungalow? We have a dip where water pools, but otherwise I think the roof is in good shape. We are in the Oakland/San Leandro area. Thanks! anon

If the roof is fine except that it pools, you may not need any work done. It's kind of the nature of flat roofs to pool some water even when they've been done right. Flat roofing is inherently a a fairly poor design (a big area traps water and then it supposed to drain out of one or two 2-inch holes), and when the roof is working right there is some dependence on just evaporating water from the roof. If it's not leaking, it may be fine.
I used Jay's Roofing to replace my flat roof a couple of years ago. He was quick, professional, and very tidy. He was also the least expensive. He's located in Oakland. Phone number is (510) 532-1975. There are other rave reviews about him on BPN as well. LT
Excellent roofer (we went through 3 other ''reputable'' roofing companies in the East Bay before finding this guy) Bill Ricci- (415) 822-0600. He lives north of here but does roofing as far south as Palo Alto. He is TOPS. He goes up on your roof and takes digital images of the problem, then shows you the images on his computer to let you know what the problem is. He guarantees his work so if it did not stick (not our problem fortunately!) he will return. happy customer
March 2006

I have a flat roof over an old sunroom. I think it's basically flat sections of roofing with tarred seams. At the moment it is leaking rather spectacularly. The first guy who came to see it said his company didn't do piddly little jobs like this, and not to bother him unless I want to do the whole building. (I will, eventually, but not with Elliott) The second guy is unwilling to try tarring it, and was to get back to me about re-roofing only that area (but hasn't yet). Meanwhile it is still not water tight. I don't have much money for this project at this time, so the re-roofing just has to wait. Is there anyone who would just come and put some goop over the seams for now? I think it's all it really needs.

In response to the request for repair not replacement I recommend Michael Green who owns Precision Roofing 510-436-7575. I also had leaks in poorly constructed nearly flat roof and was frustratred to the point of wanting to replace parts of it. He came out and recommended repair only. He came on time, finished on time, cleaned up everything and left us toasty and dry. Not only that he warrantied the repair for five years! Next time I need roofing help or replacement he will be my first choice. jmz
I want to echo recommendations of Adrian Gomez Roofing, 510-582-1892. Others on the list have recommended him for large jobs, but I want to say that he's also great for smaller stuff. We had a leak that had grown worse through all the rains this winter. Collins Roofing didn't call back; Jay Roofing came out and nicely told us the roof needed to be patched, but that he wasn't interested. Adrian got right on it and patched the roof quickly -- and now that we're in the middle of our 2nd rainstorm since the roof was fixed, I can be sure that it's not gonna leak again! happy to be leak-free
We needed a quick patch to our flat roof. Eric Gascoyne from Ascential roofing came out and did a bid the day after calling him and fixed it the next day. He was friendly, professional, and bid us an excellent price. Ascential Roofing 510-652-3533. Stefanie
Nov 2005

In response to a question here this week: we learned about Berkeley Roof Services from UC Parents 4 or 5 years ago, and have been extremely pleased with the work done by them (Christoph Lars is the owners), (510) 524-2352. We have a large flat roof, that had some challenging problems, and while other roofers recommended a complete new roof, Christoph solved the problems in creative ways, and all has been well for five years. He does annual inspections and 'touch ups' at very modest cost. John

Feb 2005

Does anyone have a somewhat recent recommendation for a roofer that repairs and/or replaces flat roofs (tar and gravel). In calling around I have found that few people do this type of roof anymore. The one estimate I got was very expensive ($8,000 to replace), ($300 to look for leak). amy t

Beck Roofing in Hayward does tar & gravel roofs, and I would recommend them. We paid about $8K for a fairly large roof, so they are not cheap, but tar & gravel lasts longer than composite shingle roofs. DR

Tile Roof

March 2009

We bought our first home in October 2008, knowing we'd need to get the roof replaced soon-ish. Well, all the rain has moved that to the top priority on our list so we're looking for info.

We own a 1920s stucco/wood frame bungalow in Oakland. We currently have a shingle roof that's got four layers on it according to the home inspection report. The inspector we spoke to said to have them all removed and completely replace the roof. Is that necessary? Will it cost way more? Will we have major problems if we forgo his recommendation and stack another layer on?

Lastly, we think our house would look lovely with spanish tile roofing but we don't know anything about them. Any pros or cons to getting spanish tile versus 40 year shingles or something else? Any thoughts on how much either would cost. Our house is single-level and about 1200 square feet with moderate pitched roofs (not like a tudor, but not flat either) on a flat lot. Any advice or recommendations of great roofers would be appreciate as well. Thanks BPNers! Newbie to homeownership

Spanish tiles can be pretty but they are really heavy and shouldn't be put on a house that was not designed for them. If you are building a house from scratch and you want a tile roof, then the tile roof has to be installed before the windows are installed because the weight of the tile roof compresses the building's framing. There are new synthetic roofs that are not as heavy but be ready for sticker shock.

If you have 4 layers of old roofing on your roof it is heavy and is just creating spaces for water to accumulate. You really do need to strip them off. At the very least it makes for a bumpy surface and the new roof won't last as long because of it. If your roof doesn't have plywood on it then now is the time to do that as well. If you get a lot of sun I'd put in a radiant barrier as well. And it's most likely that you will also want to redo your gutters at this point... Paul

You may need to beef up your roof structure (and foundation) for a tile roof. Tile is much heavier than shingle - I would consult a structural engineer before embarking on this project. As you probably already know, it is also costlier although does last longer. Good luck! Architect
Spanish tiles roof looks great, however they can be quite heavy. Again, you have to consider whether your roof framing can take the weight. After all, you don't want to end up with sagging roof.

I'm a homeowner and also a structural engineer. I understand your concern about replacing the shingle roof entirely since it would probably be less expensive to just add another layer of shingle roof. However, adding another layer, on top of the 4 layers that are already there, would means that more weight is added to the roof framing. Your roof framing may not be strong enough to carry the added weight. I've seen situation where roof caved in and framing member just basically snapped only to find out there were multiple layers of roofing. In this case, I agree with your home inspector to replace the roofing.

In your situation, I suggest that you talk to a reliable roof contractor. He would be able to advise you which roof materials to use and what needs to be done if you opt for the spanish tile roof, and also any permit requirement. You might also want to call your local building department and see what you need to do if you were to replace the roof to a heavier roof materials. Not try to scare you, but they might ask for a structural evaluation of the existing roof for the new heavier load. I hope this helps. Goodluck!

Adding dormers to a roof

June 2007

I'm interested in adding dormers with windows to my roof at the same time as replacing the roof. I have a large attic which I'd like to expand by adding the dormers. I've called a couple of roofers, but have been told they don't do that kind of thing. Can anyone tell me how I should go about this? Do I need a separate contractor to build the dormers? -don't know where to start

Hi - how odd that I chose to read this BPN! My husband is a Framing Contractor and specializes in what is called roof cutting/stacking which is essentially the framing of the roof - in particular complex structures that involve compound angles converging (as in the addition of a dormer onto an exisintg roof - which is actually typically pretty simple). Anyhow - he is a true specialist and has been featured in articles and books on the subject and is amazingly kind and honest and a great person! (Nick - NM Ridge Construction) and our office is 510-558-0184. Thanks Sarah
A general contractor can take care of your project to add dormers and a new roof.
You will need a design/build company if you want to avoid paying high architect fees. Ideally, you would hire a General Contractor experienced in structural changes.

Attic Venting

August 2008

There is an attic space right off of my bedroom that we use for storage. It is unfinished. During warm/hot weather, the attic heats up and makes the upstairs unbearable. There is currently one small exhaust fan installed but it isn't doing much. Can you recommend a service or company to vent and properly remedy the problem? Thank you. Amy

Rule of thumb is about one square foot of venting for every hundred square feet of attic. More if your shingles are black. Contact any good roofer for attic vents. I suggest Shamus Collins. Cliff