At Kodiak Roofing we’re always watching new roofs being installed whether they are 10 feet above the ground on top of a hail damaged home in west metro Denver, or atop the newest skyscraper in Denver on 15th Street. And just when you thought the cranes and new development in Denver couldn’t speed up anymore, 2018’s proposed projects will have some of the more impactful additions to the Denver skyline. To take a look at the outlook of the skyline to come, click on the link below to check out the full scoop at DenverInfill.com. And from everyone at Kodiak Roofing, happy New Year’s!
Denver residents are typically accustomed to enduring some pretty heavy snowfalls that arrive at least once a year as we get all get ready for a potential incoming 8″-12″ of snow overnight tonight. Older Denver residents probably remember the snowfall in March of 2003 that left over 30″ of snow but where does that storm and tonight’s stack up against the largest snowfall’s Denver has made snowmen in? Check out the table below and also The Denver Post front page from Denver’s largest snow storm from 1913.
Also lately, Kodiak Roofing has been installing snow stop and snow guards on many commercial and residential roofs to prevent snow slides from damaging gutters and properties. If you or someone you know is having these problems, give us a call!
Since Elon Musk announced Tesla’s introduction of their solar roof tile’s, Kodiak has fielded many inquiries about the products, it’s viability and costs. Being based in the Denver metro area, many homeowners are often looking to take advantage of one of Colorado’s best assets, it’s 300 days of sunshine, so we thought we’d give a rundown of what we feel Colorado consumers can expect once the product does launch.
Of all the claims made by Musk about Tesla’s roof products, there’s one claim that’s most questionable and we won’t really have an answer until the product actually rolls out to market. This is probably the most critical response to the announcement of what seems to be a pretty incredible product. Musk claimed that the Tesla solar roof would be “less than the price of a regular roof when accounting for energy generation” and then since then has gone on to make the claim that the roof would cost less than an average roof even before any energy savings were beginning to be accounted for right at the outset of the install. As a roofer this is where we have some speculation on the validity of Musk’s latest great idea. From a roofer’s standpoint, when we see a product installed with such a great amount of pieces to it we understand that labor install costs begin to rise and with comparable products such as a DaVinci synthetic slate product, wood shake, or concrete tile, roofing companies can expect installation labor costs to be up to double the cost of your standard asphalt shingle install. So this leads us to wonder if Musk is comparing his average cost of a roof to only a not so average product. I’m sure being in California where concrete tile roofs are more common than the rest of the country east of California may make him assume that’s the average product, but then again Musk is the closest person we have to a real life Tony Stark and probably does have his own version J.A.R.V.I.S. who would help understand tile isn’t the norm for the rest of the country. But aside from only the labor install costs expecting to be higher than your standard asphalt roof, it would be a wonder if the product itself cost less than your average asphalt shingle as well. All this still not accounting for added need for an electrician. All in all as a roofer it’s quite extremely difficult to imagine a world where this product is actually less expensive than an average asphalt roof. It’s conceivable that the solar roof could be less than your standard concrete tile roof, but then again your standard tile roof typically costs three times as much as your normal asphalt roof. So we’d like to hear what Musk considers an “average” roof.
While Musk has most certainly given the solar roof tile the most amount of publicity and notoriety it has ever had, this most certainly isn’t the first one that’s come along. There have been many before that have come and have gone just as swiftly. Dow’s most recent attempt was one of the more successful attempts that have fallen flat very quickly. One thing is for sure about Tesla’s solar roof tiles is they are quite easily the most aesthetically pleasing roof mounted solar anything (panels, tiles, shingles) that we have seen and actually in some instances more aesthetically pleasing than a good majority of what’s available currently and is probably our favorite aspect of it. The texture glass tile in particular looks quite amazing in the photos we have seen. But unfortunately, good looks don’t always equal what you want like a beautifully restored classic car with a neglected engine restoration might leave you on the side of the road, or some of the ex-girlfriends of our staff, we hope this product has more substance. From the very limited visibility of the product itself there are only two questions we can raise at this point on the actual product itself.
The first concern is the products durability. What most people don’t realize is that your shingles, wood shakes, and concrete tiles are actually what is considered a sacrificial layer designed to endure and withstand nature’s fury protecting the underlayment laying below which is what actually is designed to keep your home dry. But those that live all along the front range understand that sometimes that sacrificial layer is often times sacrificed. About every eight years to be precise. Colorado’s hail climate brings the average life of a Colorado asphalt roof to a short span of just eight years and for wood shakes and tile roofs we’ve seen about an average of 15-20 years for shakes and about 25 years for tile before we get one of those hailstorms with baseball size hail that destroys just about anything rooftop. Now Tesla has tested their tile dropping a weight on it and concrete tiles as well and while the weight destroys the concrete tile, the Tesla tile stands intact. Seems all great, right? The problem with these tests is they don’t very often duplicate all real world scenarios and very often we have found these tests to be dubious marketing ploys to prove a product better than it really is. Just ask us about 99% of the Class IV “impact resistant” shingles on the market today. That’s not to say Tesla’s solar tiles won’t withstand nature’s worst, but not until it’s actually endured it will we feel confident in it’s durability. The other aspect of Colorado’s hail that we get to be considered is not if it destroys the tiles but if it damages or compromises it’s energy generating capability and how insurers are going to consider coverage for that loss (a good question for your insurance broker among the many others you should ask your Kodiak rep about before buying homeowner’s insurace).
The second concern is more related to the install. The curiosity we have about the product is every example Tesla has shown is for straight, gable to gable roofs. Throw in a hip or valley cut to the roof’s design and we wonder how the product will install when you have to cut a solar tile at an angle to accommodate the valley or hip. Again, we’ll just have to wait and see as the product rolls out.
Beyond these concerns and curiosities, we at Kodiak most certainly are excited to see such an incredible product and do very much have a high anticipation to get our hands on them and hopefully become a certified installer of the products they offer. Anything we can do to help add more solar energy to this country’s massive energy consumption we’re all for it. But only time will tell.
Kodiak Roofing has fast been putting on new roof tops all over the Denver metro area, but that’s not all of the high elevation construction going on in the metro area. If you haven’t visited the downtown areas of Denver or even Cherry Creek, there’s so much development going on that the cityscape is hardly recognizable from month to month. The editors over at Denver Infill have gotten their hands on a bunch of future renderings of some bird’s eye views of what downtown and Cherry Creek’s future skyline’s will look like. Take a look at all eight of them below by following the link to their post.
Imagine a swarm of 10,000-15,000 honey bees making a home up on the roof of your own home? Would you be welcoming to the honey pot upstairs or frightened of being stung by a bee for the first time since you spent your summer days out playing in the yard as a kid?
Well, Union Station shows no fear of bees as they have provided a home for some 12,000 honey bees on the roof of the newly renovated and developed downtown attraction. But fear not, the bees atop the Union Station pose no threat to Denver residents visiting Union Station according to John-Mark Larter, director of hospitality at Union Station. No word on any threat to non residents though. Larter stated “they are sort of an insulated operation up there.” The honey from the bees are expected to make their ways to local restaurants and are good example of helping maintain the contribution to pollination that this environmentally protected species so importantly provides.
Check out the photo below from businessden.com
A fair portion of the business that Kodiak Roofing does seems to come from rental properties. Whether it’s from one of the wonderful property managers we have built relationships with or a real estate agent representing an owner cashing in their rental property in today’s hot real estate market, we have been finding many costs that could have been avoided had someone had the right conversation with the investors in years prior.
As most Denver metro residents are becoming very aware, the one insurance claim a home owner is most likely to make is a hail claim. Following one of these crushing hail storms very many of these rental property owners come to us for their storm damaged roof replacement expecting their insurance to cover these costs. Unfortunately, we have seen the insurance coverage landscape change dramatically for many in the metro area and in particular for rental property investors, and find these policy coverages leaving investors standing with a much larger portion of their repair bills. One client that sustained severe damage from the September 29th, 2014 storm came to find that her rental property insurance coverage left her with out of pocket costs with a 1% deductible and policy exclusions for necessary components that she was responsible for 58% of the replacement bill. On your average roof replacement with her coverages that could have left her with $5000-$6500 in costs. Sadly this isn’t scenario is not a rare outlier for investors. More and more we are seeing these types of coverages because investor’s insurance agents aren’t properly informing their clients of what coverages an investor actually needs to obtain when purchasing an insurance policy. So what are these coverages you ask?
Well I’m glad you’ve kept reading to find out. There are certain insurance providers out there that will only write very minimal coverage policies for investor/rental properties. The first step we would recommend is contacting us so that we can connect you with an insurance broker who will write a policy that isn’t restricted to only writing policies with minimal coverages. From there we would recommend to work with these brokers and ask for a policy that includes the following:
- A specific hail/wind deductible amount (this deductible is very often different than your regular policy deductible) that is actually affordable for you that you could gather this amount in about 1-3 months time to pay for any repairs after a severe storm.
- Full replacement cost coverage (or RCV coverage). This is very important to have to ensure that if you are having repairs done to a part of your home that has lived most of it’s purposeful life, that your insurance doesn’t depreciate the value it’s condition so low that you end up stuck holding thousands of dollars in costs.
- Ordinance or law coverage (better known as code upgrade coverage). This endorsement covers the costs of repairs to bring up any parts of your home that have new building code requirements that were different than when your home was built. Very often we find homes in Denver that need new plywood decking and those costs alone can run up to $2000-$3000.
- Never agree to cosmetic waivers. Some newer policies want to exclude cost for repairs to home if something is only cosmetically damaged. Some roofing systems will sustain damages that don’t cause functional damage, but then greatly compromise the appearance of your home, leaving it unappealing to potential renters or buyers.
As always, if you ever have any questions about your roof contact us and we’ll be happy to answer all of your needs. And further, if you would like for us to review what coverages you have for your rental property policy, or even you own home’s policy, feel free to reach out to us for experienced advice.