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Roofing/Re-roofing and Solar

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Question
HI Aaron

I just volunteered for my HOA board and it is time for a new roof.  Tar and Gravel.  The board keeps dismissing a couple knowledgeable owners request to look into Solar.   I do not want to dismiss anyone or options. Would it be too expensive, as the old board says, to not only install Solar but a waste of time and money to look into it. Furthermore, they say it would cause glare to upper units and inhibit views. . .. All this is over my pay grade, so would we have to replace the roof anyway with a high added cost of adding solar?  A couple owners say it isn't just about saving energy, it is about the income Solar generates and would look better than our gravel roof. Can you recommend an agency,  roofers/solar companys . . . that can help me with all this.  And your opinion, advise. . .

Thank you, Gloria

Answer
Gloria,
You have a number of good questions. Depending on where you are located at in CA there are different rebates from the Government which will greatly influence your decision to add solar or not. Additionally the addition of solar may (and should) impact the type of roofing assembly that you install. We quite often work with HOA's where I live (Seattle) and we find that the project goes much better if you have a consultant on-board, working directly for the HOA helping you make these decisions. I'm a member of RCI (you can learn more by visiting RCI-Online.org) which is a great resource to find a consultant to help. I'd recommend visiting the website, on the right side click on Search RCI Member Directory, select California and under Designation select RRC (this stands for Registered Roof Consultant). You can narrow down the results by city to get close to you.
Once you have the list, let your fingers do the walking and call a couple of the consultants to see if there is one who works with condo HOA's and I'd recommend engaging with them for some help. Consultants are not cheap, but are quite well worth it, particularly with what you are thinking about doing. They should know the code requirements, structural needs and be able to recommend a good couple of contractors for you to use.
I don't want you to think that I'm just trying to pass the buck, or generate business for a fellow consultant. There are too many variables involved to be able to answer via email. The consultant will help you greatly and be worth the money that you pay for their services. This project is, and these are, questions that he likely deals with on a daily basis whereas your HOA only has to consider these questions once every 20-years or so.
This is an example of where the price to hire the professional is well worth the cost.
Please let me know if you need help narrowing down the list, or if you have further questions.
Good luck!
Aaron

Roofing

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Aaron Nelson

Expertise

All types of questions with regard to roofing, waterproofing and sheet metal. This includes commercial and residential buildings, along with the various aspects of the construction means and methods, ventilation, steep-slope or low-slope, code requirements, installation errors and other such problems

Experience

I started in roofing fabricating and installing sheet metal flashings out of high school for a large commercial contractor. I worked for the same contractor in the office estimating and project managing commercial project for 10 years. I left the construction side of roofing and now work as a roof consultant, which I have been doing for 8-years.

Organizations
RCI, Inc.

Education/Credentials
I am a Registered Roof Consultant (RRC) and a Registered Roof Observer (RRO) through RCI, Inc. RCI is a international group of building envelope professionals. I am an approved instructor for RCI educational programs.

Past/Present Clients
We have worked with many local school districts, insurance companies, HOA's, building management companies, and we have a national client with buildings located throughout the US.

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