St. John’s Lutheran Church (Sanctuary and West Wing) Roof Project History


In 2018, the sanctuary roof at St. John’s suffered wind damage requiring minor repairs. Damage was repaired with an insurance payment, but the roofing repair contractor suggested looking into a roof replacement based on the age of the roof. Our best calculation at that time was that the shingles on the roof were last replaced between 1985 and 1989, making the roof somewhere near 34 years old. Higher quality roofing shingles are typically rated for no longer than a 30-year service life, meaning the roof is more than likely past its rated service life.

Because of the pitch of the roof and the existing foam sheathing on the roof deck, Council had an architectural firm, CORE Design Group, look at the existing configuration of the roof in late 2019. CORE came back with a modified design to supply better ventilation and a better nailing surface for the shingles, which required a new laminated roofing board for the sanctuary roof. CORE was then tasked to prepare a set of bid documents for replacement of the sanctuary and west wing roofs. The original planned delivery date for the bid document was early spring of 2020. Due to the COVID pandemic, the delivery of the bid documents was delayed a year to early spring of 2021.

In the spring of 2021, bid documents were sent to six local commercial roofers in Pennsylvania. Two attended the pre-bid conference, and only one, Heidler Roofing Services, Inc., submitted a bid of $375,200. Not knowing whether this was a reasonable price, Council continued to solicit a second bid from the other company that attended the pre-bid. After several months, D&D Scarborough Inc., submitted a bid of $213,519. Still not knowing if this was a reasonable price, Council solicited bids from four other commercial roofers in Maryland. Only one, Cox Roofing, attended an additional pre-bid meeting at the church and eventually submitted a bid of $213,615.

In late 2019, St. John’s Lutheran Church started a fundraising appeal to raise money for the roof project. A goal of $125k was targeted which would consist of realizing the gains from our investment account plus the fund-raising appeal. To date, roughly $105k was raised for the project. Later this year, at the annual congregational meeting, Council will discuss making up the difference in the roof cost with a loan.

We want to remind everyone that September’s special giving envelope will go toward the roof fund. In addition, you can continue to make direct donations to the roof fund by marking it on your weekly envelope. We thank you for your continued giving. Keep in mind, material costs have been rising and the $213k is just a target amount. The total may be even higher when we rebid the work in the spring of 2022.