Like most major home improvement projects, roofing can be costly and if you’re like most people, replacing a roof is not something you do every day.
The fact is, most people only replace a roof once every fifteen to twenty years. Considering how all things change overtime, the roofing industry notwithstanding, we have put together a little guide to help homeowners take the best approach to a roof replacement.
Follow These Top 10 Money Saving Tips When Replacing Your Roof:
The Real Cost of a Roof-over
You may think you can save money with a “roof over” or by re-roofing – this means placing the new shingles directly over the old ones.
Yes, you can save money upfront in lower labor and disposal costs. However, the potential problems with a roof over outweigh the benefits and this method of reroofing is never advisable and here’s why:
- Roof overs actually reduce the life of new shingles by as much as 25% due to the extreme heat buildup in the summer with two layers of shingles on your roof.
- The additional heat build-up in the shingles will translate into additional heat in the interior- attic then main floors- of the home and transversely, impacts heating and cooling costs.
- Moisture from condensation can become a huge problem. Not only does this contribute to early deterioration of the shingle itself, it causes the underlying decking to rot and promotes mold growth and potentially unhealthy living conditions.
- When you have two layers of shingles, the additional weight strains the decking. Combine the extra weight with the moisture build up, your roof will sag and/or it will become wavy and unappealing.
- You’ll never get a workmanship warranty; a roof-over always impacts the manufacturer’s material warranty too. Check your shingle warranty to avoid loss of coverage due to a roof over.
Measuring your roof size
Roofing contractors will measure your roof and provide you an estimate based on the number of squares of roofing material required. A square is the amount of material needed to cover 100 square feet, so a roof with 20 squares has 2,000 square feet of surface area to be covered.
One element that contributes to the long life of your roof is proper ventilation. Insuring your roof system has the needed ventilation can modulate the attic temperatures during the summer and reduce moisture build up in winter. Ask your contractor what kind of venting is included with the roofing job to ensure your roof lasts a lifetime.
Repair the wood under the shingles
Part of professional roof repair is not only removing all the old shingles, but making any necessary repairs to the underlying wood. Make sure your contractor addresses this and allows for these types of repairs if needed in your agreement. Placing new shingles over faulty wood is never advisable and may reduce the life of the new roofing materials.
Shingles should never be affixed directly to raw wood on the roof. Protective barriers made of felt or other coverings provide additional ice and water shields needed to fully protect your home. This is especially important in areas with heavy rains or icy temperatures. Also ensure the contractor includes all the additional installation materials needed for a proper roof replacement such as fasteners, flashing and drip edges are a part of the price.
A properly functioning roof system will protect your home and possessions for years to come. Be sure you discuss what this assessment consists of and how your contractor will ensure that your new roof is completed to your satisfaction. Some contractors may even provide independent inspections and certifications for your complete peace of mind.
How much wind resistance do you need?
In evaluating the quality of the roofing materials and installation, the warranty and performance related to wind is a critical factor in evaluating what product to purchase. This is especially important in areas where hurricanes, tornados or other severe weather patterns can cause wind damage. Wind speed warranties can be as low as 60 miles per hour and up to 130 miles per hour. With proper installation, purchasing shingles with higher wind warranties can mean the difference between a new roof and complete protection should you experience severe weather.
Know your installation contractor
Is your contractor licensed and bonded? Does your contractor have adequate insurance? What warranties do they provide for materials and labor? Does the contractor obtain the proper permits and follow all local, regional codes and regulations? How reliable is the contractor? What work have they done in your area?
Warranties and after sale service
One of the most important elements of any home improvement project is the service you receive after the installation is complete. Does your contractor offer a standard warranty? What does that include: product, labor, parts? For what length of time does the warranty cover? Is there an extended warranty? What does that include? For how long? What does it cost? How are service calls requested? Is there a cost? Will the company be around for the next 10 years if you need them?
Price isn’t everything
The natural inclination is to find the lowest price. While price should be a consideration, the most important part of the decision should be value and return on investment. Will the contractor charge you a fair price and one that covers the cost of quality products and installation? Does the price cover all elements of your roof replacement including ventilation, protective coverings, fasteners, permits and inspections, flashing as well as removal and disposal of the old roofing material and delivery of new materials? Does the price cover all labor, project management and coordination? Are there allowances for unforeseen costs such as repair or replacement to underlying wood? Peace of mind, quality material and complete project specifications are as important and will provide you with a roof that lasts a lifetime.
At the Happy Roof Company, we want you to find the roofing contractor that is right for you. We believe that providing you all the resources and information to make an informed decision is right for you and for us.
We are confident that once you have this information you will know that when you trust the Happy Roof to complete your work, you will receive all the help you need through the process from the initial free sales consultation to the measurement and installation of your new roof and well beyond.
Our professional project consultants help you properly measure the roof, select colors and types of materials and much more to insure that the roof you install is both aesthetically appealing and durable.
We also provide a one stop resource for turnkey completion of your project including permitting, material measurements and ordering and professional project management.
Our project managers work with you every step of the way to insure the job is completed correctly and professionally. No need to worry about schedules and timelines, they have you covered.