In: Real Estate

8 Things You Should Know Before You Replace Your Roof

With roof replacement costs anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000, this is arguably one of the most expensive home improvement projects.

Replacing your roof is a major undertaking. But it’s also well worth the investment. It not only protects you from the elements but affects curb appeal and the overall value of your home.

Do you want to replace your roof? Here are eight things you need to know before you embark on the project.

1. Choosing the Right Roofing Company

While there are a lot of roofing companies out there, finding an affordable one that fits your needs will take time and effort. In your search for a reputable roofing company, consider:

• Asking for recommendations from friends and family
• Going online and searching for roofing companies in your area

When you identify a potential roofing company, it’s time to determine if their work will meet your expectations. Vet them using a few of these suggestions:

• How many years experience do they have?
• Do they offer other services outside of replacement?
• What types of roofing materials do they offer?
• Are their prices fair and affordable?
• Are they licensed and bonded?
• Can they obtain the necessary permits for the job?
• Do they offer free consultations?

Another great resource is online reviews. Be sure to see what other customers are saying about them in terms of reliability. If they didn’t deliver on their promise for other customers, chances are, they won’t for you either.

2. Price Isn’t Everything

While it’s essential to consider price, an often overlooked factor is if you’re getting a return on your investment.

Essentially, you want a fair price that delivers a quality product and includes installation. When you get estimates, ask whether the price covers all roof replacement elements including:

• Ventilation
• Protective coverings
• Fasteners
• Inspections and permits
• Flashing
• Removal and disposal of the old roof
• Delivery of new materials

You should also inquire about if pricing covers all labor and project management. Additionally, find out what happens when there are unforeseen costs such as repairing or replacing underlying wood.

In an attempt to save money, some homeowners may decide to place new shingles directly over the old ones. This is known as a roof over. While this technique can save you labor and disposal costs at the time, it can result in problems in the future.

For example, subsequent moisture and heat build-up can significantly shorten the lifetime of the new shingles. That’s why it’s advisable not to do a roof over and to explicitly tell your contractor the same.

3. Know Roof Size Lingo

A roofing contractor usually measures your roof then provides you with an estimate depending on the number of ‘squares’ of roofing materials needed.

A square refers to the amount of material required to cover 100 square feet. For example, if your roof measures 2,000 square feet, then you will need 20 squares of roofing material.

4. Need for Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation, or lack thereof, is often the biggest factor determining the longevity of your roof. As such, it’s important that your roof has adequate ventilation.

This will help modulate temperatures in the attic during the summer while reducing moisture buildup during the winter.

Be sure to ask your contractor about what type of ventilation methods they use.

5. Repairing Wood Under the Shingles

A major part of any professional roof repair is to not only remove all the old shingles but to also make any necessary repairs to the wood lying beneath.

Make sure your agreement states that your contractor will perform this job, as well as any other repairs that might surface as the project gets underway.

As mentioned earlier, placing new shingles over faulty wood is not recommended since it can be a detriment to the longevity of your new roofing materials.

6. Protective Coverings

It’s also important to know that shingles should never be placed directly onto the raw wood of your roof. Your roof needs protective barriers to protect your home from water and ice.

These types of shields are especially important in areas that have icy temperatures or heavy rains.

Additionally, make sure that the contractor includes all the necessary materials required for roof replacement in the quote. This might include drip edges, fasteners, and flashing. All those should be part of the price.

7. Inspections

Since you want your roof to serve you for potentially decades, you want to be sure that it meets the necessary standards.

Ask your contractor about assessing the roof upon completion to guarantee it meets your satisfaction. A good contractor will allow for an independent inspection to evaluate their work.

This inspection will cover roofing materials and the quality of the installation, as well as the roof’s performance in severe weather.

8. Warranties and After Sales Services

One of the most telling signs of a good contractor is that they offer a warranty on their services. Nonetheless, you should know the particulars of their warranty, such as:

• What it includes
• How long it’s viable
• If there is an extended warranty and what it includes

Roof replacement is a costly endeavor and a lifelong investment for some. Therefore, you need a contractor who will take care of you long after the project is over.

Do Not Hesitate to Replace Your Roof

About 7% of American homes have their roofs replaced every year due to several factors including extreme weather, old age, or poor craftsmanship.

The most important factor of roof replacement is finding a reputable professional to tackle this monumental project. Not only will they help you now, but they should also help address recurring problems in the future.