10 Important Things To Consider When Replacing Your Roof

Posted by Marcos Bicalho

in Roofing

Important Things To Consider When Replacing Your Roof

No homeowner wants to replace the roof on their home. Replacing your roof is a significant investment that requires careful planning and consideration. To select the best option available among the many choices in roofing systems, there are many factors to consider.

Before you contact a roofing contractor to bid on the job, here are key topics that you should discuss with each of the contractors you interview for the job. This will make things a whole lot easier for you in the long run.

Plan for your roofing project

1. Assess the condition of your roof

First, you should determine whether you need to replace your roof. Roof replacement is a big investment so make sure it has to happen now. If your roof is more than 20 years old, check for the warning signs that your roof may need a replacement. If you are experiencing any of these issues, you should get your roof inspected. A reputable roofing contractor can inspect your roof and let you know its life expectancy.

Also have them inspect the roof frame when assessing the condition of your roof. Most people take a look at the plywood supporting the roof only when they discover leaks. But this approach can pave the way for problems. If the sheathing appears soft, broken, or disintegrating, the roof frame should be part of your roof replacement project. Timely detection of the leak in the roof frame can do wonders for prolonging the life of the roof. The chances of encountering a severe leak will also be reduced.

2. Choose the best roofing material for your home

Since you are getting a new roof, it makes sense to get something that will enhance the value of your property. Choosing the best roofing material can be tricky. The many choices in roofing materials can make the selection challenging. Traditional singles are still popular, but many other materials have also entered the equation. You have to consider all the options before deciding on the best roofing material for your building. Here are some of the most common choices you will be presented with.

  • Asphalt composition shingles: Asphalt shingles are an affordable option with many options available to give you the look you want.
  • Wood shakes or shingles: An attractive roofing option, wood shingles can be pricey. It is highly durable too. But the material isn’t the best choice for buildings or regions that are prone to fires.
  • Metal Roofing: More and more people are now installing steel and aluminum roofing because of its durability. While metal might seem expensive initially, metal has a longer life and is actually cost-effective over the long term.
  • Slate roofing: While it’s really attractive, slate can be a challenge to repair it when the need arises. Plus slate is among the most expensive options.
  • Composition slate: Recycled materials are used for making these synthetic shingles. They are light and durable, not to mention environment-friendly.

3. Understand the roofing process

While replacing the roof, you have two options:

  • Tear off the existing layer
  • Roof over the existing roof

You should know what the roofing contractor has in mind. Know that per the building code, a roof can’t have more than two shingle layers.

Applying a second layer of shingles on the roof isn’t always feasible. If your current roof has deteriorated, has structural damage or has mildew and mold on it, it’s best to peel off the old layer before new shingles are installed. In this case, ensure that your contractor will safely and responsibly dispose of the old roofing materials and follow all local regulations. Also, inquire about where the container will be placed. This will alert you if you need to be worried about any potential damages to your property.

If your roof is structurally sound with a little bit of wear, you can go for layering to save some money. But don’t forget that it’s a better option to remove the original layer, particularly if you live in an area with high winds. And if you live in a cold region, removing the old roof will allow them to install a water shield. This is a rubber membrane that minimizes the risk of leaks even in the presence of ice buildup.

You don’t need to know every detail about how to install a roof, but you should understand how the roofing contractor will get the job done. Knowing what the contractor is going to do will also help you know if the estimate makes sense as well.

4. Assess your budget

So, do a bit of research and get acquainted with the normal roofing process and the steps involved. This will help you determine which roofing contractor to select and know that your project is moving in the right direction.

Replacing your roof is a big project and according to the Cost vs. Value Report for the New England, the average cost to tear off and replace your asphalt roof is $34,537. This will give you a sense if the contractor is over or under-bidding the project.

Remember that there is a lot that contributes to the overall cost of roof replacement. This includes the material you select, the contractor you hire, the roof area, design, hidden damage that needs to be repaired, and so much more.

But remember you get what you pay for. So don’t sacrifice quality just to save a little money. Look for the best value and warranty for the price quoted. In order to get the best value, do not jump to the company with the lowest bid. Many times you end up spending more money to fix problems later. When homeowners do this, they often encounter problems and end up paying for work that could have been covered under a workmanship guarantee from an established GAF-certified roofing company.

5. Select the right roofing contractor

The right roofing contractor must be skilled in roofing installation, maintenance and repair services. You should hire only a trustworthy roofing company. Check reviews to ensure that they have a proven track record of expert work. You should also check for the following:

  • Insurance and Permits – If a roof installer is uninsured and an accident occurs at your residence, you could be liable as the homeowner. Find out if the roofer has an insurance certificate to prove they have current general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. You have the right to ask for insurance certificates and you can call the insurance carrier to verify their validity.
  • Permanence – Make sure that the professional roofing contractors have an established business and reputation in the community. Choose a roofing contractor that has been in business for a number of years and has a good track record. Your warranty on the installation is only as good as the longevity of the roofing company.
  • References – Make sure that the professional roofing contractors have an established business and reputation in the community. Ask your friends and family, neighbors, and business owners in your area. Read the contractor’s online reviews on sites such as Google. Check the Better Business Bureau for ratings and any complaints filed against them.
  • Check out their website – Be sure it is up-to-date and read their customers’ testimonials. Look for a portfolio or photo gallery of their work. See if they have dealt with your type of roofing problem before.

Don’t assume that all roofing companies are the same. Not all roofers work with all the materials available so check to be sure they can handle your roofing project. Shop around and weigh all your options.

6. Determine the warranty

Even if a roofing company can guarantee that the job will be done right the first time, be sure that the company warranties not only the roofing materials, but the workmanship. This way you can rest assured that the entire project will be covered should a defect or other issue arise in the future. GAF-certified roofers offer you the most warranty choices for your new roof. Additionally, GAF warranties are fully transferable, which can help you to sell your home at a later date.

7. Obtain the proper permits

Obtaining permits is a crucial step in ensuring that the roofing project complies with local building codes and regulations. It is crucial for the safety and structural integrity of the roof. By acquiring the necessary permits, the roofing company demonstrates their commitment to following the established standards and ensuring a properly constructed roof.

But it is also critical that the contractor pull the permit, not the homeowner. If you pull your own permit, you are responsible for any damages or injuries that may occur on your property. By entrusting the roofing company to obtain the permit, you transfer the responsibility to them. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing that the roofing project is being conducted in accordance with local laws and regulations and any issues will be handled by the roofing company.

8. Choose when you want to schedule the project

You have to determine the ideal time to schedule the project. It might be better to wait until the fall and even winter to get it done. The roofing season is usually April through October in New England and is when contractors are most in demand. It’s not surprising that they charge the most during this period too.

If you want to save money, you can hire a skilled roofing contractor during the off-season periods. It might also be better for your landscaping to have the work done once it has been cut back for the season. You can then make the most of the low prices they offer and have your house ready for spring. However, the weather will determine when the roofing contractor will be able to schedule your project.

9. Read and understand the contract terms and conditions

Finally, before you agree to work with any roofing contractors, be sure to get a detailed contract and read it carefully. Discuss the total cost of the project, including materials, labor, and any potential additional charges. It should contain specific details about the products being used, the cost of the replacement and the payment terms and options available. Some contractors may offer financing or payment plans, which can be beneficial for managing the cost of a roof replacement.

Ask questions about what work and materials are included in the price that you’ve been quoted, and which aspects of the roofing project might cost you extra. If you notice any issues, address them before signing. Having all of the details in a clear, written estimate BEFORE the work gets started makes sure everyone is on the same page and has the same expectations going into the project.

10. Avoid paying until your yard clean

Many times professional roofers will leave your property in better condition once the roof replacement is complete than it was when they started. Ask the contractor what their post-roof replacement cleaning process is. Make sure it includes these steps to your yard is clean.

  • Collect and dispose of any remaining debris, such as old shingles, nails and other materials used during the replacement to prevent any potential hazards.
  • Clean the gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage, prevent water damage and maintain the integrity of your new roof.
  • Thoroughly clean the surrounding areas of your property, including the windows, siding, and walkways, to remove any dirt or dust accumulated during the roof replacement process.
  • Collect nails and other metallic debris using magnetic sweepers that may have fallen during the roof replacement process to ensure the safety of your property.

Ensuring a thorough clean-up is just as crucial as the installation itself. Proper clean-up not only guarantees your safety and protects your property but also reflects the professionalism and commitment of your roofer. Make sure the contractor cleans up your property before you pay the final installment.

Do What’s Best For Your Roof

Investing in a new roof is about safeguarding your home and providing peace of mind for you and your family. By taking these factors into account and working with a reputable contractor, you can make an informed decision and ensure a smooth and efficient roof replacement process. Remember to prioritize quality, durability, and energy efficiency to protect your home and enhance its value for years to come.

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