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The Do's and Don'ts of Roof Replacement

roofing_image A roof replacement is a major home improvement project.  That is why it is important that homeowners spend time researching every aspect of the project from the roofing material you choose, to the shingle color, to the contractor completing the work. We’ve put together a list of helpful do’s and don’ts from beginning to end to help guide your way through the decision making process.

Roofing Materials

  • Do consider different material options. - You don't have to replace your existing roof with the exact same roofing material. Work with your contractor to discuss the best options for your region and budget.
  • Do select a desirable look. - A roof can last between 20 and 30 years (and steel roofs much longer), so it's important to pick one that maximizes your curb appeal. Consult with your contractor to view color and style options.
  • Don't go against the HOA. - Some HOAs have regulations that forbid certain materials, colors or styles.  There is nothing worse than putting an expensive new roof on your home only to realize that it is not allowed by the HOA and you will have to start over!
  • Do check wind and fire ratings. - Most roofing materials come with ratings which will tell you the resistance to wind and fire. Not all manufacturers submit their materials for such testing, but it is recommended that you select a product which has been rated.
  • Do consider an added layer. - In some cases, adding a second layer of roofing can help to extend the life of your new roof. Check with your contractor to see if this is a good choice for you.
  • Don't add layers without checking structural integrity. - Have the structural integrity of both your home and your roof tested prior to making any decisions about multi-layer roofing as this will add a significant weight load.  This also rings true if your contractor is considering leaving the existing roof in place and laying the new roof on top.

Roofing Contractor
  • Do check roofing contractor references. - The most effective way to get to know your roofing contractor is to find out what other people are saying. Take the time to read online reviews, ask around town and request customer testimonials from your contractor to ensure that they are the best company for the job.
  • Do request a detailed estimate. - Make sure that the estimate provided to you includes materials, time and labor as well as a projected start and finish date.  Get it in writing!
  • Don't allow a contractor to talk you into shortcuts. - Contractors sometimes try to lower costs by cutting corners on material expenses. Don’t try to save money or time on the installation of felt paper, starter shingles, flashing, or proper sealants and caulk.  You will end up paying for it down the road because your home will require new decking, new fascia, or even another new roof. 

Roofing Project Preparation
  • Do protect your yard. - Make sure to protect your yard from damage while the roofers are throwing the old shingles down from your roof.  Most contractors will protect plants and shrubberies with tarps - but if yours does not then be sure to take care of it for yourself.
  • Do prepare your home. - With an installation crew walking around on your roof and pounding away on hammers, you can expect a certain amount of vibrations and shaking in your home. Be sure to remove pictures from walls and pack away any fragile items that may fall from shelves prior to the start of the project.
  • Don't allow children to play near the work site. - Be sure to keep your children and pets away from the work zone at all times during the project. Materials thrown from the roof and loose nails in the yard can cause injury.  

Roofing Work Inspection
  • Do insist on safety. - Insist not only on looking at the contractor's licenses, bonding, and insurance policies, but also demand nothing less than optimum safety at your house. Be sure that safety regulations are followed.
  • Do make sure materials are what you paid for. - Inspect materials when they are delivered to your jobsite to ensure that they are the new, high quality materials you requested.  Confirm that you are getting what you paid for.
  • Don't allow ventilation to be blocked. - Make sure that your roof contractor doesn't block off any of the important ventilation systems from your home during the roofing process. This will cause problems over the long run such as ice damming or overheated/melting shingles which will reduce your roof's lifespan.

Windows on Washington is a customer service oriented company that prides itself on helping our customers through every aspect of their home improvement project.  We are there from you from the initial roofing inspection through the estimate, ordering, installation and aftercare.  We call this process the WoW Factor!  Give us a call today to see what the WoW Factor can do for you!

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Topics: Roofing