Perhaps one of the biggest (and often most nerve-wracking) home improvement projects you can undertake is a roof replacement. Not only is a roof replacement one of the more expensive home improvement projects, according to Angie’s List, it can also be one of the most disruptive to your everyday life. That is not to say you should not replace your roof if it is showing signs of disrepair, as the benefits far outweigh the perceived headaches. The good news is that headaches can be avoided and your roof replacement can remain stress-free if you take the time to answer these six important questions first.
How Long Do I Want My New Roof to Last?
Most modern roofs last anywhere between 10 and 50 years, depending on the composition and quality of the materials you use. Roofing materials that routinely last 50 years or more are going to be more expensive than materials with a considerably shorter lifespan. It is a good idea to take longevity into account when establishing your budget, as it is an investment that you may need to repeat if you intend to live in your home for a long time.
What is the Best Material to Use?
There are a variety of roofing materials on the market, including asphalt, metal, clay, plastic polymer, concrete, metal and cedar. Each option has vastly different lifespans, insulation levels, weight and cost. A qualified and experienced roofing contractor can help advise you on your options and which is the best material to suit your home, style and budget.
Can the Roofing Frame I Currently Have Support My New Roof?
While you might like the look of clay tile, you need to consider whether your current roofing frame can support the heavy weight of clay. It is vital you ensure that the frame is adequate for the proposed load of the new roof. Again, the right roofing contractor will be able to help ascertain if your desired roofing material will work within your existing frame.
Do I Have the Best Offer?
The price of a new roof depends on many factors, which is why it is vital you do your homework and get a quote from more than just one roofing contractor. It is also wise to check the background and reputation of the contractors you are considering. Yelp, Angie’s List, Houzz, Facebook and Home Advisor are all great places to look for reviews from existing clients that demonstrate a proven track record of successfully completed projects. Be wary of contractors that offer low bids, as they are often using cheaper materials and labor to cut corners, which will cost you more in the long-run.
Does the Old Roof Need to Come Off?
While it is possible to avoid the cost of removing an existing roof by having a contractor lay the new materials right on top, you need to confirm that the roofing frame can hold the additional weight of this new layer. If you do choose to remove the existing roofing materials, do not forget to factor in the extra cost for labor and disposal and additional time required.
Roofing Insulation and Ventilation – is it Important?
While a lot of time and emphasis is often placed on the roofing material, it is also important to take into consideration insulation and ventilation. When replacing your roof, it is often the best time to consider installing proper insulation. The additional and easy access to your roof and attic can be very helpful to an insulation contractor. The benefit of proper insulation is that it will more effectively regulate the temperature of your home, which saves money on utility bills while also increasing your comfort. At the same time, make sure you get a detailed description of your contractor’s proposed ventilation plan. Not considering the ventilation of the roof can lead to serious problems down the road, including mold, condensation problems, ice damming and more.