Of all the many parts of a house, the roof is one of the most important. Not only does a roof keep out the elements, it represents nearly half (40 percent) of a home’s visual exterior and with such a high percentage, it plays a key role in a house’s overall aesthetics.
With a roof playing such an important role for a house, it’s important to keep it looking at and performing at its best. When it comes to roof replacement, there are many things to consider, whether you opt for self-repair or allow roofers to do the job.
One option for roof replacement is simply putting new roofing shingles over the old ones or reroofing. This option does eliminate some of costs associated with roof replacement and is a good idea if there are no major issues with your roof. Homes are allowed two layers of asphalt shingles and 80 percent of homes are covered with asphalt roofing shingles. Asphalt roofing shingles are long lasting, with a lifespan of anywhere from 20 to 50 years depending on the climate in which they are installed.
But reroofing is not without its drawbacks. Moisture and heat buildup can cut into the life of new shingles. In addition, putting new roofing shingles over old ones can cover up problems such as rot and sagging under the first layer of shingles that aren’t immediately detectable if the first layer of shingles isn’t removed.
Metal roofs are also an option. Up front, they may cost more, but metal roofs can be worth investing in. Metal roofs typically have a minimum of 25 percent recycled content and in some states, having a metal roof can lower the cost of your home owner’s insurance. Metal roofs are also more environmentally friendly. They can be put over an existing roof and eliminate the need for commercial roofing products which contribute billions of pounds of waste to landfills annually.
Keep an eye on costs
Replacing a roof is an essential home repair, but it can be an expensive one. If a new roof is the best option for your home, it’s important to do some homework beforehand to get a handle on the costs of the job.
Ideally, roof replacement isn’t a once-a-year type of repair, so paying for a long-lasting, durable roof replacement is another option to consider. Durability was picked by 88 percent of customers in a survey when they are choosing a new roof to buy. Longevity isn’t far behind and was chosen as the top factor by 83 percent of customers. While a brand new roof can be more expensive, it can pay off in the long run.
If roofers are tasked with the project, they will measure your roof size to get an idea of how much material is needed. They will also inspect your roof to determine what may need to be repaired in addition to putting on new shingles. A roof inspection for your home should happen at least once a year and a roofing company will look at factors such as ventilation, covering and wind resistance as they come with an estimate for the job.
Crossing the ‘I’s’ and dotting the ‘T’s’
While there are a lot of materials involved with a roof replacement project, it’s important to have the proper paperwork in order too. Make sure to have a building permit to help the roofer follow the building code in your area. A written contract is essential too as it spells out exactly what roofing contractors are doing and details all the products use and the total cost of the job. It is also important to have a letter from the roofer’s insurance company to make sure your roofing project is covered by that roofer’s liability plan.
If you’re considering roof replacement, there are low cost options that can save money, but may not be beneficial. A total roof replacement can be a better option, but it can come with higher costs and there’s a lot to consider before putting on a brand new roof. Having the proper paperwork in order is essential too and ensures that your job is covered by insurance, follows building codes and comes with a detailed estimate.