The foundation and the roof are the two most important parts of your home. For the sake of this article we’re going to focus on the roof. All things considered, the roof keeps water out of the building and helps protect us from the elements. And keeping in mind that no one likes paying to replace an entire roof, the basic function of the roof and the beauty it brings to your home ought to help forego the agony of burning through $8,000 to $20,000 on the work. (Cost can vary greatly depending on the size of the home and materials used)
For that sort of cash, you need to be on top of your game which means making sure the job is done right the first time. This is what you need to know.
1. Do Your Homework
Some roofers don’t stress over customer loyalty since roof replacement only happens once a decade or more, which implies they don’t need repeat business. However, smart homeowners know that once the roof is replaced you need to be on a regular maintenance schedule with a quality roofer. Furthermore, numerous homeowners (erroneously) pick their roofer based on how cheap they are, and many fly-by-night roofers employ low-wage workers so they can undercut reputable roofing companies, which ultimately leaves you with an end product you’re not happy with. All this in consideration: You should be… to a large degree cautious with the roofer you select. Get references from neighbors (or builders or lumberyards) that you trust, and check roofing material manufacturers and national roofer organization websites (gaf.com, duro-last.com, nrca.com) for certified roofers. Then ask for customer references from anybody you’re thinking about. Reviews, always check reviews, but understand places like Angie’s List and Home Advisor are tricky for contractors. They require a lot from contractors….a lot of their money and time. Your most reliable resource will no doubt be the large trade organizations, material suppliers, neighbors and friends. These materials companies and trade organizations know their business, and a neighbor or friend will give you the straight scoop on their experience.
2. Strip away the old
You’re allowed to have two layers of asphalt shingles on your roof, so if there’s just a single layer up now, you can have another layer placed on top of it. That will keep about $1,000 in your pocket, however it implies the roofer can’t investigate and repair the decking and flashing under it. Tearing off layers gets significantly more muddled if you have materials other than asphalt shingles up there: If you can see wood shingles on the underside of your rooftop when you’re up in the upper room, you’ll be required to remove everything, as well as to lay new plywood decking, all of which likely adds $5,000 or more to your expenses.
3. “It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little.” ~John Ruskin
To ensure you get this done right the first time—and add huge benefits when you go to sell your home—go for the best materials. Go for the 50 year shingles (shingles with the longest accessible guarantee add only $300 to $500 to your total cost) with a “design” look (different colors and thickness that gives it an upscale character for only $250 to $750 additional cost). You’ll also want to get copper flashing, it’s the best material for fixing the joints where a roof meets a wall, this might be $1,000 or more than aluminum.
4. Focus on the fine print
It’s a pretty quick job—two to five days, depending upon the size and style of the roof. At the end of the day roofing involves a lot of money and a huge liability. The three most important documents: 1) Your building permit; this will guarantee that your roofer is following the building codes. Besides, if you don’t get the permit it will probably void your warranty. 2) A written contract that defines all of the details agreed to including products used and cost. 3) A letter from the roofer’s insurance company addressed to you telling you that the project is covered under the roofers workers comp and liability plan.
5. It ain’t over…..’til it’s over
If you’ve just had your roof replaced you have about 10 bazillion nails in your grass, the mulch, the bushes, driveway….they’re everywhere! Any roofer worth their salt will pull out the giant magnet sweeper and go through every inch of your property to pick them up. DO NOT PAY until you see them with the magnets, unless you enjoy flat tires and a tetanus shot or two…(Ugh!). So if your roofer is swinging by to pick up final payment and your standing in a sea of nails tell him to bring the magnet to wrap up a job well done.
If you are considering replacing your roof and have a few questions contact Ja-Mar roofing and one of our roofing professionals would be glad to answer them.