Home-ownership can be a fantastic experience filled with lots of joy and pride. For most homeowners, however, roof replacement projects are not something they usually enjoy.
Roof Replacements – A Homeowners Guide
With the many storms we see in Texas, just about everyone’s roof in the area will need replacing at some point. But, roof repairs and replacements can be an expensive endeavor, costing an average of around $10,000 for small to medium size homes. This is a pretty significant investment, so make sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck with the following tips!
How to know if you need a replacement
Some indicators like visible cracks and leaking are a sure sign it’s time to replace your roof. But how do you know when is the right time if your roof looks fine overall? The first question you need to ask is how old your current roof is. The average lifespan is 20-25 years, so it might be time to have it inspected if you are approaching that. Another indicator is if you can see missing shingles, moss, or mold growth. These things shouldn’t be ignored since water damage can cause your roof to sag- leading to a much higher replacement bill.
Choose the best materials
Roofs should be a one-time investment that’ll last as long as you live in this house. So don’t skimp on the quality -go for quality materials. Adding an extra thousand or so dollars to get lasting materials like 50-year shingles with copper flashing can ensure that you won’t ever have to deal with replacing the roof again! As a bonus, your house will sport a more architectural look versus traditional asphalt shingles. Avoid stretching your wallet in the future for another roof replacement by choosing better quality today.
Should you layer or replace?
Take advantage of the roof replacement to inspect the supporting plywood. More often than not, the old decking will be worn out and need patchwork or even replacement. While it might be tempting to layer on top of your current roof, especially if your shingles are not asphalt, the cons far outweigh the pros. The aging support plywood might not be able to take on the added weight of the second layer of shingles. The original layer can also start curling, making the surface highly uneven and putting your new roof layer in danger of sliding off. Even though removing the original layer might require you to strip the plywood decking completely, consider replacing instead of layering, which could save you significant time in the long run.
Look around for the best contractor
There are plenty of roofing contractors to choose from, so make sure you shop around and get quotes from various businesses for your project before choosing. It may be tempting to go for the company that offers you the cheapest prices, but you’ll be getting what you pay for and most likely regret it soon after.
Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous roofing companies running roofing scams on homeowners. Be very cautious of the following:
- Storm chasers– these companies send reps into neighborhoods recently hit by storms offering significant discounts and fast repairs. Often, the homeowner is left with subpar repairs or even paying for repairs or replacements that were not necessary.
- No deductible– Any roofing company that offers to handle your insurance claim or pay your deductible for you is a red flag. This just means they will either take shortcuts on the repairs or increase the amount charged to your insurance company.
- Lowest bids– Roofing companies often offer the lowest bid either by lowering the quality of the material they use or the workers they employ. When it comes to a long-term investment like roofs, sign a contract with a company only after exhaustive research of their reviews.
- Unlicensed contractors – Always check to ensure the roofing company you select is licensed in your state (if required in your state) and fully covered with liability insurance. You may get a great quote and a promise of ‘lots of experience,’ but these contractors should be avoided.
- Asking for complete payment upfront – You should never pay for the total cost of the job upfront – with any contractor, much less roofing companies. Payments should be established upfront at the contract stage, with final payment released after the roof passes inspection.
In general, it is best to work through your homeowner’s insurance company for roof repairs and replacements to help protect you against roofing scams. Additionally, check the Better Business Bureau for reports on any contractor you are considering before a contract is signed.
Plan for the work
Roof replacement is a very loud procedure and involves a lot of hammering. If you have kids or pets in the house, plan ahead and make reservations to stay somewhere else to avoid headaches from the noise. It’s also a good practice to let your neighbors know of the upcoming work and to expect a few loud days.
Removing your shingles or plywood is going to create a clutter of nails and debris. Talk with your contractor beforehand to ensure that they will be taking care of this before they leave. They have a powerful magnet that can quickly and safely clear the mess, so you don’t have to worry about your feet or tires.
Make sure all the documents are in order
Roof replacements are a significant undertaking, so in addition to the actual roofing contract, you will need a building permit to ensure your roof warranty remains valid. Don’t forget to get proof that the contractor’s insurance company covers your project.
Want more information on roofing contractors in our area? Give us a call; we’ll be happy to provide you with a copy of our Homeowner Supplier Resource Guide.
About the Judi Wright Team
Judi Wright/The Judi Wright Team is a real estate group specializing in the suburbs of Frisco, Plano, and surrounding areas. Named the “Best Realtor in Dallas,” by D Magazine fifteen times and a Five Star Realtor with Texas Monthly ten times. Judi is also a Company-Wide Top Performer with Ebby Halliday, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate.