Your roof is one of the most critical components of your home. It serves many purposes. After all, it’s what keeps water out of your house and protects you and your family from the elements. Of course, no one wants to have to pay to replace their roof, but the damage which can be cause from having a faulty roof can end up substantially costlier than the expense needed to protect your home and all your valuables in it. Replacing a roof can typically cost anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000 on the average home. Still, having a beautiful roof that fortifies your home is well worth the cost.
For that kind of money, you want to make sure job is done right. So just what do you need to consider to make sure you are making the best decisions for your home and your wallet?
Always Shop Around
Many homeowners choose their roofer based largely on price. And likewise, many roofing contractors hire low-wage workers so they can perform their services at the lowest price possible. Sometimes customer satisfaction or quality will suffer as replacing a roof is an infrequent job, only done once every couple decades. We’re not trying to scare you, just to say that you anyone buying a roof should be very cautious of who you decide to hire. In addition to asking the company for references from some of their clients, always ask around for references from a source you trust. It’s a good idea to check major roofing manufacturer websites (certainteed.com, gaf.com, owenscorning.com) for lists of certified installers. Scout their website and check out their reputations on Angie’s List, along with their backgrounds on ContractorCheck, suggests Stockbridge, Mass., general contractor Jay Rhind.
Old Vs. New
You’re permitted to have two layers of asphalt shingles on your roof, so as long as there’s only one layer in place now, you can have a new layer installed overtop the old. This little trick can save your around $1,000 and a fair bit of mess, but it means the roofer can’t inspect and repair the decking and flashing underneath. There’s a time and place for this technique though. If you live in a cold climate, stripping away the old roof allows the contractor to install ice and water shields. These rubber membranes are used to prevent leaks at the eaves in the event of ice buildup.
There are three essential documents you need to play close attention to. The first is your building permit. Most cities require this for a roofing project; this can help to ensure that your contractor follows building code. The second is a written contract that specifies all the agreed-to terms of the project, including the products to be used and the cost. Finally, a letter which is addressed to you from the contractor’s insurance stating that the specific job is covered under their compensation and liability plan.