If there is one renovation project most long term homeowners dread – it’s a roof replacement. As one of the most expensive, time consuming, and complex home improvement tasks, pursuing a roof replacement is a big decision and not one to be taken lightly. Not only is it a large upfront investment, but your home’s roof has a significant impact on its long term value and overall condition.
With so much at stake, a roof replacement may seem daunting. While it’s not recommended to undertake this task unless you’re a skilled, licensed professional there are steps every homeowner can take to set up the project for success. By being well prepared prior to construction and conducting proper research in advance, you can minimize risk and ensure the project is as streamlined and as stress free as possible. Below are four ways to prepare for an upcoming roof replacement.
1. Select the Right Materials
Once you’ve decided to pursue a roof replacement, the first and most important step is to select the right materials. Roofs in Oviedo, Florida must be sturdy and capable of withstanding a wide range of elements throughout the year, including high speed winds, heavy downpours, and extreme heat. As a result, the roofing materials are very important to the long term health of the roof. Below are three of the most highly recommended roofing materials for an Oviedo, Florida climate:
- Clay Tiles – If you’re looking for durability, clay tiles are probably the best choice as they are known to last well over 100 years. While clay can be more expensive in the short term (costs range from $1,000 to $1,800 per square), the durability can provide big savings down the line. Clay tiles are capable of withstanding most elements including strong hurricane winds and extreme heat. They are also not susceptible to fire, rot, and pests.
- Concrete Tiles – Concrete tiles are also a great choice, but they can be less durable than clay tiles. However, they can still go a long way towards protecting your home from severe elements such as hail, wind, and fire. They have about a 50 year lifespan and run about half the price of clay tiles ($700 – $1,000 per square).
- Metal Roofs – Both durable and environmentally friendly, metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular. They typically last about 50 to 60 years, but the downside is that unlike concrete tiles, metal roofs can be dented or damaged by falling trees or other debris. However, they’re especially good for sunny climates and can actually reduce energy costs by reflecting sunlight as opposed to absorbing it. At $200-$500 per square, they are much less expensive than concrete or clay tiles.
Shingles are a less expensive option; however, they have a shorter lifespan, especially in hot, humid clients. Heavy moisture can lead to rot and they are less capable of withstanding high wind speeds.
Roofing materials not only impact quality and durability, but they play a large role in the aesthetic value of your home as well. Your roof makes up a significant part of your home’s facade, so it’s important the material colors match the home’s exterior. It’s a good idea to do online research or check out what looks good on other homes before making a decision.
2. Shop Around
Once you’ve selected roof materials, it’s time to set a budget for your roof replacement and search for the right contractor. While there are ways to save money on a roof replacement, cutting costs on a contractor is generally not recommended. Because this is a long term investment, it’s important to pay for quality work up front. Hiring an unskilled contractor to do a roof replacement at a discount rate can have financial consequences down the line. However, it’s still important to shop around. By seeking multiple quotes from reputable contractors, you can establish a benchmark on pricing and deliverables, which can help prevent you from paying too much for your roof replacement. Just be sure to be wary of low bids.
Also be sure to check your homeowners policy. While most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover roof replacements due to deterioration from aging or neglect, many do cover them when damage is caused by a sudden accident or act of nature. If your roof is damaged from large hail or a falling tree, be sure to take pictures and maintain documentation.
3. Choose the Right Contractor
After identifying several potential contractors and requesting quotes, it’s time to narrow down your choices. Finding a winning combination of extensive experience, a good reputation, and reasonable pricing is the key. Below are some tips to consider during your search for the right contractor:
- Seek referrals from friends, family, and neighbors.
- Check online reviews and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings.
- Setup interviews / appointments with contractors.
- Verify that the contractor is licensed and insured.
- Ask for references or testimonials from satisfied customers.
Once you’ve selected a contractor, be sure to take as much time as you need to carefully review the contract and warranty. Don’t hesitate to ask the contractor questions if you’re not clear on specific terms or deliverables.
4. Prepare Your Property For Your Roof Replacement
There are many steps homeowners should take to prepare their property for an upcoming roof replacement. Being ready before the work begins can help the project go as quickly and efficiently as possible. Additionally, it’s always important to make sure your roof is accessible to contractors and your personal property is protected.
Tips for Outside Preparation
- Relocate vehicles so contractors have an easily accessible parking space.
- Move patio furniture away from the house.
- Ensure satellite dishes are removed from the roof (and call your cable provider to schedule reinstallation).
- Make sure surrounding shrubs and bushes are covered.
- Remove or mark any hazards from your yard such as toys, sprinklers, or ponds.
- Ensure contractors have easy access to an internal or external power source.
- Cut your grass before work starts, so that you can easily locate nails and debris after the project is complete.
Tips for Inside Preparation
- Remove valuables from the attic and cover other items to protect them from falling debris.
- Remove vehicles and valuables from your garage.
- Remove wall art, as roof work may cause vibrations throughout the home.
- Protect windows with boarding to prevent damage during the roof removal process.
- Consider relocating animals and children during the roof replacement, as the process can be noisy.
It’s also a good idea to let your neighbors know when the roof work will begin so they can prepare for possible noise and disruption.
At the end of the day, preparing for an upcoming roof replacement is the best way to ensure the project goes as smoothly as possible. If you’re considering a roof replacement for your Oviedo, Florida home, call us at Native Building Services & Roofing today. We have over 30 years of construction experience and specialize roof replacements, insurance claim repairs, and new construction roofing.