When it comes to home renovations, few projects are larger or more expensive than a roof replacement. However, the importance of investing in a high quality roof truly cannot be overstated. A roof protects what most consider to be their most valuable financial asset – not only does it preserve a home’s condition, it also significantly influences its value.
Many homeowners don’t pay much attention to the day-to-day state of their roof until there is a problem. After all, few things can truly wreak havoc on home like a faulty roof. But the truth is that roofs don’t last forever and replacing one requires a significant investment and a lot of upfront research. By understanding the factors that determine the timing and price of a roof replacement as well as the step by step process involved, homeowners can effectively manage costs while ensuring that they’re invested in a high quality roof replacement.
Do I Need A Roof Replacement?
Deciding when it’s time for a roof replacement isn’t an exact science and several indicators should be taken into consideration. Waiting for a significant leak or a complete roof failure can lead to damage in other areas of the home, which can end up costing you more than the roof replacement itself. Getting ahead of large problems can save you a significant amount of money down the line; however, acting too soon may not be the best financial decision either. Consider the following tips when determining your roof’s life expectancy.
- There is water or sunlight coming into your attic.
- Your roof is older than 20 years old.
- Neighbors are replacing roofs on homes around the same age as yours.
- Your shingles are warped, buckling or cracked.
- Your roof is drooping or sagging.
- There are patches of shingles missing from your roof.
- There is moss or algae growing from your roof.
How Much Does a Roof Replacement Cost?
Once you have determined a roof replacement is necessary, it’s time to get an estimate. Replacing a roof is generally one of the most expensive renovation projects a homeowner will face. Several factors will influence the final price tag including roof materials, the size of the roof, the steepness or pitch of your roof, and the roofing contractor that you ultimately select to do the work:
Roofing materials significantly impact the overall cost of the roof replacement. Asphalt shingles are usually the least expensive option. Asphalt shingles are typically offered in higher grades (40, 50 year shingles) with costs increasing based on durability and longevity. On the other hand, wood, steel, or aluminum shingles are typically more expensive than asphalt. Slate, clay, or concrete tile roofs often offer more durability, but are the most expensive options.
One element that can significantly impact both labor costs is the angle of your roof, which is also referred to as the pitch. A roof’s pitch is calculated by dividing the horizontal run by the roof span (the distance between outside walls). Most roofs have a pitch between 4/12 and 9/12, and the steeper a roof’s pitch, the more complicated, time-consuming, and expensive the roof replacement will be.
The Roofing Contractor
With so many contractors on the market today, finding a highly skilled roofer can be a difficult task. While higher quality contractors are more expensive, it is more important to find someone who will do the work right instead of shopping for cost savings. The consequences of a bad roof replacement can be far more expensive than the cost of a good roofer. Ask around for multiple quotes and be very wary of low bids. Consider asking friends, family, or neighbors for recommendations.
Time Of Year
The busiest “roofing season” extends from late spring to early fall when the weather is warm and dry. During this time contractor rates will be at a premium. If you’re open to replacing your roof in early spring or late fall, you may be able to score lower rates from contractors due to lower demand in the market. However, you may also face weather challenges, so consider a skilled team capable of completing the work as quickly as possible.
What Is The Roof Replacement Process?
A full roof replacement is a complex project. Even if you’re planning to hire a contractor, it can be helpful for homeowners to understand the step by step process. By learning how a roof replacement is done, you can make better informed decisions about both costs associated with a roof replacement and the contractors that they choose to hire.
- Shingle removal and waste disposal. Step one is removing and disposing of existing materials. All shingles, flashing, and drip edging must be removed from the existing roof. Most contractors will place a large dumpster near the side of the home for accessible disposal. The process is messy and leaves debris throughout your yard. It’s important to protect your lawn and shrubs with tarps or covering during the shingle removal process.
- Roof bed repair. After the shingles and edging are removed, the roof bed should be inspected thoroughly and any sheathing that contains cracks, holes, rot, or water damage should be replaced.
- Change the flashing. Flashing is placed over the roof’s joints to keep water out. If flashing appears to be old or damaged, replace as necessary.
- Underlayment and drip edge installment. The next step is to place underlayment over the roof bed, which serves as a waterproof barrier that protects homes from leaks and severe weather. Once it is stapled into place, a drip edge must be applied over the underlayment and around the edge of the roof.
- Apply roof covering. Last and most importantly, roofing material is installed over the underlayment. Shingles and tiles are applied to the roof starting with the eaves and working up to the peak of the roof. Additional flashing is installed around chimneys or skylights to prevent gaps, and the ridge vents should be installed along the peak to promote air circulation in the attic.
Replacing a roof is expensive and finding the right contractor can be a frustrating process, but by doing your research and understanding the process, you will be able to hire the right company at the right price. Having a high quality roof will not only let you sleep better at night, it will also protect your financial investment and increase the overall value of your home. Contact us at Native Building Services to learn more.