When your roof is leaking, sagging, or the shingles are showing signs of deterioration then it is probably time to start thinking about putting on a new roof. There are many important factors to consider, such as choosing a roofing contractor and the condition of your existing roof, and these factors can affect the cost of your roof replacement. While some options may seem expensive, replacing your roof is a wise and often necessary investment, so you’ll want to make sure it’s done right. What are the factors involved in the cost of replacing your roof? Here are some of the most important aspects to consider.
Does Your Home Need a New Roof?
It’s important to keep an eye on your roof and replace it before it begins to leak. Roofs can last from 20 to 25 years before they deteriorate, but the harsh Texas weather (hail, winds, heat, etc.) can significantly impact a roof’s lifespan. Don’t wait for it to leak because you will end up spending more money in the long run. It isn’t cheap to make ceiling repairs.
A sagging roof with rotting shingles is a good sign that it needs to be replaced. One of the best ways to tell if your roof needs to be replaced is to go into the attic and look for sunlight shining through the ceiling. If you can see the sky, then it’s time to start looking for a reputable contractor.
Hiring a Reputable Contractor
A reputable contractor will have years of experience. A newer business may not be around if or when you have a problem. Be sure to get more than one estimate, and don’t hire the first contractor that gives you an estimate just because his prices are low. The cheapest isn’t always the best, so keep that in mind.
Ask for recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors–you can even ask around when you go to your local hardware store. Ask for references when getting an estimate. A contractor must be able to offer a warranty on the roof he replaces. Is it a long standing warranty? Does he offer a manufacturer’s warranty on the roofing materials he uses? Are his employees insured in case of an injury? All of these things are important when asking for estimates from a contractor.
What Type of Roof do You Want?
If you’re on a tight budget, standard asphalt shingles are the most affordable option, though they may not last as long as a standing metal roof or other alternative. A premium shingle will cost more but last longer. A standing seam metal roof can last as long as 50 years while a standard asphalt shingle roof can last up 20 to 25 years, depending on weather and climate conditions over time.
While considering the cost of replacing your roof remember to check your homeowners insurance policy. Was the roof damaged by inclement weather or was it damaged by a tree falling on it? Normal wear and tear of your roof will likely not be covered by your insurance company, so be sure to consult with your homeowners insurance agent. They can give you a clear idea of what their company will pay towards the replacement of your roof.
Materials Used When Replacing a Roof
There are other materials needed to replace a roof besides shingles. A wise contractor will need ridge capping, the underlayment or tar paper that goes underneath the shingles, a drip edge around the entire roof, necessary ventilation and material to seal off the area around the vents, an ice shield so that ice doesn’t build up under the shingles, and a water shield to protect the shingles from deteriorating when it rains. If the plywood underneath the shingles is damaged, it will also need to be replaced.
Questions the Contractor Considers
Of course you will want to ask your contractor what they will charge to replace your roof, but what all do these fees cover? Here’s some of the factors a contractor considers when they give you an estimate.
How big is the roof, and how long will it take to complete the job? They will charge for the square footage of the roof so that he knows how much material is needed.
Will the entire roof need to be replaced? What is the condition of the decking underneath the shingles? If they’re an experienced contractor they will go up on the roof and check the condition of the plywood.
They will charge for tearing off the old roof.
Is the roof easy to get to? Are there over hanging trees that may need to be removed?
How many vents, chimneys, or sky lights are there?
What is the pitch of the roof?
Does the roof have a lot of angles and valleys?
How many workers will they need to replace the roof?
The contractor will factor in the overhead of running his business. They many expenses, such as maintenance and insurance of vehicles, using a dump truck to dispose of the existing roof, hiring a crew to do the work and insuring them, office expenses, and more.
Can You Add a Second Layer of Shingles?
A reputable contractor will let you know if they can put a second layer of shingles on top of the old ones. They have to abide by the building codes in the area so if the old shingles have deteriorated, they will have to remove and replace them. Your roof will last longer if they do this, and your home will have much better curb appeal. Be cautious about considering roof replacement as a do-it-yourself project unless you are experienced in replacing a roof. You must obtain a permit, have the necessary tools, be cautious about working around electrical wiring, be able to dispose of the old roofing material, and be insured in case of an accident.