A roof replacement is one repair most homeowners will encounter in at least one home during their lifetime of home ownership. Don’t enter roof repair territory without taking time to research the process, the price, and the materials. If you’re a new homeowner, take advantage of resources designed to help if you're faced with repair or replacement of your roof. Here are things you should know before starting a roof job.
Know Your Roofer
Before you invite a roofing company onto your property, there are questions you should ask. These are questions that are designed to protect you as the homeowner. First, it’s essential to know whether your roofing company is insured. They must have liability insurance and provide workman’s compensation for their employees. You also should ask about their license. Many states require contractors to be licensed, so make sure you verify prior to signing a contract. Ask if the company can provide references and make a point to contact them.
Know the Price
The price of a roof replacement varies across the country, but it can also vary within the same region. According to HomeAdvisor, the “national average cost to replace a roof is $7,318.” Several variables determine the cost of a roof job. Materials make-up just a portion of the calculated costs. You may think the only materials needed are shingles. Flashing and gutters may also need to be replaced if they’re not in good condition. It’s also possible that you’ll replace fascia and soffits. Don’t forget to include removal of old materials, and finally, the cost of labor. The roofing company should give a breakdown but it’s important for the homeowner to know what they are paying for.
Know Ways to Keep Costs Down
Replacing a roof is a major financial investment. Don’t assume homeowner’s insurance will cover the costs. Usually insurance only covers replacement or repair due to certain types of damage, not normal wear and tear. If you’re funding the repair, consider tearing off the old materials yourself. Also see if building code in your area allows you to leave a layer of roofing materials underneath the new shingles. You could save a few thousand dollars. If you can afford it, think about using top shelf roofing materials. Why? It could save you money in the future. Starting with top-quality materials doesn’t always add a significant amount to the cost but saves in the long-run because materials will likely last longer.
Know the Paperwork Requirements
You can’t just start the job, most cities have building codes and other requirements that must be met before a roof replacement begins. The roofing company should know the requirements but ultimately, it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure all paperwork is complete. The contractor usually applies for the permit. Permits are insurance that the contractor follows building codes. A contract protects you and the roofing company. Your contract contains everything that’s been agreed to, including details of the job, materials used, and the cost. A letter verifying insurance coverage is also necessary. Make sure you don’t start the job before these documents are completed.
Be patient when planning a roof repair or replacement. Take time to understand building requirements, materials needed, and cost. If you take time to prepare for the process and cost the job will go smoothly and efficiently. Taking time to research each piece of the project pays off in the end with a job properly done.