Shingles, tiles, tar, nails … a lot goes into installing a new roof. For most homeowners, a new roof will be a reality at some point, whether you are buying a fixer-upper, or have decided to stay in your forever home. The life span of a roof can fluctuate depending on this type of roof you have installed, and is always guaranteed to be a high-dollar repair. It’s important to plan ahead and know what kind of roof you want, which one is the best for your home and your needs, and what the installation process entails. Read on and we’ll show you all of the things to consider when it’s time for your home to get a roof upgrade.
Roofing Material Types
Knowing what type of material you wish to use is the first step when installing a new roof, and homeowners have many to choose from. Here are three of the most popular materials:
Tile Roof: Sophistication and durability are the name of the game when you choose slate or ceramic tile roofing. Though tile roofing may make your home appear upscale and stylish, the reason to choose them is not just for good looks. Tile roofs are less vulnerable to rot, are fire resistant and easy to maintain, and in some cases, can last for up to 100 years. Plus, with the wide variety of materials and colors available, you’ll be able to customize your finished look. Tile roofs may not be the best option for homes that experience extreme weather changes, however, and are also heavy and one of the more expensive roofing options.
Shingle Roof: Asphalt shingle roofs are by far the most popular option for homeowners, and offers the durability and cost-effectiveness that your home and budget may need. Installation is easy, and there are a wide variety of shingle colors and styles for you to choose from. On average, an asphalt tile roof will last about 20 years if properly cared for.
Metal Roof: Lightweight, environmentally friendly, and long-lasting, metal roofing is becoming more and more popular among homeowners. Metal shingles and sheeting are lightweight and require little maintenance, however, because they can be difficult to work with, may require a specialist to install. Over time, as a metal roof loses its shine, it can be painted to help restore and refresh its look.
If you’re doing a home renovation, making necessary updates to your roof, or constructing a brand new house, roof design is something else for you to keep in mind. Most people don’t realize that changing the look of your roof could give the exterior of your home a whole new look. Adding dormers to your roof is an easy way to add character, or adding decorative elements to your gables can create a finished, sophisticated feel. While you’re in the process of picking out new roofing materials, also give architectural additions and details consideration in your overall finished project.
When installing a new roof, make sure that a call to your homeowner’s insurance is on your to-do checklist. Be sure to let them know what materials you are choosing to see if the type of roof you’ll have installed is covered under your policy. Some eco-friendly materials unfortunately do not meet up to the standards of some homeowner’s insurance companies, so be sure to call ahead before you make your final choice. In most cases, adding a new roof adds value to your home, which may result in a cost deduction in your overall plan.
Research Roofing Companies
Once you have decided on a budget, materials and style for your new roof, it’s time to start your search for a reputable contractor to do the work. Word of mouth from friends and neighbors, online reviews and research through the Better Business Bureau are all good ways to help you decide who to hire. Get two or three quotes from the most reputable companies in your area with availability in your time frame to help you make your final decision.
Contractor? Check. Price quote? Check. Financing? Well, maybe you don’t have that figured out just yet. If you’re replacing your roof due to damage, your insurance company may have already cut you a check to do the job. If so … proceed! If not, decide on how much of the work you can pay out of pocket, and how much you’ll need to have financed. You’ll need to be ready with a check to pay for the work immediately after it’s completed, so visit your bank and obtain a loan well before the agreed upon start date of your project.
If you find that your expectations, budget and cost of the overall project don’t align, now is the time to go back to the drawing board.
New roof installations are noisy! Not surprisingly, lots of hammering, banging, moving around and general commotion goes into tiling and shingling. If you work from home, or typically spend your day there, it may be a good time to head into the office or to your nearest cafe instead. In most cases, roofs can be installed in as little as 1-2 days, so you won’t be put out for too long. Either way, be prepared for a little bit of a leftover mess, like wayward roofing nails, dust and general debris.
You may wish to board or remove skittish pets during this time, as the noise and excitement may be distressing to them. You’ll also want to secure your outside areas, and move cars, boats or other items away from your property to avoid damage. You may also want to consider alerting your close neighbors to your upcoming roofing project so they can be prepared to experience a few noisy days ahead.
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Effort, time and money go into installing a new roof, but if you prepare yourself properly, the process can be a breeze. Do your research, be mindful when picking out materials and styles and you’ll enjoy a beautiful, functional new roof that will do more than just keep you covered.