A roof is one of the most important components of your home, offering protection from the elements for you, your family, your pets, and the house itself. Because of this, homeowners naturally want to ensure that their roof is structurally sound, long-lasting, and aesthetically pleasing.
However, most homeowners do not have much experience with roofs, so when repairs or a full roof replacement are necessary, they need guidance. This is where a reputable roofing company can be useful. Experienced roofing contractors can do inspections, make recommendations, and provide suggestions when it comes to the best roof for your home. Here are a few things that you will want to consider:
- Which roofing material will work best given the design of my home, the geographic location, and the neighborhood?
- What is the life expectancy of the roofing materials I am considering?
- Are there warranties on the materials and labor?
- Is the roof system structurally sound and able to handle the weight of whatever roofing material I choose?
- How often should I expect to need roofing services like maintenance, inspections, or repairs?
- How much protection will the roof offer against potential severe weather events that might happen in my area?
- How do the slope and other elements of the roofing system, such as skylights or chimneys, affect my choices?
- Will a new roof offer any financial benefits, such as reduced energy costs or homeowners insurance discounts?
- Are there any limitations to my choices due to local building codes or homeowners association rules?
- What is the upfront cost for materials, permits, installation, and cleanup?
- How does the lifetime cost of the roof compare with other options?
Should I Hire a Roofer or Do It Myself?
Some roofing jobs can be done by homeowners who have the right knowledge, skills, and tools. Replacing a few shingles or sealing flashing are reasonably straightforward, but if you are considering doing a full roof replacement on your own, it is important to keep a few things in mind:
- Working on an elevated, sloped surface can be very dangerous. Accidents and even death are not uncommon, even among experienced roofing professionals.
- Even the most modest repair work needs to be done correctly to minimize the possibility of problems later on.
- Roofing materials are heavy, and they must be moved to the rooftop. Even lightweight asphalt shingles come in heavy bundles, and other options can be significantly heavier and more cumbersome.
- Special tools are sometimes needed. Beyond a ladder or scaffolding, doing a roof yourself might mean that you need a roofer's "flat bar," saws, and special nails or other fasteners.
- Larger roof repairs or full replacements can take days to complete, even for professional roofers.
- Roofing a house is more than just adding shingles; it involves all the elements of the entire roofing system, including the roof deck, underlayment, flashing, vents, and ridge caps.
- DIY repairs do not come with a warranty on labor, even if the materials are warranted.
- Homeowners insurance may not cover repairs or roof replacement unless it is done by a licensed roofing contractor.
While the upfront cost savings can make doing your own roofing work attractive, the downsides often tilt the decision toward hiring a professional.
Every roof job is different, but here is an example of the steps involved in a basic asphalt shingle roof replacement:
- Take measurements to determine how much materials you need to purchase. This includes not only the visible, outer roofing, but also nails, sealant, underlayment, drip edge, and flashing.
- Ensure that you have the proper equipment and tools - ladders/scaffolding, hammer, stapler or nailer, saw, utility knife, tarps, and work gloves.
- Arrange for the transport and proper disposal of old roofing materials.
- Plan the work for a time when the weather will not hinder the process.
- Remove the old roof.
- Install underlayment and, if needed, tar paper.
- Install the drip edge along the eaves and flashing as needed around chimneys, skylights, and other protrusions.
- Lay starter shingles to serve as a guide for proper placement of the rest of the roof.
- Lay the remaining shingles so that each layer slightly overlaps the previous one.
- Affix the shingles to the roof deck with nails.
- Install the ridge cap where two sides of the roof meet.
- Do a thorough inspection to ensure that everything is installed properly and there are no exposed nails.
- Clean up the debris, and haul away the old roofing materials.
While the specific steps vary, the overall process is similar regardless of whether shingles, tile, metal or TPO roofing are used.
Hiring a Roofing Contractor
If doing roof work yourself is not a viable option, you will need to hire someone. This is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. Options range from your local handyperson to a licensed contractor who specializes in full roofing services.
Here are a few tips for hiring someone to roof your house:
- Consider the extent of the work. Can one general handyperson do the job, or do you need an experienced team?
- Ask friends, family, and neighbors for referrals.
- Get several estimates in writing that detail exactly what materials will be used, the timeframe, and the expectations for permitting, cleanup, and disposal of old roofing.
- Check for licenses and insurance.
Some roofing contractors offer roof financing options to help you cover the cost, and some will work directly with your homeowners insurance company if there are claims that would be covered.
Northpoint Roofing Systems
Northpoint Roofing Systems is a residential and commercial roofing company offering services in Atlanta and all surrounding areas, including Woodstock, Newnan, and Lawrenceville.
We offer free roof inspections using the top rated AI software and drones that automate image capture. Northpoint is pleased to offer our valued customers roof financing options and assistance with homeowners insurance.
As a Best of the Best National Award winner, we take pride in giving our customers peace of mind knowing that their roof work was done with the best quality materials and installation methods, backed by our commitment to satisfaction.