1. Should you “roof over”?
Like many home improvement projects, replacing a roof can be costly. One way you may think you can save money is with a “roof over” or by re-roofing - this means placing the new shingles directly over the old ones. While it may seem advisable and allow you to save money in lower disposal and labor costs, the potential problems outweigh the benefits. Roof overs may actually reduce the life of new shingles due to heat buildup and problems with moisture. There may also be problems with the underlying decking that are not uncovered and repaired. Check your shingle warranty to avoid loss of coverage due to a roof over.
2. Measuring your roof size
Roofing contractors will measure your roof and provide you an estimate based on the number of squares of roofing material required. A square is the amount of material needed to cover 100 square feet, so a roof with 20 squares has 2,000 square feet of surface area to be covered.
One element that contributes to the long life of your roof is proper ventilation. Insuring your roof system has the needed ventilation can modulate the attic temperatures during the summer and reduce moisture build up in winter. Ask your contractor what kind of venting is included with the roofing job to ensure your roof lasts a lifetime.
4. Repair the wood under the shingles
Part of professional roof repair is not only removing all the old shingles, but making any necessary repairs to the underlying wood. Make sure your contractor addresses this and allows for these types of repairs if needed in your agreement. Placing new shingles over faulty wood is never advisable and may reduce the life of the new roofing materials.
5. Protective coverings
Shingles should never be affixed directly to raw wood on the roof. Protective barriers made of felt or other coverings provide additional ice and water shields needed to fully protect your home. This is especially important in areas with heavy rains or icy temperatures. Also ensure the contractor includes all the additional installation materials needed for a proper roof replacement such as fasteners, flashing and drip edges are a part of the price.
A properly functioning roof system will protect your home and possessions for years to come. Be sure you discuss what this assessment consists of and how your contractor will ensure that your new roof is completed to your satisfaction. Some contractors may even provide independent inspections and certifications for your complete peace of mind.
7. How much wind resistance do you need?
In evaluating the quality of the roofing materials and installation, the warranty and performance related to wind is a critical factor in evaluating what product to purchase. This is especially important in areas where hurricanes, tornados or other severe weather patterns can cause wind damage. Wind speed warranties can be as low as 60 miles per hour and up to 130 miles per hour. With proper installation, purchasing shingles with higher wind warranties can mean the difference between a new roof and complete protection should you experience severe weather.
8. Know your installation contractor
Is your contractor licensed and bonded? Does your contractor have adequate insurance? What warranties do they provide for materials and labor? Does the contractor obtain the proper permits and follow all local, regional codes and regulations? How reliable is the contractor? What work have they done in your area?
9. Warranties and after sale service
One of the most important elements of any home improvement project is the service you receive after the installation is complete. Does your contractor offer a standard warranty? What does that include: product, labor, parts? For what length of time does the warranty cover? Is there an extended warranty? What does that include? For how long? What does it cost? How are service calls requested? Is there a cost? Will the company be around for the next 10 years if you need them?
10. Price isn’t everything
The natural inclination is to find the lowest price. While price should be a consideration, the most important part of the decision should be value and return on investment. Will the contractor charge you a fair price and one that covers the cost of quality products and installation? Does the price cover all elements of your roof replacement including ventilation, protective coverings, fasteners, permits and inspections, flashing as well as removal and disposal of the old roofing material and delivery of new materials? Does the price cover all labor, project management and coordination? Are there allowances for unforeseen costs such as repair or replacement to underlying wood? Peace of mind, quality material and complete project specifications are as important and will provide you with a roof that lasts a lifetime.
At Sears Home Services, we want you to find the roofing contractor that is right for you. We believe that providing you all the resources and information to make an informed decision is right for you and for us. We are confident that once you have this information you will know that when you trust Sears Home Services to complete your work, you will receive all the help you need through the process from the initial free sales consultation to the measurement and installation of your new roof and well beyond. Our professional project consultants help you properly measure the roof, select colors and types of materials and much more to insure that the roof you install is both aesthetically appealing and durable. We also provide a one stop resource for turnkey completion of your project including permitting, material measurements and ordering and professional project management. Our project managers work with you every step of the way to insure the job is completed correctly and professionally. No need to worry about schedules and timelines, they have you covered. And when the installation is complete, you will know that Sears will be around to service and warranty the work. We’ve been serving customers like you for 125 years!