Replacing a roof is never the most exciting investment of your home renovation dollars. After all, you could just as easily be spending that money on something more enjoyable, like a renovated kitchen or a sprawling backyard deck. But the roof is definitely not something you want to neglect. Little problems can easily become big ones, and the costs of neglecting routine maintenance (or timely replacement) can quickly spiral out of control.
Professional roof replacement by a roofing contractor typically starts at about $10,000. In can be lower or significantly higher than that, depending the style and size of the roof – but either way, it’s going to be a sizeable investment. For that reason, savvy homeowners need to know that they’re making a wise investment, and getting everything they can for the money. Here are 5 tips to maximize your roof replacement budget.
1. See the big picture
When you replace a roof, you’ll have a spectrum of materials to choose from. The interesting thing is that upgrading to the best type of materials (e.g. shingles, flashing, sealing) will not push your budget that much higher. People often trim their costs as much as possible in exchange for a lower quality roof that won’t last as long. But if you upgrade to better materials (such as copper flashing and 50-year shinges), you might save tens of thousands of dollars in the long run by spending an extra $2,000 now.
2. Pay close attention to the paperwork
Roofing is a dangerous and expensive job. For that reason, there are important legal steps involved, depending on where you live. Your city or municipality may require a special permit to be obtained before roofing work can begin – not acquiring this in advance can be very costly indeed. It’s also important to make sure that your roofing contractor has insurance that totally covers the workers in case of any accident, and frees you from all liability. Finally, your written contract should guarantee the quality of materials and workmanship.
3. Choose your contractor carefully
This is the single most important thing you can do to maximize your roof replacement dollars. Some homeowners make the mistake of choosing the first contractor they come across, without researching alternatives. Reputation is hugely important, and customer reviews play an important role on defining the reputation of a roofer. Since most homes can go several decades before a replacement roof is needed, contractors are less reliant on repeat customers. This means that come contractors will cut corners. Fortunately, client reviews – as well as recommendations from people you know and trust – go a long way toward showing you who the best contractors are.
The finer points of roofing
Getting into the nuts and bolts of roofing is fascinating for some, but most homeowners just want to make a solid investment and move on with their lives. In order to maximize your investment in roof replacement, put extra time into understanding your choice of materials, your paperwork, and your contractor. These three steps will take you a long way toward making the smartest possible roofing decisions.