What do you need to know before installing a roof?

Installing a new roof is a major home improvement project that requires careful planning and consideration. As a homeowner, you’ll want to educate yourself on roofing basics so you make informed decisions when hiring a roofing contractor. 

Determine your roofing needs

The first step is assessing your current roof to decide if you need roof repairs, a partial roof replacement, or a full roof replacement. Look for signs of wear and tear both on the interior and exterior:

  • Ceilings and walls with water stains 
  • Missing, cracked, curling, or loose shingles 
  • Exposed nail heads
  • Sparse mineral surface on asphalt shingles
  • Broken or missing flashing
  • Damaged soffits or fascia boards

If you see extensive signs of deterioration, it’s likely time for a full replacement. If the issues are minor, repairs or partial replacement suffice. A professional roof inspection determines the condition of roof decking underneath and the best course of action.

Research roofing materials 

Once you decide on the roofing project scope, research the top roofing material options. 

Asphalt/Composition Shingles

  • Affordable and versatile
  • Colors and styles to choose from 
  • Lifespan 15-30 years

Wood Shakes/Shingles

  • Natural, distinctive look  
  • Need regular maintenance  
  • Higher fire risk
  • Lifespan 15-30 years

Concrete/Clay Tiles

  • Beautiful style
  • Energy efficient and durable
  • Heavier than other roofing types 
  • Lifespan 40-100 years  

Metal Roofing

  • Very durable and fire-resistant
  • Energy efficient 
  • Higher upfront cost
  • Lifespan 40+ years  

Slate Roof Tiles

  • Extremely durable but heavy
  • Very expensive 
  • Lifespan 80-150+ years

Each material has pros and cons. Look at options in your budget that suit your home design and climate. The Precision Roofing of Mahwah contractor discusses how cost, weight, durability, insulation, and insulation impact your decision.

Check the credentials of roofing contractors

Vet any potential roofers thoroughly before signing a contract. Make sure they have up-to-date licensing for your state and locality. Ask about their training credentials, how long they’ve been in business, membership in professional roofing associations, and if they have all the proper insurance coverage (worker’s compensation and liability). Ask the roofing companies about any manufacturer certifications they may hold. GAF, for example, offers Master Elite and Certified Contract credentials to roofers who demonstrate proper technical knowledge and business operations for installing their shingle products. Manufacturers only issue guarantees for roofing materials when properly certified contractors install them. Verify references of recent customers and review example projects. 

Know the warranties

When comparing roofing contractors, ask about any warranties included on their workmanship and the product itself. Many shingle manufacturers provide 10- to 50-year product warranties for defect-free materials. The roofing contractor also typically offers a separate workmanship warranty covering flaws in installation for 5-10 years. Understand that even with product warranties, you may still have out-of-pocket costs for labor for repairs down the road. Workmanship warranties provided by the contractor typically exclude weather/storm damage. Ensure you know what scenarios and costs any warranties cover so you aren’t surprised later on.


Related Articles

Back to top button