Whether you are discussing new construction or renovation, roofing is one of the largest and most costly projects to undertake. Unless you have roofing experience, it is best to hire a professional roofing contractor. A roofing professional can give invaluable advice on the style of roof and the materials to be used that will best suit your style of home, climate, and budget.
To choose a contractor, start by asking friends and relatives for recommendations. Get at least three estimates before making your decision. You should also ask the contractor for references from previous customers. It is advisable to verify the contractor’s liability insurance and workers compensation insurance to protect you from liability in case of an accident. In addition, ask that any warranty on materials or labor be in writing.
To begin to budget for your roof you will first need to know what type of roof and materials you have in mind. The cost of the roof can vary greatly dependent on these choices along with the size and pitch of the roof. If you are renovating an existing roof, there will be labor costs involved to remove the old roof, along with the cost of disposal of the old materials.
Today’s roofs tend to have more going on than the plain gables of the past. Many home owners opt for multiple roof lines to add style. Be aware that multiple cuts and peaks will cost more to build, but will add to the curb appeal and resale value. Don’t fail to recognize that your roof constitutes 1/3-1/2 of the exterior view of your home.
Many choices will have to do with paying more now in anticipation of future savings. There are a variety of roofing materials available, but of course the higher quality will cost more. Asphalt shingles are the least expensive both to purchase and to install, as opposed to steel or tile roofs which are more costly, but are guaranteed to last much longer and require less maintenance.
The roof is also a great opportunity to incorporate energy saving features into your home. Metal roofing is more costly than asphalt, but reflective metal roofing can add up to big savings on summer cooling costs. You may also wish to consider adding some extra attic insulation while you are up there. If you live in a warm climate, adding a radiant barrier to insulation can lower the temperature of your home by more than 15 degrees. In these instances you can choose to spend now to save money over time.
Energy saving is not only good for your wallet, but good for the environment, leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Installing a new roof is the perfect time to also install solar panels. Solar shingles can be installed at the same time as traditional shingles or metal roofing. Again, you have the initial cost now, but solar energy lowers your electric bill, thus saving you money every month.
Going into this project you know it will be expensive, so you need to price the materials and labor carefully and decide which upgrades you want to include and which you can live without to be certain that you have enough funds to cover the costs. Look for sales on roofing materials to make the most economical choices for a beautiful roof.