What to Know About: Roofing »
Find out the questions to ask a roofing contractor and what's involved in repairing and replacing your home's roof.
Find out the questions to ask a roofing contractor and what's involved in repairing and replacing your home's roof.
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Do not use this company; they have lied to me to many times I cannot keep count. They had a job that I was told would only take 3-4 days and it took them 2.5 months. It was that long because they would say they are on the way but never showed or somehow the materials were not ordered right, (the weather was never the problem). The roofer that did show up closed up my main bath vent, also cut a skylight in the wrong spot and said it could not be fixed (the other roofer on the job did move the skylight but now I have to repaint walls instead of just the ceiling), drip line, panels, skylight curbs, skylight glass (scratches and was leaking), holes from putting panel in wrong (whole side of house), ridge line had to be redone twice because it was installed the wrong way (yes that is the whole roof system redone at least twice in most areas), they did not know they needed to put a copper wire from my roof to the foundation and they broke the frame of my new windows from piling the trash up against it, I had a grocery plastic bag full of cut metal, screws and trash that was left ON the roof after they said it was all done and finished. My roof looks like a handyman did it which I would have been ok with if I got the handyman’s price. The when placing metal panels on a pitch roof the top piece should be over the bottom so when it rains the water will run down but they have it that the bottom covers the top so there is a ridge that water can seep into (lots of caulking when I showed them that and they said it will be fine), on the curbs around the skylights there is no straight cut but looks like a wave and looks like crap. My drip metal around my house is screwed in different places so it is warped and bubbled. I see my roof every day and think these guys screwed me over. If you would like to see what a great job they did I am more than happy to send pictures. The last straw was they needed to get a permit and have it inspected, I waited 3 months after the roof was finished (Aug) for they to do it and after a week of trying to get Jade to tell me if it was inspected he quit contacting me. If you hire these guys they will tell you how they can’t be at your house because of: broken trucks, wrong materials, no show, out of town, forgot, stuck in traffic (whole day), weather (clear sunny skies no chance of rain), bad roofer (Jade told me he had 7 complains about the roofer not doing his job and fighting with customers before he sent him to my house), will not return phone calls, texts, or emails until you threaten them with kicking them off the job. If you think I am making this all up I am more than willing to send you my email and text messages. I am trying to let everyone know these guys will lie and take your money and hope you don’t get on your roof to see the mistakes.
The type of roofer you will need will depend on whether you require a brand new roof or small repairs. You need to find a contractor with a history of excellent service in a particular roofing project.
Installation - A roofer can put a brand new roof on your home or commercial building. When this is done as part of original construction, the main contractor will probably perform the task, or may hire a specialist. This is a big project so you may want to find a company who can offer a crew to install your roof over a shorter time period.
Since this is a more involved process, it is also more expensive. Home Advisor says you should expect to pay between $4,000 to $9,000 for a roof installation. This, of course, depends on what type of material the roofer uses, the size of your roof, the code requirements of your area and even the angle - or pitch - of your roof.
Replacement - If you want to replace your current roof, you can hire a company or individual to strip your roof and install new shingles or panels. Some roofing options, such as metal tiles, can be placed on top of existing shingles and are easy enough to install that a single contractor can perform the task efficiently.
If the contractor can install the new roof without removing the old one, it is going to cost you less than a complete replacement. Installing lighter materials will also save you money because it requires fewer people and can be completed faster.
Repair - When you have a leak, it may be time to contact a local roofer. Some problems are obvious and you'll want to call a contractor quickly before damage spreads. A roofer will replace holes in your roof after severe weather or fix your gutters when they stop draining properly.
The average roof repair project will cost you a few hundred dollars. Each tasks is different and you should get a price breakdown for each roof repair project. Make sure you are charged a fair price for materials and time.
Maintenance - There are a variety of tasks that can help maintain the quality of your roofing materials. You may want to invest in sealant or coatings that prevent moisture accumulation or reflect sunlight.
A popular project these days is installing solar panels or other environmentally conscious solutions to save money and make your property greener. When pricing these options, make sure to compare how much the project costs to how much the contractor projects you should save on utilities and heating expesnes.
Inspection - If you are selling your home or business, you'll probably want to contact a roofer to inspect your property for any issues that may affect the value. Whatever your reason for inspections, a roofing expert can tell you possible causes for concerns or provide ideas for future maintenance.
Depending on your area, you may be able to find a roofing contractor who will give you a free evaluation, but you should expect to pay a couple hundred dollars for a full inspection.
Certain events demand you reach out to a roofing expert - such as when a tree crashes through your home. If, however, you're unsure a visit from a contractor is warranted, here are a few signs it's time to give your roof some attention:
The easiest way to tell if your roof needs repair or replacement is to look at it. You should be able to spot broken or missing shingles. Look for subtler signs, such as roof tiles curling or damage around corners and chimneys. Inconsistent coloring could indicate moss or water damage.
If you really want to give your roof a thorough inspection, Good Housekeeping advises property owners to check gutters for broken down granules or interiors for structural sagging.
Not Doing its Job
Your roof is supposed to protect you from environmental elements. If you find water in your home after a rainstorm or feel a draft on cold days, it may mean there are gaps in your roof panels or other problems. A good place to check is your basement or the uppermost level of your property. Try turning out the lights during the day and checking for signs of sunlight breaking through your roof.
You can also check your energy bill. When you feel like you pay too much for heat or cooling, roof repairs could help you cut costs.
After a Major Weather Event
You should always inspect your roof for signs of damage after a major weather event. Wind can blow shingles off your property and hail is a common cause of dents or breakage. If your home suffers from a fire, you need to check for internal structural damage.
All roof materials - even metal shingles and panels - have an expiration date. If you've had your roof for over 20 years, you should consider having a professional give it a full inspection. Problems aren't always obvious, but you can check your original contractor statements for when it's time to reevaluate the work.
After doing your research, you should talk to a roofer in person and ask specific questions before hiring him or her for your project:
What Are Your Qualifications?
The first thing you need to check for is a local address. Its easier to trust a roofer with a history in the community that proudly displays contact information. Not all states require a roofing license, but you should at least check to see if a company or contractor belongs to a national roofing organization or the local chamber of commerce. Ask about any award or certifications the company has earned in previous years.
Can I Have a Cost Report?
No matter how dependable a roofer may seem, never depend on a verbal agreement. You want to get every promise down in writing. An extensive job cost report shows you exactly what work a roofer will perform and how much each service will cost you.
Go line by line and ask about every expense. You should also check to make sure the job completely covers the necessary task, so ask about additional services the contractor could perform for water protection or extended warranty.
What Are Your Plans for Emergencies?
Roofing can be dangerous. You need to make sure that the company or contractor carries liability insurance so you are not held responsible for accidents. Ask to see the proper paperwork and inquire about safety precautions. You should also check if the roofer has contingencies for smaller emergencies, such as rain delays.
How Will You Protect My Property?
Roofing projects can lead to debris and even structural damage. You should invite a roofer to inspect your property before beginning a project so you can point out landscaping or other external features they should look out for. If the contractor doesn't seem to care about aesthetical concerns, you shouldn't expect the finished product to help your curb appeal.
What's Your Warranty?
You need to inquire about how long the work should last. A major factor in longevity will be the materials used. You should research online about how long metal or concrete shingles should perform and make sure the business's guaranteed warranty is in line with industry standards.
Can I Get a Reference?
Not only should you ask to get in contact with past clients, Time Magazine advises homeowners to visit projects currently underway to see how the contractor or company actually performs during a job. You can also go online and check out other customer reviews.
Roofing materials are made out of concrete, metal, plastic and a variety of other substances. Before you settle on material and a design, you should consider these factors:
If you live in an area prone to wildfires, you may want to avoid flammable roofing materials. You have to be aware of your risks for damage and prevent common causes of trouble in your initial buying. This doesn't disqualify all materials. For example, if you worry about moisture but want asphalt shingles, you can purchase algae-resistant versions. If you are designing a home, a pitched roof is better at preventing moisture acclimation than a flat one.
The longer you plan to live in your current home or occupy a commercial space, the more you should invest in a durable roof. The roof of your structure will be a major selling point should you decide to move.
Some roofing materials, such as metal and plastic, have a variety of available looks and designs, while clay tile is very popular for an authentic appearance. You must consider how the roof should look alongside the rest of your architecture and talk to your contractor about the aesthetic values of high-quality materials. You should also consider skylights, chimneys or other obstacles to consistent patterns when planning a design.
Once you consider your regional area, necessary durability and aesthetic appeal, you should take your needs to a roofer who can give you the most cost-efficient option that will satisfy your concerns. You should always create a budget for your roof installation or repair.
If you wish to keep visits from a professional roofer to a minimum, there are some steps you can take to maintain your roof on your own:
Perform Simple Maintenance
Water in your roof is a major cause of mold and leaks. Regularly cleaning your gutters to prevent debris build-up is a best practice. You should also check your flashing and shingle alignment for holes or cracks in the surface. When a roofer installs new materials, ask about specific maintenance you should perform.
Be Aware of Your Risks
If you have a tree near your home, you have to look out for wet leaves accumulating on your roof and the potential danger of falling branches. Homes in colder climates may suffer from freezing, so you want to make sure your roof is properly insulated and prevent heavy snows from weighing down your structure. Before any major weather event, you should inspect your home for possible weaknesses and contact a roofer to prevent trouble.
The primary solution for any possible roof damage is prevention. You can't take your property for granted. You should inspect your roof at regular intervals. Have a professional roofing contractor evaluate your structure after major incidents and well before your warranty expires.