Every roof has to be replaced by the time it turns 20-years-old, though it may need repair or replacement sooner because of storm damage, heavy snow or rodent damage. A new roof costs thousands of dollars or even tens of thousands of dollars. Roofing maintenance can be expensive as well, even for repairs that might seem minor at first glance. However, there are steps to reduce the price tag. Here are a few tips on how to get the best deal on roofing work.
Recognize When You Need to Replace the Roof
If you recognize the signs you need to replace your roof, you may be able to make repairs instead of replacing the entire roof. You could be able to replace the upper layer of the roof instead of having to repair underlying structural damage as well.
The signs your roof needs to be replaced include curling shingle edges, bald spots on asphalt shingles, cracked singles, and missing shingles. If the protective mat that lies under the shingles is visible, major work needs to be done. If you already know that water is leaking into the attic or walls, the roof must be replaced, and other work may need to be done as well.
You may need to replace the roof before you sell your home. You’ll only recoup about 70 percent of the roof replacement cost, but it is often necessary when the roof’s condition is bad enough. Buyers and mortgage companies avoid homes with a damaged roof. Not only that, but buyers will love the idea of not having to worry about having a new roof installed for the next 10 to 20 years, and this will be a major selling point for your home.
Know What You Can Do Yourself and When You Need to Call in a Pro
Roof repair is dangerous and time-consuming no matter who does the work. There is a temptation to do it yourself to save on the labor costs since that can account for 40 to 50 percent of the cost. There are some cases where you could consider DIYing it. Check this guide to know when you can fix the issues yourself and when you need to call in a pro. In general, the greater the risk of injury or the larger the scope of work, the more likely it can only be done by a professional. You also don’t want to make matters worse and damage the roof by accident.
However, if you have the skill, safety equipment, and are ready to do some heavy work, then you could remove the old roof yourself and save a bit on the installation. But know that it won’t be easy. It’s hard and often very dirty work, and you’ll have to deal with disposing of the old shingles as well. So, while you may save some money, it might not actually be that much of a deal when considering the extra costs and effort.
Do Your Research
There are several reasons to do your research before you decide to do it yourself or hire a professional. When you know the size and complexity of your roof repair, you can get a general estimate of the cost of materials and labor involved. This allows you to know when a price quote is competitive and when it is suspiciously high or low.
A very low bid is usually not a deal. It is a warning that they’ll do sub-par work. Or they may not offer a warranty on materials and installation work. You can’t afford for someone to use inferior materials or talent when putting a new roof on your home. Note that prices will go up during the busy season. This occurs every summer and fall, but you’ll also see a spike in prices when demand soars after a major storm.
Also, research what your insurance company will cover. They’ll generally cover roof damage unless it is caused by neglect. For small jobs, they may cover part or all of the cost.
A common mistake people make is failing to comparison shop for major repair work. Always get price quotes from a number of roofers. Of those that give reasonable estimates, request and then check their references. Check their reputation with the local consumer protection agency.
If would also help if you started getting familiar with the different type of roofing materials and their cost. For instance, there’s a huge gap in price between asphalt shingles and other high-end materials. A tile, slate or metal roof could end up costing triple the price. It’s up to you to know if you’re ready to sacrifice the look and durability of your roof for the price.
If the work can wait, ask how much of a discount you could get by waiting for the off-season since prices differ during the year. Ask about what materials are currently on sale or come with rebates. Wholesalers in your area could also give you a hint as to when certain materials are expected to go down in price.
Feel free to mention that you’re getting multiple price quotes. That alone may cause them to offer a discount or recommend cheaper, suitable materials. Or ask for a better price. They may negotiate.
Determine Whether an Overlay Is Right for You
Be careful when someone offers to do an overlay on your roof. An overlay puts new shingles on top of existing ones. It requires less labor, but it may void the warranty, may not be suitable in your case and increases the eventual cost of replacing the roof. So, make sure that you think twice and consider having the whole roof redone instead, even if it’s more expensive.
While roof repairs and roof replacements are costly, there are steps you can take to bring down the total bill. Make sure that you weigh your options, don’t jump on the first deal you find, and find which methods and materials could help you save the most on your installation.