If you have recently looked at your roof and decided that it’s time for a change, you might be considering the option of having a new roof installed or carrying out a major repair or renovation. Since home roofs typically go decades without being replaced, homeowners can feel a bit clueless about the modern roofing options that are available because they haven’t shopped for a roof in so long, if ever. If that sounds like your current predicament, you’ve stumbled onto the right guide because below we’ll be discussing all of the fundamentals that you’ll need to know in order to start heading in the right direction with your roof comparison.
Choose the Right Roofing Company
Before you start researching the various types of roofs you can buy, it’s best to go ahead and decide who you’re going to hire to remove your old roof and install the new one. Try to opt for a contractor or company that has been doing business for a while and has plenty of positive reviews. You never want to trust your roofing installation in the hands of a questionable or newly established brand because there could be serious financial and liability-related consequences if anything goes wrong.
According to Semper Solaris, a leading roofing company in Southern California, the quality of the installation will directly determine how long the roof will last and whether it will need premature maintenance in the near future. They’ve been working in the roofing industry for more than two decades and have performed countless roofing, HVAC, and solar installs, so their opinion that installation quality is just as important roof selection is a valid one that’s worthy of consideration.
Consider All Costs & Risks Involved
The roofing installer that you choose will have one of the biggest impacts on the overall cost of your new roof. Dealing with a reputable company will ensure that you’ll be given a fairly accurate quote estimate based on the size of your home, the total square footage of the roof space that needs to be installed, and the kind of roofing materials you select.
Comparing multiple quotes is an advisable step, but don’t let the price be your only criteria. Selecting a roofing installer or material based solely on the fact that they have the lowest price is a surefire way to have a low-quality roof installed on your home.
It’s also important to confirm that your chosen roofing installer is adequately licensed and insured. If they’re not, and an injury or property damage occurs during the project, you could be held liable for the resulting expenses. This is generally a non-issue because being licensed and insured is a standard industry prerequisite, but it’s still worthwhile to double-check, particularly if you’re dealing with a newly established team of laborers.
Select the Right Materials
While you may like the look of certain materials, it’s possible that they might not be ideal for or compatible with your home architecturally. Generally, lightweight materials are more universally applicable, whereas heavier roofing types like slate or tiles represent a significant weight burden on the structure of your home. In fact, a slate roof can weigh anywhere from 800 to 1,500 pounds.
Take the time to learn the pros and cons of each material that you’re comparing. This is yet another reason why you should only deal with a reputable roofing installer, as you can be sure that they know what they’re doing and aren’t going to install incompatible materials on your roof. In fact, they should be able to help you decide which materials would be best suited for your roof based on its shape, size, slope, and the design style of the house below it.
Thoroughly reviewing the defining features of each material option will ensure that you don’t regret your selection later on. Likewise, it could help you discover futuristic new roofing materials such as solar roofs and extended-life asphalt shingles.
Compare the Durability & Maintenance Requirements of Different Shingle Types
Nobody can tell you what kind of roof shingle looks the best in your mind, but shingles do vary in their known durability and maintenance requirements, so those are the objective attributes that you can compare based on research. The two most popular kinds of roof shingles on the market are asphalt and metal. Other common material types include concrete, coal & tar, clay, and aluminum. In fact, there are at least 19 different kinds of roofing shingles that you can take into consideration during your comparison.
The 5 most durable kinds of roofing materials are steel, aluminum, clay, slate, and 30-year asphalt. If you’re after the sweet spot between price and durability, your comparison should probably be between aluminum and asphalt. Concrete and slate are more durable, but like steel, they’re also very heavy, so those materials should only be used on larger homes that have strong supporting structures.
While a reputable roofing contractor will have a designated structural engineer that they can consult with, if you’re spearheading the project yourself, then that’s definitely a consultation that you’d want to schedule. Installing a structurally unsafe roof is one of the costliest and most dangerous mistakes a homeowner can make, as it could lead to significant property damage or injury and leave you with a pile of burdensome liabilities.
Opt for a Roofing Style That Complements Your Home’s Design
Finally, it’s important to base your roof selection on the existing design theme of your home in order to present the need for additional renovations and upgrades. Many homeowners will opt to paint the exterior of their home after a roofing project just to take care of any minor blemishes and add a fresh look to accompany the new roof. Still, beyond painting, you don’t want to feel obligated to change the entire architectural style of your home just to match your roof.
You can use a roofing software to calculate the exact measurements and graphically compare roof styles against a backdrop photo of your home. That way, you can drag and drop design styles until you see one that looks like it would match your home. Once you have a style in mind and you know your roof measurements, you can contact local roofing companies to start comparing detailed quotes.
Consult with Roofing Experts Before Making Your Decision
It’s important to note that no internet guide can substitute the services of a roofing professional. The advice given in this guide is meant to steer you in the right direction, but your actual decision will come down to the services that are available in your area.
As a good rule of thumb, it’s wise to speak with 2-3 roofing companies in your area before you decide who to go with, as you want to give them a chance to compete for your business, and you also want to gather as much advice as you can in the initial planning stage.
Finally, before you initiate a consultation, it would be wise to write down a list of questions that you’re going to ask. That way, you’ll get the most possible value out of the free consultation period that many roofing companies offer, as opposed to aimlessly wandering through the conversation with no particular goal in mind.