Your roof is also one of your house’s more complex elements, with multiple systems working together to ensure a dependable structure that keeps your family safe and sound. For this reason, it’s often best to hire a professional, as problems arise or for routine maintenance.
Roofing in general tends to be a costly affair, but there are a number of ways you can save throughout the process of using a roofing professional. By the end of this guide, you should have a better idea of what kinds of decisions will need to be made, how you can be sure to find a good roofing professional for the right price, and how to save money without sacrificing on quality.
The first thing you should do is educate yourself on your upcoming roofing project or repair. There’s no shortage of information on the internet, and just a few hours of reading is sufficient to have a basic understanding of one’s roof and its various elements, like decking, tiles, underlay, weatherproofing, and gutters.
This will allow you to have more technical conversations with your roofing professional, so you can take part in the decisions. The more knowledge you have about what’s going on, the more money you’ll be able to potentially save as the project advances. You can discuss the prices, pros, and cons of different solutions to make an informed decision.
Get a Roofing Inspection Done
Your next step should be getting a roof inspection done. As we’ve already said, roofs are more complicated than many people realize. If you’re hiring a roofing professional, it’s most likely because you’ve noticed something wrong. But even if you can spot a few missing tiles or the general vicinity of a leak, these may be symptomatic of a much larger problem.
Having a roof inspector come take a look at your property is a worthwhile investment, in the same vein as educating yourself. They’ll be able to tell you what’s wrong, discuss possible solutions, and maybe even recommend a good contractor—just remember they may not have the same budget in mind as you. Still, it’s a good way to get an affordable professional opinion on what kind of work will need to be done, so you can discuss options with your contractor.
When it comes to your roof, your top three priorities should be quality, quality, quality. Your roof has to deal with a wide range of weather depending on where you live: rain, sleet, snow and wind, and has to be able to contract and expand with external temperatures. It’s your first line of defense against the elements, and any shortcuts here could be catastrophically expensive in the future. Painting your shingles, for example, will add to short-term costs, but help guard them against wear and tear for years to come
Saving money when using a roofing professional doesn’t mean taking the lowest bid, not by a long shot. You need to think long-term. The last thing you want to do is have to call another contractor in a few years’ time, or end up having to replace the whole structure because of a poorly done job.
Repair, Re-Cover, or Reroof?
One of the first things you’ll have to decide, with your contractor’s help, is whether to repair, re-cover, or reroof.
Re-covering a roof may be a viable solution, but you’ll have to check if your home can support the extra weight, and make sure it’s not just a superficial solution, as this could cost more in the long run.
If you’re leaning towards repair, check how close your roof is to the end of its life by speaking to the original homeowners or the roof inspector. If the roof has another 10 years to go, repairs are usually a cheaper option, but should be approached with the same attention to quality.
Ask Around or Use a Service
When it comes time to hire a roofing professional, you have two good options: you can either ask your friends, family, and neighbors, or use a service. The advantage to the first option is that you can speak candidly with people who have been in direct contact with a roofing professional. Some questions to ask include: Was the job finished on time? Did the final cost reflect the estimate? And most importantly: Would you use this professional again?
Otherwise, online services offer a reliable way to find the right roofing professional for your situation. In addition to leveraging the collective experience of a large user base, online services will take care of thoroughly vetting prospective contractors, verifying their identity and checking business filings to make sure everything is legally and financially up to scratch. You can also see what others have paid for similar jobs.
Check Credentials, Referrals, and Insurance
However you find your roofing professional, be sure to check their credentials, licenses, and insurance. It’s easy to find out online what licenses are required in your region, and any roofing professional worth the money will be fully licensed. Check what kind of insurance they have for during and after the project, what kind of guarantee or warranty they offer, and whether they have a maintenance contract, as regular upkeep of your roof can help keep future costs down.
Reuse Materials or Purchase Them Yourself
In many cases, undamaged elements from your roof, like shingles, can be reused. Otherwise, it can often be cheaper to purchase your own materials. You may also be able to do some of the work yourself, to cut down on labor costs. Re-tiling an entire roof is beyond most people’s skill level, but there’s no reason you can’t take care of the gutters or do the trim. Your contractor may even be willing to give you some guidance.
In all cases, you’ll need to thoroughly discuss things with your roofing professional. They need to approve the materials they’ll be working with, and can help you balance cost and quality. Some professionals’ insurance only covers brands within their network, or they may only be willing to guarantee their work if they can use materials they’re familiar with.
Having your roof repaired, re-covered or redone is a major project, but well worth the investment. The best way to save money when using a roofing professional is to plan for the future. The state of your roof has a big influence on your home’s resale value, and a well-built roof with high-quality materials will help protect your family, your possessions, and the structure of your home.