If you’ve made a recent foray into home ownership, or if the home you’ve lived in for years finally needs a new roof, it might feel a bit overwhelming to start the new roofing process. A new roof is a big investment, and it’s something most people only do once or twice in their lifetimes — which means re-roofing is probably not something you’re used to or familiar with.
Even though a new roof can be a major expense, it’s an investment in the future of your home — keeping you and your family safe for at least another 20 years, and improving the resale value of your home. It’s a necessary improvement, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. If this is your first experience roofing or re-roofing a home, here’s everything you need to know:
Deciding on a New Roof
The hardest part of roofing is often just deciding when you need a new one. For some homeowners, a major leak or serious water damage makes it obvious that a new roof is in order, but barring a major incident like that, it can be tough to decide when getting a new roof is the right decision. Some signs that it’s time for a new roof include:
- Leaks in your home or attic
- Torn or curled shingles
- A roof that’s older than 20 years
- Sagging in the middle
- Discoloration or excessive mold and algae growth
There are a few signs that make it obvious you need a new roof. If you’re experiencing any, or many, of the signs above, it’s probably a good idea to think about replacing your roof sooner rather than later. After all, your roof is one of the biggest things standing between your home and the elements.
Choosing the Right Type of Roof
Once you’ve decided it’s time for a new roof, it’s natural to want to call up your local roofer right away. We encourage you to take a little bit of time to look around and really think about what type of roof you’re looking for this time around.
The two most popular materials for a new roof are metal and asphalt. We’ve laid out the pros and cons of asphalt vs. metal roofing in depth, but the reader’s’ digest version is this:
- Metal roofing is lighter and more durable, lasting as long as 50 years. It’s also more costly upfront, but because it’s light can often be installed over an existing asphalt roof.
- Asphalt roofing is more common and more affordable and will last about 20 years on average. It is heavier, which means that in most cases, you’ll need to pull off your existing asphalt roof before you can put on the new roof.
The material you choose will dictate the cost and the style of your new roof, so it’s an important step to determine early on in the new roofing process. Both asphalt and metal roofs offer myriad color options, you just need to decide which look you like the best. Head to Houzz or Pinterest for roofing design and style inspiration that can give you a better idea of what your new roof might look like.
New Roofing Cost Expectations
We’ve said it before, but a new roof can cost quite a bit of money. The cost of your roof will depend on a variety of factors, including what type of shingle or metal style roof you’d like, as well as the size of your home, the pitch of your roof, and if you have extras like a chimney or sunroofs that will take laborers a bit of extra time to work around.
In reality, a new roof can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000 depending on the type of home you have, and the materials you choose, which is why it’s important to collect estimates from a few trusted local roofers in your area. Once you know what type of roof you’d like, and whether you need to tear off the old roof first, or simply overlay a new roof over the old one, you’re ready to talk to roofers.
Finding a Roofer
When it comes to hiring a roofer to install your new roof, the goal is to find the person who can provide the best quality, at the best price. You don’t want to hire the roofer with the lowest bid, simply because it will cost less, and you certainly don’t want to hire the roofer who quotes you at an astronomical price. You need a roof that will keep your family and your home safe and secure for at least another 20 years, which is why it’s so important to do your homework when you’re looking for a roofer.
Start by talking to your neighbors, friends, and family. Do they know anyone who’s recently had a new roof installed? Were they happy with the price and the quality of the labor? Asking around is a great way to determine who has a good reputation in your area, for the type of roof you’d like.
With a list compiled of local roofers you’re interested in talking to, you can call around and ask for estimates. Work to get itemized estimates if you can, as that will give you a better idea of where your money is going for your roofing job.
Don’t just stop at estimates either. Remember, you want a roofer who can provide an exceptional roof at a quality price, so you need to make sure the roofer you hire actually does good work. Talk to their references, and ask them questions about how they work and how long they expect your roof to take.
In the end, you’ll want to choose a roofer who you get along with, and who you trust to do a great job. Be thorough, and don’t hire anyone who doesn’t want to answer your questions or work with you as you decide who to hire. A new roof is a major investment, and you deserve a roofer who is willing to work with you throughout the entire process.
Schedule your New Roof Installation
Now that you’ve chosen a roof type, color, and style, and found a roofer you can trust, it’s time to schedule the installation of your new roof! Depending on the season, your roofer may have more or less availability. Most roofers are at their busiest during the summer, so if you’d like your new roof installed right away, plan to do your researching in the winter, and hire someone just as the weather starts to turn warmer.
If you do have to wait a while until your roofer has the availability to install your new roof, take that time to make arrangements for when the roofing crew does arrive. Roofing isn’t exactly a quiet job, so you might want to arrange to be out of the house for the period of time they’ll be working on the house. If you have pets or children, make sure they have somewhere to go while the roofing team is at work.
Enjoy Your New Roof!
With your new roof installed, you can relax knowing that your home is safe and secure for years to come. What’s more, you’ve likely improved your home’s energy efficiency and resale value. A new roof has quite a few benefits, not least being the improved curb appeal!
A new roof might seem like a daunting home improvement task. It is honestly one of the biggest fixes a homeowner has to make, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. If you do your homework and find a roofer you trust, a new roof can be installed in a snap.
For new roof installation, you can trust in the West Michigan area, consider Werner Roofing. We’ve been installing both asphalt and standing seam metal roofs for decades, and we’ve won awards doing it. We’re here to help, and if you’re just not sure what your roof needs, we’re happy to give you a free, no obligation quote.