What we cover in this post:
- First Steps
- Choosing your roofer
- Understand your roofing quote
- Materials & design choices
- Worksite prep
- Inspecting your roofer’s work
Looking at a roof replacement or a new roof for a building project? Planning for your roofing project should start early and include a number of factors that will help you manage within your budget and get the best results, an attractive new roof that will give your home many years of protection. Here are a few guidelines to help you plan your roofing project.
First Steps: Identify Quality Roofers and Gather Quotes
Once you know you will need a roof replacement due to an aging roof, storm, or other damage, home restoration, or building a new home, it’s important to have a plan. Set your budget early and determine how you will pay for the project. This will help you set realistic financial expectations. If you will need financing, many roofers work with home improvement financing companies, or you may have a lender at your bank or mortgage company who can help. Get a good idea of what you can afford and pay for, then begin your search for the right roofer.
Roofers generally work in the months when the weather is mildest, usually late spring, summer, and early fall. Overall, winter is a great time to contact and meet with potential roofers for a roof inspection and a quote for your project. This lets you get access to their spring or summer calendar and may help you avoid price increases that may come during the busier season.
Choosing your Roofer
Select a minimum of two or three local roofers to meet with and discuss your project. Select roofers who are licensed (you can check license status online with your state), located locally with an actual facility, and have a good reputation. Check their reviews online. Ask your roofer candidates about their insurance coverage. You do not want to be liable if one of their workers has an accident, or if your home is damaged inadvertently during work.
Once you’ve qualified a few professionals, talk with them and narrow down the selection. Make sure you and your roofer communicate well since there are many details you will want to be able to discuss with them as the project goes forward. You should meet with them in person, get satisfactory answers to your questions and be able to reach them easily by phone, text, or email. A new roof is a big project and a significant investment, so it’s fine to keep looking for the right roofer.
Avoid Roofing Scam Artists
If a roofer has no local office address that you can drive by, he may be a fly-by-night contractor and is best avoided. If a roofer you are vetting quotes a very low price, it’s likely he is not a quality roofer. Even if he completes the work, he may skimp on training, safety, and labor costs. Materials may be low quality or not show up at all. If a roofer asks for his full fee upfront, avoid doing business with him. He may be a scam artist who takes the money and then disappears.
Understand your Roofing Quote
Roofing projects involve many elements. Your roofing quote should reflect that and contain detailed information. You should not just receive a dollar estimate, but a full written quote that details what the work will include. Your quote should contain information about these proposed items:
- Type and quantity of materials and their cost (including brand)
- Labor cost
- Estimated start and completion dates
- Method of installation and any special requirements
- Total cost and payment requirements
- Warranty details
- Contact information, contractor license
You should not choose your roofer only by the lowest quote. Read all the details on the quote for a full picture of the project your roofer will deliver and choose the one that will give you the best result for your roof project budget.
Materials and Design Choices
Before you buy, it’s important to get a clear understanding of your materials and design options. Different materials have different characteristics, lifespans, and costs. If you want a roof that will last a long time, concrete tiles or metal roofing are good choices, highly durable and hold up well to heat, cold, and wind. Asphalt tiles last 15-40 years, require minimal maintenance, and are an affordable choice. Be sure to understand any HOA requirements, and accommodate your home’s style and roof type, as well as your local climate and neighborhood aesthetics. For many roofing materials choices, there are many styles and colors available for you to choose from.
When selecting materials, don’t focus only on the cost. Quality materials made by reputable brands will last longer and generally require less repair and maintenance, giving you long-term value for the slightly higher price. Take time to do your research online and work with your roofer until you are comfortable with your choices.
Schedule the Work
Your project schedule may be affected by your roofer’s backlog of projects. This is one reason to plan many months ahead. Most projects must be completed in dry, warmer weather, which means only a few months of the year, and roofers’ capacity fills up quickly. Scheduling may also be affected by crew availability as teams may be committed to other projects, sometimes including emergency repair projects.
Another reason your project may be delayed is the availability of materials, especially with supply chain interruptions in recent years. Find out if there are any issues related to delivery when you are choosing your materials. That way, you can either adjust your timing expectations or choose something different that is not on backorder.
As a contingency, have a backup plan to relocate temporarily in case that becomes necessary. Your roofer will let you know if there’s any planned reason the home should be vacated. In most cases, work can be carried out without interrupting your use of the home.
Ask your roofer how they handle weather events. Do they have a tarp or other protection to lay over any exposed areas of the home in case of a rainstorm? Are they able to reschedule and complete the project after weather delays or will they have scheduling conflicts that may leave your project unfinished for longer than you expected? Knowing ahead of time how bad weather will impact your project will help you with planning your own schedule and with setting expectations with your roofer.
Prepare the Worksite
Help keep your project on track by preparing your home for the arrival of your roofing team. Trim back trees or tall bushes that overhang the roof so the work area is fully available. Be sure to remove items that are close to the outside of the house, such as lawn furniture or gardening tools, to allow roofers to move around, lay out their materials and equipment, and easily access the roof. Plan to keep pets inside as much as possible during the roofers’ work hours.
Your roofer should remove any debris from the worksite to keep it accessible and safe for you and your family. They may locate a dumpster at the site to contain the debris that will be hauled away at the end of the project.
Inspect your Roofer’s Work
Congratulations! Your project has been completed. As a last step, schedule a roof inspection of the completed work with your roofer. Walk around the entire roof and look for anything that looks wrong such as loose, missing or out of place parts. Check that flashing, rain gutters and other roof elements are firmly and correctly placed so they will perform as required in the next rainstorm. The roof should slope smoothly in all directions to drain water away, with no areas where water can pool and cause damage to your home. Ask any questions you have, including maintenance requirements for your new roof. This is your chance to be sure the work has been done to your satisfaction, so take your time with your roof inspection.
Understand your Roof Warranty
Take time to read through and understand your roof warranty. Your roof materials will generally be warranted by the manufacturer for 10-30 years, longer for some materials. The warranty may stipulate that you perform proper roof maintenance, so read and understand those requirements as well.
Your contractor warranty may cover labor for 1 or more years after installation. Understand that coverage as it is different from your materials-only warranty.
A full roofing system warranty covers flashing and other accessories or decorative roof elements (not covered in your roof tiles or shingles warranty) and may or may not be included.
Inspect your warranty carefully so you know what is covered and what is not. Direct any questions to your roofer so that you are comfortable with your coverage.
Getting a new roof doesn’t have to be stressful. Read and keep your quote, contract, and warranty on hand and you’ll be set in case any questions come up on your new roof. Best of all, you’ll feel great when the project is done and your home is protected with a quality new roof that looks great and will last for decades.
Prestige Roofing has been providing quality roofing to homes and businesses in Southern Nevada for over 25 years. Our trained and experienced team members are here to help you with your roofing project. Give us a call for a free quote on your roofing project today.
Prestige Roofing’s work ranges from service and repair work, re-roofing and new construction work, commercial and residential work. They have also done work for ultra-custom projects around the Las Vegas Valley.