A roof over your head is a great blessing. However, homeownership has its ups and downs. One of those low points might be shelling out thousands of dollars to replace the roof that has protected you from the elements for years.
At some point, every roof will need to be replaced. It’s one of the many joys of homeownership. According to Angie’s List, the average cost of roof replacement ranges from $4,900 to $14,100. A wide spread of costs can leave you wondering how you can land the best deal.
The wide range in costs is due to a variety of factors such as style, your location, the size of your roof, and the professional you hire.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can lower your overall costs and get ready for this major undertaking.
When Should You Replace Your Roof
The first thing you need to do is determine whether or not you really need a new roof. A visible hole in your ceiling is not the sign you should be waiting for. If you replace your roof before it reaches the final stop of its useful life, then you could be avoiding potentially bigger problems down the road.
A few signs that your roof is ready to be replaced include:
- Water leaking into the house
- Cracked shingles
- Missing shingles
- Shingles that are curling on the edges.
- “Bald spots” on your roof where granules are missing.
- Overall signs of age on your roof.
Another tip is to be mindful of your neighbors. If your homes were built in the same time period, then you may notice many new roofs in the area. It could be a sign that the inevitable demise is coming to your roof soon.
As soon as you spot any of these signs, you should start considering a new roof. The longer you wait, the more damage might be done to the value of your home.
If you are considering selling your home, do not assume that you can pass along the failing roof to the new owner. Many buyers will avoid aging roofs because it is an added cost that they can easily avoid by choosing another home to buy.
Make sure to regularly take a closer look at what is happening on your roof. You can help to prolong the life of your roof by taking care of it. For example, removing moss and algae growing in your shingles can prevent damage to the shingles can help prevent damage to your roof’s shingles.
Cost to Replace a Roof
As with all things in life, you have choices for your roof replacement. The total cost of your roof will vary considerably based on the choices you make.
The costs stem from the materials, labor, and disposal of your old roofing materials.
In terms of material, you’ll need to choose between many different shingles such as wood, clay, asphalt, solar, slate tiles, and more. The material you choose may be based on cosmetic preference or necessary toughness to combat the elements of different locales. For example, in high wind areas of hurricane-prone Florida, homeowners are required to upgrade their roofing materials in hopes of withstanding potential hurricanes.
For labor, the size and construct of your roof will be a large factor. If you have many peaks and ledges, expect your labor costs to be higher.
How to Reduce Your Roof Replacement Costs
You should expect to pay thousands of dollars for your roof repair. However, there are methods to lower your overall cost.
1. Hire a Professional Roof Inspector
If you’ve noticed that your roof is looking a little bit worse for wear, then you should call in an inspector. It can cost a few hundred dollars to hire an inspector, it might be well worth the cost.
An inspector will be able to tell you whether or not you really need a new roof. They might recommend a patch or to simply wait a few years before replacing the whole roof. Either way, it will give you a better understanding of the problem at hand.
2. Replace or Repair?
After you have received the inspection report recommendations, then you’ll need to decide whether you will replace or repair the roof. It is a good idea to go with the recommendations of the inspector. However, as the owner, you have the final say in this decision.
3. Check the Warranty
When was your roof last replaced? If the answer is recently, then the replacement might be under warranty.
If you recently bought the home, then you should check through the closing paperwork. Warranty information is often available in that fine print. If you can’t find the information, then consider contacting the previous owners to see if they can provide you with that paperwork.
It is possible that your replacement costs will be covered, so it is an option you should look into.
4. Decide What You Want
Before you talk to a contractor or salesman, make sure to determine exactly what you want on your new roof. Take the time to research the different materials and options and choose the one that will work well for your area and your budget.
Build an understanding of the features of your roof. Is it extremely large? Does it have many peaks and ridges that will increase labor costs?
With this level of research, you’ll be able to coherently discuss the details of contractor bids. Doing this homework helps to ensure that you are not being taken advantage of. You might not need the latest and greatest product that the salesman is attempting to sell you.
5. Compare Bids
Once you have a good understanding of what you need, then it is time to call in the contractors. Obtain estimates from a variety of roofing contractors. Each bid should include warranty information on both the materials and the installation.
Do not automatically jump for the lowest bid. If the bid is significantly lower, then do more research before accepting that bid. Sometimes very low bids translate into lower quality work. Online reviews of a roofing company may help you find out whether or not the company is worth doing business with.
Make sure to confirm that the bid is from a licensed contractor. You can contact your state consumer protection office to confirm this.
Trust your instincts when choosing a roofer. You want a roof that will last for years to come at an affordable price. Cutting corners now will only cause more problems down the line.
6. Go the DIY Route
In the world of homeownership, there is always the option to attempt fixing the problem yourself. Although the roof is a high stake home repair, you may be able to do part of it yourself for a fraction of the cost.
The labor costs of a roof replacement can account of the bulk of the expense. So, sometimes a contractor will allow you to remove the old roofing material yourself to cut the total cost. You should only pursue this option if you have the proper tools and knowledge.
7. Check Your Insurance Policy
If you are like most Americans, then you carry a homeowner’s insurance policy on your home. In that case, the policy might cover roof damages.
Most insurance policies will help to cover some or all of your roof replacement. However, if the need for replacement is due to neglect then it is unlikely they will assist you. Call your insurance provider to find out how much they might be willing to cover.
8. Ask for a discount
Most roofers are at the whim of seasonal work. In the winter, work can dry up in some places. Whereas in the summer, they can’t work through the jobs fast enough.
If you are willing to wait for a convenient time for the roofing company, then ask if they will give you an off-season discount. For example, you could request a 10% discount to wait until they have a slow month for your roof repair.
It never hurts to ask, the worst thing they can say is ‘no.’
Replacing a roof can be expensive. However, you can significantly reduce your costs by being a savvy consumer that does their research. Make a plan to tackle your roofing problems and follow through.