6 Easy Steps to Buying a New Roof
Purchasing a new roof for your home may seem like a huge task with the variety of roofing replacement options available. The expense of a new roof may also seem a bit overwhelming.
Frequently asked questions when considering purchasing a new roof for your home:
- What qualifications should a roofing contractor have?
- What is the appropriate roof for my particular home?
- How much does a new roof cost?
- How will my home, contents, and family be protected during the installation process?
Let’s break down the process into 6 steps to see if we can make this a bit easier and less stressful for you.
Step 1. Assessment
The experts at Fortified Roofing recommend that a homeowner start budgeting for roofing replacement several months before the project begins and before damage occurs from complete roofing system failure or even small leaks. Start by knowing the age of your current roof. If it is older than 18 years, it is time to start planning for a replacement.
A failed roofing system can result in damage to your home, including structural damage, deterioration of finishes, mold, and damage to contents. You want to replace the roof before any of this occurs. Otherwise, repairs may be extensive, costly, and environmentally challenging.
Have reputable roofing contractors come by and do an inspection of your current roof, if you feel it may be time to replace it. Fortified Roofing can assess the condition of the roof and decking and make a knowledgeable recommendation.
Step 2. Put Together a Comprehensive Plan
If you are like most homeowners with the internet at your fingertips, you may start by researching roofing options and local roofing contractors to get an idea of what is available. You may even check out sites like Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List to see websites and to read what reviewers have to say. While this is helpful, it is also a good idea to ask friends and neighbors for firsthand recommendations. Not many companies are going to allow a bad review to show up on the internet.
When speaking with roofing companies be sure to let them know what your immediate or long-term goal is. Are you looking to replace the existing roof with a high-end product that will give you a 30 year warranty so that you are living in a safe and leak free environment? Or, are you just wishing to waterproof your home to get it ready to sell? Are you going for a specific aesthetic, such as the textured look of high definition composition shingles? Or maybe you want to be historically correct with a wood shake roof.
Whatever your unique situation is, feel free to take advantage of the free roofing estimate for the different roof types that Fortified Roofing offers.
Ask questions and become informed about the roofing system that you are considering. Take a walk or drive and see what you like on other homes before you make a final decision. Feel free to ask the contractors you are interviewing for a few local addresses of completed projects that you can take a look at to see the quality of their workmanship. They can also bring samples and color charts of roofing types for your see up close.
Step 3. Know Your Contractor
It is perfectly fine to speak with different reputable roofing contractors to get an idea of what they have to offer in your area. When you speak to contractors ask for references, qualifications, number of years in business, and any special certifications they might have. For instance, Fortified Roofing is a GAF Master Elite Roofer. This means that the company’s employees have been trained by GAF to install their roofing systems within strict manufacturer guidelines to ensure the finished product will live up to its warranty.
Ask the contractor if the company is insured and licensed to work in your area. Residential roofing is a job that requires adequate safety measures are in place. A qualified contractor understands the safety requirements and the need for appropriate insurance to be in place.
Find out if the roofing contractor is a member of any business organizations and/or industry associations. Fortified Roofing is an A+ rated company by the Better Business Bureau.
In the roofing business experience matters. Choose a company that has a great track record of no less than 5 to 10 years specifically in the roofing business.
Here is a list of what you will want to know:
- How long has the company been in business?
- Is the contractor licensed?
- Does the company carry General Liability and Workers Compensation Insurance?
- What are the different residential roofing systems the contractor has previously installed?
- Do the employees receive proper training?
- How will the property, house contents, occupants, and workers be protected?
- Are there references that can be checked?
- Can you get a free roofing estimate?
One of the most important things is to develop a rapport with the company you are going to work with. Be sure you are comfortable with the personalities you will be working with and with the level of expertise.
Step 4. Decide on the Roof You Want and Get an Estimate
Now that you have interviewed some roofing contractors and checked out their references, select one or two to ask for an estimate from. Get free roofing estimates and proposals in writing. Make sure the estimate is detailed so that you know exactly what you are getting. There should not be any hidden costs. If you think something is missing, or have a “what if” concern, now is the time to ask.
Step 5. Have a Contract in Place
Before you sign a contract, get copies of certificates of insurance from the company you are going to work with. And, make sure you have discussed the project with your own insurance company to know you are covered for incidental damages. You will also want to know how the new work will impact your premiums.
Get a schedule from the roofing company for when the work is to start and be completed. You also want to agree on hours of work that are acceptable to both parties. Also, have a clear agreement as to where the dumpster will be placed.
After you have chosen the contractor, and before the work begins, have a detailed, signed contract in place. This will protect both you and the roofing contractor. And, make sure a permit is in place if required by your town or city.
Step 6. Installation
Everything is set and signed; now it is time for your new roof. You might be surprised at how quickly this is going to happen. Be prepared for a bit of a mess and a lot of noise. This is all part of the process of making your home weather-tight in a timely manner.
Fortified Roofing will have a job foreman overseeing the job who will inspect everything to make sure the work is being performed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and specifications. So, just relax and look forward to the finished product. Be sure to get a copy of warranties for materials and labor when the work is completed.
Hopefully these 6 steps have helped with any questions you have about residential roofing replacement. Please contact Fortified Roofing, the best general contractor in Brick, NJ for a free estimate or if you have any questions.