A. This is not a short answer and to fully explain and inform a home owner it is best that I break it down into 2 parts.
1. First, it is always recommended to get multiple quotes. Generally 3 proposals are sufficient however sometimes more are required. Before deciding on a contractor you need to be well informed. It is critical that the roofing contractor take time and discuss with the homeowner all of the available options for your re-roof project. A good roofing contractor will ask some key questions about you and your home which will help him get a better feel on what you might be looking for. Questions might include, are you expecting to live in this house indefinitely? Are you planning on being here for a short time less than 10 years? Are you in an area of high wind? These questions will help them recommend a type of product suited specifically for you. You should never consider a product for your house because a roofing contractor said, “Because it’s the best” without offering an explanation as to why. In some cases homeowners may already know what product they want. However a good roofing contractor should inform the homeowner of possible issues if any with the product they asked for. In some cases it just might not be suited for their application, but there needs to be a reason why. Remember, in the end the choice is always yours. So, now you have your 3 quotes. Next you must sit down and compare them all. The first order of business is to make sure that all quotes are based on equal products and services. A good way to make sure that you are comparing “Apples to Apples” is to make sure the proposals are detailed, telling you the type of materials being used, where they are being installed on the roof, if the existing roof is being removed, clean up procedures and safety methods. Your roofing contractor should be licensed, insured and the company’s workers should be OSHA compliant. This includes completing OSHA’s 10 hour safety course. A Roofing contractors employees that have completed OSHA’s 10 hour safety course are given a yellow certification card. If you have any doubts ask the roofing contractor to see them.
2. Second and equally important, Price. If all proposals are equal, all products are the same, should you as a home owner hire the contractor with the lowest price? The short answer is NO. Sounds like we are telling you that you should expect to hire companies whose proposals are higher than their competitor’s right? No, what we are telling you is that price should never be what makes you decide on which contractor to hire. Ok, let’s face the facts; everyone wants the best price that they can get no matter what they are buying. So, how do you justify spending more money for a roof from one contractor than another when all materials and products are equal? Let’s look at it this way. Cell phone companies, most all of them carry the exact same products as their competitors. So why do people pay more for their cell phones when they know there are carriers out there that can give them the product that they want but are less expensive? The answer is simple, service. All things being equal in product, the last item to compare is service whether its quality of work or overall customer service and satisfaction. Unfortunately when you hire a roofing contractor the service they may neglect to give you may not be as easy to recognize as how many dropped calls you experience or the frequency of dead zones your phone falls victim too. However their professionalism, support and customer service should be very easy to see. ABC roofing contractor may have given you the lowest price but are they the right contractor for you? Ask yourself, how does this contractor make you feel about hiring them? Are they informed? Are they qualified? Do they answer questions directly or do they seem to sway away from certain topics. Do they give you all of your options or does it seem like they are partial to only one or two? How long have they been in business for? Will they be around next year if you need repairs or service, or are they a “fly by night” company? When dealing with residential roofing there are no labor warranties offered by any product manufacture. Shingles have certain warranties depending on their type, warranties that range from 25 years to shingles that hold life time warranties. However, it is important that the homeowner be aware that the warranty is only for material. Some of the more credible roofing contractors may offer a 1 or 2 year workmanship warranty on labor (does the lowest price contractor do that?). If you have carefully and thoroughly compared all proposals and made sure all items are equal between them and there are no discrepancies. Then how you choose which roofing contractor you hire should be based on the overall impression that a company left on you, not the lowest price. In some cases that particular company just might be the one with the lowest price. That isn’t always the end result in this process, but I can tell you with certainty that the end result in any home improvement or repair process is, you absolutely get what you pay for. Re-roofing your house may be one of the single largest repairs you do to your house in the time that you own it. Make sure that the contractor that you hire takes as much pride in their work as you take in your home. Top
A. There are many variables that impact the price of replacing your roof. When you receive a proposal from a contractor it should be based on how many square feet of roof area you are replacing. Factors that play an important role in cost are, the type of material if any that will be removed, the slope or pitch of your roof, the materials you want to replace the roof with, access to the roof, 1, 2 or 3 story home, permits, material tax and waste disposal. Top
A. Depending on the state you live in there are laws that have limits as to how many times you can go over an old roof with a new one. Ask your local contractor or better yet check with your state building code office so you are well informed before you make any decisions. While there are advantages to going over your old roof with the new one (cheaper in labor, faster, less materials used), there are things that should be considered before making that decision.
1. First, what is the condition of the roof you want to go over? Are the shingles splitting, are they cupping or curling? Badly damaged or aged roof shingles can create more issues than money saved should you decide to go over them with a new roof.
2. Can you see that the roof is sagging? This can mean that the roof decking is saturated, rotted and or deteriorated and would need to be replaced before a new roof can be installed.
3. Do you experience ice dams in the winter? If you currently have ice dams in the winter your old roof may not have ice or water protection membrane under it. This critical ice and water dam protection layer cannot be installed in a go over installation. Top
A. In some cases yes it can. A qualified contractor is always recommended to inspect your roof before the decision is made to make repairs to it. The contractor and home owner should conduct an outside and inside inspection. Look for signs that tell the contractor that the roof is failing. Are there stains on ceilings or peeling paint? Are there any missing shingles on the roof? If so are there areas where a group of them are missing in multiple places? Consider the age of the current roof. Is your roof 15 years old or older, or was it just replaced only a few years ago?
If your roof is well within its lifespan and you are not seeing any other warning signs chances are good you can repair or replace damaged or missing shingles that are causing a problem. Top
A. Yes you can make repairs to your roof without calling a roofing contractor. Most of the materials needed to make repairs can be found at your local hardware or national chain stores. However, we cannot overstress that you use extreme caution if you decide to make repairs yourself. Shingle roofs are not easy to walk on, they can be slippery, and let’s not forget you’re on a roof! OSHA’s safety guidelines are required by law and fall protection is a must. Emergency services are available if needed. In the end it is always safer to call an insured, professional roofing company to do this work. Top
A. Roof replacement is a labor intensive project depending on the size of the job it can take as little as 2 days to as long as 3 weeks or more to complete. Weather plays an important part in the time involved. Snow, wind, rain or even the threat of rain can delay a project considerably. Top
A. Yes, you most definitely will. When obtaining a proposal for a roof replacement make sure the contractor has included a permit. Top
A. In most cases there should be no added costs to your proposal. However there are exceptions that should be considered. An unforeseen condition is damage that remains hidden until it is exposed. However, in most cases conducting a thorough inspection prior to submitting a proposal should give roofing contractor a good idea whether there might be hidden damage lurking below your old roof. In rare instances this damage sometimes cannot be detected or seen during the inspection and reveals itself when the old roof is removed. In either case your contractor should address the cost and work involved in repairing damage that might be unseen in his proposal, prior to starting his work.Top
A. If you know your chimney is in need of repair we recommend that it is either done before or during the reroofing project. Depending on the extent of the chimney repair it may be best coordinating this work between your mason and your roofing contractor to ensure that both the roof and chimney are repaired properly. If you are unsure we recommend contacting a professional masonry contractor to help you decide.Top
A. Most solar panels are bolted or mounted through the existing roof material in some way and must be removed before a new roof can be installed. Solar panels may require a plumber, electrician or both to ensure proper removal and reinstallation. This work should be coordinated and scheduled before your roofing contractor starts his project. Top