Many homeowners tend to oversimplify the way they view their home’s roofing system. As a result, they don’t fully understand the nuances involved in choosing the right roof when it’s time to replace their system. The roof is more than just a home’s first line of defense against harsh weather conditions. It’s also a crucial factor in determining your home’s aesthetics, comfort, efficiency and resale value. Unfortunately for some, it’s not until they notice leaks that they realize just how important this exterior component is.
If you’re planning to build a new house or simply renovating your existing one, and you think a roof replacement is necessary, then it’s imperative to know all the available options. With so many roofing options on the market today, choosing the right replacement material might be a challenging process. There are plenty of roofing types available to homeowners, so picking out the right one might just boil down to your needs, budget, local climate, and personal preferences. Read on for 10 smart tips to help you choose a new roof for your home.
FINDING THE PERFECT ROOF: There are hundreds of roofing options available on the market today. Before making a choice, be sure to consider your needs, budget and personal preferences.
1. Consider your home’s architectural style.
Since the roof is an important architectural element, you need to find a replacement that will complement the visual style of your home. Certain materials and colors look best with particular types of architecture. For example, metal roofs and green roofs are ideal for modern structures primarily because their styles go well with the minimalist look of these home styles. They also boost efficiency, which is one of the key features of modern homes. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, are versatile enough to work with virtually any architectural style. They come in numerous styles and colors, allowing you to find the perfect match for your existing design.
2. Establish a budget before anything else
As with any other home improvement project, your budget matters. Some products and materials might be out of the question simply because they cost more than you can afford. That’s why, before even deciding on which material to purchase, it’s important to establish a reasonable budget. You want to find a good roof for your home, but you obviously wouldn’t want to spend more money than you actually have or can afford. Research, and plan your budget early on, so your roofing contractor can show you ideal materials in your range. In addition, set aside at least 10% of your original budget for contingencies.
NEW DISCOVERIES: While it’s completely fine to just install a newer version of your current roof, it wouldn’t hurt to explore new options that could possibly enhance your home’s overall condition.
3. Explore new styles and materials
A lot of homeowners tend to just install a newer version of their current roof when the latter gets damaged. This is understandable as people tend to play it safe and prefer to stick with the familiar. However, it wouldn’t hurt to try other options and discover new materials that might boost the beauty, comfort, efficiency, and protection of your home even more. For instance, if you still want asphalt shingles, you can install them again, but be sure to consider options that are more innovative than the standard ones, like impact-resistant, reflective and designer asphalt shingles.
4. Think about how long you plan on staying
If you plan to stay in your home for several more years, you should know that sometimes costlier materials are more durable. Cheaper materials might only be half the cost of a higher-quality product, but if the pricier product is proven to last more than twice as long as the less expensive one, you’re not really saving money by going with the “cheaper” product. That’s because you may well end up replacing your roof again in just a few years. Remember that roof replacement is a costly, disruptive job, and it’s usually worth it to prioritize materials that have longer life spans, especially if you intend to remain in your home for a decade or more.
5. Take your local climate into consideration.
The truth is, some roofing materials do better than others when it comes to combating certain weather conditions. If you live in a region that often experiences intense rain and storms, consider having a sloped roof to reduce water pooling. Some of the materials that perform great under rainy conditions are asphalt shingles, slate, and tiles. Low-slope roofing, on the other hand, is more appropriate for regions with hot and dry climate. Metal is an ideal material for these regions because it has the ability to reflect away the sun’s heat, resulting in more comfortable and energy-efficient interiors.
NEIGHBORHOOD TOUR: Choosing your roof color is one of the hardest decisions to make. Touring the neighborhood for ideas will help you get a roof that’s unique, yet blends in perfectly with its surroundings.
6. Look for color inspirations in the neighborhood.
It’s also important to get inspirations from your neighborhood to make sure your roof stands out – not like a sore thumb, but for its beauty and uniqueness – while looking perfectly in place with the surrounding structures. As you prepare to purchase material, tour the neighborhood, and note which colors and designs catch your eye. For best results, pay particular attention to those with the same architectural style as yours.
7. Check reviews and word-of-mouth-recommendations.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the number of roofing materials and options today. To find the ideal choice for you, be sure to do your research and read through as many online reviews as you can find. These will give you an idea of the materials best suited to your needs, climate, and budget. Word-of-mouth recommendations are also a good source of information. Seek guidance from the people you trust the most, like your family and friends, as they will help you narrow down your choices.
8. Install a complete roofing system.
What most people don’t realize is that the roof is a complex system made up of various components working together to keep your home safe from the elements. In other words, it isn’t only made up of shingles and underlayment. Make sure that your system includes other essentials, such as deck protection, attic ventilation, ridge caps and waterproof leak barriers.
9. Hire the right contractor.
Replacing the roof is more than just tacking on shingles, hammering down nails and calling it a day. Keep in mind that even the highest-quality roofing material won’t protect your home if installed incorrectly. For this reason, you need to work with a qualified and reputable contractor who has the expertise and experience working with the type of roofing you want to install. A reliable roofer is certified by top manufacturers, has full licenses and insurance, and is committed to providing you with utmost satisfaction every time.
10. Go for solid warranties.
Most importantly, know what warranties your contractor offers against workmanship errors and who is ultimately responsible for repairing the issues. Top roofing manufacturers, such as GAF, back not just the performance of their products and materials, but also the workmanship of their certified contractors. This is why the best choice is to choose a manufacturer-certified roofer —they will help you get the most value out of your investment.
These are just some of the most valuable tips you should remember when planning to get a roof replacement. Before making any decision for a project this big, be sure to plan and thoroughly evaluate your options. Keep in mind that your roofing system should be durable and long-lasting, and choosing the cheapest material on the market may not be the best decision. Working with a reputable roofing contractor will help you think about long-term solutions and make sound decisions.
Jason Bradley, President of Crown Roofing, counts on Integrity, Honesty, and Quality as the traits you should expect and deserve from a business that was founded in 1902. Hundreds of local customers have come to rely on Crown Roofing for the kind of quality work – and quality experience – that makes the roofing process a pleasure.