Before you begin searching for a roofing contractor, here's what you need to know.
In some cases, a roof can be fixed with a few patches and be just fine for another five years. It’s always best to seek-out a roofing contractor by way of referral to obtain a professional opinion you can trust as to replacing VS repairing.
I find, more than half of homeowners I provide with a re-roofing bid to, have never gone through the process of installing a new roof.
The most difficult task for a homeowner looking to replace their roof is selecting a contractor. A contractor they can trust to complete the job correctly; at a fair price. As previously mentioned: nothing beats a referred roofing contractor. Knowing you can trust the contractor you select is key to a quality and lasting roof. With so many nightmare stories featuring shady roofing contractors, you want to insure the company you hire operates by ethical standards (also, installing consistent with the manufacture standards is important to avoid voiding warranties).
Does the estimate you receive include a breakdown of materials such as underlayment, flashings, etc? Does it include breakdown of labor costs? The more detailed the estimate, the better. When I conduct a bid, I try to factor in costs for unexpected labor/materials. It’s not an exact science, but any experienced roofing contractor should be able to foresee certain things that are obvious at first glance. For example, if shingles look to be damaged due to water, it’s likely that plywood underneath may need to be replaced.
You want your estimate to be as thorough as possible; while having the contractor explain it to you step-by-step to avoid surprises.
As with any other large purchase or investment: if it sounds too good to be true….
Familiarize yourself with the basics of your roof to understand and compare bids accurately.
- Flashing is used on most every re-roofing project, it is the metal (plastic in rare cases) used to connect roofing materials to avoid leaks.
- We measure your roof in what we call “squares”; this is not a square foot, but a 10” by 10” area.
A professionally installed roof, with quality materials, can last up to 30 years. Compare that to a roof installed with cheap materials, which can begin failing in as little as 10 years.
I always push for quality materials. However, I like to give my customers choices. Sometimes up-front cost is more important than the lifetime of the roof.
It’s important to know the difference between quality and generic roofing materials; if a contractor is pushing for lesser quality materials, it's a red flag. This is a common tactic used by contractors to come in as lowest bid by cutting corners at the expense of your roof’s lifetime.
You may also want to consider upgrading those asphalt shingles for something more durable and aesthetically pleasing. Here’s a post I completed about hiring a roofing contractor and selecting the right type of roofing.
Speaking of installing new shingles on top of existing ones, it is a common practice in the industry; but it’s not always a good idea. When doing this, it’s hard to know if the plywood has extensive water damage without removing the old shingles. Not to mention, new shingles installed upon old shingles do not seal as well as they would if nailed down directly to the underlayment. Ice can take its toll on a roof's underlayment, so in cold climate areas it's a good idea to always remove the old shingles and underlayment. Luckily in Phoenix we don’t have this concern.
By: Juan Lopez, Owner of Estrella Roofing in Phoenix, AZ
Estrella Roofing is family owned and operated. If you would like to receive a free in-home consultation, in the Metro Phoenix area, contact us today! All consultations and bids are completed by me, the owner! I look forward to discussing your next re-roofing project.