Your roof is a vital part of your home’s structure. It keeps the elements out and the heated or cooled air in. Plus, it helps protect the interior of your home as well as your belongings.
So when your roof no longer does its job, it’s important to ensure you get a quality replacement.
Whether you’re a homeowner or property manager, planning ahead for a new roof is crucial. Making a plan now will help ensure you get the best roofing option and contractor for your property’s needs, and that you can schedule the replacement when it works best for you.
Here are a few things to think about as you’re planning for a new roof.
When Should You Start Planning for a New Roof?
The short answer to this question is at least 2-3 years before you think you’ll need a replacement. This will give you plenty of time to save up for what is one of the larger home maintenance expenses.
However, there are a few things to watch for with your roof to determine when it’s nearing the time to replace it:
If you notice damage to your roof, it’s time for repair or replacement, depending on how extensive the damage is. Look for:
- Granules in the gutters or downspouts. Asphalt shingles are covered in granules that look like gravel. These granules help protect the shingles from damaging UV rays. Once the granules start to come loose, it’s only a matter of time before your roof begins to leak.
- Missing, cracked, or otherwise damaged shingles. Damaged shingles can let water penetrate into the underlayment or decking beneath. A few damaged shingles can usually be repaired, but more extensive damage will require a roof replacement.
- Moss growth, heavy icicle or ice dam formation, or other damage. If left unattended, these issues can lead to leaks and deeper damage to your roof and your home’s structure.
If your roof is older, it’s likely you’ll need to replace it soon. Most asphalt roofs start to fall apart after about 20 years or so. If your roof is already around 20 years old, schedule a roof inspection and start planning for a replacement now.
But it’s best to start planning sooner. Once your roof hits 15 years old, start saving for a replacement.
5 Tips for Planning for Your New Roof
1. Have a Roof Inspection Done
First things first, have your roof inspected by a reputable roofing contractor. They’ll check the condition of your roof and tell you if it’s in need of minor repairs or a full replacement. Ideally, you should have your roof inspected yearly as part of a routine maintenance plan. Regular inspections will help you keep your roof in its best shape and lengthen its lifespan.
2. Research Your Roofing Material Options
Planning ahead for your new roof gives you time to do research on which roofing materials you want to use.
You don’t have to replace your roof with the same material that was used for your old roof. Take some time to research and price out your options to determine which is the best fit for your home and budget.
There are multiple material options to choose from, and each has its benefits. Here are a few of the most common choices for roofing material:
- Asphalt shingles. The most widely used roofing material in the US, asphalt shingles are low cost, easy to install, waterproof, and have a long lifespan. They also come in a wide range of colors to match your home.
- Metal roofing. This roofing material is rising in popularity among homeowners. It is beautiful, strong, resistant to the elements, extremely long-lasting (it lasts much longer than asphalt), energy efficient, and available in nearly any color.
- Cedar Shakes. This option gives your home a rustic appeal. With proper maintenance, cedar shakes can last as long as asphalt. They are more expensive than asphalt shingles, but for those who want to maintain an old-fashioned, elegant look to their home, it may be worth the cost.
For low-slope or flat roofs, single-ply membranes are precisely measured to fit the exact measurements of your roof, providing a long-term, waterproof seal. They are durable, energy efficient, and last just as long as other types of roofing.
3. Gather Estimates
Never hire a contractor without first getting a written estimate from them. An estimate will tell you what work needs to be done, materials that will be used, and how many hours of labor it will take.
Gather 3-5 estimates from licensed, insured contractors before making your decision and signing a contract.
When you choose a contractor, don’t base your decision solely on price. Cheaper material or a cheaper (but less experienced) roofer could end up costing you more in the long run. Think about the value of your roof over time—after all, it’s an investment that should last for decades.
4. Determine Your Budget and Start Saving
If your roof was damaged in a storm, your homeowners insurance may cover part or all of your replacement. If not, you’ll be responsible for the full amount.
Set your budget based on the estimates you receive. Make sure to add some cushion into your budget just in case the cost ends up being more than you anticipate. A good rule of thumb is to add 10% to the estimated cost of materials and labor.
Then, start saving. One of the biggest benefits of planning your roof replacement early is that you’ll have more time to save. Ideally, save a little every month over the course of 2-3 years so you don’t have a huge expense all at once. Some roofing companies offer financing, but even so, a sizable down payment can reduce your premium and the amount of interest you pay over time.
5. Decide When You’ll Have Your Roof Replaced
Most people think of summer as the best time to have their roof replaced. And while the weather is right for a roof replacement, summer is also the busiest time of year for roofing contractors. Scheduling your replacement during slower seasons can make it easier to get it scheduled for a time that works best for you.
Spring is the sweet spot for a roof replacement. Roofing contractors aren’t at the peak of their busy season yet, and the weather is typically warm enough to easily install a roof. (Note: that means if you’re planning to replace your roof this year, start gathering estimates now so you can get your project scheduled this spring.)
If you’re a property manager, don’t forget to communicate with your residents regarding when your roofing inspection and repair or replacement work will be done. That way, they won’t be concerned when they see strangers on the property during the inspection, and they’ll be prepared for any disruption the noise of installation can cause.
Consider Hoyt Exteriors When Planning for a New Roof
If it’s time for you to start planning for a roof replacement, the team at Hoyt Exteriors would love to help. We can inspect your roof, offer an estimate for the work that’s needed, and answer all your questions regarding repair vs replacement, insurance, materials, and anything else you can think of.
Contact us today to discuss your roofing needs and schedule your roof inspection.