Frequently Asked Questions
The cost of a new roof system fluctuates widely based on material selection, the contractor, the home or building and its location, location, local labor rates, and finally, the time of year. To get a decent idea of the cost of your roof system, get two or three proposals from reputable contractors near your area.
For each roofing material, there are varied grades and prices. There also are a variety of shapes and styles. This means you'll need to look at the full range of products and make a selection according to your budget and needs. Within the roofing profession, there are different levels of expertise and craftsmanship. Most importantly, find a roofing company that has the experience to do the job.
How can I determine my annual roofing cost?
When considering your roofing options, the following formula might help. First, factor the total cost of materials and labor, and divide it be the life expectancy of your roof system. The result in your annual roofing cost.
I received three significantly different proposals from contractors. How should I decide which contractor to select?
All roofing estimates should be detailed and broken down into separate line items. This is a good sign that your contractor is being thorough in preparing an accurate estimate.
The following is a partial list of items your roofing estimate or proposal should include:
- The type of roof covering, manufacturer and color
- Included materials
- Scope of work
- Removal or replacement of existing roof
- Flashing work, e.g., existing flashings to be replaced or re-used, adding new flashing, flashing metal type
- Ventilation work, e.g., adding new vents
- Who is responsible for repairing/replacing the exterior landscape or interior finishes that are damaged during the course of the work
- Installation method
- Approximate starting and completion dates
- Payment procedures
- Warranty coverage details
What are my options if I decide to reroof?
You have two basic options when it comes to reroofing: You can choose a complete replacement of the roof system, involving a tear-off of your existing roof system, or you can recover the existing roof system. If you've already had one recover installed on your original roof system, check with a professional roofing contractor. In many instances, building code requirements allow no more than one roof system recover before a complete replacement is necessary.
How long can I expect my roof system to last?
Most new roof systems are designed to provide service for about 20 years. Although some roof types, such as slate and clay tile, can last much longer. The actual life expectancy of a roof is determined by a number of different factors. These variables include the local climate, the roof design, quality of materials and their application, and lastly, routine maintenance.
Roofing product manufacturers offer a variety of warranties on their products. Take a close look at those warranties to see what responsibilities and financial obligations manufacturers will assume if their products fail to reach their expected lives.
My house has a flat roof. What is the best roof system for a flat roof?
There is no one roof system that is best for all applications. This is why good workmanship and proper attention to detail (e.g., flashing and drainage issues) are just as important as material selection.
Bear in mind maintenance plays an important role in roof system integrity and service life. Since there are so many roofing options available, it's critical you work with a professional roofing contractor and get a detailed, thorough proposal.