Getting ready to install a new roof involves a lot of preparation and research. Taking the time to prepare correctly can help you find a better roofing material, prevent any accidents and damage to your home, and get you the best quality installation.
Select Your Materials
Roofs can be made of many different kinds of materials, so you don't need to install the same kind of roof you had before if you find something better. Roofs are commonly made of asphalt shingles, but you can also find clay tiles, metal roofs, and slate. Each has its own pros and cons, but you may end up finding a different material that works better and adds to the aesthetic value of your house, so talk to roofers during consultations and inspections.
Another option is going with a cool roof, which is specifically designed to reflect heat and lower energy bills. These have been shown to have a lower surface temperature than standards roofs by as much as 50 degrees, which can have a significant impact on your energy bills. These may especially benefit larger homes, or those with vaulted ceilings, which can take more energy to cool. On top of many energy and environmental benefits, you don't have to sacrifice quality or a stylish design.
Have Your Roof Inspected
Before a new roof is installed, it's important to make sure that any potential structural problems are addressed first. For example, if your old roof needed to be replaced because it was damaged or starting to leak, an inspector will need to make sure that any water damage is taken care of before anything else.
A roof inspection will look at several different parts of your roof, many of which may not be immediately noticeable. Some things, like a sagging roof or damaged wood, can be seen at a glance, but your inspector will also likely climb onto your roof to look at your flashing and any signs of subtle damage. They will also enter your attic to check the inside for rotting or water-damaged wood, mold issues, and proper ventilation.
This becomes especially important if you're using asphalt shingles and installing a second layer on top of the first instead of removing the first layer. Making sure your roof is structurally sound before adding the extra weight to it is a must, and important not just for your investment, but for your safety.
Check Quotes and Contracts
Once you start shopping around, take a close look at every contract you get. More specificity is better, and it should be more important than the actual dollar amount you're being quoted. A good contract provides safety for both you and your contractor and will make the process that much smoother. Comparing contracts when talking to contractors is a great way to see what some are offering that others may be missing, or which will include services you need. A cheaper contract starts losing its advantage if you're missing important services.
Further, it's helpful to check each contract against a list of things a standard contract should include, such as warranty information, payment terms, and insurance details.
Finally, some parts of contracts can often be flexible, so if you see a good deal and are considering a certain roofing contractor, always feel free to ask questions and request changes.