Most roofs can last for 15 years or more, reports Hometime.com, offering your home years of protection from the elements. But sun, wind, rain, snow and even fire may eventually damage your roof beyond repair. Shop around for materials and hire a qualified contractor to keep your new roof under budget.
When to Replace
Once a year, climb a ladder and check for warping, sagging or missing shingles. Your composition roof may need replacing if most of the shingles are curled, cracked or have lost their granules. On wood roofs, you may see mould or decay, splits and curling. A flat roof will show worn patches, cracks, tears, blisters and wrinkles. Talk to a professional roofer for advice.
The web site CostHelper.com reports that it’ll cost £1.90 to £3 per square foot to remove and dispose of your old shingles. The cost of your new roof depends on the type and quality you choose, as well as where you live. For an average one-story home of 1,700 to 2,100 square feet, CostHelper.com estimates an asphalt roof will be £1,105 to £5,460; wood shingles will be £4,420 to £13,000; and fire-resistant rubber or plastic that mimics wood will be £8,190 to £12,285. You can also opt for a steel roof for £3,315 to £14,300 (aluminium and copper are more), synthetic slate for £7,735 to £12,285, natural slate for £11,050 to £54,600, or tile, ranging from £4,972 for concrete up to £39,000 for custom shapes and colour. The project cost could rise by £650 to £6,500 if your supporting frame needs repair or replacing.
The Energy Star program, a partnership of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, gives its stamp of approval to roofing products that may lower your monthly electric bills. By reflecting the sun’s rays, Energy Star asserts, some shingles can lower the roof temperature by up to 37.8 degrees Celsius and cut your air-conditioning needs by 10 to 15 per cent.
A rooftop solar system will also cut your home’s monthly energy bills, and it’ll be easier to install while your roof is ripped up. According to the California Solar Initiative, you’re a good candidate if you have a south-facing roof that gets direct sunlight from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. year-round. Some local power companies offer generous solar rebates and federal tax credits of 30 per cent are available through 2016. Some utility companies offer net metering, which means you’ll be compensated for any excess power that your system produces. The monthly savings on your power bill will depend on your town’s electric rates, how much your system generates and how much you’ll benefit from net metering.
Save money on your roofing project by choosing a trustworthy contractor. The California Contractors State License Board recommends that you get at least three written bids. Make sure your contractor is licensed, verify his business location and phone number, check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau, call at least three references and verify that he has proper insurance and a contractor’s license bond. The agency also recommends that you get a detailed, written contract, and then put no more than 10 per cent or £650 down. Don’t let payments get ahead of the work, and hold on to that final check until you’re completely satisfied.