First time shopping for a roof? Here are some tips

shopping for a roof
April 15, 2017 Roof

The consequences of getting an unsuitable roof can be serious. It is no wonder that a number of first-time buyers balk at this prospect, and prefer to play little or no role in the process of choosing a new roof, leaving it entirely to tradesmen. Of course getting professional advice wise, but it is always good to have some clue as to what is going on to avoid any blame game that may follow in case problems occur later.

By following the guidelines below you can avoid many of the pitfalls that may come in your way when acquiring a new and reliable roof.

Choosing the best roof contractors

Ask your neighbour, colleague or friend, if they know a roofing contractor with a good reputation who can do a decent job on your roof. Once you contact the roofing contractor one of the first things you should find out is their experience in the trade, it is also good to know whether they are licensed to carry out such work and if they are affiliated to any professional body for contractors.

Of equal importance is whether the contractor has the correct type of insurance to carry out the roof work. They should be able to provide you with evidence of their workman’s compensation plan and general liability insurance in documented form. This can help you find out if the insurance cover will be effective for the duration of the roofing job. Engaging an uninsured contractor is not advisable as it can result in prolonged litigation or force expose you to liabilities in case of work-related accidents on your premises.

Inspection

It is crucial to do an initial inspection to determine whether you need to replace or repair your current roof. You should first do your own assessment from the ground and then get an expert to get on top of the roof and find out in detail what your roof actually needs. The inspection should look for damage such as cracks, holes and breakages. This will then form the basis of deciding whether some parts should be replaced, or an overhaul of the entire roof should be done.

Choose your roof carefully

The type of roof you choose should be guided by the following principles:

  • Durability – how much service will the roof give you?
  • Cost – how does my roofing solution compare to the other alternatives that are available out there?
  • Zoning regulations – what do council rules and regulations have to say about my roof design, and how does it affect the aesthetics in my neighbourhood?
  • Environment and weather – can my roof cope with the weather demands in my area?
  • Other installations such as AC systems, solar panels etc – these will have an effect on the roof’s design

Discuss with the contractor on the options available based on these items. Usually, the choices range between tiled roofs, galvanised iron sheets and shingles.

The history of your roofing will also matter. There are rules on how many layers of tile you can install during the course of repair work, if you’re on the second layer, you should do a complete renovation of your roof the third time.

Get the correct cost estimate

Roofing providers offer a wide range of services, though it varies with a contractor, that at many times includes studying the home plan and then recommending the best roof system for the house. Among the services they will offer you include giving you a professional and accurate quotation of the roofing.

Getting a professional quotation helps in the budgeting of the roof. Why would a roof buyer risk being wildly over-budget or under-budget when they can get guidance? A good contractor will also factor in a 10% margin for extra materials so that in the case of damages that need repairs, you won’t have to go back to the store for more supplies.

A homeowner can also estimate the cost of roofing by simply calculating the surface area of their roof, and getting to know how many 100 square feet of roofing material they will require (roofing materials are sold in squares, mostly being 100 square foot area) before multiplying with the market price of the 100 square foot roofing.

Consider the roof warranty cover

Make sure you secure a warranty for your roof. Warranties come either as full warranty, a warranty for materials, or a workmanship warranty. A full warranty covers defects in both building materials and installation, while a materials warranty will cover defects in the materials only. Nevertheless, when a roof buyer only secures a materials warranty, it is advisable that they make arrangements to secure a warranty on labour from the service providers. A warranty helps a roof buyer to be covered for damages over the course of the roof repair work.

Consider the fire rating

Australian building codes require that roofs should have a level of fire resistance. The fire-resistance of a roof will determine the number of premiums a roof buyer will pay for their home; the less the resistibility of a roof, the higher the premiums.  Roofs are the most essential in the safety and value of a building. It, therefore, requires being very protective of the house in case of a fire. Class A materials are what roofs buyers are advised to buy as they are highly fire-resistant.

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