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Roofing & Gutters

What to Know About Roof Installation

By on Mar 26, 2014
What to Know About Roof Installation

Unlike some other home improvement projects, roof installation is one homeowners can NOT afford to tread lightly. Your home’s roofing is not only key to the property’s value, but it greatly affects the home’s exterior, keeps inclement weather outside and helps families maintain household budgets by improving energy efficiency. Before you hire a roofing contractor, there are important factors all homeowners must know before installing any roof.

Roof Installation is Not Cheap

It doesn’t matter if we are referring to roof installation or roof repairs; roofs are not cheap. According to our roof installation cost estimator, investing a new roof can run a homeowner anywhere between $3,000 and $11,000 with most homeowners paying between $5,000 and $6,700. As you can see, there is a quite a large range. The difference in pricing can largely be attributed to the various materials of roofs, the sizes and of course, location of our recorded projects.

With so many price factors at play, owners and contractors have the flexibility to make thoughtful and cost-effective choices. Knowing the factors outlined below can empower homeowners to minimize unnecessary roofing costs.

Roof Design Matters

Some homeowners want their roof to make a statement while others just worry about the bare necessities. While a pitched, or steep, roof does provide an extra pizzazz to the home’s exterior, it is more expensive to install than a standard flat roof, which is more prevalent in areas with little rainfall or snow.

Compared to a flat roof, a pitched roof requires more materials, time and to be honest, guts from the roofing contractor. As you can see from the roof type illustrations on our roofing cost estimator, pitched roofs don’t only take up more space, but require more effort to install. Given the angle, it is a more dangerous project and many contractors will charge extra. Like any other home improvement project, the design of your new roof will play a key role in the overall cost for a roofing contractor.

Tip: Roofing contractors may also charge extra to install or repair a pitched roofs in the winter due to difficult or hazardous conditions.

Types of Roofs Matter

Roofing materials depend on the slope, or flatness, of your roof. Flat or nearly flat roofs must be covered with built-up roofs such as tar and gravel to keep water out. For roofs with a 3-in-12 pitch or less, tar and gravel, bitumen, roll roofing, or even metal sheet roofs work well. These are just a few of the many different types of roofs you will see down any street in America. Below are some of the most common types of flat and pitched roofs. For more examples, check out our roofing material project guide or some of our materials estimators like our concrete calculator.

Flat Roof Materials

  • Tar and Gravel
  • Modified bitumen
  • EPDM rubber:
  • Roll
  • Felt
  • Metal

Pitched Roof Materials

  • Composition Shingles
  • Dimensional Shingles
  • Asphalt Shingles
  • Wood Shingles
  • Concrete
  • Tile
  • Slate

Roofs Need Constant Monitoring

Unlike some other home improvement projects, like the kitchen or bathroom, you are not constantly perusing or enjoying the benefits of new or remodeled roof. With a kitchen, it is easy to spot areas of concern because you see them every day. The same can’t be said for your roof. Don’t be fooled. Roofs need constant monitoring. 

Preventative roof maintenance is always better than reactive maintenance. Your new roof could see damage at any time and the earlier you spot the area of the concern, the cheaper the repair will be. Damage that goes unattended for too long can result in extensive water and ice damage inside an attic or around the flashing that separates structural roofing materials from skylights, chimneys and other fixtures.

Given the safety concerns with inspecting a roof, we advise all our readers to be extra careful while examining their roof. Do not walk around on your roof if it is windy, raining or snowing outside. Additionally, do not inspect the roof if a recent snowstorm hit your town as the roof could be still be slippery. If you are unable to gain access to the roof on your own, don’t be afraid to use binoculars while standing comfortably on the ground.

For more tips on proper roof monitoring, check out a full article on New Roof Inspection

Roofs Can Decrease or Increase Value of Home

As I mentioned earlier, the costs to install or repair a roof can vary greatly, but more often that not, it is more expensive than other home improvement projects. Therefore, a strong and stable roof can increase the value of your home, as it will bring down future costs for new ownership. Additionally, ugly patterns or outdated materials visible on the roof are eyesores and potential buyers will be hesitant to reach your asking price. Thus, before you create a roofing installation budget, make sure you leave yourself enough room to add all the necessary factors of a stable roof.

Thinking about installing a new roof? See all the costs associated with this big project by viewing our roof installation cost estimator.


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