DIY Roofing or Hire A Roofer?
Thankfully, replacing your roof isn't something you have to do very often. But when the time comes, there's always the temptation to save a little money by doing it yourself. For your own safety and to increase the likelihood that your roof replacement will be done correctly, we recommend hiring a contractor.
Let ImproveNet help you get quotes from up to four professional roofers in your area for free! The following information is stuff a pro will already know, but if you're determined to DIY, allow us to drop some knowledge.
There are a wide variety of roofing materials you can install on your roof. Depending on your location, the state of your home and your existing roof, some materials may be better than others. Common roofing materials include:
- Asphalt shingles
- Wood shingles
- Membrane roofing
- Reinforced concrete
- Ceramic tile
- Sheet copper
Roofing types differ in their initial cost, expected lifetime, maintenance requirements and weathering capability. Consult with a roofing expert to determine material choices for your home if you are unsure.
Perhaps the most important and potentially most prohibitive item you need to conduct repairs on your roof is a ladder tall enough to get to the top of your house. If you have a single-story home, this is as easy as going to the store and finding a basic outdoor ladder. For two-story or taller homes, you may need to get a ladder in excess of 36 feet, which can be not only expensive but difficult to transport and store. Lack of a ladder is one of the major reasons many homeowners end up going with a contractor rather than a DIY project to install or upgrade their roofs.
Other than that, the materials needed for each type of roof vary depending on what sort of roof you plan to install. Nails and a hammer are some of the most common tools, as are shingles or asphalt/bitumen rolls. You will also want to purchase safety equipment such as a helmet, knee pads, goggles and disposable masks to prevent yourself from breathing in harmful dust or fumes.
Installing a roof may take as short as a day or as long as a couple weeks, depending on the size and type of roof as well as your comfort level with the job. Try to begin work early in the morning, and take a break if it gets too hot or if you get tired. If you feel yourself getting dizzy or light-headed, that is normal due to the chance of vertigo from the being high up. Simply get down from the roof and take a break. Avoid doing roofing work if you expect rain in the next several days because it may take time for your roofing materials and sealants to fully cure. If you're still in the planning stages, you can start with our roofing calculator to get an idea of how many squares you need.
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