How to Replace a Roof

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Roof replacement sounds like a frightening endeavor. Will my entire house be exposed during the process? How much does it cost? Stay calm. Roof replacement is as common as kitchen renovation and a common task for any homeowner.

Most roofs have a general lifespan of some 15 years before they must be replaced. If you notice wear and tear it could be sooner. If just a few shingles are missing you probably don't need to replace the entire roof. However if entire sections are gone, instead of just patch work repairs it may be worth it to replace the entire thing at once - instead of major patch work every year. Similarly if your house has undergone extreme weather conditions you may need to replace the roof before 15 years. If you notice moisture on your walls or major paint peeling this could also be a sign your roof needs to be replaced immediately. In this case don't waste time. The sooner you replace the roof the better as this will prevent serious damage to the rest of the house. On the other hand if it seems to be holding up well you may be able to wait longer than 15 years.

Besides replacing the sheathing, minor repairs to the scaffolding may be necessary (i.e. replacing some of the timber, so make sure to check this too). To prevent gutter build up an ice dam may have to be installed, as well as flashing around potential leak areas.

After you have decided the roof needs to be replaced find a reputable roofing company. This means one which is licensed, bonded and insured. You can do this by asking friends or family or going to your local Chamber of Commerce.

Once you gather some names, check online to see if anyone has commented on the company - you might be surprised by what you find. Next call up the most promising ones and ask if they give free estimates and written contracts. Only continue on with those that provide both. Get a few estimates and choose one which is not too cheap (suspicious) and not too expensive (rip-off). Also make sure they don't use subcontractors.  Select a roof type and color with your roofer - shingles are by far the most common option and sign the contract.

It used to be that roofs could only be replaced in the summer, but thanks to modern techniques professional roofers can replace roofs all year long. The entire process if done by professionals should not take more than four days. Roofs come in all shapes and sizes, so roof replacements vary widely in cost, but expect to pay somewhere between $5,000-$20,000 dollars.



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