New roofs are not cheap. The national average cost of replacing a roof is about $7,000 with costs varying depending on where you live, the materials you choose, etc. Follow these helpful guidelines to save as much as possible on your new roof.
Know what needs to be done ahead of time
Roof problems are harder to diagnose than most homeowners realize. Unless it’s an obvious problem, like a glaring hole, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause of what’s going wrong. A few tiles might be blown loose or a leak may appear in a particular section, but oftentimes, these signs are only a small indicator of what’s wrong.
Before you pay for an entire roof replacement, hire a roof inspector. The average cost of a roof inspection is about $220 and is a good investment.
Having your roof inspected by a professional will let you know the best course of action from an unbiased perspective.
Determine if the roof is under warranty
The existing roof may still be under warranty if the home was recently bought.
Look through the purchasing documents to determine if it is. If that doesn’t work, contact the people you bought the home from or look over any repair records. If you hire a roof inspector, they might be able to figure out which manufacturer’s materials are being used for the current roof. Regardless, there are three main warranties related to roofing:
Manufacturer material-only warranties: Warranties of this nature focus on the materials only and vary quite substantially in the extent of coverage. They protect against premature failure of roofing materials; however, you still have to pay for the labor to replace failed roofing components.
Labor-only warranties: These warranties only cover the cost of labor for repairs covered under the warranty. They exist to provide coverage for the cost of addressing roof defects.
Full system warranties: As you can imagine, these warranties provide thorough coverage. Although they typically don’t cover events such as floods, fires, or tornadoes, or the results of poor maintenance by the homeowner.
Determine which warranties are in effect for your home (if any), what they cover, and how to file a warranty claim. Doing so will alert you to any stipulations about who needs to perform the work and how it needs to be done. If it’s a brand new home, you might be covered under a new-home warranty. Check with the Federal Trade Commission on how such warranties work.
If you’re part of a housing association, it might pay off to look at the local bylaws. There’s a small chance your housing association is responsible for replacing the roof.
Choose to repair or replace
Decide to either repair or replace the roof after reviewing the inspector's report and determining if the roof is under warranty.
If your mind still isn’t made up, calculate how close the roof is to the end of its life cycle. You should be able to find out this information from either the seller of the home or the roof inspector. If the roof has another decade or more of solid use, and the cost of repairs are relatively cheap, repairs may be the best option.
- 5 Tips to Keep Your Roof Replacement Within Budget
- Roof Replacement Basics All Homeowners Should Know
Get at least 3 quotes
Get quotes from at least three licensed roofing professionals.
Don't settle for the cheapest bid. Ask your friends and neighbors to recommend someone, as the opinion of a trusted source will save you time and headaches.
As well as getting the best price, having multiple roofers quote your project will offer insight into the different approaches of how best to handle your project.
Carefully consider your financing options
Not many homeowners are fortunate enough to have the cash on hand to pay for an entire roofing project up front. Thankfully, many roofing companies offer financing options, either through their own company or a financial partner. Using a credit card is also a popular option. However, neither of these options is ideal.
The Home Advancement website gives advice on many other options, including home equity loans, government-backed financing through FHA Title I loans, and state incentives for energy-efficient roofing options.
Ideally, you’ll be able to pay for the repair or replacement well in advance and pay cash.
Plan your roofing project as early as possible
As soon as you purchase a home, make a point of planning out emergency expenses long before they happen. You should have had a thorough home inspection when you purchased the house and relevant warranty information. Both should help you determine the remaining years on the roof so you can begin saving for a full replacement or repairs.
- 8 Tips for Preparing Your Roof for a Home Inspection
- 10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Roofing Contract
Pick out the right materials
When it comes time to replace your roofing materials, consider all the options available to you rather than the same old material. Determine what the best type of material is for where you live, your budget, and your long-term goals. Various tax incentives are available for more energy-efficient roofing options. Check out Energy.gov for detailed options in your area.