Roofing Tips - Selecting The Right Contractor
.........A Few Tips Before You Start...The Scope Of Work
Once you have narrowed down the field with reference to choice of contractor and materials, it is time to compare the written estimates. Make sure all the estimates cover the same workmanship and materials to complete the project. Some variables you might find or want to consider are as follows.
Re-roof or Overlay? Legally, you can install a new roof over your existing roof so long as it does not exceed two layers; however, this could change the fire rating. For instance, if you install a Class A materials over a material of a lesser fire-rating, it reduced the fire-rating of the new system. Even though the cost is somewhat higher to remove the existing roof, it is a recommended practice. Once the existing roof is removed, the contractor can check for any termite or dry-rot damage and make repairs before installing the new system.
YOUR NEW ROOF WILL NOT LAST AS LONG IF YOU OVERLAY THE EXISTING ROOF.
Permits: Make sure it is understood who is responsible for obtaining any necessary building permits, covering the expense of them, and arranging for required inspections.
Underlayment and Sheeting: The felt underlayment is a critical part of the roofing system. It is the roofing felt that actually makes the roof watertight. Uniform building requires #15 felt, two layers if the pitch is less than a 4/12 pitch. It is advisable to upgrade your underlayment to a #30 felt or possibly two layers for roof systems such as tile applications. If sheeting is required, plywood is far superior to the less expensive OSB Board. Make sure you know what your contractor intends to use.
Flashings and Vents: Does the estimate include replacing all the rooftop metal and flashings? Even if the metal appears to be in fairly good condition at the time, it is more cost effective to replace all heating vents, plumbing jacks, and any flashings at the time your home is being re-roofed. It is much costlier to have to replace the metal at a later date. It is a nice addition to the appearance of your home if the contractor paints the rooftop metal to match the new roof.
Fireplaces: The fireplace flashings should all be removed and replaced as part of the new roof system or leakage will most likely occur before the roof is at the end of its serviceable life. In some instances this will require completely dismantling the bottom portion of the fireplace. If that is the case, stone or stucco may need to be replaced to install the flashings properly. This does add to the cost of the project. Ask your contractor to describe how he/she is going to address the fireplace in detail.
Ventilation: This is an extremely important aspect of the project. If adequate ventilation is not installed properly it will shorten the lifespan of the roof dramatically. This could also void the manufacturer's warranty. Proper ventilation will also contribute to keeping your house cooler on hot days. Ventilation is especially critical to installations on homes with cathedral ceilings. Again, ask your contractor to describe in detail what his or her intentions are for ventilation.
Enhancements: You may want to consider enhancements to your home that could be completed as part of your roofing project such as gutters and downspouts. Even more aesthetic additions, such a high profile hip and ridge shingles, or skylights should be reviewed. When done in conjunction with a roofing project, all of the enhancements are more convenient and less expensive.
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