I recently hired a roofing contractor to replace my house shingles. Although we do have a page for insurance resources, I thought the experience and some tips were worth sharing from a homeowner’s point of view.
First, hire a reliable roofer. The roofer with the biggest advertisement or fanciest business card isn’t always the best. I watched a roofer install new roof shingles on my neighbor’s house. The roofer and his employees appeared to do a professional job. After it was completed, I asked my neighbor: where did he find this roofer, was he happy with the quality of the work, how much time was spent on the job and of course, what was the price? My neighbor highly recommended him to me, and I couldn’t be happier; I have since referred him to three other neighbors.
There are some factors you should consider when choosing a shingle product. Unless you have wood, rubber, clay, terracotta or metal roofing, chances are you fall into the majority of us who have asphalt shingles. Obtain good size samples. Small sample chips (business card size) will not reveal what the roof color(s) will actually look like. My wife & I chose a sample from a small sample chip. The shingles are multi colored & shaded, blue/green & brown…I love them, my wife hates them. Consider the life span of the shingles you choose. The average brands come in 25 year limited warranty, 30 year limited warranty & 35 year limited warranty years. There are shingle products that are also available with a limited lifetime warranty. Discuss this with your contractor. Decide if you want Architectural shingles. This type of shingle has a 3-dimensional look to it and has great curb appeal. These are usually more expensive than three-tab shingles which have a flatter look. Three-tab shingles are the most economical. Consider the extras. Always have your roof replaced with drip edges and also ice & water shield membranes. Ice shields are a membrane that are installed under the shingles, from the gutter line up to about four feet, the purpose is to prevent ice dams.
Always have your shingles stripped before the new ones are installed. If a second layer of shingles is installed over a first layer, then any hidden damage won’t be exposed. After my contractor stripped the shingles, he showed me there were some random boards that were rotted and needed to be replaced.
Roofing is an expensive proposition. Hopefully, you’ll have a positive experience with your roofing contractor and roofing products as much as I did. And of course, request a certificate of insurance for General Liability and Workers Compensation from your roofer!