Replacing a roof can be one of the most expensive things you do for your home. Even a simple asphalt shingle roof with no complicating factors can cost $5,000+, and many other styles and sizes of roof will cost much more. But what happens when you look at your bill afterward and it’s thousands of dollars beyond what you expected? Sometimes hidden costs can add up and turn your roof replacement into a nightmare. Here’s how to avoid them.
Book When Demand is Low
While sometimes a roof replacement can’t be put off, your best bet to lower costs and avoid hidden fees is to book in the off-season. Roofers are busiest during the spring and summer and may raise their prices to compensate for the demand. The price of shingles also tends to go up then. If you wait until fall or winter, you can get a good deal on a new roof from a contractor who’s having a hard time finding clients.
Frequently Check For Leaks
A lot of times, leaks can go unnoticed. Especially if you don’t use your attic that often. But excess water can easily rot wooden supports which are a crucial part of your roof’s construction. Without strong supports, your roofer can’t just re-shingle the roof and call it a day. They’ll need to take out the rotted wood and replace it with new supports. Frequently checking for leaks is the best way to counteract this. Take a flashlight up to the attic and look for any dark spots on the wood where mold may be growing. Identify the leak by having one person stand in the attic while another takes a hose to the roof. Patch it up, clean the mold from the wood, and you should save yourself this added expense.
Bring Your Roof Up to Code
While there’s no avoiding this expense, you can prepare yourself for it. If you have an old home with a roof that was placed decades ago, there’s a good chance it’s not up to standard building codes. During your initial consultation, have your roofer look into this. You’ll want to make sure you hire a roofing company that is well-versed in your area’s codes, as they’ll help make your home more energy efficient as well, saving you money in the long run.
Keep Pests At Bay
Insects and vermin can cause serious damage to roofing structures and insulation. Carpenter bees burrow through wooden supports, squirrels nest in insulation, termites can easily destroy your roof’s structure in no time flat, and anything that decides to move in will leave plenty of filth behind. Check for signs that insects and animals have gotten into your attic. Look for entry points where there are gaps in tiles, or some other way persistent critters could get in. And of course check your attic frequently for droppings and other red flags. If you notice a pest problem, call an exterminator or animal control to take care of it before any major damage is done.
Decide Beforehand If You’re Upgrading
Many homeowners will choose to get their roof replaced with the same materials that were used previously. In most cases, this is asphalt shingles. But you may be interested in upgrading your roof to protect against harsh weather conditions, to cut energy costs, or to find a more aesthetically-pleasing option that will have better curb appeal.
Just know that different materials will increase the cost of the replacement. Composite shingles may only cost you $7,000, but a full metal roof will likely reach into the $20,000-$30,000 range. It’s best to get an estimate from a reputable roofer and shop around for the best price. To find someone local who will give you the best deal on a new roof, you can search for “roofers in my area” anytime.
The easiest way to avoid hidden costs is to do your research, choose a reputable roofer who has good reviews, and communicate with that roofer every step of the way. While many homeowners prefer a hands-off approach to roof replacement, it’s best to be aware of what’s happening at each stage of the process and why. Also, be sure to request an itemized estimate, and an itemized bill once the work is complete. Look for any major discrepancies and ask about any charges you feel are unfair.