What You Should Know Before Starting a Roofing Project

America is experiencing a home improvement surge, with 3 out of 4 homeowners surveyed by Porch.com completing a major project since the pandemic’s start. Despite the surge, completing a home improvement project just got even more expensive.

That means it’s more important than ever to carefully plan your next home project to avoid spending too much. If you’ve been planning to work with a roofer in Maryland to replace your old roofing, we’ve compiled some of the essential things you need to know first before you start investing.

What You Need to Consider First

For some homeowners, purchasing the same type of roof as the old one is enough. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea, it may cause you to miss out on the opportunity to upgrade the functionality and look of your home’s roof.

Instead of simply relying on just an updated version of your old roof, try considering the following factors first and compare them to your old roofing system. It should help you determine which aspect of roofing was already addressed and which one you can invest in this time around.

Roof Pitch

Roof pitch is the slope of a structure’s roof. Various roof designs have different roof pitches. A house with a pyramid roof has a steep roof pitch, while commercial roofs often have a low-slope roof pitch.

Roof pitch differs based on their priorities. For example:

  • Low-pitched roofs are effective in protecting structures like commercial buildings but are prone to water buildup.
  • High-pitched roofs are designed to prevent water and snow buildup.

If you’re planning to update your roof, it can be an excellent opportunity to change your roof’s pitch. If your home initially has a flat or lower-slope roof, it may be possible to upgrade it to a higher pitch. That way, you can prevent any water pooling and even provide extra space in the form of an attic.

Appearance

Your roof is generally visible to everyone on the street, making it a crucial factor in your home’s curb appeal. If you’ve been unsatisfied with your old roof’s appearance, then it may be time for an update.

You can completely change the color, texture, and aesthetic of a house by simply changing the material of your roof.

However, always be true to your house’s architectural design and style. That means if you have a classic 60’s ranch house, do not use metal roofing, and if you have a Spanish-style house, never use wood shingles.

When updating the look of your roof, always choose a roofing material that will be consistent with the original design of your home.

Weather Resistance

Your roof is a large protective barrier between you and the weather outside. Your new roof must withstand extreme weather like rain and strong wind and endure the sun’s heat for years to come.

Roof materials play a huge part when it comes to weather and climate resistance. Some materials like wood are excellent for colder climates, while metal works well in hot and cold environments.

Your roof’s color tone is also vital because it contributes a lot to energy efficiency. Light-colored roofs reflect heat, so they are perfect for hotter climates. In colder regions, dark-colored roofs work best because they can absorb and retain heat.

When getting a new roof, carefully consider which material would suit your region better. If your previous roofing materials had not protected you from the elements, then it’s time to get a different one.

Durability and Longevity

If you plan on staying in your house for several years, longevity and durability are essential factors to consider. Each roofing material has its estimated lifespan. However, it’s usually the pricier ones that last longer.

If longevity is important to you, getting inexpensive material to save money can be unwise. Getting a cheap composition roofing can get the job done for a couple of years, but you’ll eventually spend more money replacing them again.

Fire Rating

Fire rating is perhaps the most overlooked roofing factor. Some homeowners install roofs without even knowing their fire rating. The Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) generally provide the fire rating for all roofing materials and the sheathing beneath them.

Here are the fire ratings for roofs:

  • Class A: Provides the best protection against fire. This is the highest standard fire rating for roofing materials. Some Class A material can still catch fire but spreads slowly. Metal roofs, fiberglass, and asphalt shingles are under this classification.
  • Class B: Able to withstand moderate exposure to fire but falls short of being as fireproof as Class A materials. Fire-treated shingles and sheathing fall under this classification. It’s worth noting that some communities do not allow the installation of roofs with Class B materials.
  • Class C: Resists fire damage for a short time, but it spreads quickly once the material catches fire. Plywood sheets, cedar shakes, and wood shingles are classified as Class C materials. Despite their vulnerability to fire, they are common roofing materials in most homes.

Whenever you are shopping for materials or working with your trusted roofing contractor, always ask for the fire ratings and invest in Class A materials whenever possible.

Popular Roofing Materials

Not all roofing materials are created equal. Some have certain advantages over others. Additionally, not all materials can be used on every roof. For example, a low-slope roof demands a different surface than those commonly found in roofs with a steeper pitch.

To help you distinguish between the different roofing materials, we listed the popular types below.

Asphalt

Asphalt remains the most commonly used roofing material due to its affordability and easy installation process. It’s usually made of fiberglass, asphalt, and ceramic material. Asphalt is sold in two configurations:

  • Single-thickness: The standard and affordable variation of asphalt roofing.
  • Laminated: A thicker and more textured variation of asphalt roofing. It does a better job of looking like wood and lasts longer than single-thickness asphalt roofing.

The average cost of asphalt roofing installation ranges from $200 to $250 per square foot. Asphalt roofing is known to last for at least 20 years.

Metal

Metal roofing is known for being extremely durable, lightweight, rot-resistant, and fireproof. Metal roofing can also reflect heat and sunlight, which makes it an excellent choice for warmer climates. However, metal roofs also do an excellent job of shedding water and snow.

Metal roofs are either:

  • Steel
  • Lead
  • Aluminum
  • Copper-and-asphalt (shingles)

Metal roofs are usually made up of panels, tiles, strips, and shingles. Metal roof installations can cost $700 or more per square foot, depending on the type. Metal roofing materials can last around 50 years.

Slate

slate roofing

Slate roofs are known for their classic and gothic look. Slate roofing is technically indestructible even in the harshest climate and weather. This type of roofing is also fireproof, corrosion-resistant, and doesn’t rot. However, they are so heavy that most houses are not designed to handle the extra weight.

Slate can also be challenging to install, which could drive up the cost. You can expect to pay around $800 per square foot of slate roofing.

Slate is also known to outlast its fasteners and go beyond 100 years without breaking down.

Wood

Wood roofing remains a top choice for many homeowners due to its rustic aesthetic. They are lightweight and easy to install. Wood roofing is usually made of cedar, southern pine, and redwood.

Wood roofing’s biggest downside is its vulnerability to fire, with some areas actively forbidding its use. They also require regular maintenance to prevent rotting. An adequately maintained wooden roof can last up to 25 years.

The average installation cost for wooden roofing can range from $300 to $500.

How Much Will It Cost You 

Nationally, an average homeowner can spend around $8,460 to have a new roof installed. Most homeowners spend $5,582 to $11,547 for roof installation, with the price heavily depending on the material used, size of the house, and location.

The cost can be broken down to about 60% labor and 40% for materials.

If you are completely redoing your roofing with a different material, it can cost you around $7,000 to $12,000 and even more, depending on the material you choose. This pricing should already include the removal of your old roof.

Keep in mind that if you plan on changing to new roofing material, you will have to pay more if your current roof framing is not designed to handle the new material. For example, if you initially have asphalt roofing, you’ll have to upgrade the frame to support something heavier like slate.

Hiring a Professional Roofer

If you are ready to hire a roofing contractor, it’s best practice to shop for quotes or estimates from at least three local contractors. It will help you get the best price for your roof replacement project.

Each estimate should be within a margin of $ 2,000 to $4,500 for the same job and area. If the estimates you got are below or beyond the price range, review your estimates and make sure all costs are accounted for.

It would help if you also kept an eye out for hidden costs before choosing a contractor. The last thing you need is more unexpected costs during the project. Watch out for the following warning signs:

  • Contractors pressuring you to sign a contract immediately
  • Contractors requesting a large cash deposit and entire roof replacement charge upfront
  • Unclear or confusing project estimates
  • Estimates that have several added outliers or expenses not present in quotes from other roofing contractors

Proper Planning Is Worth It

All the planning and preparation involved in roof replacement projects can feel overwhelming. However, all efforts will be worth it, especially if you’re able to find the perfect roofing for your home at the best possible price.

G.H. Clark Contractors, Inc. is the best choice for all your roofing installation and replacement needs. If you are looking for a reliable roofer in Maryland, get in touch with us today to get a free no-pressure estimate and to discuss your project with our team of roofing professionals.

RoofingWhat You Should Know Before Starting a Roofing Project