Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing a New Roof

You know it’s time for a new roof. Whether you’ve noticed damage to your existing roof or you simply understand that your roof is reaching the end of its lifespan, you know that installing a new roof is in your future. Finding a roofing contractor is a good start, but you will soon find you’ll be faced with many choices when you start down the path to having a new roof installed. There are plenty of decisions to make, and although your contractor can be an excellent guide, researching what goes into choosing a new roof can make the process much less stressful.

Exterior of a detached modern north American family home in a rural setting.

1. Familiarize Yourself with Roofing Terminology

Understanding roofing terminology can make choosing a new roof much easier. Roofers talk about “squares” rather than square feet. A roofing square is 100 square feet of area, which is a 10×10 area. A typical two-story, 2,000 square foot home will have a roof of approximately 15 squares. Roofing shingles are a common term that most homeowners will understand, but there are other materials you will need to understand. Flashing is metal strips applied to areas where materials adjoin, such as around the chimney. Underlayment is the material under the roofing shingles.

2. Understand Your Budget for a New Roof

The cost of a new roof can vary widely. Materials and the size of your new roof will obviously make a difference (prices can begin at $50/square for budget materials and rise to nearly $800 a square for more high-end materials), but there is more to it than the cost of materials. The installation of a new roof is not inexpensive. You will need to consider the condition of your existing roof. If your supporting structure needs any repairs, that will add to the cost. A home with multiple chimneys, skylights, satellite dishes, and intersecting rooflines will be a more complicated installation. Roof removal can be a significant piece of the cost of a new roof. When it is time for a new roof, consider your budget and how you will pay for the new roof.

3. Think About the Materials for Your New Roof

The choices for materials are:

  •   Asphalt shingles – the most commonly used and most cost-effective roofing material. Asphalt shingles are durable and will last between 20-25 years.
  •   Wood shingles – a historic choice for roofing materials. The cost is usually double the cost of asphalt shingles and may be prohibited by the fire code.
  •   Metal shingles – metal is a durable and lightweight choice for a new roof. Metal roofs can be much more expensive than asphalt.
  •   Tile and slate – Tile is usually used on specific home styles, such as Spanish colonial or mission style homes. They are extremely durable and long lasting, but are very expensive and add significant weight to the roof.

After choosing the material, you will have other choices to make, such as the color, texture, and any other features. Your roofing contractor should have a recommendation based on your home and can guide you toward the right choice for your region.

4. Talk to a Roofing Contractor About Installation

After you’ve chosen materials that fit your home’s style and your budget, you can begin to talk to a roofing contractor about the installation process. Your contractor will walk you through the process, including what you need to do to protect your property during installation.

Choosing and planning for a new roof can be overwhelming, but once you understand the options and what to expect, it will become a much simpler process. Finding the right contractor is the best way to get started, because once you have a roofing contractor you trust, they can lead you toward the best new roof for your home and budget. Contact All-Nu Construction to learn more about your options for a new roof today!