The roof is one of the most critical parts of a building. It’s primordially responsible for providing protection and insulation against the harsh elements.
Traditional roofing materials like wood shingles, slate, clay, and metal roofing dominated homes in the past. While many homes are still built and remodeled using these conventional roofing materials, today’s technologies have made it possible to develop non-traditional roofing solutions, although usually at higher costs.
While these are worthwhile investments, roofing installation and repair shouldn’t take up your entire home renovation budget. Below are some tips on how to find the most cost-effective roofing solutions:
1. Identify The Most Cost-Effective Roofing Options
There are a variety of materials used by residential roofing contractors. If you’re replacing your old roof, you have the option to use the same component or switch to another material. Choosing the right material can be confusing, especially if you’re not a professional. There are many other considerations about the features of your home and the material itself that you need to keep in mind.
The following materials comprise the most inexpensive roofing options:
- Asphalt Shingles
This is the most common roofing material preferred by American homeowners. It owes its popularity to its low price and durability. Asphalt is the best option for homeowners who have a restricted budget but want to have a relatively sturdy and stylish roof.
This roofing material is durable due to the mineral granule coating that covers the asphalt-soaked fiberglass base. Asphalt shingles, according to industry estimates, can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. Some high-quality asphalt shingles carry a 50-year warranty, but you’re likely to pay additional costs for them.
Asphalt shingles are highly accessible in the market and they come in a variety of colors. It may require some level of maintenance over time, particularly some shingle repairs and replacement. The key to having a long-lasting roof is to make sure that critical mistakes in roof installation are avoided in the first place.
Best for: Homes that have challenging details, and for owners who want to have a wide range of color and design choices. Asphalt shingles are also easy and quick to install and have high resistance to fire and wind.
- Wood Shingles And Shakes
Wood shingles and shakes are more expensive than asphalt, and are expected to last for about 30 years. Teak shakes are estimated to last as long as 80 years. While durable and stylish, wooden shingles take a beating against the harsh weather, and are susceptible to mold and moss growth.
Unfortunately, they require too much maintenance work. Be prepared to clean your roof and gutters regularly to allow the wood to breathe.
Best for: Homeowners who want their homes to look stylish and focus on aesthetic appeal.
- Metal Roofing
Metal roofing is slightly more expensive than asphalt and may be priced the same as wood shingles. This will, however, depend on the type of metal used. Copper and zinc metal roofing are the more expensive choices, while tin and aluminum are the cheapest and softest types. Metal roofing could last up to 50 years and are extremely resilient to harsh weather.
Best for: Homes located in windy and stormy areas, and for owners looking for a roofing material that requires little to no maintenance.
- Clay And Concrete Tiles
Tiles undoubtedly look elegant, and they can be manipulated to create different textures—ribbed, and scalloped, for instance. However, concrete and clay tiles are heavy, so you must consider whether your home structure can withstand its weight down the road. Clay and concrete become brittle over time and they’re the easiest to break among the other roofing materials.
Best for: Homes that can bear its weight, and for owners who want the elegant look of clay and concrete tiles.
This is the most expensive of the lot. But it’s also the most elegant and aesthetically pleasing to most people. Slate is a type of rock that’s mined and melded into thin sheets. Most come in shades of dark grey, but can also come in green, red, and purple hues. Slate is highly durable, heavy, and expensive—but it can last for up to 100 years.
If you’re choosing slate as your roof, choose one with an S1 rating, as it’s the most durable.
Best for: Homes that can support its weight and require natural insulation, and for owners who want a great mix of durability and style.
2. Compare The Price Of Each Material And The Average Installation Costs In Your Area
Finding out how much your roof installation or replacement could cost will depend on the materials to be used, the size of your roof, and the installation costs charged by roofing companies.
Check out the estimated total cost for each material, including the installation costs:
- Asphalt Shingles – USD$3.50 to USD$7.50/ square ft.
- Wood Shingles and Shakes – USD$6.50 to USD$14.50/ square ft.
- Metal – USD$7.50 to USD$16.50/ square ft.
- Clay and Concrete Tiles – USD$10.00 to USD$24.00/ square ft.
- Slate – USD$9.00 to USD$25.00/ square ft.
As you may infer from the figures, the most cost-effective roofing solution is the asphalt shingle. For homeowners who want to have their roof replaced, the factors to consider include the type of work that needs to be done, the materials used, and the size of the roof.
Apart from installation, the contractor will have to charge for the removal and disposal of the old layers, as well as for the repair of damages or reinforcement of your roofing structure.
Based on the industry average, roofing installation prices could cost homeowners as low as USD$1.00 to as high as USD$3.50 per square foot.
3. Choose The Right Roofing Contractor
After choosing the best roofing material for your home, the next step is to choose your roofing service provider.
Don’t jump at the cheapest option right away. Get quotes from at least three contractors and read the fine print. Look at the service inclusions and warranties, as well as insurance coverages, if any. Companies that offer longer warranties could mean that they’re confident with their product.
Take heed of the following reminders to get the best roof at the most affordable prices:
- Hire A Local Company
Besides being familiar with the local building codes and permits needed to be secured for the project, local roofing companies also have access to hardware stores that could offer generous discounts.
A roofing contractor operating close to your area will get more things done, as the staff members don’t need to leave early or arrive late at the project site.
- Make Sure You’re Hiring Trained Roofers From A Licensed Company
Construction workers and companies need to carry insurance, given that their work makes them susceptible to physical and property damages.
Roofers need to be insured and protected against trips, falls, and other potentially serious accidents while working on your roof. Similarly, you shouldn’t be held liable for damages incurred in your own home or your neighbor’s property in the course of the project.
Besides making sure the firm is insured, find out the company’s specialization. For instance, some companies are more experienced in installing asphalt shingles, while others are trained in fixing concrete and clay tiles. Whichever material you decide to have, make sure that the contractor you’re choosing is an expert in the field.
- Contact References
Another way of identifying the best contractor is to talk to their previous clients and see how the project is holding up. Choose to talk to a former customer who’s had roofing works done about five years ago or earlier.
Ask the client how the project went, the major challenges faced, and how satisfied the customer is with the entire project. Don’t forget to ask the customers if they’re willing to hire the same contractor if another project crops up again. The customer’s answer to this question is one of the most telling signs of the service provider’s reliability.
Hire a company that has your best interest at heart and isn’t out to simply make a quick buck.
4. Check If Your Insurance Can Pay For A New Roof
If your roof is damaged, don’t call contractors right away. Instead, you may need to check your insurance policy and read the terms of your coverage. Although insurance policies vary, most providers are likely to cover roof replacement costs resulting from severe weather.
You may, however, face a bit of resistance from the insurance company. So, the best thing to do is to contact a roofing expert to guide you in communicating with your insurance provider. A seasoned roofer knows how to identify the works that need to be done and to justify roof repair coverage.
Make sure to have your damaged roof inspected as soon as possible, as insurers may put into question the actual reason for the damage and refuse to cover the costs.
5. Resist The Urge To DIY
Many do-it-yourself enthusiasts may consider fixing or installing the roof themselves to save on additional costs. Unfortunately, roof works require a level of expertise. Don’t attempt to replace your roof unless you have years of experience in doing it.
Roofers had to go to a trade school and through an apprenticeship for several years before qualifying to take the licensure exam. On the contrary, watching several hours of instructional videos doesn’t qualify you to install your roof. If you take this route, you may end up further damaging your roof.
Similarly, a roofing job is perilous. If you don’t have the right tools and safety gear, you may end up hurting yourself. Put simply, instead of lowering your costs, you might end up spending more than you would have if you hired contractors from the get-go.
Before choosing the best roofing solutions for your home, due diligence should be performed in finding out the most appropriate materials and the best roofing contractors in your locale.
Cost-effective solutions don’t always mean going with the cheapest option. It means optimizing the cost of your project by getting the best roof at the most reasonable price. Hopefully, this article was helpful in guiding you on how to come up with an informed decision for your roofing project.