Monday, 30 April 2012

Much Ado About Roofing

Dear Joe,

The south side of my roof is in need of new shingles.  I had half the roof reshingled in 1998 following the ice storm and the south side shingled in 2005 following some further harsh weather.  Now the fourth side is in need of new shingles and I know that the half I did in 1998 will be due in a few years .  It feels like I am forever having the roof done on my house.  What should I do?

Thanks for your advice,



Thanks for a great question.   This is a question that a lot of homeowners wrestle with, especially those with hip roofs (four sided roofs) with a strong south and west exposure.  When the south side is ready to be reroofed, the north side is still serviceable for another two or three year.  This is where we fall into the trap of doing only half or one side of the roof one year and another side another year and so on in a vain attempt to try and save some money.

When you tally it up you aren’t actually saving any money.  It’s less of an expense at the time you are doing it, and if you truly cannot afford to do the entire thing then it is perfectly acceptable, but in the long run you end up paying more.  You’re hiring a roofer four times instead of one, four times he has to bring his equipment over, four times he has to get up on the roof, four times he has to install the ridge cap, clean up and visit the dump.  As a roofer you are not going to give someone a reduced price when you have to do more work, and if the roofer you hire has a large crew, then one quarter of your roof won’t get them to lunch time so they will definitely have to make it worth their while if you’re not going to have them do the whole thing.

Now from your perspective, money issues aside, having the confidence of a new roof over your head is very reassuring.  Not to mention the hassle of having to schedule a roofer and come up the money to pay them every five years is something most people would gladly forgo.    

It’s really all about peace of mind.  The roof is the part of your home that if not working correctly will compromise every single other part of your home, so it has to work.  My best advice to you is to have the entire roof done at once.  Let the roof go as long as you feel comfortable and when the time comes have two or three contractors come over and give you their opinion and a complementary estimate and base your ultimate decision on that.  Work within your budget but always be sure to stay on top it and protect your investment.

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