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Contractor’s Corner

Roofing, painting, siding and window tips and tricks from Rocky Mountain Roofing & Exteriors
How to Replace a Roof

How to Replace a Roof

Getting a new roof, or even just repairing one that’s already there, can be so intimidating that lots of people–more than you’d think–put it off until it’s an emergency and they’re in catching-drips-in-buckets territory.

In this article, we’ll break down how to replace a roof into bite-size bits that you can digest, and that will be healthy for your home’s value. We hope you’ll come out the other side of this article knowing how to get started and feeling more confident about the process.

How to Replace a Roof

The short answer is, just call some of your friendly, neighborhood Denver, CO roofing contractors. Despite all the tutorials and articles online about how to replace a roof, this is one of those home improvement jobs that’s not made for DIY. It’s dangerous and difficult, and the difficulty of course makes it more dangerous. Presumably, it’s not necessary to enumerate every way that it’s dangerous to walk around on a damaged, lumpy, possibly steeply sloping surface with power tools, so high off the ground.

There’s also the warranty on your roof. If anyone but a professional repairs or replaces it, your roof’s warranty is voided–and assessors can usually tell the difference between professional and non-professional work up there. On the other hand, that friendly Denver, CO roofing contractor’s work preserves whatever warranty there may be, and the really good ones even offer their own labor warranty.

Speaking of roof warranties, if you have one, this is the day it’s been waiting for. Read on to find out more about figuring out the warranty situation on your roof.

Cost of Roof Replacement

It usually costs between $260 and $700 per square to replace a roof. A copper roof can cost well over $1,000 per square. Hence our discussion on those money-saving  warranties.

First, do you know if you have one? It’s not strictly standard, but it’s fairly regular for a house’s seller to transfer all warranties including the roof’s to their happy buyers.

If you don’t know if there’s a warranty that you can use and you can’t find one in your records, then you have a potentially lucrative mystery to solve. The warranty in question will probably be a manufacturer’s warranty so, if you know what company manufactured your shingles, that’s where to start. Otherwise, try the realtor you used when you bought the house. Maybe it was included in the sale; it’s not like roof warranties are the part you remember best about buying your house.

If that fails, then try to get in touch with the last contractor that worked on the roof. That could be the original builder or a separate roofing contractor.  You may have to track down the people you bought the house from to find this clue. If you do, be prepared for them to tell you they don’t remember. Again, it’s not like who replaced the roof is always the most memorable part of living in a house.

If all other warranty-sniffing efforts fail, feel free to call one of those Denver, CO roofing contractors to take a look at your roof; maybe they can identify something about it that will help, like what brand the shingles are.

Your next stop after the warranty is your homeowner’s insurance policy. If you need a roof for the reasons specified in that policy, maybe you can file a claim. Most often, those reasons are the various types of accidental damage.

If you have to pay for any part of your roof’s work, and especially if you have to pay for all of it, get three different estimates. By all means, get four or five if you feel like it. When it comes time to select a contractor, you’ll be savvier than you are now which, of course, is the most effective way to get what you really want and keep from overpaying.

Roof Repair or New Roof?

Obviously, roof repair is cheaper upfront than a full replacement. Sometimes that’s all that’s needed. Other times, the roof is nearing the end of its life anyway and will have to be replaced soon regardless, or the damage is too widespread, or, or, or…. It all depends on your roof’s life situation. The only way to really know, aside from drops coming through the ceiling, is to ask the contractors that look at it.

This is one of the reasons to get more than one or even two estimates; if one company says you need a full replacement and another says you just need repairs, you can tell the third what you heard from the first two (and the second what you heard from the first) and see what you can learn.

If replacement is in order, you’ll need a rundown on the pros and cons of different roofing materials.

Get a Free Estimate

So, how to replace a roof: 1) try to invoke your roof’s warranty; 2) try to invoke your homeowner’s insurance policy; 3) if replacement is needed, start learning about roofing materials 4) initiate a parade of roofing contractors who provide free estimates; 4) pick your favorite.

Estimates are usually free so ask if they are during your first conversation with every roofing contractor you talk with. If you find one that charges for estimates, no problem–they don’t have to be on your list of candidates. Keep ‘em honest by asking every candidate about what the others have said.

Also, include Rocky Mountain Roofing & Exteriors in your estimate parade. We’ve done over 3,000 jobs in less than ten years with a 98% customer satisfaction rate. We’re pretty proud of that and we even offer a warranty on our work!