Hopefully your roof isn't this bad....but you're ready to start planning a roofing replacement project. Here are 6 simple things to understand heading in that will help the process run smoothly and not turn into the nightmare that it can be.

1. Understand Your Needs

Knowing what it is your after is the most important first step in the process that lends to every other question along the way.  There is one helpful question that you can ask yourself to narrow this down. Am I trying to solve a problem, or add value? Or maybe both? If your homes roof has been in need of maintenance for years and is leaking, you obviously need to solve a problem. If your selling your home { and if you work in sales you know that everyone is selling their home :) } and your roof is outdated and lost its curb appeal, you may be shopping in order to add a level of value to your home. The answer most often is both, with the cost of building materials going up every year it isn't terribly desireable to put a new roof on unless you have no other choice.
Now you can start to put together your list of needs for professionals to quote. Beyond requesting quotes for full roof replacement costs, note any leaks in the home, any areas of overhanging trees causing rot and decay {another topic for another day} or areas of concern on the exterior for your professional to look at to make sure your getting all the information you need to make educated decisions.

2. What Is My Timeline

After you've thought through all the different aspects of your project that you need quoted, you can ask yourself the next question. How soon do I need this project done? Understanding your timeline is important to make sure you are gathering accurate information. It really doesn't help to price projects this year that you don't plan to act on until next year or in the future. In fact, it tends to be counter productive with building material cost constantly increasing, homeowners tend to wince and lean away from something that used to cost $1.00 and now cost $3.00 In addition "tire kickers" as they are called tend to drive costs up on their own. It takes plenty of time and money to perform a "free estimate" and takes away from projects that are ready to start within thier decided timeline. Know how soon you are looking to have your project started and plan accordingly around it.

3. Research & Develop A Budget For Your Project

Developing a budget is an important step for you to be sure you can afford your new roofing system without sacrificing your daily quality of living to have it done. How much should my new roofing system cost? How much can I afford to spend on a new roof? A lot of homeowners go blindly into getting quotes without any figures and end up with sticker shock and delay projects until they are worse and cost even more. Never strictly use quotes to develop your budget. Contractors will be all over the board with the quality of materials they use and it is very difficult to lock in on a good price for the quality and service you are after when comparing apples to oranges. The performance of the materials you select will play an enormous role in your budget as well. {See Segment #4} Use one of the many resources to see what homeowners in your area are paying for the average roof. Ask your neighbors, ask there neighbors. Remember you don't have to tell your contractor what your budget is but it helps for you to know so you can direct them to quote materials closest to your spending needs. Secondly you need to ask yourself. Cash or finance? Most contractors will offer discounts on some level for cash/check projects because running a credit/debit card or in processing in house financing costs about 3-6 % of the project total. If your financing, approach your banking institution to check rates and inquire with your contractors for special offers.

4. Research Materials & Performance Levels

This step goes hand in hand with developing your budget. Research the type of materials you would like to see on your home. Look at style, performance, warranty, color options, and pricing. Researching puts the correct information into the hands of your contractors so they can give you the most accurate bid for your project. Also, select a few different styles or performances to have quoted to give yourself a good, better, and best scenario. If your really unsure any good contactor can help you determine what products fit best for your home and budget.

5. Gather Estimates

Now that you've done all your homework it's time to gather estimates for your project. Select 3-4 contractors in your area to survey and bid your project. While selecting contractors be sure to choose from licensed, insured companies to protect yourself from scams or more likely just really bad workmanship. Your contractor should supply you with all drawings and estimates for your project in a clearly drawn contract with clear pricing and guarantee information. Most estimates are good for 30 days for you to make your decision.

6. Hire Your Contractor

Once you have gathered all the information you need, you can select what contractor you felt best suited your needs and your budget. Quality, value & trust are the most important factors to insure you will have a great experience with your contractor. Be sure to request updates on scheduling for your dumpsters, material deliveries and start dates.  Work with your contractor and you'll feel as accomplished as completing the project yourself.



    Kyle Robinson, is the owner of Compass Exteriors. A licensed residential builder with 20 years of experience in exterior solutions with a new school attitude and approach to building and customer service.


    June 2016