The saying goes: “Roofing shouldn’t be done by novices who want to stay dry.” If it weren’t for the temptation of saving a few thousand dollars, that would be enough to deter most home owners. Unfortunately, when home owners calculate the cost and savings of DIY roofing, they forget one major expense: the cost of having to hire a professional to do the job second time.
And the expense can be much more than you bargained for, depending on the problems with the existing roof. You may have to replace all or some of the materials that you have used. Due to lack of knowledge about code and insurance specifications, you may find out later on down the line that your insurance company won’t cover the damage incurred as a result of your DIY roofing job.
Professional roofers don’t get their name by accident.
There are so many online websites out there that offer “tips” to help homeowners install their own roofs, and do-it-yourself television shows that many homeowners are lured into thinking that roofing, like other home repairs, is an easy job. But while those websites may look helpful, they don’t give you the most useful information: testimonials from do-it-yourself roofers that almost doubled their cost because they missed some smaller details that the books and websites leave out.
Manuals for novices are written for a general audience, meant to be read by millions of home owners who all live in different climates, with different regulations and different homes. No professional roofer approaches assumes that every roof is like every other. That is why the first step of any professional roofing job is an inspection. That’s because professional contractors have training and experience. They don’t miss out on small, expensive details because “it wasn’t in the manual”. I mean, technically, your uncle could build you a car just by getting the right parts and doing a little research. But would you drive your kids around in it?
Doing your own roofing job, even if its done well enough to keep you dry, also means that you may shorten your roof’s lifespan by not getting a professional inspection. In order to ensure the quality and integrity of even a professionally installed roof, it is necessary to have inspections done at intervals determined by a professional contractor. Not all roof problems can be spotted by the untrained eye. A good contractor can identify problems before they become obvious (like leaks in the roof). Catching problems early can save you on energy costs, and prevent the high cost of replacing the roof entirely.
How do I Tell a Good Roof Contractor from a Bad One?
As many homeowners have discovered, even so-called “professional” contractors can make major mistakes through negligence or ignorance. So, how do you make sure that that happens?
Do your research. Verify their permanent place of business and phone number. Next, ask if they are appropriately licensed to work and insured. Put in the time to call the Better Business Bureau to make sure that there have not been any negative reports against the company. Ask for references. Ask if they have done the type of work that you require. Take the time to do your homework, and you won’t have any regrets.
The best way to save money is to hire a professional, reliable contractor to handle the job. A do-it-yourself job may seem like the cheaper option, but the hidden costs can be astronomical and not always immediately evident. You may decrease the re-sale value of your home, or decrease the effectiveness of your insurance plan. And when the job is done by a professional, you gain peace of mind and a warranty which money can’t buy.