Like the tires on a car, having a reliable roof over our heads is a fundamental necessity we can easily take for granted -- until we don’t have it anymore.
The vast majority of us don’t think much about what protects our living spaces. In fact, we’re more likely to focus on the cosmetic features of our houses — peeling wallpaper, chipping paint, cracked bathroom tiling, or ugly linoleum — than its structural integrity. This prioritizing shows up in our bank accounts. We spend more on additions and decoration than we do on the foundation and the roofing.
Everything changes, of course, when the roof starts leaking. Unlike that shag carpet that looks like it was installed in the late 1970s, we can’t ignore what’s over our heads for long. Roofing affects everything from our stress levels to our energy efficiency, from our maintenance costs to our resale values. The longer we wait to remedy this problem, the higher repair estimates climb.
According to one recent report, taking care of water damage costs homeowners an average of almost $2,700 per incident with more expensive repairs exceeding $4,000.
Once homeowners realize the need for roofing solutions, the whole process can become a blur of details. The questions can come as fast and furious as the multiplying cost estimates. How do you find a good roofing company for your needs? How can you tell the difference between an accurate quote and a scam? What kinds of things should you find out before deciding on a contractor? And once you choose your service provider, what guarantees should you get in writing before getting started?
Finding the right roofing company is essential if you want your home to stay dry and hold its value for years to come. Not only does it safeguard your home (and all the improvements you’ve made to it over the years!), but it’s also an investment in the future.
A new roof boosts home values by an average of $12,000; homeowners can expect to get back about $2 of every $3 they contribute.
Armed with good information and the right questions, navigating the world of roof replacement and repair doesn’t have to be stressful. It can even be empowering.
Beginning Your Search for a Roofer
You don’t have to wait for the telltale dripping and moisture stains on your ceiling to find the right roofing company. In fact, if you’re reading this, and your roof remains intact, you’re in the perfect place to begin your search. You can take control of basic maintenance and partner with a good roofer without the deadline of a leaking roof that’s threatening to collapse.
Other than the need to fill in a growing hole in your roof, there’s no timetable specifying when to contact a roofing company. Maybe you’ve just bought a house, and the inspector suggested replacing the roof. Perhaps you’re getting ready to sell and looking to raise the appraisal value. When a storm comes through, and you suspect damage, or if you’re concerned about the resilience of your roofing for the long run, it’s natural to start thinking about protecting your home.
You can start assessing your roof with some simple preventive maintenance — looking for early warning signs of wear and damage. An informed walk-through can surface potential issues quickly, so you should examine your roof’s condition a couple of times annually.
A reputable roofing company will offer a roof inspection free of charge. That’s often a good place to figure out your roofing needs for the foreseeable future.
Choosing the Right Roofing Company
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Americans enjoy an embarrassment of riches when it comes to roofing companies. It’s a blessing and a curse. To the uninitiated, choosing a contractor from among 100,000 providers nationwide can feel overwhelming.
Choose carefully. Roofing is a billion-dollar industry. With that much money in play, you’ll find some disreputable roofers looking to make a buck in addition to honest, hard-working contractors. Pick the right company, and you’ll have a reliable roofing solution on a reasonable budget completed on schedule. Hire a con artist and your cost could balloon, your work could be left undone or poorly executed, and you could be out thousands of dollars.
How do you tell the difference between a dependable roofer and a scammer? Fortunately, an informed eye can spot an imposter from the genuine article. Look for experience, guarantees, and positive testimonials from satisfied customers. If you don’t see those qualities front and center, assume a company has reason to hide something.
For more information see our guides:
What to Expect During an Inspection
Before getting any work done on your roof, you should have an inspection with an estimate of the recommended repairs. This analysis should provide a comprehensive evaluation of your roofing. Remember, your roofing is more than just shingles! Make sure the inspector reports on the ventilation, seams, welding, pitch pans, and drains.
Done right, the inspection offers a vital source of diagnostic information about your roof’s condition and longevity. The inspection empowers owners to take concrete steps to protect their home investments for the future.
The best way to ensure you’re getting a fair shake in this process is to engage actively in the conversation about your roof. Before the inspector shows up, review our guide, What to Ask a Roofing Company During an Inspection, to make sure you get all the important questions answered.
Getting the Roofing Solution You Need, Guaranteed
The inspector recommended repairs to your roof. You recognize the value of this investment and the need for treatment. Ready to sign on that dotted line to get a roofing job started?
Not so fast. Make sure your roofing company guarantees its work. And remember: not all guarantees are created equal.
Here’s what to look for in writing:
Maintaining a Relationship With Your Roofer
When the last shingle is nailed down and the debris has been cleared from your yard, is your relationship with your roofing company over? In a word: no.
Your roofing partner has put invaluable work, too. Since its reputation depends on the quality of its craft and the satisfaction of its clients, a company has an interest in protecting your investment. Together, you can help ensure a roof that keeps you dry and enhances the value of your home.
In addition to basic maintenance and regular inspections, there are a number of services your roofer can provide going forward.
Getting the right company to install or repair your roof is a major investment. Remember: you’ve got choices. Take the time to make an informed, careful choice. Ask questions, do your research, and use this guide to help you make a decision that’s right for you. Do that, and you should stay dry and protected -- guaranteed -- for years to come.
By getting roofing work done, you’ve made a financial commitment to your home’s future.
Ask Us Anything
Our expert team at Good Shepherd Roofing can answer any questions you have. Send us a message and we will get you an answer ASAP.