8 Steps to Buying a New Roof
You Need a New Roof, Now What?
The roof over your head is arguably the most integral part of your home’s exterior, and it takes more punishment from the elements than any other part of your home. Your roof is like the tires on your car, you don’t wait until they fail before replacing them because that would be dangerous and more costly. And buying a new roof is a process worth understanding before going in.
There are two ways that roofs are purchased. One is retail, and the other is through a homeowners insurance claim. Unless your roof was physically damaged by a storm or some other event justifying an insurance claim, you will be like most homeowners who are paying out of pocket for their new roof.
This article explains the steps you can expect to take during the retail roof replacement process.
#1 Research & Call Roofing Companies
Try to find ones with good online reviews indicating that they are:
- easy to work with
- offering financing (if needed)
Your roof should last a long time, and you want a roofing company that is nearby to help make sure that it does just that.
#2 Schedule Roof Inspections
Call the roofing contractors out to inspect your roof and provide estimates. You may learn that you don’t actually need a new roof just yet, or that your roof has been damaged in a way that would justify filing an insurance claim to help pay for the replacement.
Inspections should be free and each will take about 20-30 minutes, including the time the inspector takes to walk you through their findings. Also, you want to make sure to:
- Ask they show you pictures of the issues they find and to explain why they could cause problems
- Request a written estimate detailing what is included in the bid
- Ask about the good, better, best options and how they differ
A written bid with details lets you accurately compare it to any other estimates you receive. A low bid may include re-using some components that should be replaced, or it may include low-quality materials that you will want upgraded.
Also, if you want to upgrade any of the components in your roofing system, now is the time to clarify what you want and make sure those details make it from the estimate into the contract.
#3 Select a Bid, Review & Sign the Contract
Once you’ve decided which contractor you trust to do a good job for a reasonable price, you can lock in the deal by executing the sales contract. We discuss this more on our “Roof Replacement” page.
Once you sign with your roofing company of choice, expect them to place a sign in your yard which will remain until the project is complete (or as long as you allow).
Align your budget for the project to match with the payment schedule outlined in the contract. Roof replacement is a big ticket expense, so you might need to save up or explore financing options. If necessary, apply for financing through our partner, Hearth. It’s super easy.
#4 Choose Your Roofing Materials
Whether you’ve decided to upgrade materials or not, you will have options to select from when it comes to aesthetics.
- Asphalt shingle style & color
- Box vent shapes & colors
- Metal components & adhesives colors
Your roofing company should provide you with sample boards for whatever styles and colors are available for your type of shingle. The samples help with visualizing your home with the new roof installed, especially if you are considering changing the color of the shingles on your home.
If your roof has box type ventilation then you should have different color options for your turtle boxes. And, the same goes for the other metal components of the roof such as drip edge and flashing.
If you don’t know what colors to choose, your Legacy Exteriors Consultant is a great resource to lean on when making your decision.
#5 Make Your Down Payment & Schedule Installation
The standard down payment for a new roof is 50% of the project cost. This allows your roofing company to:
- Assign a project manager who will then contact you to discuss project details
- Purchase materials and schedules delivery(s)
- Schedule the installation crew for shortly after the material is delivered
And remember, since the roof replacement process involves removing the old roof before installing the new one, we can’t have it rain in that brief period of time when your home is without a roof. So, the installation schedule must be a little bit flexible to account for weather.
#6 Prepare for Construction
Next is materials delivery. It is likely that forklift will be used to unload pallets and boxes from a flatbed truck. The materials will be stacked in your driveway or nearby. Also, a large dumpster may be delivered for collecting and hauling away old roof materials
At this point, you should prepare the exterior of your home to become a construction zone. Move everything that needs protection from falling debris or stomping work boots, like patio furniture or outdoor rugs. Anything that cannot be moved out of the way, for example a built in grill or landscape features, should be covered.
Remember, the roofing crew can only do so much to protect your landscaping. Sometimes damage to plants or foliage is unavoidable, so mentally prepare yourself for the possibility of the yard getting a little roughed up. And know that we are going to do our very best to avoid it.
#7 Construction Days
The big day arrives and the magic happens. Be prepared for an early morning start time, typically between 6-7am. The outside of your home now becomes a construction site, so try to stay inside or find somewhere else to be.
Access to and from your driveway and/or garage may be blocked by a dumpster or a large trailer for collection and disposal of old roofing materials. Be sure to move your vehicles the night before the project begins.
- Tear off of the old roof creates lots of noise and debris. Shingles pieces, old felt paper and old nails will fall everywhere. Busy construction workers carry heavy tools and materials up and down ladders, sometimes an industrial lift machine might be used.
- Once the old shingles and underlayment have been removed, any rotten or damaged roof decking will be identified and brought to your attention before being replaced. Usually decking replacement is not included in the roof price, so you will be asked to approve the cost if there is any.
- Installation of the new roof is loud for the whole neighborhood. There will be gas generators, air compressors and nail guns clamoring away all day. This is a big demonstration, so neighbors may stop by to watch. And a salesperson will be knocking on doors in the area to see if anyone else needs a new roof. In some cases a drone might be flown to capture video of the installation as it takes place.
- Clean up after construction calls for your attention. The whole crew will walk the perimeter of your house picking up debri. A large magnet will be used to collect fallen nails. But these guys are tired from a long day of manual labor, so some nails and debri, like pieces of shingles or felt paper fallen into trees or bushes, can be missed.
Don’t wait until after the roofing crew leaves to inspect their clean up, then it is too late. Let the project manager or the crew foreman know in advance that you want to do a walkaround together after clean up is complete to make sure nothing is missed.
#8 After the Roof Installation is Complete
Once construction is finished, we will ask that you sign a Certificate of Satisfaction (COS). This document does not mean we are no longer responsible for our work, it just confirms that the installation is complete.
Final payment is collected once the roof installation is complete. And lastly, we provide the warranty documentation once that balance payment has been received.
Congratulations, you have a new roof. Now remember to tell all of your neighbors what a great experience you had working with Legacy Exteriors, and take advantage of our Roof Referrals Program.
At Legacy Exteriors our mission is simple — we strive to provide only the best quality roofing, siding, rain gutter and home insulation services to Middle Tennessee. Call us today for a Free Estimate!