What to Know About Roofing Before you Start your Renovation

Roofing renovation project

Six tips for tackling your roofing projectTaking on a roofing project is about more than the type and color of roofing material that you’ll have to choose. And while these projects can usually be completed in two to five days, there is a lot of planning to consider before you start your renovation.

Sure, getting a new roof isn’t as fun as renovating the kitchen or upgrading your bathroom, but it’s important. The roof over your head protects everything under it. It’s also the element of your home that will make the difference in your heating and cooling bills and how comfortable you will be. What are some of the things you need to know before getting started?

1) Renovation or repair?

Did you take a beating in that last hailstorm? That doesn’t necessarily mean your entire roof system needs to be replaced. Contact a trusted roofing contractor and get an inspection. They’re experts at finding the smallest of issues that need to be repaired, and they can give you the advice you need to determine if the roof needs to be replaced.

2) Materials

The look and style of your home can be dictated by the materials you use on your roof. There are many options from which to choose:

  • Asphalt shingles

    The most common material. Effective in every environmental condition. Impact resistant shingles are a smart move if you’re the victim of multiple hailstorms.

  • Slate

    It lasts for a century and won’t burn. It’s waterproof and fungus and mold have a tough time taking hold. It’s expensive, but offers a unique aesthetic.

  • Metal

    This material will last around 60 years under normal circumstances and is great for being installed over existing roofs.

  • Cedar

    Nothing beats the beauty of a cedar roof. It’s durable and energy efficient. It is costly and requires regular maintenance.

These are just some of the materials available today. Solar tiles are also becoming an option for more homeowners. Just ask your roofing contractor what works with your home.

3) Compliance

Check with your local municipality, generally the code enforcement office at city hall, and make sure there aren’t any laws that limit what you do with your roof. Some communities have a guideline regarding materials, but more likely, your municipal building department might have laws regarding how many times a roof can be covered with a new roof. For example, in some areas, you can only have two layers of roof, which means if you’re already on layer two, you’ll have to have at least one removed.

4) Account for noise and debris

There’s no way around this part of the project – it’s going to be loud and messy. If you’re having an old roof torn out, count on even more hammering and debris in your yard. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for debris to fall into your attic, so if that’s a usable space, prepare ahead of time. If you have breakables placed on shelves on the walls, consider that some of the banging could dislodge them, so for added protection, put breakables in a safe space.

5) Permits

Like any other big home improvement project, permits will be required when you replace your roof. Check with your city hall and find out when you need to pull your permit. In Chicago, a building permit is not required on shingle roofing with a slope of 5 in 12 or steeper, but check with your authority first before bringing the contractors in.

6) Choose wisely

Get bids from your favorite contractors. Keep in mind that taking the lowest bid isn’t always in your favor. Take into account their experience, the references from previous clients and take an actual look at the work they’ve done. Your lowest bidder might be low for a good reason – you’re getting what you pay for.

Trusted roofing contractor

At VIS Exterior, we will assist you through every stage of the re-roofing process. We’ll make a thorough inspection, assist you in picking out the right materials, remove your old roof, install the new one and make a thorough cleanup of any debris created during the process. We are proud to be a GAF (a manufacturer of high-quality roofing supplies) factory-certified contractor, which means we are fully supported by GAF and can offer a 50-year GAF full replacement warranty on materials and labor. Don’t leave anything to chance, go with VIS, because we’re a trusted roofing contractor with all the references you need to know that you’re making the right choice by bringing us in to do the job.

Val Slajus
Owner / Author
Val Slajus

My journey began with a passion for home improvement, and I established VIS Exterior because I firmly believe that everyone deserves to live in a beautiful home. With years of experience in the roofing and siding craft, I'm dedicated to helping you enhance the protection and aesthetics of your home. Through this blog, I'm excited to share my knowledge and insights, empowering you to make informed decisions when planning your next exterior renovation project.