Things you should know before replacing your roof

With so many roof types available in the market, it has become more difficult to choose the right roof type for your home and find the best local service provider. As such, we’ve decided to share some tips about you should know before replacing your roof. We’ve broken it done into roofing types, layering vs. a complete tear off, and choosing the right roofer.

Roofing materials

Shingles can come in a variety of different materials, and it is vital to choose the material that provides you with the most value for your money. Below is a brief description of the various types of roofing materials:


Asphalt is a very cost-effective and simple option. Essentially, there are two types of asphalt shingles: fiberglass and organic. Organic shingles are made of waste paper coated with adhesive salt and ceramic granules. This type of asphalt roofing can be more durable than fiberglass, but it is also very flammable. Fiberglass shingles are the most common roofing material and provide better fire resistance than organic asphalt shingles.

Spanish Tile

Spanish Tile roofs are effective in areas with heavy rain. The tiles are shaped like a series of waves that have wide spaces in between for the water to flow. Spanish tiles are generally more expensive than asphalt roofs.

Concrete Tile

Costing approximately $4 to $9 per square foot, concrete tile roofs are a very affordable option that requires little maintenance and can be molded into any shape of your liking.


Flat roofs, as the name suggest, are smooth with only a slight inclination. Although they are cheaper to install, they require more maintenance. Flat roofs collect debris, and water is not able to flow off the roof after a storm.


Slate roofs are very durable and are often considered aesthetically pleasing. The combination of durability and appealing aesthetic make slate roofs an attractive proposition. However, slate roofs do not come cheap. They can cost around $10 to $20 per square foot including installation costs.

Seam Metal

Metal roofing is expensive. However, the high cost can be offset by the incredible durability of metal roofs. The high upfront investment required for metal roofs often pays for itself in avoided repair and replacement costs over the life of the roof. Furthermore, metal roofing requires little maintenance, giving you peace of mind.

Wood Shake

In addition to being environmental-friendly, wood shake roofs are renewable and are aesthetically appealing. Wood shake roofs can last up to 60 years, but can cost three times more than asphalt roofs.

Single layering vs. a complete tear off

Another important decision you have to make when replacing a roof is layering vs. tearing off. Here’s an explanation of the differences:


Layering is when an additional layer of shingles is added to the existing roof. Layering will definitely save you a lot of money on material costs and labor costs compared to completely stripping your roof. Your roof is allowed to have two layers of asphalt shingles, so you may be better off adding another layer if you already have a single one. This should prolong the life of the roof without breaking the bank. Although costs vary by region, layering may reduce your overall cost by roughly $1,000.

Tear off

Tearing off, as the name implies, is when you entirely remove the current roof so that a completely new roof can be installed. Tear offs are the best option if your roof needs major repairs. While it requires a larger capital investment than layering, it may prove to be more cost-effective in the long-term. Furthermore, if you live in an area with strong winds and heavy rainfall, stripping the old roof and replacing it with a newer one is the better option because a second layer of shingles may not adhere to the base effectively. Stripping, on the other hand, will allow the roofer to reinforce your new roof with ice and water shields along with other enhancements that provide you with better safety.

Choosing the right contractor is key

The next crucial decision is choosing a contractor. This will include a number of things such as the workmanship warranty, the estimated cost of labor, and permitting just to name a few. Let’s look at the most important aspects in more detail:


There are a number of roof warranty types. First, you will want to check the manufacturer’s warranty on the products that the roofer provides. Next, you will want to examine the contractor’s workmanship warranty, which should cover some aesthetic defects and leakage repairs.

Cost of Labor

Next, labor costs can vary significantly depending upon the company you choose, the type of installation, the type of warranties etc. As a rough estimate, it can cost you between $275 for contract without any warranty to $750 for a fully-guaranteed job.


You will likely have to obtain a legal permit to get your roof replaced. The process to apply for a permit can vary city to city. Talk to local contractors to see if they can help you get your roofing project permitted. The best way to find out what is required for a permit is to call your municipal building department or homeowner’s association. The different types of permits that may be required include building permits, electrical permits, and plumbing permits depending upon the type of roof replacement.

Comparing different roofing contractors

Different contractors charge different prices for different roof types, so we advise talking to several contractors. When negotiating with these contractors, it is important to understanding their language. First, most roofer calculate the cost of a roof replacement on a per square foot basis. Before they step on your roof, you can get a sense of how expensive different contractors will be based on that number. Additionally, make sure to ask the roofers about their contractor’s license, and research the roofers track record.

We always recommend contact friends and family who might have used a roofer in the past. You can also check online for reviews for local roofers. Replacing your roof doesn’t have to be a stressful process. Use these simple tips when talking with local contractors and you will be sure to get the best roof for your home.