damaged roofRoof remodelling is something that shouldn’t be done without much consideration. There are some things that home-owners must do before they proceed with the project.

Roofs are made to be durable and long-lasting, but there comes a time when remodelling becomes a must. If you think that time has come for your roof, then you should start renovating. Found below are key tips worth keeping in mind when improving the upper part of your home. Read them before you get started.

Take a look

Before you contact contractors or shop around for roofing options, inspect your roof first. If you assume that inspection entails only looking at your roof up close, you are mistaken. You should also view it from a distance. In fact, it is a good idea to first inspect your roof from a distance using binoculars before getting a ladder and taking a closer look. Keep your eye out for cracking or curling, and see if there are shingles that are missing. If your house has asphalt shingles for roofing, also check out sections which have missing granular covering.

Once you’ve inspected the roof from the outside, assess it from the inside as well. Head on over to the attic armed with a flashlight and see if there are water stains, which can be signs of roof leakage.

Know your options

It is important that you research about the options available in terms of roofing materials, so that you can determine the best choice for your home. You can choose a common roofing material such as asphalt, which has two main types: organic and fibreglass. Organic asphalt shingles are manufactured using cellulose fibres (i.e. wood or recycled paper) while fibreglass are manufactured using glass fibres. Organic is less likely to break during colder seasons, but fibreglass is more resistant to moisture and fire.

Of course, you can always opt for something different. There is a wide range of roofing options out there, and many of these are even eco-friendly. You should consider the more environment friendly roofing choices such as standing seam metal, sustainable wood, recycled content shingle and reclaimed slate or clay tiles.

Get familiar with local codes

No home-owner should proceed with roof remodelling without checking the local building codes. Contact or visit the local building department and inquire about what is and what isn’t allowed when it comes to roofing remodelling. Make sure to ask how many times you are permitted to cover your roof with another layer of the same roofing material. Some places require that some layers be removed prior to the installation of new roofing because they allow only two layers of roof.

It also helps to consult the local building department about the right roofing option to choose. There may be other requirements you need to comply with (i.e. fire resistance), and you need to choose the option that does comply with these.

Choose based on appearance

Your roof should not only effectively protect your home from the elements—it should also look good. Remember that your roof covers a large part of your house’s exteriors and thus affect the home’s curb appeal. Hence, you should also carefully choose your new roof based on style and appearance. Know which materials or colours look best for the style of your roof and your house.

Find a reputable and reliable contractor

Only a reputable and reliable contractor can make a roof remodelling project a success. Such contractor  has a permanent place of business, a tax identification number and a business license, as well as offer contact details. The contractor must also have liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage—make sure to see proof of these before hiring.

Once you have found qualified contractors to do your roof for you, ask for a written proposal, complete with all the necessary details such as extent of work, estimated start and completion dates, type of roofing material and colour, as well as other materials required for the project. The document should also state whether existing roofing will only be covered with new materials or removed completely, and who will be in charge of putting new flashing and vents.

Get estimates from three to four contractors, and don’t choose one only because of low pricing. Your roof is an investment, so you shouldn’t scrimp on it. It would be a good idea to consider not the initial remodelling cost but rather the annual roofing cost. Find out the life expectancy of the roofing material you have chosen and divide it with the total roof remodelling cost (including both labour and materials).

Don’t forget ventilation

Roofs need to be well-ventilated. Find out what the local requirements are for attic ventilation and make sure to comply.

The author of this article is Tracey Thompson. This full-time writer has penned a number of home improvement articles, and is now mostly working on articles about Roughcasting in Glasgow, Scotland.