August 28th, 2012
The National Roofing Contractors Association says if you’ve already fixed a few leaks and replaced missing shingles in recent years, it’s probably time to put on a new roof. If the shingles are bare, curling, cracking or mossy, start now.
Get estimates, check references
Since you’ll be spending $5,000 to $10,000 or more, be sure to hire the right person or company. Get three estimates and check references.
Have the roofer agree to remove only as much roofing at one time as he can replace during that day.
What about tear-off?
If you already have two or three layers of old roofing, building codes require you to strip them off, adding $1,000 or more to the job. If a single layer has been on the roof for many years, it can be worth what it costs to remove it so the roofer can repair decking and worn flashing.
A rubber membrane called ice and water shield can be installed to prevent leaks when gutters freeze up.
Rent a dumpster
Unless you want the labor and expense of covering the entire area around your home with tarps and plywood, you’ll need a roll-off dumpster. As a rule of thumb, 8-10 squares of shingles weigh about 1 ton. Shingles from a single residential roof will fit in a 10 cubic yard roll-off dumpster.
As the roofer tears off shingles, the old decking and nails, they all go to a dumpster beside the house.
You’ll pay more for 50-year shingles than for 25-year, but they last longer. Architectural shingles cost a little more, but they add beauty to any building, say advisors at Money magazine.