Planning For A New Roof

Our roof is around 13-14 years old depending on what period of the construction process in which it was installed.

In any case, it’s showing it’s wear and is probably not long for this world.

The deterioration of the roof has become apparent in three ways:

  1. Eroded valleys – This is a design flaw more than anything else.  Our house has two stories, and the second floor is a little smaller in the front of the house than is the first floor.  As such the downspout from the front portion of the second floor simply drains straight down into the valley that takes it the rest of the way.  All this extra run-off has rapidly deteriorated those valleys (there’s another around the garage area).  When I get the roof re-done, I’ll either have them install extensions to carry the water all the way to the lowest level of drainpipes, or have it doneafter the roofers are done.
  2. Shingle curling – The shingles are starting to curl along the edges, likely from all the exposure to the sun.  I had given thought over the last year or two to having the valleys patched to give it some time, but once I’ve seen the rapid pace at which the shingles are curling, that would likely be wasted money.
  3. Discoloration / mildew – The north facing side of the house typically doesn’t get as much sun, so the dew and rain don’t dry off as fast, which leads to many houses developing mildew.  We also have a few trees overhanging this, so this has reared its ugly head over the last couple of years, as the roof above our garage looks nasty.Had the shingles been in better shape I would consider power washing them to temporarily remove this discoloration, but as it stands, the power washing would likely just accelerate the deterioration of the already-wearing shingles, so it’s not even worth the bother.

I had been hoping to make it to 2014, but things are progressing rapidly enough that I could see this taking place in 2013.

I’ve been asking the neighbors their thoughts, as many of the houses around us were completed around the same time.  Some neighbors in other parts of the subdivision have already replaced the roof, and most of the ones I’ve spoken to have indicated that they’re estimating the next couple of years as the time, so I know I’m in the right range.

I’ve also been asking around to neighbors that have already had their roofs done or who have received quotes, just to see if I can estimate what our costs might be.

I know I want to have the current roof removed.  Technically, you can add another layer but I’m not interested in putting new shingles on top of ones that have already deteriorated.  I just don’t see them lasting very long, and that would just hide any potential damage that lies under the current shingles.

I also want to replace the big box vents that air out the attic with ridge vents, that run along the top of the roof line, give  more even distribution of heat out of the attic, and I would also think would release more heat, given that they’re at the peak of the roof versus the box vents that are located at least a few feet below the roof peak.

I’m estimating that this will probably cost $5,000 – $6,000 given what I’ve heard from other neighbors and comparing the sizes of our houses.

We’ve been saving for a new roof since we moved in, knowing that it would eventually happen, so if we can wait until 2013, we should have all of this covered in our earmarked account.  If it needs to be done this year or if the cost is higher, we have enough other earmarked accounts that we could cover ourselves easily.

I also wonder if it would be of any benefit to try to collaborate with the neighbors.  If we all plan on getting it done at around the same time, it might be worth checking with a company to see if there could be any type of a break for multiple neighbors on the same block agreeing to do their roofs simultaneously.  I am not putting a lot of hope in this, as everybody has different schedules and will likely be looking at different criteria when choosing a contractor, but still, you never know.

What has been your experience with a new roof?

12 thoughts on “Planning For A New Roof”

  1. Too bad you couldn’t get a few more good years out of that roof but I guess 14 is pretty good. The money part hurts but will be worth it.

  2. Removing the shingles requires more labor and renting a dumpster which may require a permit if it is parked on the street. Is the $5k-$6k quote based on the specific tasks you want done?

    As for gutters, you could delay this job if you need to save up money.

    I don’t think you’ll save much money on tandem supply delivery. You potentially split the truck delivery cost (if the roofing supply allows multiple drops for one fee). You also need to inquire about labor availability, as small companies will not be able to work on two roofs at once. I don’t think your savings will be much there. Your biggest cost will be labor and material.

    See if you can negotiate a better price with cash. You can set up your contract to pay in installments. Pay a percentage before the job starts (usually to cover materials cost) and pay percentages as milestones are reached. Sometimes this can be after the shingles are removed, completion of the job, etc.

    Good luck!

  3. My only experience is that I have one and I will need a new one in 5 to 10 years. Luckily my roof is really small so it should be relatively cheap to replace. Get multiple quotes and throw out the lowest and highest is the advice I have heard.

  4. We haven’t had to replace our roof yet, although the time is coming. The house was built in 1999 so the roof is nearing its 14 year mark. I think it’s still got a good couple years left in it though. I think collaborating with the neighbors is an awesome idea. I bet if you called a few roofing companies and told them the situation you could get a great deal.

    • Maybe. I’m still figuring on just doing it myself. The neighbors are OK but we’re not a tight knit bunch.

  5. That’s a good estimate for the roof I think. We had ours done 2 years ago and it cost $4,000 (2 storey home). My brother had his done at the same time, by the same company, and it cost $6,500 (for a bungalow).

  6. ohhhhh roofing contractors. Gasp!

    Call a bunch of them.

    First, pony up some cash to join Angie’s List, but don’t believe everything your read there. I wouldn’t proceed with fewer than five estimates.

    Second, call the Registrar of Contractors and check on every single one of the bidders you think might be OK.

    Third, try to time the reroofing for a time when oil prices are low. Asphalt shingles are made of a petroleum product; material costs go up when oil prices go up.

    Fourth, if you seriously believe you will stay in your house for a LONG time, consider a metal roof. These last forever, not ten years (out of the 15 or 20-year warranty). If you think you’ll be there for upwards of 20 years, pay more to get a roof that will last much, much longer.

    And finally, try not to think about the fact that if you were renting the shack instead of trying to own it, you wouldn’t have this problem…

    • Thanks for all the advice. I guess the flip side though is that if I rented, chances are the landlord wouldn’t keep up on half the stuff that I do (or at least try to do).

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