How to Save Money on a New Roof



When the time comes to replace your roof, do you know the important points to consider? Going with the lowest cost materials isn’t always the best answer. For instance, if you live in a sunny climate, the low cost dark colored asphalt shingles are not a good choice. These absorb heat and can add an additional 15% to your air conditioning costs year after year. Asphalt shingles are the lowest cost roofing material but upgrading to a light reflective color will save you money in the long run.

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Asphalt shingles

These are usually the lowest cost selection available to homeowners. They come in many colors and appearances that can enhance the look of your house. Typically, they are guaranteed for 20 years or more but you can expect an asphalt roof to last 30 years in most climates.

Metal roofing material

These can improve the architectural appearance of your home. Metal roofing is typically more energy efficient during air conditioning season. The life expectancy for a metal roof is longer than asphalt roofing and can be expect to last 50 years or longer. However, metal roofs are not an option for low pitch or flat roofs.

Tile roofing material

Tile roofing material is made from a clay and concrete mixture. This roofing material is most commonly used in warmer climates as well as in harsh climates. Clay roofs are the most durable of the common roofing materials. Because these allow air-flow under the tiles, they are the most energy efficient in warm climates. These are the longest lasting roofs and you most likely won’t have to replace it in your lifetime. The biggest drawback is that tile is much heavier than other roofing materials. The extra weight requires more structural support. If your roof wasn’t designed for tile, the additional cost to strengthen the structure could prove prohibitive.

Cedar roofing material

Although probably the most attractive roofing material, cedar roofs are maintenance nightmares. Also, material costs and installation costs are higher than for asphalt shingles or a metal roof. Unless you just have to have that look, you should generally stay away from cedar roofs.

Cedar roofs - they look great but they're a maintenance nightmare!

Cedar roofs – they look great but they’re a maintenance nightmare!

Some other things you want to consider is having algae resistant asphalt shingles installed if your current roof or other roofs in the neighborhood show discoloration. Typically, this discoloration isn’t a problem with the roof but it does look ugly. If you live in a cold climate that experiences a lot of freezing, you want to consider a rubber underlayment around the eases. This prevents ice dams from forming on your roof. Ice dams form when snow is sitting on your roof and turns to ice that forces water back under the shingles causing expensive damage.

When talking to contractors, make sure the quote they are giving you includes the flashing and counterflashing. Flashing is used to seal the roof at penetration points and roof to wall intersections. Also, ask the contractor if any of the siding will be damage during the installation of the new roof and if repairing this has been included in the bid. Also, make sure they are going to properly vent the roof. Proper venting will extend the life of the roof and save on energy costs during the summer months.

As always, get a minimum of three bids. Ask each contractor to provide multiple bids if you are considering different material types. Make sure each contractor is bidding with similar materials and requirements so that you can make an apple-to-apple comparison.

 

About the author: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years. He also draws upon 25 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest in the Olympic Mountains with the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.

Comments

  1. Great thanks for the post. By reading this people will find how to save money. Really it a good job.

  2. There is rubber roofing now.
    It is made from recycled car tires and is available in several colors.
    It has the look of rustic cedar shakes but without the maintenance hassles and has a longer lifespan.
    Cost would be in between asphalt shingles and metal roofing.

    Lack of sufficient attic ventilation is a leading cause of premature roof failure as well as potentially creating an unhealthy environment to live in.
    Fans that don’t terminate positively to the outside, but instead just vent “near” an opening in the building envelope create a lot of problems too.

  3. Very good feedback and advice concerning types of roofs. As to cedar shakes roofs, I agree they have to be maintained and if done so will last decades. Given they are organic in nature maintaining is a must to get the full potential life span. A simple cleaning every eight to ten years will serve the purpose of maintaining the shakes integrity. With cedar roofs the underlining or what we call roof felt is the water barrier and the shakes protect the felt. By simply keeping the valleys clear of debris and any over hanging trees cut back will go along ways in protecting a cedar shakes roof. On average a cedar shakes roof cleaning will cost less than 5% of the replacement cost.