A roof that’s installed with modern materials and methods and then properly maintained will give you many years of hassle-free service. However, if you live in an older home or one that has been damaged by storm or neglect, it may be time to consider installing an entirely new roof.
But as with so many other large purchases, buying a new roof can be a costly and frustrating experience- especially if you don’t avoid making some of the missteps as so many other homeowners have. To help you avoid doing that, we’ve compiled this list of the ten most common mistakes made when purchasing a new roof.
- Shopping price only
The price of a new roof will vary depending on the size and location of your home. If you shop around for prices and find that a particular company is well below the average, there may be a reason. In short, cost alone doesn’t determine value; professionalism and quality workmanship should weigh just as heavily in any roof-buying decision.
- Buying from the company that can start the soonest
A company that is too quick to respond may not yet have enough business. There’s nothing wrong with being new to an area, but there may be other reasons the company is idle.
- Falling for any high-pressure tactics
As with any large purchase, buying under pressure is a bad idea. No matter how good the deal if you ’just sign now,’ don’t buy a roof from a company that insists you sign a contract before you’re ready. You should always demand the right to examine the contract at your leisure.
- Signing the contract just because you like the salesperson
Even though you may feel a certain comfort level with a certain salesperson, that shouldn’t drive your roof-buying decision. Remember, sales people are hired for their people skills; most of the time their job is to say to you whatever they need in order to get you to buy.
- Forgetting that a deal seemingly too good to be true probably is
While there are legitimate reasons a roofing contractor might offer steep discounts, be wary of those who are too inexpensive. If you’re offered a super bargain, make sure the contractor is using certified, code-approved, and legally obtained materials. Be sure there’s a warranty offered. Ask about hidden costs such as removal of your existing roof, etc. And be sure to ask about references.
- Purchasing based on warranty alone
The length of a roof warranty should not be the sole criterion for selecting a roofing contractor. The warranty alone does not necessarily provide assurance of satisfactory roof performance.
- Using contractors with no office staff
There’s nothing wrong with using a small mom-and-pop contractor, of course. But roofing properly is a large undertaking, so all other things being equal, a large support staff makes the process that much smoother.
- Mistaking advertising for quality
While it may be impressive that a contractor has put down money for an expensive and slick ad campaign, it’s more important that they can perform the work in a quality and professional manner.
- Hiring a friend to do the work
Unless your friend is a licensed and insured roofing contractor, this is a really bad idea. Even if your friend is known as a ‘handyman,’ has he ever installed a complete roof? Does he know which areas of the roof are prone to leaks? Does he know how to properly vent a roof? And most importantly, does he offer a warranty?
- Doing the work yourself
In spite of the fact that the big-box home improvement centers will try to convince you this is a snap, don’t believe them. On top of the issues we’ve already discussed, there are the obvious safety concerns; ask yourself whether saving a few thousand dollars is worth risking your health or your life. Professional roof contractors are trained in all aspects of installation and safety; even if cutting costs is very important to you, this is the one area in which you should absolutely never skimp.
If your home is ready for a new roof, or even if you suspect it may be, don’t fall victim to these, or any other mistakes. Instead, give one of Gulf Western Roofing’s knowledgeable representatives a call. We’ll always tell you the truth about your roof!