By: Victor Alfonso Huipio
Co-Author: Keith Horton
Editor: Meghan Barton
In this tough economy, it may be tempting to “save money” by opting out of hiring a certified roofing contractor and doing it yourself. After all, what skill can’t you learn with the millions of DIY videos on the internet these days? Pair that determination with a little confidence and a supportive friend or two, and not much is left to stop you from becoming your very own roofer, right? Here are five things to consider before starting.
When Your Home Is On The Line, Expert Roofing Is The Way To Go
Most roofers don’t start with a burning desire to enter the profession. Many who try it find out quickly that roofing is not the line of work for them. The ones who stick around dedicate years of their life acquiring the necessary skills to seamlessly execute a roofing project. We are talking long, twelve-hour days in the hot sun. Often, six days a week, standing on an incline, using every muscle in your body to install a roof without falling off, and ending up in the hospital. Roofers require grit but also patience to execute quality craftsmanship.
A professional roofer should also have basic knowledge of the law, respective to this line of work. When you choose a state-certified roofing company, every item installed complies with local building codes. That can vary significantly from region to region. Often local codes can differ from the specifications provided by manufacturers. Because of this, it is essential to know the difference to avoid a costly mistake.
Saving Money Comes At The Expense Of Time
You already know a roof is expensive. However, one thing you may overlook is opportunity cost. Take into account that this is time you would be used to acquire a skill more suitable to your lifestyle, the time you could have spent with loved ones, or simply the time it would have taken to secure the funds for the project, as opposed to executing it yourself.
Assuming you take the time to learn all you can about roofing, consider the risk or the cost of overlooking a key detail during the installation. Roofing assemblies done incorrectly can cost twice as much to correct (or the roof will last you half as long as you expect). Unlike many professions, roofers do not have the luxury of simply undoing a mistake without having to start from scratch.
Did you start installing the underlayment from ridge to eave? Is the drip edge lap too short? Did your nail bend and rip the underlayment? Did you forget to seal the flashings before installing the shingles? These are just a few critical questions that will determine the difference between a roof that leaks and a roof that lasts.
There is nothing like saving money when you don’t do it right the first time. A better deal usually means cutting corners, and those corners come with an undisclosed future cost. Costs that should be considered when calculating the amount of money you believe you will save.
Investing In the Proper Tools & Equipment Negates Saving Potential
Roofing requires specific tools and equipment to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time – ladders, hammers, wheelbarrows, nail guns, compressors, and dumpsters (to name a few). Some equipment can be rented, but other equipment requires you to make an investment upfront.
If you are going to rent equipment, consider how long the project will take you to complete. Rental equipment companies may offer you a better deal if you rent the equipment long-term, but just remember, the point of DIY is to save money.
Is it possible to do the work without expensive equipment and tools? Yes, it’s possible. You can do a lot of the manual labor with just hand tools and manpower, but at the cost of your project timeline. How much time can you trade?
Time Is Critical During Crisis
If you’ve never replaced a roof in your life, it will be hard to predict the length of time it will take you to complete the work. This depends on the size of the project, the ability to safely execute your Deerfield roofing, the weather, the availability of materials, and a dozen other factors.
When it comes to timelines, a professional relies on the experience of everyone involved to meet the expectations of the customer. This includes meeting deadlines in times of crisis, such as inclement weather, material delays, or even accidents.
As a result, a roofing project that takes a group of experts a short time to complete will take you much longer to finish. Roof repairs are a lot more manageable in this regard, but new roof installations are a heavy burden in times of crisis. To put it into perspective, a new roof is meant to keep water out of your house, yet the process requires the complete demolition of that security. How do you react when there is an inbound storm that is about to unleash gallons of water on everything underneath that unfinished roof? The scene is reminiscent of a mid-eighteenth-century ship in the middle of a hurricane, and it’s not pretty.
Safety is Non-Negotiable
Even under the best circumstances, roofing is a dangerous profession, and everyone involved must take safety seriously. To install the roof safely, you will need to invest in safety equipment and training. Safety equipment includes hard hats, fall protection, heavy-duty work boots, high visibility uniforms, and safety cones.
You should have a plan in place to secure the worksite to minimize accidental damage to persons or property. To minimize liability, it is your responsibility to post signs and deliver notices to anyone that may be on the property at the time of the project. Additionally, a zone should be allocated to treat minor cuts and bruises away from the worksite. In the event of a mishap, you are responsible for having a procedure in place to contact emergency services and preserve life. Do not hire unlicensed “roofers,” day laborers, strangers from your local supply shop, or friends of friends to help you. They can hold you responsible for not providing them with the proper equipment or training!
Conclusion – Hiring A Reputable Roofer Provides Peace of Mind
A roofing project is something you may encounter a few times throughout life. The likelihood that you learn the skill required to properly remove and replace your roof AND need to use that skill again is slim to none. You might be better off learning a skill more practical to your lifestyle.
Hiring a professional with a reputation for quality work ensures that the job will be done with your best interests in mind. This needs you to do a little research, but you will be glad you did. The roofing contractors you hire should be fully licensed, insured, and certified. Many states and municipalities offer licenses to roofing contractors looking to legitimize their business. This is to protect you from fraudulent roofing contractors.
The longevity of your home is important, and your roof plays a vital role in that. Make the smart decision to hire a trained, fully-certified professional roofing contractor to replace, repair, or maintain your roof. If you intend to start a new construction project altogether, always go for certified general contractors in Deerfield Beach FL. This expense should be seen as a worthy investment that will save you time and money – all while keeping you, your family, and your property safe in the process.
If, however, you are still determined to build your roof, congratulations! We invite you to review a career in roofing before experimenting on your roof!