Should you replace your own shingle roof?
Many of us consider ourselves the “do-it-yourself” types and if there is a way to do something without having to hire someone else, we’re all over it. But if you live in a hot desert climate, doing it yourself can be a lot harder than it seems. Naturally, when we are faced with needing our roof shingles replaced, we would want to take on that task as well. However, when we look at exactly what is involved, it may not make much sense after all. So, should you replace your own shingle roof, or let the pros handle it? Knowledge is power, so here are some pros and cons of that DIY roof to help you make a more informed decision.
The Pros of Replacing Your Own Shingle Roof
Naturally, when you are paying a professional roofing contractor to install a new roof you have to consider the cost of hiring crew of workers, including the equipment and their expertise at installation. Depending on the size of your home, your commercial business, and the materials used, you could potentially save a substantial amount of money replacing roof shingles on your own.
Roofing companies may have several jobs they are working on at a time, and their future schedule may be full for quite some time as well. If you do your own work you can start and stop at your convenience and don’t need to work around the roofing company’s schedule.
The Cons of Do-It-Yourself Roofing
The entire process of doing something as “simple” as replacing shingles requires hours of prep.
- Finding the right type, size, and color of shingle as well as other materials and tools needed
- Tearing off the old roof
- Repairing any leaks
- Loading and unloading hundreds of pounds of new shingles
And keep in mind, that is before you nail in one new shingle.
ROOF WORK IS RISKY
Roof repairs and replacements are done at a great height, and if you fall, it’s a long way to the ground. Even if you consider yourself to be a natural at dealing with heights, climbing on your roof might be challenging, especially if it has a steep slope or numerous levels. Additionally, you’ll need to be in great physical condition because you’ll constantly be bending, climbing, and hauling—often in hot or windy circumstances.
ROOF WORK IS DIFFICULT
Strength and dexterity are necessary for a roofer. It is not the same as carrying 75-pound packages of shingles up a shaky ladder as opposed to bench pressing 75 pounds at the gym. Although installing a roof is not brain surgery, there are numerous processes involved, and there may be unexpected issues along the way.
Most people that undertake a DIY roofing job don’t even consider the potential for serious injury. The most obvious injury that occurs during a roofing job is a fall. This fall can be from a ladder, a misstep, tripping over materials on the roof, or from slipping on old shingles. Once shingles begin to age and break down—especially in the harsh Arizona sun—they lose the “gravel” finish which helps create traction when walking on them. Combine the lack of grit with any moisture or the wrong type of shoe and a fall is all but inevitable. Besides falls there are hidden dangers on the roof as well. Eye injuries from flying debris and nails, serious cuts, electrocution, bites from rodents and insects, and injury from roof collapse are very common. Injuries and accidents are the biggest reason homeowners decide to go with a roofing company in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Mesa they can trust to get the job done safely.
When we think of roofing, we generally think of putting shingles or tile on a roof. Professional roofers make it look easy. IT’S NOT. Roofing is an extremely labor-intensive job that includes repetitive heavy lifting, bending, kneeling, nailing, and standing.
The elements can also take a toll on a homeowner doing his or her own roof. The most obvious weather issue in Arizona is the sun, and even in the mild winter months, it can be incredibly harsh. The rain is an unexpected factor many times as well. Rain won’t only keep you from doing your work, but you will also have to protect the roof from water damage and unexpected leaks.
There are many items that you will have to purchase in order to install your own roof. Expensive tools, shingles, nails, and underlayment are just the basic items needed for the task. Many tools are not able to be rented and you will never have to use them again.
The amount of your time that will be involved—especially if you’re taking on the entire project solo—is going to be astronomical. A typical 2,000 sqft home being done by a four-man professional crew can take an average of 3 days. That’s 3 days x 4 workers x 8 hours = 96 hours! And they are professionals that have the skill to streamline the work.
Most professional roofing companies, as well as shingle manufacturers, include a warranty on their products and installation. If you do any roofing yourself you will not be covered for any improper installation or damage involved.
Additional factors to take into account while performing a roof job on your own
Before you start working, a permit might be required. To find out if they require one and whether they will issue one to a novice, check with your local government. Additionally, be sure to get the HOA’s consent if you have one. They might insist that you hire a specialist.
You should also review your homeowner’s insurance plan. Most policies won’t pay for roof replacements or repairs because of natural wear and tear and aging, but many will pay for roofing damage brought on by typical calamities like hail, fire, or winds. They might, however, insist that only a skilled, bonded, and authorized roofer perform any work. They might not pay for future damage to your roof caused by your actions.
Which roof repairs are do-it-yourselfable?
Honestly, most DIYers find the prospect of replacing an entire roof to be too intimidating. However, repairs are a different matter. Here are some straightforward projects you may complete with little expense:
- Replace shingles: You could certainly repair a few shingles yourself if a storm, winter weather, or the passage of time have damaged them (they may appear cracked or rotting). Taking out the nails and, if necessary, breaking the seal are the main steps in replacing a shingle. The shingle should then be taken off and replaced with a new one.
- Fix the flashing: A thin metal sheet called flashing is used on roofs with chimneys and dormers to keep water away from openings in houses.
- As you check your shingles, quickly check the flashing to determine if it’s leaking. If you discover any leaks, use a caulk gun with roofing cement put in it to reseal the joints.
So, should you replace your own shingle roof?
For most homeowners, the risks and dangers associated with DIY roof repair are too great to consider doing roof work alone. When you weigh out the possible risks, the time involved and the probability of the work not being done properly, it really makes sense to contact a professional roofing contractor first. At Capstone Roofing, we offer free estimates with a thorough evaluation and no obligation. We are always happy to help answer any questions you may have.
Don’t want to wait? Call us today!
published on Thursday, July 7th, 2022