The roof is one of the most important elements that protects you and your family from all sorts of weather. However, the roof needs replacement now and then for it to last longer. The DIY roof replacement trend has grown in popularity in recent years because it is presumed to save on costs. Before you get on the roof to try and fix that missing tile or broken shingle, it is important to weigh the risks and the costs. Are the few bucks you will save on the cost of DIY Roof Replacement worth the enormous risk?
1. DIY Roof Repair is Time Consuming
You have probably set apart sufficient time from your vacation or weekend to tackle the roofing problem or roof installation specifically. However, note that things do not always go according to plan, no matter how prepared you are. Over 2000 homeowners admitted in a survey that half of their projects didn’t go according to plan and ended up consuming much more time than anticipated.
There are several reasons for this. You probably have a completely different career from building and construction, which means that you lack the technical know-how when it comes to roof repair. A good DIYer takes time to learn, and you have probably been on YouTube the entire week.
However, you can’t get it perfectly on the first try. For example, many homeowners don’t know how long it will take or completely underestimate the time it will take to repair a certain roof section. In the end, you find yourself out of time, yet there is a significant portion of your roof left open. This will leave your home exposed to the vagaries of weather, while you also risk damaging inner roofing components. The extra time spent ends up outweighing the cost of DIY Roof Replacement.
Sure, hiring a professional will cost much more than repairing the roof yourself. A professional will charge anywhere between 2000 and 8500 bucks for 2200 by 2600 square feet of a standard roof while doing it yourself will cost a mere 1000 to 4000 dollars upfront. The only problem is that you are not an expert, and you are more than likely to mess while at it.
These mistakes will cost you more than you saved in the long run because you will hire a professional and buy additional roofing materials to correct the mistake. Also, gaps between roofing materials may not leak but will let in excess aeration, which will end up hiking the electricity bill due to air conditioning systems. The cost of DIY Roof Replacement will therefore not be justified.
3. Liabilities and Insurance
There is the added risk of liability and insurance. Apart from the cost of DIY roof replacement, you are responsible for anything that may happen while using your tools to repair or replace sections of roofing material. This could result in an injury, damage to valuable property, or even water leakage, which will undoubtedly end up costing time and money as well. For example, your insurance company may decline to pay the claims arguing that you went about repairing the roof without proper skills or knowledge.
If you hire a roofer, they will likely be able to repair your roof without putting the burden of cost and liability on you. Professionals are more experienced in their work and are less likely to make mistakes that will damage your roof further. If the roof does get damaged, reputable roofing agencies will come back and correct their errors at no additional cost. Professionals are covered by the company’s insurance cover, which saves you the headache of a denied insurance claim.
Take the scenario where everything goes on well, and you don’t make any mistakes. You are not out of the woods yet because most homeowners don’t know how to estimate the cost of DIY Roof Replacement accurately. The result is you buy less or extra materials in comparison to space. It’s also possible that you will buy the wrong materials in terms of quality or color. On the other hand, even if a professional roofer buys excess materials, they will know what to do with them, for example, roof for another client.
4. Safety Hazards
Roofing is a dangerous occupation whether you are trained or not. One hundred seven people died of roofing-related accidents in 2017 alone, earning roofing a top spot in occupation-related deaths in the US. An additional 23,816 roofers survived with minor injuries bearing in mind that they had some safety training and used safety equipment.
There are many causes of accidents on residential roofing repair missions, one of them being weather conditions. Some of those people who died slipped on fresh snow that had begun to build up on the roofs. You also need some training on using the ladder to maintain balance considering factors such as the added weight of the materials. Cross boards are also known to trap wind, thus altering your center of balance.
Life and health are incomparable to the cost of DIY Roof Replacement. If you are not fully aware of the safety measures needed to undertake the project, you should hire a roofing contractor. They will be able to attend to your roof in an orderly and safe manner because they know how to protect themselves and the roofing equipment up and down the ladder.
You will have to buy or rent tools and materials. This includes ropes, pulleys, nails, or screws, depending on the material that needs to be repaired. You may also need a power drill if you plan to replace shingles with roof tiles that require an extra step in preparation, such as drilling holes into the appropriate positions for later installation. Renting the tools is more cost-effective because you will have nowhere to take the tools you bought once you’re done if you aren’t a professional roofer.
Improvising may save you a few bucks, although cutting corners puts you in harm’s way or damages the roof further. For example, pincers and a large screwdriver will do where a flat bar is needed. Flat bars (which are rarely flat) go for 10 dollars apiece. However, you might end up damaging the roof and your tools because you are not using them for the correct purpose.
6. Professionals Have Knowledge and Experience
Contrary to what you see, the roof is a complex system of different layers and components that unite to keep weather elements out of your home. For example, there are several layers of roofing under your shingles.
Roofers are trained in comprehending roofing materials and systems. They know how to repair, replace, or install roofing equipment per your budget and needs. Professionals will have a better idea of what is needed for repairs than you, who may not be aware of every detail required. To top it all, professional roofers are aware of manufacturers’ standards and insurer’s guidelines which you may not be aware of. Thus, they will keep you from voiding your limited warranty.
Professionals also take into account the state of the roof before they even start working. They will be able to identify where there are leaks or other problems that need attention and give you an estimate on how long it will take them to finish a job based on the situation.
Training allows roofers to protect the house from the weather in ways you might not realize. For example, when professionals from a certified roofing company solve a problem on your roof, they may find another problem that you don’t know how to solve.
7. Limited Warranties
The cost of DIY Roof Replacement is friendly though you risk more liabilities. You are responsible for the cost of labor, materials, and any other risks involved in repairing your home’s roof. You may also have to pay if you need professional help after an accident or a complication arises during the process.
Roof companies will provide warranties on their workmanship, covering most of the items they have installed or repaired. They also provide a warranty on any materials you may purchase through them, such as roofing, shingles, and tiles, which are guaranteed for at least one year from the date of installation.
Manufacturers label their products with specific instructions on installing the products correctly under building code regulations laid down by individual states. You may find some of these instructions difficult to understand and implement if you aren’t a professional roofer, thus potentially voiding limited warranty coverage.
8. Aesthetic Appeal
Your roof is the first thing people see when they visit your home. You don’t want to have an ugly roof that will make them think negatively about you and your house. The cost of DIY Roof Replacement may be affordable, but you risk ruining the curb appeal and, consequently, the entire house’s value. A professional roof repair service will give it a pleasant appeal with things like color coordination or patterned tiles, for instance, which can add value to your property in case you move or plan to sell it.
This is where a professional contractor has an edge. Professionals will be able to do the job efficiently while still paying attention to aesthetics. This includes finishing any paint or using colors that match your house’s exterior for a complete, uniform look. Many homeowners fail to consider subtle details and consequently purchase the poor quality of roofing materials or a completely different shade that ruins the curb appeal.
The final touch will also include sealing joints and seams on roofing material meant to keep out moisture and its accompanying stains. Professionals also know how to repair or replace your gutters, keeping water from seeping into the roofing material.
9. Is Walking on the Roof All That Safe?
If you are not replacing the whole roof or installing a new roof, you will have to find your way to the damaged spot. Don’t attempt it if you’re not a professional roofer, for you risk damaging other healthy roofing spots or even falling through. The weight could cause the materials to break beneath your feet, leading to injuries from falling through or having objects fall on top of you. Some of these problems will not show outrightly but will manifest later on, especially during the rainy season, eating deeper into your pocket out for roof leak repair.
Repairing the roofing yourself is not all that bad because the cost of DIY Roof Replacement is low, but please consider your safety. If you decide to go the DIY way, ensure that you have shoes with rubber soles or steel toes to increase the grip and keep yourself from falling.
10. Can helping the contractor save you a few bucks?
If the residential roofing service you hire is willing to let you help with roof replacement, then it could cut down on costs. Take note that this will require more time and labor, which may make up for the cost of hiring a professional roofer in the long run. However, you should note that amateurs are more of a liability than an asset during the skilled sections of the roof repair process. These people are used to working harmoniously as a team, and a new unskilled person will be more of a hindrance than a help.
The best thing is to ask your contractor to let you help by stripping the old roof if you’re doing a total roof replacement. Ask them for advice on how to go about the process, waterproofing steps you should take, and time estimation to complete the process. Your contractor should also provide the necessary tools. For example, they should provide a wheeled, oversized magnet or tell you where to get one.
Nail collection is part and parcel of the roof-removal phase, which the metal roofing contractors are normally obligated to do, but you chose to take that burden instead. Ensure you carry your duties seriously. No one wants to pick rusted nails out of their kids’ feet or lawn mower blades in the future. This way, you will save on the cost of DIY roof replacement and enhance the safety of your household.
In the battle between DIY roof replacement and professional roof installation, DIY wins in upfront costs. However, the long-term costs will be determined by how effectively you replace your roof without making any mistakes, voiding the warranty, or harming yourself and others. Although professional roofing contractors charge a lot more, the choice seems safer and more cost-effective in the long run. There you have. The ball is on your court.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.