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What You Need to Know When Hiring a Roofing Contractor

It goes without saying that the roof of your home is one of the most essential parts of your house. It is a value-add home renovation project. There are some things you need to keep in mind before hiring a roofing contractor to replace a roof, and not all of them are obvious at first.

Of course, there are certain things which clearly needs to be considered such as license, insurance before hiring a roof contractor with the right experience, but there are some things we often forget.

Materials for the future, not just for today

One of the most important points to consider are which type of materials are going to be used. When replacing a roof it is important to think many years ahead. Replacing a roof is never cheap, so you want your new roof to last as long as possible.

Before hiring a roofing contractor to replace a roof, you should find out which materials he has experience of working with. One thing I have learned, is that many roofing contractor prefer certain types of materials.

So what materials should you look out for? We often just think that a roof is something which protects us from the rain and snow. In fact, a roof is much more than that. A roof forms part of the insulation of the house. Energy costs are very high these days and will probably remain so, therefore it is important to hire a roofing contractor who has a great deal experience of working with good quality insulating materials.

Don't be afraid to ask for references and speak to previous clients. They will probably have a good idea how much money their well insulated new roof is saving them. Ask them if they have seen a reduction in heating bills such as oil or gas.

Change of roof structure or design

If you are considering a change of roof structure or design, you need to make sure that your roofing contractor is experienced enough to work with an architect and understands drawings.

An experienced structural roofing contractor will be happy to meet with your architect. It is important for you to attend the meeting. Listen in carefully to the discussion, and you will soon find out a lot about your roofing contractor's experience.

If your roofing contractor starts to make his own suggestions, and your architect seems to be happy with them, you are working with an experienced contractor. This will make a lot of difference when it comes to the small finish touches which will make your redesigned roof a success.

Time, time, time and protection

Replacing a roof is a major home renovation project, and you need to make sure it is done both correctly and quickly. You don't want your home to be exposed to the elements for any length of time. Ending up with a half finished roof in fall would be a disaster.

Once again, your roofing contractor's previous clients will be of great help. They will be able to tell your if the contractor finished his work on time or not.

Also ask about protection, this is one point many people forget. What is going to protect your home when your contractor is not on site?

Make sure the roofing contractor can provide adequate protection when he is not there. He should be able to protect your home from the elements by using plastic sheeting or perhaps even cladding.

Your old roof

There are many thinks to consider when hiring a roofing contractor to replace a roof. Don't forget to ask how he intends to remove the old roof. You don't want to end up with the old roof in your back yard. Make sure he intends to remove the old roof and dispose of it safely.

It might also be a good idea to ask if there are any parts of the old roof he can reuse. You will be pleasantly surprised to find out that many roofing contractors are also great restorers. Main beams for instance are often reusable. This little tip can save you a lot of money if you decide to hire a contractor who has experience of restoration.

Finally, do remember that future environmental regulations are more likely to be stricter than today. Cutting down on greenhouse gases is priority for many government agencies, so do don't forget that insulation and environmentally friendly materials, are both key points both for today and the future.

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