There’s a lot more to getting a new roof than slapping on some shingles. Underneath those newly maintained rooftops are all the hidden elements a professional roofing company can educate consumers about before they sign up for a new roof installation. One of the most important things that residential and commercial property owners should know, however, is that a guy with a hammer and a ladder calling himself a “roofer” is not immediately qualified to do the job.
“We call those guys Chucks in a truck,” said Ben Pelzer, co-owner of P&P Roofing, a professional roofing company serving Halifax and the HRM. “They’re easy to weed out. Once you say things like ‘can you provide proof of liability insurance’ or ‘can you provide your most recent WCB compliance letter” they’re super easy to spot because they won’t have either of those.”
Like other professions, the roofing industry has evolved as materials, roofing systems, building codes and installation techniques have evolved. As a result, there are no cookie-cutter answers to the question “how much will a new roof cost me?” There’s a matrix of factors that can impact the cost of any roofing installation, including the three things Pelzer says are consistent in every job.
“The first thing to consider is the product being used,” said Pelzer. “By product I mean what brand. Is it a complete roofing system or are they just laying new shingles? A roofing system is more than just roofing shingles or metal. There’s a lot more that goes into it when you look at a roof that you don’t necessarily see. Are they using tar paper or synthetic felt underlayment? What kind of UV resistance does it have? All these things impact cost.”
A second factor critical in determining the cost of a roof replacement is the state of the existing framework under the shingles.
“There could be structural issues,” explained Pelzer. “For example, there’s two types of rot, dry rot and rot from moisture penetration. Either of those can change the entire scope of a project.”
The third and most important aspect to consider when hiring a contractor to install your roof is the workmanship and qualifications of the person or company you’re hiring. Pelzer said that, like other tradespeople, a professional roofer will seek training and educational upgrades to stay on top of changes in the industry. Unfortunately, quality workmanship isn’t guaranteed just because a roofer comes with a list of credentials.
“The question is, how did they obtain those credentials,” he said. “Some manufacturers require roofers to go through proper training to earn professional designations. Others you just pay $200 and now you‘re a credentialed contractor. What separates the professionals is the workmanship. How are they running the underlay? Are they using the manufacturer recommended nail pattern? Do the manufacturers post positive reviews to support the contractor that customers can see? What is the guarantee being offered on the workmanship? These are all important considerations.”
As a general rule, Pelzer says its important for consumers to read the fine print on any roofing contract, especially when it comes to product warranties. Regardless of what a manufacturer may claim, Pelzer said a 50-year shingle will never last 50 years, especially in areas where climate change is causing much more severe cycles of winter cold and summer heat. Ultimately, consumers have three choices to consider when looking at a new roof.
“You can get cheap and fast, but it won’t be good. You can get cheap and good but it’s not going to be fast. Or you can get good and fast but it’s not going to be cheap. The best thing to do is to call us to discuss all your options.”
Contact P&P Roofing at -902-402-3414.
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