Considering a DIY Roof Replacement? Read This Before You Start

DIY Roof Repairs | June 24, 2022

Home with asphalt shingles and the lights on

Roof replacement is a major home improvement project that often comes with a major price tag. Its importance can’t be overstated; a good roof lowers your energy costs and protects everything it covers, including the people that live below it. When those people are your family, you want the very best for them. You might wonder if you can provide that with a DIY roof replacement. DIY projects can often save you money, after all, and there are instructions and videos online walking you through the roofing process step by step. Why not DIY roofing, then? 

Before you decide to tackle your roof replacement, you need to know what you’re getting into. There are so many things to consider when replacing a roof. Let’s take a look at some. 

Costs

The cost of materials needed for roofing a house like shingles, nails, and roofing cement add up, and most non-professionals don’t accurately estimate how much they’ll need. You will need to buy more than the job requires of some materials, like shingles, due to the number of shingles sold in a bundle. For a professional, those overages don’t matter because they can use them on another job. For a DIY roof, you are simply left with extra materials that you had to pay for. 

Hidden Costs

To fully assess whether it’s economical to DIY your new roof, you must also consider “hidden costs” of the project. A permit might be required by your local authorities or by your HOA, if you have one. If you start the work without a required permit, you could be facing future fines.

Your homeowner’s insurance may also have a hidden cost down the line. Most insurance policies will cover replacements due to fire or weather but may require a professional to do the work. Doing your own replacement may void part of your policy down the line.

Warranties, too, may require a professional for the warranty to be valid. Always check your warranties, policies, and permit requirements before you decide to DIY.

Risks

Working on a roof is dangerous. The height is the obvious factor, but there is also the fact that you may be working at different elevations and angles, if you have multiple levels. You may not be accustomed to working on a slope, especially with tools. You will also be bending, lifting, and carrying heavy, bulky materials up a ladder. Heat and wind also pose risks while you’re on the roof. 

Difficulty

A YouTube video may show you how to replace a roof, but it can’t adequately illustrate the strength, dexterity, and knowledge needed to complete the job accurately and efficiently. You can learn the steps but won’t have the experience and background to identify problems, like structural damage and repair them. 

Special attention and care need to be taken at points like chimneys, pipes, valleys, and wherever a roof surface meets a wall. These areas require metal flashing, which is difficult to work with and must be installed correctly. There are bends that need to be made at corners and intersections, and these technical details will make or break the roof system.

Overlapping the shingles properly to meet manufacturer requirements is a must. Correct placement of each fastener is important too. If these things are wrong, a warranty will be void, and you will be at risk of shingles blowing off or leaking.

Tools and equipment

You many need to rent or purchase specialized tools for the job. A roofer can use as many as 30 tools and pieces of equipment on a job. An average home may have some of the more common tools needed but may be missing others. Some tools commonly used in roofing include an air compressor, air hose, caulk gun, extension ladder, ladder hoist, magnetic sweeper, reciprocating and circular saws, roof brackets/toe boards, roofing nailer, roofing shovel or shingle tear-off tool, snips, tarps, and more. You should also have soft-soled, steel-toed shoes that protect your feet and the shingles you walk on.

Time investment

Professional roofers can typically tear off and replace an asphalt shingle roof in a day or two. But they have all the tools, supplies, and expertise on hand to get the job done quickly. If you’ve never replaced a roof before, you are at a disadvantage that will cost you time. Completing the job quickly reduces the risk of running into poor weather conditions. A rain delay means you’ll need to cover your roof with a tarp or risk exposing your materials to the elements. 

And if you’re working or taking care of your family at the same time, you may not have the time to finish the job right away. 

Professional Roofers are Worth It

For smaller jobs around the house, DIY can be a great option to save money and learn new skills. But a roof replacement is a major, expensive, and dangerous job that is best left in the hands of experienced professionals. 

The cost of materials, the possibility of making mistakes, and the safety concerns just don’t add up to significant savings – the risks are too high. 

Call us for your roofing needs. Our crew has the experience and professionalism to get the job done right, and fast.