We all want to be fiscally responsible people. Saving money, especially these days, is essential. So it comes as no surprise that more people are taking the responsibility of home projects into their own hands to try and cut costs. We applaud the initiative. However, there are certain maintenance and repair tasks that are better left in the hands of a professional. Finding that balance can help keep your costs down without sacrificing long-term quality roofing. Let’s take a look at some of the pitfalls involved in D.I.Y roofing vs professional contractors.
Roofing is a multistage process that varies greatly depending on the work requirements involved in the job. While quality roofers have spent years dedicating themselves to the strategy and problem-solving that arises, a first-timer simply does not have that professional know-how. A roof is more complicated than it seems. There are manufacturer’s standards, local codes, and certifications that the professionals go through in order to fully understand the structure of a well-made roof. Every part has to work in tandem and even small mistakes can be costly.
Liability & Insurance
Say something happens to your roof. Maybe a branch falls or a winter storm results in some minor damage. You think you can save a buck by taking care of it yourself. It’s just a couple of shingles, right? Before you take a trip to the hardware store you may want to check with your insurance. The laws regarding insurance claims can differ from state to state, and even beyond that, your company may not cover any D.I.Y repairs, claiming that you were negligent and caused further damage in the attempt. This means you can end up paying for those repairs yourself.
On the other hand, professional roofers can better assess the problem for initial damage and create a plan going forward that will offer more security. Your insurance company is far more likely to pay for a professional contractor who has a greater success rate. Roofers typically have insurance that will cover any damage which may occur during the work. This takes the strain off your wallet.
Manufacturers typically have codes that require their product to be installed correctly, thus keeping it covered by warranty. A professional roofer will have studied this and knows how to ensure that the application is done correctly so as to minimize further issues. Most roofers offer a warranty on their work, guaranteeing its quality and offering a promise to come out and fix any issues resulting from their job. However, if you undertake a D.I.Y installation, the warranty on many manufacturers’ products is immediately voided. On top of this, if you installed something improperly, you could risk further damage to your roof. This means you’ll just have to call the roofers down the line to fix it, only now with a bigger price tag.
Cost & Safety
Few homeowners have the skills necessary to accurately estimate the cost, time, and effort needed to successfully repair or replace a roof. You will likely spend more money on roofing materials and necessary tools than you initially thought, as most homeowners also do not have the equipment needed in their garages. There are always delays, sometimes due to inclement weather or late shipments, meaning that your fun D.I.Y project is now taking much longer than anticipated and interfering with the rest of your life. On top of this, professional roofers utilize safety equipment to minimize accidental injuries on the job. You may think you can do without this, but ask any roofer how many times a helmet or safety harness has prevented a visit to the hospital. The last thing you want to add to your roofing cost is a ride in the ambulance.
If you ever want to sell your home, house inspections are a part of the process. A good inspector will notice damages and improper installation, which can negatively impact the value of your home. A poorly installed roof is a big drawback, and many potential buyers will think twice before investing in a home that will require extensive work. An unappealing or damaged roof can have a poor effect on curb appeal, reducing the number of potential buyers once they see the property. In the end, you’d have to hire professional roofers anyway just to get your home market ready, so why not make sure it’s done right the first time?
Overall, taking on a D.I.Y roofing project is simply not worth the risk to your home, health, and wallet. If you have concerns about being able to afford a necessary roof repair or replacement, talk to your selected roofing contractor about a payment plan. Regular inspections and assessments can help keep your costs and damage minimal to help mitigate issues down the road. You can also take reasonable steps on your own, such as keeping your gutters clean and removing tree branches that hang over your roof. This will help prevent concerns and keep your roof in good condition.