Home, Plumbing, Repairs

Knowhow: factors to consider in a roof replacement

roof replacement

This guide outlines what you need to know when considering a roof replacement, particularly deciding whether to DIY or call a contractor.

If your roof has suffered leaks or mold infestation before, you understand how challenging it can be to fix the underlying problems. However, if you have had to repair or replace missing gutters, the experience might have been a bit different.

The decision to hire a roofing contractor or do the roof replacement or repairs yourself is quite critical, so you should approach it with caution. To be on the safe side, you want to understand the implications that come with repairing the roof vs. hiring a professional who’s fully insured and licensed. Here are the factors you should consider before making up your mind.

Factors to consider in a roof replacement

Below, we have highlighted the main factors that determine whether you should go DIY with your roof replacement project or hire an expert roofing contractor. You’ll also learn the pros and cons of the two roof replacement services.

1.  The Level of Damage

If the roof is damaged from the outside, you want to climb it up and inspect for potential problems. Roof leaks are common near the chimney, skylights, at flashing points, and under damaged shingles and gutters. Issues such as cracking and blistering or snow and ice damage could be due to the type of roof installed. Similarly, other roof issues that may look simple from the outside could be causing further damage to the underlying structures. If you are not sure whether the problem is simple or advanced, consider scheduling a professional roof inspection service. 

2.  Roofing Materials Used

Not all roofing materials are readily available, and even available ones may not be consistent with what is already installed. Finding replacement panels for some metal roofing materials, for example, can be challenging, and you’ll need expert help from a professional who understands the technicalities and aesthetics of the roof. Similarly, they will have better connections for sourcing the right material at a cheaper cost.   

3.  Tools and Equipment

The tools you’ll need to complete a roof replacement will depend on the slope of the roof, the type of roofing material, and weather conditions. You will want to choose the best season for roof replacement and research the tools and equipment you’ll require. 

For complex projects where nails are stripped off with the old roof, you’ll need a giant magnet with wheels to pick up these fasteners from your yard and driveway. This helps avoid flat tires and potential injuries. If your contractor doesn’t offer this service, ensure you get a discount so you can schedule a final clean-up exercise on your own.

4.  Service Warranty

Before fixing damaged roofing, you want to check the manufacturer’s warranty and the conditions necessary to claim it. DIY installation or repair services will often void the service warranty, which could be a huge problem. If the roofing material is fairly old and the service warranty has expired, making the repairs yourself may be a good option to consider.

When working with a roofing contractor, ensure they help you obtain a building permit. The latter ensures compliance with the building code and may also be needed for the warranty to be valid. You should also ask for a letter from the roofer’s insurance company that confirms the contractor is insured and your project is covered.

5.  The Required Manpower

Sometimes the task at hand seems simple until you get started, only to realize you need a dozen people to get the job done. To avoid such issues, you should keenly analyze the workforce requirement and gauge whether going DIY is a good idea. 

6.  Skills and Expertise

Before attempting a roof replacement project, always assess your roofing skills and the complexity of the task at hand. Inspecting the roof surface, decking, rafters, downspout, and underlayment can tell you about the level of expertise required to get the job done.  Even seasoned DIY roofers may need to consult a professional roofing contractor.

7. Cost Considerations

The cost of replacing a roof will vary based on the roofing material, the roof’s accessibility, and size. Most contractors will determine the overall cost using the roofing square unit. This is also used to determine the cost of the roofing materials.

Another aspect that determines the overall replacement cost is the roof’s pitch. A steeper roof comes with increased safety and skills requirements. This results in higher labor and staging costs. The existing roof’s condition and additional services needed, such as cleaning and waste removal, will also affect the pricing.

When choosing a roofing contractor, ensure you understand how they price their services and what’s included in the service package. The cost of roof replacement will often vary from one state or city to another. Roofing services in big cities tend to be higher by a certain percentage than comparable services in smaller towns. Knowing this can help you find better alternatives without compromising the quality of service.

8. Weighing Your Options 

Some of the advantages of replacing the roof yourself are reduced costs and better control of the entire process. The disadvantage is that you’ll be liable for any mistake while repairing the roof, and you could forfeit the roofing material warranty and even home insurance.

If you are susceptible to the above risks, hiring a seasoned roofing contractor would be a better option. Not only will you benefit from expert services, but you’ll also get professional roof care tips to extend your roof’s service life. The only disadvantage is the higher cost of hiring a roofing contractor, but it will give you peace of mind knowing you aren’t risking more damage on the roof.


Understanding the roof replacement basics is one step to making the right decisions. If you want to safely go with a DIY approach, ensure the roof isn’t too damaged and won’t require extensive repairs. A service warranty and the roofing materials used will also limit your options to repair the roof yourself. All the above factors are critical, and you need to consider them as you prepare for your roof replacement project.