1. Keep up appearances.
In planning your next major remodeling project, don't forget to consider the look and style of your roofing. When you consider that the average roof comprises 40 percent of a home's visible exterior, you want it to look good.
2. Sneak a peek.
Inspect your roof from a safe vantage point using binoculars. Look for cracking, curling, and missing shingles. If your roof is made of asphalt shingles, also look for areas that seem to lack granular covering. You can examine your roof from the inside, too. In your attic space, use a flashlight to look for water stains that may indicate a growing roof leak.
3. Ask the right questions.
A qualified roofing contractor should have a permanent place of business, a phone number, a tax identification number, and, where required, a business license. Also ask for proof of liability insurance and workers' compensation. Otherwise, you might be the one liable for job site accident coverage.
4. Know the code.
Check your local municipal building department to see how many times you may re-cover an existing roof with another layer of similar materials. Some communities only allow two layers of roofing material, and require any additional layers to be torn off before more roofing can be installed.
5. Take a picture.
There are ways for a contractor to take a digital picture of your home and show you different renderings of the house with different roofing materials.
6. Get it in writing.
Roofing contractors should deliver a detailed proposal that describes the type of roofing, material, and color; other materials to be used; and the scope of work to be done. Remember to specify whether existing roofing will be removed or covered with a layer of new shingles, and to state who will be responsible for installing new flashing and vents. Most importantly, make sure the proposal indicates approximate starting and completion deadlines.
Continued on page 2: Tips 7-12