By KATHY VAN MULLEKOM
DAILY PRESS (NEWPORT NEWS, VA.)
last updated: October 19, 2007 11:07:41 PM
Putting a new roof on your house is a job you want to contract out.
It's specialty work that can also be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. Jamison Brown, a home inspector with Amerispec Home Inspection Services -- www.amerispec.net--offers these tips:
Get a good contractor. Always choose a licensed roofing contractor, not a general remodeling contractor.
A remodeling specialist subcontracts the work out, and that opens up a real can of worms, Brown said.
It's customary for the contractor to want some advance money for materials, but don't proceed without a contract. When the materials are delivered, check them to make sure you get what you pay for.
Get a permit. Require the roofing contractor to take out a permit to make sure it's installed around code requirements in your city or county.
Get good results. Have the original shingles and roofing felt, called underlayment, torn off and go with a total replacement.
Get a good foundation. For roofing felt under your shingles, you can go with 15 or 30 pound. "I would spend a little extra for 30 pound," says Brown.
Seal siding walls, valleys and penetrations with a water-resistant membrane such as Ice and Watershield.
Get quality shingles. If you go with the standard three-tab asphalt shingles, choose 25-year algae-resistant shingles that resists the growth of roof algae, which is a dark brown or black stain that plagues many parts of the country.
If you go with laminated or architectural shingles, choose at least a 30-year shingle.
Require your roofing contractor to use nails, not staples, to secure the shingles.
Get better pipe collars. Standard collars around plumbing vents extending out of your roof often wear out before the roof is five to 10 years old. Ask your roofing contractor if better options are available.
Get it inspected. For about $150, a certified home inspector can make sure your roof was installed according to code and contract.