Your roof protects your home, your possessions, and your precious family. This makes it one of the most critical investments in your property. Unfortunately, it won’t last forever. Homeowners can expect to replace their roof every 25 years. If the roof is hit by a windstorm or hail, of course, they could find themselves facing this a lot sooner.
With regular maintenance and roof checks, you can maximize the lifespan of your roof. If however, you’re facing a complete replacement, estimating the costs involved can be overwhelming. The costs go beyond the materials such as metal sheeting or tiles. There are accompanying materials needed for the job, protective elements, removal of waste, and labor costs.
Today we speak with Aaron Drew of Rooflines who provides professional roof repairs in Sydney and the surrounding areas, and he has kindly shared with us some tips and advice on what to be mindful of when restoring or replacing your roof.
Here are some key factors that can help you get your head around it. Having thought through the points, you will also have a better idea of the right questions to ask a roofing contractor when you request a quote from them.
The bigger a roof, the more materials will be needed, and the more hours of labor will need to be invested in installing it. The steepness of a roof (called the pitch) can also affect the cost. A steeper roof needs more expertise and time, so it will cost more to replace. The materials used also sway the quote. Roofing is quoted like this: the cost per square or square foot.
The average price of a metal roof per square meter ranges from $3-5 if it is 0.5m in length. At 8m it costs $70-120 per sheet, but individual designs are more expensive than others.
When you approach a contractor, it’s recommended you ask them to view the roof in person before they supply you with a quote. That’s because the design of the structure can increase labor costs. The number of peaks, valleys, and facets will impact the labor needed to finish the job. If you have skylights, chimneys or the roof needs any reinforcements, this could all also push up the bill.
Working with a roofing contractor that knows your area well is also advisable. If they’ve done lots of work in the neighborhood, they will be familiar with the climate conditions. This will inform their decision to recommend particular materials to cope with the heat, cold, or bad-weather challenges. Your postal code or the state you live in may have specific restrictions or codes you need to stick to as well.
When you’re weighing up the option between replacing your roof or repairing it, an assessment will give you an indication of what the needs are. Anything that will compromise the roof and allow water to penetrate it will require a repair. However, if your roof is getting old, a replacement may work out more cost-efficient in the long run. It may be better to go for the replacement to avoid frequent repairs.
Choosing a new roof
Replacing your roof is an opportunity to improve the value of your home. Rather than merely going with a new version of what you had before, you may want to consider alternative options. According to the Master Builders Association of South Australia, there are pros and cons to both tiles or corrugated iron or steel roofs. Steel is very versatile, but tiles have a longer lifespan, curb appeal, and offer better sound insulation. They need a pitch of between 18 and 22 degrees, but steel has more flexibility in this area.
Both roof materials can carry solar panels, but tiling can affect your heat output as they absorb heat and radiate it when it gets cold. Steel, however, can allow the space in the ceiling to warm up more quickly, but will also dissipate quicker.
If you live in a bushfire area, steel roofing is recommended as tiles don’t offer a complete seal between them. Colour counts too. A darker room absorbs more temperature so it will lead to higher insulation and cooling costs. If you want a dark roof, it’s recommended you put in an insulation blanket when you reroof.
What about asbestos?
According to Australian Residential Builders (ARRB), asbestos was banned in 2001, but it’s still found in houses in roofing and guttering. Asbestos concrete sheets were useful at stopping the spread of fire, which is why it was popular. However, if there is any structural upset to your roof, the sheets will release harmful fibers into your home. You must consult a qualified roofing contractor if you need to replace your roof to ensure it is removed and disposed of correctly.
Before you take the next step in contacting a contractor for a new roof, check they have a license, can supply you with references, and have the necessary insurance. When they provide a quote also request they include all associated costs including materials, scaffolding, and the removal of waste.