Is DIY Roof Replacement a Good Idea?
Is DIY roof replacement a good idea? For some, the answer might be yes, but for most, the answer would be a hard no.
As a teenager growing up in Texas, I spent a few summers working on roofing crews. We replaced roofs on apartments complexes throughout DFW, installed copper metal roofs on buildings off the shores of Lake Ray Hubbard, and countless roofs on residential homes across the metroplex. The one thing I learned quickly is replacing a roof is hard work, plain and simple. Summers days in Texas are regularly over 100 degrees; on top of a roof, it feels like 200. The material is heavy, and the days are long.
Why Would You Consider DIY Roof Replacement?
The biggest pro to DIY roof replacement is the most obvious, saving some cash. If you have the gumption to climb on your roof and start tearing off shingles, you could save a fair amount of money over hiring a professional roofing company. Additionally, once you nailed the last shingle, caulked the last penetration, and painted the last flashing, you just might walk away with a huge sense of accomplishment. For some folks, that feeling is worth the sacrifice of burnt skin, aching backs, and loss of friends. But before you run to the garage to grab the ladder, let’s consider a few reasons DIY roof replacement might be better passed up.
Considerations Before Jumping into DIY Roof Replacement
When I began thinking about this article, I started out by considering all the positives to replacing your own roof, but I soon realized was that the cons just keep creeping in faster than I could come up with a pro. I think this is because it is a task that is typically reserved for professionals for several reasons.
Do You Have The Tools Necessary for Roofing?
While it is no mystery that many men do enjoy filling their garages and sheds with tools they may never use, buying the proper tools to install the roof might not be within the budget. What more do you need than a hammer, you ask? Well, you will need a ladder to access your roof, a nail gun for coil nails, a compressor, a razor knife with plenty of extra blades, caulking guns, tin snips, circular saw, masonry blades, a large magnet, etc.
Many of these items you may very well have, and of course, you could get by not having a few of them, but the job will take longer and more time that you might not have.
Do You Have the Knowledge to Replace Your Roof?
Roof replacement may not sound like the most technical of tasks around, but an improperly installed roof can cause thousands of dollars in damages. I know that in the age of the internet, everything can be learned within a few keystrokes, and certainly, the basics of roofing surely can be acquired from a few articles and videos. However, problems arise because some roofs are more complex than others and may require more advanced knowledge. Additionally, roofs are not always built properly from the start. After installing thousands of roofs, we have seen all kinds of crazy issues like the wrong roof covering installed on a certain pitch, or flashing that doesn’t correctly divert water and poor attic ventilation issues. But all in all, you could possibly learn enough to install the roof on your home.
If an insurance claim is paying to replace your roof, there might be more that needs to be repaired than what the claim pays for, and having a roofing professional review the claim could be a major benefit before completing any storm damage repairs.
The Physical Stress
The physical stress that replacing your roof will bring is worth talking about. Each bundle of shingles weighs between 60 and 80 pounds for a 1500 SF home that could mean needing more than 60 bundles of shingles. That’s 60 trips up the ladder with that weight on your shoulder, not to mention the rows of underlayment, starter shingles, vents, and nails that will need to find their way on the roof. This work is often spread out between a team of 4-6 men, or the use of a ladder elevator is implemented to decrease the workload further.
Disposal of Trash
Disposal of trash and the old roofing shingles is an issue that is often overlooked. You can not simply bag this trash up and place it by the curb. You will need a dumpster or a dump trailer to toss the refuse into. This is an additional cost that many DIY roofers do not think about. Even after completing the roof, you will need to be sure to scour the perimeter of the roof to pick up the trash and use a magnet to remove all nails.
The final consideration to be mindful of is that there will be no workmanship warranty provided for the roof. This is an advantage of having a professional roofing company perform the installation of your roof. If your roof leaks due to poor workmanship, the warranty will repair your roof and all associated damages that resulted.
In the case of a material defect, a high-quality professional roofing company will have installed the roof according to the manufactures standards to be sure that the warranty will be honored.
Is a DIY Roof Replacement Right for You?
Is a DIY roof replacement right for you? Only you could know. If, after reading this article, you believe you have what it takes to install your roof yourself, be sure to do plenty of research and be especially good to any of your friends you ask to help, for everyone else, call Baker Roofing & Construction.Back to Blog