Planning for the purchase of a new roofing system can often be overwhelming to a homeowner. There is a wealth of information available, and an equal number of different products on the market. The best thing to do is to hire a professional roofing contractor to guide you through the process of product selection. In our previous article, we discussed some different points to consider when selecting the right roofing contractor to install the right roofing system for you. But how do you identify the correct roofing system or product for your home? This article approaches different ideas to consider when selecting the right roofing system for you.

The very first thing to do is find out and identify the covenants in your neighborhood relating to roof style requirements. Oftentimes, different neighborhoods will require that each homeowner have a similarly styled roof to create cohesion and aesthetics throughout the neighborhood. Next, you will be faced with the seemingly daunting task of sifting through the massive amount of shingles on the market today. This is not as bad as you may think! You will want to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Am I looking for the most durable shingle?
    • Dimensional (laminate) shingles offer a thicker base layer of asphalt-saturated fiberglass. Bound to the solid layer is a tabbed layer, usually with more pronounced notches. The heavier design of these shingles makes them less susceptible to damage from wind.
  • Am I looking for the cheapest shingle?
    • Maybe you’re looking to sell your house in the near future or have a limited budget. Everybody wants to achieve the best result for the lowest cost. Searching for the cheapest shingle can be a dangerous pitfall. Most manufacturers make what is called a “3-tab” shingle. This is a lightweight shingle that offers benefits to your pocketbook but can leave you vulnerable in a high wind situation. Also, 3-tab shingles are generally not included in the best manufacturer warranties. While the heaviest, most durable shingles are often the most expensive, they offer superior wind and hail protection. They also have features that can be beneficial to the environment as well as the aesthetic of your home. If you live in windy conditions or have frequent hailstorms, a heavier designer shingle can protect you from having to replace your roof and potentially save you money.
  • How long am I planning to live in this home?
    • Perhaps you’re in a position to sell the home. You can potentially save the cost of a full roof system replacement by fixing the issues you’re having. However, if the roof is 15 years old or more, or if you’ve already experienced problems with the system then a full roof system replacement would be most beneficial to you. Even as a seller, an inspector will be able to identify and document the fixes which could dissuade a potential buyer. If you plan to live in your home for 5+ years, it would benefit you to consider a heavier, longer-lasting shingle. Designer shingles are made to look great from the street, but they also protect the roofing system from being damaged by up to 130mph winds as well as damage from hail. Also, a multilayered, heavier, designer shingle usually comes with an incredible warranty (some as long as 50 years!)
  • Why am I replacing the roof system? Is the roof old? Is there a leak? Is there damage created by a windstorm or hailstorm?
    • If the roof is starting to show deterioration, or if you’ve got leaks, you have a few options. In some cases, you can patch the roof to repair a leak. However, if you’ve had previous leaks and the roof is over 15 years old, chances are, you’re better off replacing the entire roof system. Leaks can lead to moisture, rotting, mold, and structural damage. When you replace the entire system, any issues and problems are uncovered, diagnosed, and fixed permanently rather than prolonged.
  • Will insurance cover any of my costs?
    • Typically, this answer depends on the nature of the damage to your roof and your homeowner’s insurance policy. Your out of pocket expense will depend if you have an Actual Cost Value (ACV) or Replacement Cost Value (RCV) plan. RCV is a product at 100 percent, with no use or diminished life span. ACV is the use (or life left) of a product after reduction for depreciation. For example, a shingle roof with a 30-year life span (in a perfect world) would be depreciated by 50 percent after 15 years, therefore if the replacement cost value of that shingle roof while new was $300 per square, would have a depreciated value (ACV) of $150 per square. Once you’ve established the type of insurance coverage, you must find out the type of deductible. There are two types of deductibles, Percentage and Static.
  • A Percentage Deductible is calculated using the insured value of the home. If the insured value is $200,000, and the deductible is 2%, your deductible is $4000.00.
  • A Static Deductible is the same regardless of the insured value (typically $1000.00). If the insured value of the home is $200,000 or $500,000, your deductible remains the same.
  • Determining the type of insurance plan and the deductible type can help you decide what shingle is best for your family and future. Imagine this: You bought a roof for $10,000 15 years ago. Your home is hit by a hailstorm, your roof took some damage and is subject to insurance coverage. You have an ACV plan and a 2% deductible on your home which is insured for $200,000. The insurance company will depreciate your roof 50% and give you a check for the depreciated value less the deductible. The deductible is 2 percent of the insured value – $4000.00
·         Cost of Roof ·         $10,000
·         Less Depreciation ·         -$5000
·         Less Deductible ·         -$4000
·         Check from Insurance Company ·         $1000
·         Out of Pocket Expense ·         $9000

While insurance will aid in the cost of the roof system, it may not completely cover the costs, as illustrated in the example above. In an instance like this, a homeowner might be persuaded to go for the cheapest shingle possible. While this solution is immediately easy on the pocketbook, it could make more sense to install a heavier, more expensive shingle. Given the wind/hail protection rating and the increased manufacturer warranty, installing a heavier shingle would protect you from ever buying another roof again.

As you can see, purchasing a new roofing system can be very time-consuming and overwhelming. Depending on your family’s needs and situation, there are many different roofing shingles and systems available to you. At Boulevard Building Company, our team of specialists will listen to your specific needs and concerns to offer you the best options for your new roofing system. We understand the importance of a quality roofing installation from a contractor with your best interests in mind.