Replacing the roof on your Florida home is a significant investment that will increase the value of your property and improve your property’s overall curb appeal. So, when you hire a Florida roofing contractor to replace your roofing system, it’s important to get it right the first time.
There are several items you need to consider before starting your project: roof material, design, project scope, local and state building codes, choice of the roofing contractor, and your budget. Therefore, you’ll need to do some planning to minimize costs and avoid any potential mistakes. Below is a short guide to get you started.
If you have any questions about moving forward with your project, contact Quality Roofing. We’re here to help!
The two main types of roofing materials that are used in Florida are shingles and metal roofing.
Nearly a third of all roofs in Florida are protected by asphalt shingles. Products like Atlas and Certainteed offer long-standing performance and are ideal for the Florida climate. On average, you can expect shingles to last 25 to 30 years with regular care and maintenance. There are numerous shingle options, including color, shape, texture, and construction. Asphalt shingles are also one of the most affordable types of roofing materials on the market.
Metal roofing continues to rise in popularity among Florida homeowners. Metal roofing holds up well during the hurricane season and provides unmatched protection for your home. Although the roofing systems are made of metal, you still have plenty of design options that make your roof feel less industrial and more like home. Metal roofing is also easy to install and replace. On average, you can expect a metal roof to last 50 years or more.
Other Roofing Material Considerations
In addition to your roof covering, there are other materials or items you need to choose carefully to complete your roofing system layout.
- Sheathing: Sheathing is a general term for materials like wood decking or sheet material that contractors fasten to your trusses or framework.
- Rafters and Trusses: The framework provides the primary support for your roofing system, particularly the wood decking.
- Flashing: Flashing prevents water intrusion in vulnerable areas on your roof, such as the valleys, skylights, or chimneys.
- Drainage: How and where water drains off your roof depends on the roof design and layout. You need to consider the type of roof design you want, including slope.
- Ventilation: Ventilation is critical to the life of your roof, as it prevents heat and moisture buildup in the attic. Make sure your roof design and vents allow adequate ventilation.
When Is the Best Time to Install a New Roof in Florida?
Scheduling a professional roof installation can be a bit tricky in Florida. When is the best time to install a new roof in Florida?
The best time to replace a Florida roof is during winter or spring. There are fewer storms and hurricanes in these periods, therefore there will be fewer delays due to weather. Urgent repairs resulting from severe storms are also less common. This means that you won’t be placed behind projects of a higher priority.
Fortunately, Florida’s weather is generally milder throughout the entire year compared to other locations. This gives you the option to replace your roof at any time of year. However, remember that the summer and fall months come with storms and hurricanes, which can lead to major delays in the roofing process. So, try to schedule a winter or spring roof installation if possible.
Set Your Roof Installation Budget, but Focus on Quality Roofing
If you don’t set a budget for a roof installation, you are likely to cut corners in the wrong areas and spend more money than you had originally planned. Consider these line items when you budget for a new roof.
- Schedule a professional roof inspection first to get an idea of what needs to be done.
- Always ask for a roof estimate (see below).
- Get a complete list of all roof materials and supplies, even the small items.
- Consider delivery, labor and cleanup costs.
- Set aside a buffer for surprises, they almost always happen.
- Consult your roofing contractor to find out which expenses you can cut.
With that last point in mind, remember this: if you want better results, focus on quality roofing materials and labor. Hiring a cheap company and cutting corners on materials will not only cause you to regret down the road, but it may also void your homeowner’s warranty and increase your homeowner’s insurance.
Also, there is a chance that you’ll spend more on maintenance and repairs in a shorter time. Be willing to spend a little more upfront to save yourself a massive headache later on.
Get Multiple Roofing Installation/Replacement Estimates
No reputable roofing contractor in Florida will pressure you to be satisfied with one estimate. Any confident contractor will encourage you to shop around. So, take their advice and get more than one estimate. What should you look for in a roofing estimate? Some basics include:
- Name of the company
- Company contacts information
- Company website (if applicable)
- Insurance and licensing information
- Job description and scope of work
- Materials used
- Bottom-line project cost
- Warranty information
- Roofing estimate provisions
Do Your Homework When Looking for a Contractor
Chances are, there are at least half a dozen local roofing contractors in your area no matter where you live in Florida. Professional roofing is always in high demand due to the Florida climate and hurricanes. Since you have lots of options, it is to your benefit to do your homework to find the best roofing contractor for your home.
At the very least, a roofing contractor should be:
- Licensed: You’re rolling dice if you hire an unlicensed/non-certified roofer. It’s illegal to operate without a license in Florida.
- Local: Don’t fall for the storm chasers or out-of-town companies that are passing through. Instead, build a long-term relationship with a trustworthy local contractor.
- Experienced: Let the new guys do smaller jobs and prove their worth over time. If you are a discerning homeowner, you will almost always choose a company that is experienced and proven.
- Knowledgeable: A seasoned, licensed, a local roofing contractor should have all the answers. They should have already done all the homework so that you don’t have to.
- Relevant: The best contractor to install a residential metal roof is a contractor that has expertise in residential metal roofs. It doesn’t make sense to hire a roofer that only does tile roofing.
Make sure you do background checks on prospective roofing companies. Ask for referrals, check their website and look at customer ratings and reviews online. Also, look at sites such as the Better Business Bureau.
Warranties and Homeowner’s Insurance
Last on the list, you need to make sure that you protect your investment. There are two ways to do so:
- Roofing Warranty
One of the most confusing aspects of a roofing job is the warranty. Truth is that most homeowners don’t even bother to read them. As a result, they end up voiding their warranty over a technicality. So, do yourself a favor and read your roofing warranty. You may have two different warranties (or two parts in the same warranty, depending on how your contractor sets it up):
- Manufacturer warranty: The manufacturer warranty covers the supplies and materials the contractor uses in the job. You may have multiple manufacturer warranties for different materials.
- Labor or craftsmanship: The contractor provides a warranty that guarantees labor and craftsmanship.
- Homeowner’s Insurance
Although there may be additional insurance available for your roof installation, your roof is typically covered under your general homeowner’s policy. For this reason, you need to make sure that your new roof will be covered.
Before you launch your project, make sure you contact your insurance company and let them know the details of the project. The good news is that the insurer may provide incentives or discounts for a new roof. Plus, there is a chance that your premiums may go down.
Make sure you understand what your warranty does and does not cover and under what conditions. Also, make sure the contractor takes the time to go over your warranty with you. Note: the type of warranty that the contractor offers may be in your estimate.
Get a Free Roof Replacement Estimate from Quality Roofing
Quality Roofing offers premier roofing services for homeowners in Florida. To learn more about our roofing replacement solutions, call (850) 204-0443 or fill out the quick form on our contact page.