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Maintaining your home – the value of a roof

The integrity of your home begins at the top. A roof that is in good shape protects everything underneath, while an old or damaged roof risksroof of home walls, ceilings, beams and your precious belongings underneath. Once the integrity is compromised, water damage and mold aren’t your only enemies; termites and carpenter ants, birds, squirrels, mice - any living thing that wants shelter from wind, rain, sun and snow, will take advantage of any breach that affords food and shelter. We all know what kind of damage termites and carpenter ants can do to a home’s infrastructure, but the weight of nests, and the unpleasant byproducts of an animal under your roof are destructive to your home’s structure, hygiene, and appeal. Once the problem is revealed, your costs for remediation will compound the cost of the roof repair or replacement you already need; if the problem is revealed in a home inspection during a sale, your profits will shrink instantly by thousands of dollars.

The average cost of a 2,000-square-foot roof can run $2,500-3,000, but there are variables that can impact cost: whether you need to tear off prior layers and, if you do, how many layers there are and whether the plywood underneath is in good condition or may need repair; the height and pitch of the roof and how accessible your home and roof are for the laborers and equipment; the size of the crew and speed with which you want the project completed; the quality and warrantee of the shingles you select; flashing or other trim materials; and whether you are in a market that fosters competitive bidding. If you do need to strip the old roofing, a dumpster will be needed, and should be included in the estimate, along with any local dumping fees, permits, etc.

You may want to consider replacing the gutters and leaders on the home at the same time. If you use the same contractor, and do everything at once it could be cheaper overall. Gutters that don’t drain can push water back into your house, and ice during colder months can do enormous damage. The cost usually runs another $2,000-$3000, but many of the factors above will affect pricing here as well. Here again, quality makes a difference, and there are features that may cost more, but that can make your life easier and be attractive selling points for future buyers. Features that minimize the need for seasonal cleaning and that direct water away from problem areas where it pools today are going to add value to your home.

We strongly recommend selecting a licensed and insured contractor who will guarantee the work; obviously, roofing is dangerous and if there is an accident, your homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover it, leaving you at risk. Get referrals from neighbors, friends and online sources like Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor. We also recommend choosing shingles that compliment your home’s exterior color palette, and come with a warrantee of 25 years – it is money well spent. If you have a Homeowners Association, make sure you understand any rules that may govern your options and obligations. Once you have the work done, keep your receipts and warrantee where you will find them again; if you decide to sell your home, these are documents that buyers will want to see.

As you enjoy living in your home, doing the work to maintain it - clearing gutters and leaders, repairing missing shingles, and trimming trees that overhang the roof - is crucial; it is also important to budget for your home expenses, setting aside money to maintain or replace your roof and gutters. The maintenance work and the planning protects your investment, your possessions, and your peace of mind for the ensuing 25 years.

Published August 13, 2018 in Home Care