gutter guards

5 Things to Consider on Upgrading Your Old Roof

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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If it is time to upgrade your old roof then take a moment to think it through first. Whether it is simply at the end of its life or if you are suffering through leaks during rain and storms, there are some key steps you need to think about first.  

Your home doesn’t have to fit in to one of the many famous architectural styles of the past and so, you don’t have to worry about creating an amazing work of art with your roof. What does matter is that you are practical since a poorly installed roof that leaks or that doesn’t have gutter guards or basic leaf guards for gutters can lead to huge damages to the rest of the structure down the track? The trick is to balance quality with price, so consider the following when replacing your roof:

1 – Research Roofing Material Options 

Roofing materials and styles are always advancing with new innovations and designs, and chances are that there will be some new options compared with when your roof was last replaced.  

While you might like to stick with traditional options such as asphalt shingles or corrugated metal, you can also consider investing in a roof made of solar tiles that can power your home. Homes prone to damage from heavy rain and hail might benefit from materials that are durable and incorporate stone, and there are also green options that use plants on your roof. Each comes with its own price tag, so try to match the material and style both with the building’s needs as well as your budget. 

Just make sure to understand and follow any HOA rules and local building codes that you might have to comply with.

2 – Decide What Add-Ons, Such as Gutter Guards, You Might Need 

Replacing your roof also provides you with an opportunity to install any additional add-ons that you have been thinking about. Gutter guards and leaf guards for gutters are a great and simple add-on if there are trees nearby whose leaves can fall in and cause blockages that require additional maintenance.  

Additional ventilation systems, as well as skylights, can easily be installed during the roof replacement process, giving contractors much easier access to do their job instead of having to pull apart the existing roof in order to install any additional features. 

3 – Explore Multiple Roofing Contractor Options 

Once you have an idea of what you want in your next roof replacement, you will need to look into multiple roofing contractors who will be able to get the job done. The best thing you can do is to shop around and get quotes from multiple contractors (around 5 if possible) in order to compare their prices, their time frame, and their professional backgrounds. 

You can start by asking friends and family for recommendations and take advantage of word-of-mouth advertising. If a contractor has made someone very happy in the past, chances are they can do the same for you. You should also check online for any roofing businesses operating in your area. 

Always check that their credentials and insurance are all up to date, that they can deliver all of the add-ons such as gutter guards that you want installed, and ask to see their previous work in the area.

4 – Choose Quality 

With your list of potential contractors, it can be tempting to choose the one with the lowest price. If one of them is substantially lower than the rest, avoid hiring them no matter how appealing they may look. Your roof plays a crucial part in the overall health of a building. Since you get what you pay for, skipping on quality to save a few bucks can really cost you in the long run regarding repairs as well as the health of anyone who spends lots of time inside the building.  

This is an important investment, so don’t be afraid of spending a bit more because you will receive this back in the quality of the work.

5 – Make Sure Your Contractor Will Remove the Old Roof 

Both the removal and disposal of your old roofing needs to be discussed before you hire a roofing contractor to do the job. Unless you already have plans to either do this yourself or to hire another contractor for the removal, ask your potential contractors for an additional quote for the removal work as well as how much it will cost to safely dispose of the old material. 

Discussing this at the start when getting quotes from different contractors will save lots of time and frustration. Since this work is not normally included in a roofing installation quote, you don’t want to be hit with additional, unexpected costs and the contractor won’t want to be surprised with unexpected work that interferes with their work schedule.

The roof of any building needs to be correctly installed by the right professionals so that it can last for many years without being easily damaged by the weather. Getting this done right prevents water from getting in and wreaking havoc inside, and it means hiring the right professionals for the job who can also install all of the add-ons such as gutter guards. Don’t just choose the cheapest option, because this needs to be an investment that will last long into the future. 

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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