Decisions to Make Before Choosing a New Roof

Scraping Roof – Tumwater, WA – The Roof DoctorWhat decisions do you need to make before you choose a new roof? If your older, worn, or damaged roof requires a replacement, take a look the questions to ask right now.

Do You Really Need a New Roof?

A new roof is a major investment. This means you need to make sure it’s a necessary home improvement before you commit to a purchase. If you’re not sure whether you need a new roof, consider:

  • Age. While age isn’t the only predictor of replacement, it is a major factor. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), a roof can last anywhere from 30 years (asphalt shingles) to 150 years (slate).
  • Shingle damage. Even though a few curled or missing shingles don’t indicate the need for a full replacement, multiple or large areas do. If shingle damage detracts from the exterior’s aesthetics or allows water inside your home, you need a re-roof service.
  • Significant leaks. A smaller-sized hole or crack in the roof can cause a leak, but this doesn’t always mean you need to replace the entire exterior. A significant leak or a leak that destroys your belongings, rots wood, or causes other issues may require a replacement service.
  • Aesthetic issues. Do you want to change the look of your home? A re-roof service (with a new material or color palette) can transform your home’s exterior.

After you decide to re-roof your home, it’s time to take the next step — and choose a roofing material.

What Type of Roofing Material Do You Want?

There are a variety of materials to choose from for residential structures. These include asphalt shingles, clay, concrete, metal, wood, or slate. The specific type of roof you select depends on several factors. These include:

  • Your personal preference. Do you enjoy the look of a sleek metal roof — or do you prefer a traditional asphalt shingle style? You can reflect your own personal style in your choice of a roofing material.
  • Your local climate. Do you live in a cool, dry area or a humid, warm location? Some types of roofing materials stand up to the elements better than others.
  • Durability. A roof with a longer expected life span and increased durability may cost more upfront. But a highly durable roof isn’t likely to require expensive repairs or a replacement in its first few years.
  • Maintenance. How much time do you have to care for your roof? If you want a low maintenance option, ask the roofer which material requires the least upkeep.
  • Architecture. If your existing roof is sloped, a flat metal material won’t fit on the architecture of your home. Discuss how your home’s existing architecture affects your roofing material choices with the contractor before you make a selection.

Along with these issues, learn more about the roofing material’s warranty. Look for a warranty that covers repairs or replacements for years to come. If the warranty comes with paragraphs of exclusions, is void after a few months, or doesn’t provide the amount of coverage you want, ask the roofer about other material options.

What Is Your Color Palette?

Material choice may dictate color — depending on the type of roof you want. Even though you may not have a wide selection of hues, it is possible to select a custom roof color. Asphalt shingles come in an array of colors, such as neutral grey and brown or bold blue-greens and reds. Likewise, slate and other tiles are also available in standout color options.

Before you pick your roofing color palette, consider:

  • Local requirements. Does your community or home owner’s association limit your home’s exterior color palette? Before you select a custom color, make sure it’s permissible in your area.
  • Other exterior accents. Shutters, window frames, the garage door, and entry doors all add to your home’s exterior color palette. Coordinate the roof with these hues to create a continuous color scheme.
  • Color mixes. Most shingles and roofing materials aren’t solid colors. Decide what mix of colors you want for your home’s exterior before you select a roofing material. A blend of shades can add depth to the roof and add to your home’s aesthetics.
  • Siding or exterior material colors. What color siding, bricks, or other exterior material is your home made from? Consider the overall color as you choose a roofing material.
  • Exterior patterns. Does your home’s exterior include brick (or other building material) patterns? If your home is heavily patterned, you may want to consider a solid shingle or tile color.

Other exterior aesthetic issues to consider as you choose a roofing color palette include balance and architectural style. You may want to balance a light-colored home with a darker roof or vice versa. Historical homes or homes with specific architectural styles may also benefit from a specific color palette.

Are you ready to choose a re-roofing service? Contact The Roof Doctor for more information.

Comments (3)

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    Eric Vargas


    This is a great guide for someone looking into purchasing a new roof. Good Job!


    • Avatar

      Roof Doctor


      Thanks for your feedback!


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    Amilia Shaw


    I like how informative this blog is. I will say one thing, I disagree with “Your personal preference” part. Since not all roofing materials are fit for all environments, this is something to put into consideration.


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    Great Job!"

    -George L., Shelton, WA

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  • "Giving the best customer service when it was desperately needed to find a roof leak that’s bothered us for months! We are so grateful to say “no more” leaks after the big wind and rainstorm! We thank you for your caring to solve this terrible problem. You are great to work with! We are so glad we chose you and your company to put on our roof."

    -Cal & P.J. S., Olympia, WA

  • "Thank you for doing such a great job and getting it done so quickly! Also thank you for cleaning up so well. Your crew cleaned up some of the debris that was at my house before they arrived (leaves and twigs on the sidewalk, etc.)."

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