If you have just purchased a new home or are in the process of buying a house, then surely you have a lot on your mind. There are finances to consider, inspections, realtor costs and visits, upgrades, renovations, moving logistics, and much more. It is important to consider, additionally, issues connected particularly with the roof. This is especially important in a hurricane and storm prone area like Florida where roof damage is frequent and can be compounded by repeated storms. Here we would like to lay out for you some of the issues to consider.
Firstly, if possible, inspect the roof before finalizing your purchase. Roofing repairs and replacements can carry significant costs. These costs can vary from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. It is important to understand what kind of roof your new home has and its condition before purchasing. For instance, firstly determine the roof type. Is it a shingle, metal, or tile roof? This will help you determine current and future costs.
Shingle roofs are most common and they are also the cheapest. This means that your costs of upkeep in the future will be lower. Every roof needs maintenance, which will include occasional repairs and eventually full roof replacement. It is important to keep these costs in mind at the initial purchase. You should have a qualified and licensed contractor or inspector determine the roof replacement cost at first purchase, as prices vary widely by size, shape, and material. For instance, tile roofs are often preferred for their aesthetic and long life expectancy. Yet, many are unaware that replacing a tile roof can cost upward of fifty thousand dollars. While tile roofs are often marketed with promises of lifetime life expectancies or warranties, it is not unusual for them to get damaged in Florida’s storms. When that happens, repairs can cost several thousand dollars and if the damage is bad enough, then full replacement may be required.
Shingle roofs and metal roofs are cheaper to repair or replace. Still, metal is more expensive (sometimes double the cost of or triple the cost of shingle). It is important to keep these costs in mind at first purchase. On the other hand, the more expensive material roofs generally last longer in the first place. Tile and metal have a higher life expectancy than shingle. This does not mean that they will last forever, nor does it mean that shingle roofs will go in the first storm or the first few years. Recent developments in shingle technologies have led to increased life expectancies for shingle roofs at times rivaling those of metal or tile.
The second thing to consider is the condition of the roof at the time of purchase. We strongly recommend that you have the roof and the whole house inspected by a qualified professional before purchase. This way you can avoid getting stuck with unexpected repair or renovation costs. Regarding the roof in particular, there are several questions to be answered. How old is the roof? Has it ever been repaired or replaced? Has the roof ever leaked and how was the issue resolved if it had? What is the status of the warranties on the roof? Can they be transferred? Is there any current visible damage to the roof that needs immediate attention? Will the seller take care of these repairs or are they discounting the cost of the house based on the condition of the roof? If there is a discount, is it enough to cover the costs you will bear? Keep in mind that if a roof is old enough or damaged extensively, repairs are at best a brief stop-gap measure and full replacement is certainly going to be required soon. Also, be particularly mindful of hail damage. It can be difficult to detect and does not immediately result in leaks. However, hail damaged roofs will degrade further more and more over the months following the damage and eventually develop leaks.
It is important to get all these questions answered prior to purchase to avoid being blindsided by roofing costs on top of the cost of buying a house and the expenses involved with moving. If you have already bought the property, you should still take steps to get to know your roof. We will address these steps and the options you may have in the next post.
If you have any questions about roofs, we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!