Unless you build a home to your specification, most roof shingles have a life of 20 years on average. The age when you actually decide to replace them can be affected by wear and damage. When we lived in the Northwest, at least once a year we would get high winds that would cause shingles to go flying around the neighborhood. The homeowners had to make the decision each year to repair the bare spots or replace the whole thing. Since the homes in the neighborhood were around 15 years old, sometimes it did make sense to just replace.
If you’ve made the big decision to move ahead with this home improvement, your work is not at an end. First, you will need to choose a style of shingles. The asphalt or composite shingle is the most popular choice because it is durable, low maintenance, fire resistant and comes in a variety of colors. Other options are more costly including cedar shake, slate and concrete. If you are in a warmer climate, you may see homes with clay tile and ceramic Spanish style shingles. These attractive options won’t work in cold climates.
After picking your material, you need to find a roofer or decide to do it yourself. Even if you are considering a do-it-yourself project, get some quotes and an inspection from qualified professionals. They will make recommendations regarding whether you can put the new shingles on top of the old, you need to tear existing off to put the new down or you need to replace the entire roof deck before you put new down. The last option gives you a golden opportunity to make your home more energy efficient with a radiant barrier. A radiant barrier applied to your roof deck will reduce the heat flowing down into your house and lower your cooling bills. And if you are replacing your roof and deck, there is no better time to get it done.