Having a qualified professional is paramount. Sure, there are guys out there who can do the job for half the price, but the cheapest can turn out to be the most costly in the end. A licensed and insured contractor with verifiable references is always your best bet. Roofing is a craft in itself and requires precision and skilled professionals to install it.
Knowing and understanding the terms your contractor will be using is important. There are hips, valleys, rakes, eaves, dormers, and penetrations. If those words sound like landscapes and body parts, some studying might be in order. Being informed is the best way to know what you are paying for, and it is always advisable to have an idea of what your contractor is doing. You will certainly want to be sure they aren’t building leaks.
With all of the options on the market today, it can be hard to settle on just the right one. Your contractor will likely have a specialty or a roof system that they prefer, whether for cost-effectiveness, durability, or aesthetics. When making your decision, it is important to keep in mind the level of maintenance needed, how long the roof will last, and if it is a good fit for the climate.
Roofing systems are designed to match the climate, so things like snow-load and water tightness should be considered. Among the issues that snow can cause, the dreaded water dam might be the worst. This happens when the heat of the sun melts the snow, which then freezes along the eaves of your house. This can lead to snow build-up and cause an immense amount of extra weight on your house, which can lead to very serious problems such as roof failure.
Maintenance is also important to consider. While a metal roof may shed snow more efficiently, it has a much lower insulation factor than a high-quality shingle roof. It can also become extremely slippery and nearly inaccessible for even the most seasoned builder. When it comes to any job, it is always best to hire a professional, even if it is only to clear the snow. Depending upon the slope, extreme caution should be used anytime you climb on it.
Whether you go with a slate or a standing seam system, the most critical factors are the builders and the climate. Take some time to research what’s best for you so that when the time comes to hire a contractor, you will be in the know.