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San Diego Roof Installation Buying Guide
A roof replacement is a major home improvement, costing anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 depending on the material you use and the square footage of your roof. Thorough research and an understanding of the roofing options available can help you make a smart decision. There are many different types of roofing materials available, each with it’s own benefits, limitations, and price variations. It is also important to consider your home’s location in San Diego, because the climate where you live and the city’s permit regulations and building codes will influence the roof purchasing decisions you make.
Knowing When to Replace Your Roof in San Diego
High quality roofing materials are created to last, and most homeowners can expect a new roof to last 20 – 25 years. Age is one of the most obvious signs that it is time to consider a roof replacement, especially if your roof is over 25 years old. It is also important to keep an eye out for buckling of your roof, large leaks, curling or missing shingles, and sunlight shining through the roof boards in your attic. If you notice any of these problems, they could be serious enough to necessitate a complete replacement of your roof.
Installing a Roof for the Climate in San Diego
Depending on where in San Diego your home is located, you may be required to comply with the Cool Roofs Ordinance that is part of the California Energy Code. If you are replacing your roof or building a new home, Cool California has provided a search engine for finding products and materials that meet California Energy Code requirements.
The materials used to construct cool roofs are unique in that they are able to reflect 80% of the solar heat that hits the roof compared to the 20% of solar heat that is typically reflected by conventional roofing materials. Cool roofing products can reduce the temperature of the surface of a roof by as much a 50% and the temperature inside the home by several degrees. Homeowners with cool roofs will enjoy a significant drop in their utility costs since cool roofs decrease the the temperature in the home. An added benefit of these roofs is that they are environmentally responsible, allowing homeowners to significantly reduce their consumption of nonrenewable energy sources.
Unless you live in climate zones 7, 10, 14, or 17, you are required to comply with cool roofing standard if you choose to build a new home or repair your roof. To learn what climate zone your area of the city is located in, reference the Building Climate Zones map provided by the California Energy Commission.
Qualifying for Roofing Rebates in San Diego
At this time, there are no rebates available to San Diego homeowners who choose to install energy efficient or cool roofs. Additionally, all available energy efficiency tax credits expired in 2014. Because of this, you can finance your roof installation by saving and paying cash or applying for a home equity line of credit.
In 2016, the City of San Diego will be launching financing options aimed specifically at homeowners making energy efficiency upgrades to their home. These loans will provide high credit lines with affordable interest rates and multiple repayment options. To learn more about the development of these financing options or to sign up to receive updates about this program, visit the Sempre Utility Energy website.
If you plan to take advantage of privately funded Residential Energy Efficiency Loans, it is best to begin by familiarizing yourself with the guidelines surrounding this financing option. Wait to purchase any materials for your new roof until they have been approved by the program requirements.
San Diego Permit and Licensing Requirements
If you plan to install a cool roof on you home, you can expect the approved materials and products will be appropriate for the climate in San Diego. However, the energy efficiency of the products used is not the only factor influencing your purchase decisions, there are also local permit and licensing requirements to consider. Each state gives individual cities the authority to create their own unique permit requirements and licensing laws. Because of this, you will need to apply for a general building permit through the San Diego Inspection Services Office by calling (858) 492-5070. Since the specific details of your project need to approved when applying for the permit, you may need to provide building plans and you should get specific products approved before making purchases.
If you have the skills and knowledge needed to install a new roof that is compliant with San Diego building codes, you may perform the work yourself. Otherwise, you will need to hire a contractor who is properly licensed to perform work in your city. In the state of California, all contractors who are making any kind of major home improvement must obtain a general builder’s license through the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Additionally, contractors with employees are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance that covers the cost of medical bills or work time missed if an employee is injured while working on a home.
Maintaining the Life of Your Roof for your San Diego Home
Selecting high quality, energy efficient materials for you roof is the best way to guarantee your roof will last twenty or more years. However, there are steps every homeowner can take to maintain their roof, and potentially extend it’s life. Inspect your roof carefully twice a year, check for damage or signs of weakness. If you experience extreme weather, perform additional inspections, removing debris and repairing any damage immediately. A well maintained roof will protect your home from moisture damage, and when you use energy efficient products you can expect more affordable utility expenses year round.