Miami Roofing Installation Buyer’s Guide
Upgrading your roof is one of the best investments you can make in your home. A new roof can make your home more energy efficient, as increased thermal insulation prevents air from escaping your home and lightens the load on your HVAC system during hot Miami summers. A new roof can also improve the curb appeal of your home. The process of choosing a new roof can be overwhelming, as there are so many great choices available. Whether you’re leaning toward a traditional Spanish-style clay tile roof or a more modern metal roof, consider the following questions to help determine your top priorities in choosing a new roof:
What is your Roofing budget?
- Which roofing system is best suited to handle hot Miami weather, as well as severe weather including hurricanes?
- How long do you plan to live in your home?
- How much time and effort are you willing to put into maintenance in order to expand the lifespan of your roof?
- Is making an environmentally-friendly choice in roofing materials important to you?
Once you’ve determined your top priorities, a licensed contractor can help you select the roofing system that best meets your needs.
Miami Climate and Your Roof
Residents of Miami enjoy 248 days of sunshine each year. Miami has a tropical monsoon climate with hot, humid summers and short, warm winters. Miami receives abundant rainfall, among the highest in the U.S. Most of this rainfall occurs from mid-May through early October. Miami receives an average annual rainfall of 61.9 inches.
And with Miami’s propensity for severe weather, you’ll want to choose a roofing system that can stand up to high winds, heavy rainfall, hail, and potential lightening. Slate, metal, and clay tile roofing will provide you with the best protection against severe weather, especially fire. Installing one of these types of roofing systems may even reduce your monthly homeowner’s insurance premiums. In addition to these types of roofing systems, asphalt shingles (fiberglass variety), concrete tiles, and foam roofing also provide excellent fire and weather protection at a lower price point.
Enhance Your New Roof with a Solar Energy System
Miami’s sunny weather makes it the perfect location for adopting a solar energy system. Whether you invest in solar panels or solar shingles, you’ll be able to dramatically decrease your monthly utility bills (and in some cases eliminate them) while decreasing your overall environmental impact. There couldn’t be a better time to invest in solar either. The cost of solar technology has plummeted 70% since 1998, so if you’re looking to purchase a solar energy system in South Florida that will provide 25% of your energy needs, you can expect to spend around $8,000. If you want to go totally solar, the cost will likely be more than $40,000. When you consider what you would pay for traditional fossil fuel based energy over the next 25 years though, the initial cost of a solar energy system is well worth the investment.
Florida Power & Light (FPL) previously offered solar rebates to customers who installed solar energy systems in their homes or businesses. FPL’s rebates are now closed, but you can still receive a federal tax credit for your solar system–up to 30% of the cost of your system with no maximum. Existing homes and new construction qualify for the credit, as well as principal residences and secondary homes. Rental properties are not eligible for the credit. Act quickly, as these credits expire on December 31, 2016.
Additionally, Florida state law provides a sales tax exemption for solar energy systems, so you’ll save money on sales tax. Florida also excludes the value of a solar electric system from your annual property taxes. So if you install a solar electric system on your roof and your property value goes up as a result, you will not have to pay increased property taxes. Work with a licensed solar-installer to fully maximize available rebates and incentives to get your system at the best price.
Roofing Permitting Process in Miami
For Miami-Dade County, building permits are issued in the name of the person performing the work. Only licensed contractors or owners/builders may obtain a permit. Owner/builder permits are limited to the new construction of one single family residence per 24 month period and interior remodeling of commercial buildings is limited to $5,000 in value, so in the case of a roof, you’ll most likely be relying on your contractor to secure the permit. It is imperative that you secure a permit prior to beginning construction. If you have been cited for beginning construction prior to obtaining a permit, a permit will be issued and appropriate inspections will be made if the construction conforms to code and your plans are acceptable.
If the construction does not conform to code, you have two options — construction must be brought into compliance or construction must be removed. If the construction is not permitted under any circumstances, then it must be removed. You must have a permit to demolish and an inspection must be made to ensure that it has been demolished and the property cleared. Permit reviews take a few days to process. A building permit is valid provided an approved inspection is obtained within 180 days of its issuance, and an approved inspection is obtained every 180 days until completion.
The Miami-Dade County website has a wealth of information regarding roofing permits including: uniform roofing permit application, permit applications for specific types of roofing including metal, foam, and clay tiles, roofing inspection reports, and information about hurricane mitigation. It also includes valuable information regarding permitting for adding a solar element to your roof.