City Roofing Buying Guide for Detroit
This basic buying guide is designed to help make the planning, researching, and decision making process of a new roof installation less stressful. Get started on planning your project with information and tips that you may or may not already know provided in this guide.
Detroit Checklist for New Roof Installation
- Permits and Inspections
- Detroit Climate
- Roofing Materials
- Estimated Cost for New Roofing in Detroit
- Unexpected Problems
Roofing Permits and Inspections in Detroit
Detroit regulations are very clear when it comes to building code requirements and the Michigan Residential Code for roof replacement. It is also clear that a #2 Building Permit must be applied for and approved before the project begins.
A new roof cannot be installed if any of the following conditions apply without first removing the existing roof material:
- The current roof has any type of roof covering with two or more layers.
- The current roof covering is cement, slate or clay, wood shake, or cement-asbestos tile.
- The current roof has deteriorated or water soaked to the point it cannot be used as the platform for new roofing.
There are also additional requirements regarding removal and replacement of rotten wood, usage of felt paper, requirements for ice and water shields, adequate attic ventilation, and the requirement for two inspections. The first inspection takes place when the existing roofing is removed and a second once the installation is complete.
Your point of contact is the Buildings and Safety Engineering Department located at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Room 408, or call (313) 628-2711 or (313) 628-2712 for assistance. Visit the City of Detroit website for more information.
Roof Contractors in Detroit
It’s important to verify a potential contractor’s license with the state to ensure you are getting an experienced, certified, and insured contractor for the job. You can verify a contractor’s license using the Michigan Contractors Licensing Directory website and free search tool. You should also check reviews at the Better Business Bureau.
Detroit Climate for Roofing Considerations
Before you decide on a new roofing material, you’ll want to have all the information about which type of roofing works best on your home. Along with the design of your property’s roof being a factor, so is the climate in Detroit. When selecting a material, it’s important to choose the one that can withstand Detroit’s weather. An overview of the city shows there are an average of 183 sunny days and 126 rainy days. Summertime highs are around 83 degrees and wintertime lows can reach 20 degrees. The average U.S. figures for rain and snow are 37 inches and 25 inches. Detroit averages 30 inches of rain and 25 inches of snow annually. The city has a higher than average comfort index with a rating of 50 out of 100. Discuss material options with your contractor to ensure the best possible choice in a roof covering.
Whether you’re changing material types or replacing the roof with the same material, there are many choices in styles, patterns, and colors.
- Metal roofs are an exceptional choice that provides excellent coverage, deters wood-boring insects, available in copper, stainless steel, and aluminum, and has a life span up to 50 years.
- Asphalt shingles – by far one of the most popular materials. This durable material is less expensive than metal or slate, as well as known to be easily installed and repaired. Shingles have a longevity rating of 15 to 30 years.
- Fiber cement – provides property owners with a material that is fire proof, can be recycled, can last from 20 to 30 years, and lighter in weight than clay or slate.
- Clay or slate tiles – because of its weight, framework is necessary to hold the tiles. Durable and long lasting, slate can last 50 to 100 years and clay 50+ years.
Estimated Cost for New Roofing in Detroit
Several factors determine the price of a new roof that include the square footage of the property, type of roofing material, cost per square foot, labor supplies, and equipment. The estimate does not include other fees such a material removal, permit fees, site clean up, contractor mark up, as well as checking for and removing hazardous material such as asbestos or lead.
An example of an estimated cost will give you an idea of what to expect and plan for in terms of financing. The following example is an estimation for a 2,500 square foot property in Detroit with a wood shingle installation.
The low end is $11,847.61 based on an average cost per square foot of $4.74. In comparison, the high end is $19,719.93 with an average cost per square foot of $7.89.
Unexpected Roofing Problems
Even the best laid plans can go off track when unexpected problems arise. Whether it’s a run of bad weather halting the project, the project is running past its completion date, or the structural integrity of the property has been compromised due to wood rot or water damage and must be repaired, be prepared with a back-up plan and reserve funding.
Detroit Roofing Resources
If you’re interested in programs that offer incentives, these two sites have information you may find useful:
Having a new roof provides several benefits for property owners from an immediate increase in property value to better energy efficiency. Use the information in the guide to ensure you receive the best return on your investment.