Buffalo Roofing Installation and Repair Buying Guide
Looking to make a smart investment in your home? One of the best renovation projects that you can take on to 1) make your home more comfortable, 2) save money by making your home more energy efficient, 3) significantly improve the appearance of your home, and 4) increase the overall value of your home is to replace your roof.
According to the 2016 Cost vs. Value Report, you can expect a 71.7% return on your investment from your new roof. Depending on the type of roofing you select, you can decrease the amount of air that escapes from your home, decreasing your monthly energy usage and giving your HVAC system a much needed break. With tons of roofing options available at a variety of price points, you’ll want to answer a few questions before you begin your search to help you find the roofing system that will work best for you. For instance:
- What type of roofing is best to stand up to Buffalo’s climate?
- How long do you plan to spend in your home? Do you want to invest in a roofing system that will last a lifetime, like slate, or is roof that will last 20-30 years a better bet for you?
- Does making an environmentally responsible choice matter to you? Roofing waste contributes significantly to local landfills each year, but options like metal roofing can be applied directly over your existing roof, saving you the cost of a tear off and diverting tons of waste from your local landfill.
- While you’re new roof is being installed, do you want to consider adding solar panels or solar shingles at the same time?
Whichever roofing system you choose, make sure you work with a licensed contractor to ensure your roof is installed safely and properly and to maximize any possible incentives for making your home more energy efficient.
Buffalo’s Climate and Your Roof
Buffalo has a continental-type climate, with relatively dry weather that makes for hot summers and cold winters. July is the warmest month of the year with temperatures averaging 80 degrees. January is the coldest month of the year, with lows of 18 degrees. Buffalo also has a reputation for being very snowy, in large part due to severe snow storms in the past, but in actuality Buffalo is not one of the snowiest cities in the U.S. During most wintery days in Buffalo, snowfall doesn’t accumulate beyond 1-3 inches. Rainfall is moderate, and proximity to Lake Erie seems to provide temperature stabilization that inhibits thunderstorms. Buffalo experiences 155 sunny days a year.
Buffalo’s Roofing Permitting Process
The Building Permit Office within the Department of Permit & Inspection Services is responsible for issuing permits, plan review, and enforcement for compliance with the New York State Building Codes and all applicable ordinances in the City of Buffalo. Depending on the scope of your roofing project, you may be able to apply for an e-permit. E-permits are available for simple work that does not require any more paperwork than a contract copy, or for work done by the homeowner. However, structural work, structural and space layout changes, or enlargement, additions or new buildings of any kind require that the permit be taken out in the Permit Office. Additionally, any projects that include electrical, plumbing, heating or air conditioning work must be done by City-licensed contractors who are Master tradesmen.
Traditional permits (as opposed to e-permits) require a six step process:
- Registration: In order to check for zoning and New York State Code requirements, a copy of the property survey or site plan must be examined by a Building Inspector in the Permit Office. At this time, the Inspector will institute the registration process to ascertain whether the work you intend to do meets all the requirements of the City and State ordinances, or whether any special approvals are required. The Permit Office will furnish you with four documents (registration form, required approvals list, code review checklist, and building plan requirements) to assist you in preparing the plans and documents to be submitted.
- Application: After obtaining any special approvals that may be required, three sets of blueprints (min 18″ x 24″ blueprint paper) and three copies of the property survey and any other specification and support documents are filed in Room 301 City Hall. At that time the application fee is paid. An original seal and signature of a New York State licensed architect or engineer is required for any alteration, repair, or work upon any building or structure which involves changes affecting the structural safety or public safety thereof, and for most alterations and all change of use or occupancy. Construction documents for projects where costs exceed $25,000 need to bear the seal and signature of a licensed professional. In any case, all plans must be professionally drawn and comply with The Building Code of New York State.
- Code Review: Once blueprints are logged in by the Permit Office, the application fee must be submitted. The Building Code Specialists are the first to review the plans for completeness. If during the review process it is determined that revisions are required, contact will be made with the agent of record.
- Permit Issuance: The Building Code Review office will phone the agent of record when plans have been approved by the appropriate departments. When all necessary plan review approvals are acquired, a contractor must be identified and the permit fee paid before work can begin.
- Inspections: Building permit inspections are required at various stages of a project. The agent is responsible for scheduling all inspections.
- Closing Out Permits: All permits require finalization upon completion of any project. The building inspector will issue one of two documents to close the project; a Certificate of Occupancy, or a Certificate of Compliance. These document certify that the work is satisfactory and that the permit and inspections process is complete.
Should you have any additional questions or need assistance, please contact the Department of Permit & Inspection Services, Permit Office at:
David Krug, Coordinator of Development Plans
City of Buffalo
301 City Hall
Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: 716 851-4926