Roofing Buying Guide for North Carolina
A new roof installation to your North Carolina home not only increases the property value, it also adds pizazz and curb appeal. While there are perks and benefits that go along with a new roof, there are several steps to consider before the first shingle is installed. This basic guide provides information about things to do and to consider throughout the project.
Basic Checklist for Roof Installation in North Carolina
Use this short check list as a guide through the basic steps of a new roofing project:
- Considering the Climate
- Permit and Inspection Information
- Hiring a Contractor
- Roofing Material Types
- Estimating Cost
- Financing Options and Resources for North Carolina
- Anticipating Problems
- Things to Consider
- Benefits of a New Roof in North Carolina
Considering the Climate for Your North Carolina Roof
Climate must be considered when choosing roofing material. With North Carolina’s location on the southeastern coast, the weather can run from hot to rainy to humid. Not all roofing materials are created equal when it comes to enduring inclement weather for extended periods. This is why North Carolina’s climate is a factor when purchasing roofing material. Your contractor will be your guide in determining what will hold up longest and provide the best performance. The type of roof design will also be a factor since not every type of roofing material works on specific types. For example, a home with a flat roof wouldn’t install asphalt shingles. Other roof styles would not allow slate or clay tiles. Both roof style and climate need to work together for a perfect fit.
Permit and Inspection Information in North Carolina
This can be a confusing area, especially for homeowners dealing with a new roof for the first time with a home that has a pre-existing roof covering versus brand new construction.
In North Carolina, a permit is required when adding new roofing. The exception is if the cost does not exceed $5,000 and the replacement material has the same grade of fire resistant as the existing roof covering. There may also be a limit as to how many roofing layers may be added. As a general rule of thumb, no more than 2 layers are allowed.
The best approach to this step is to contact the permit department of the building and development center for your particular city. Explain what the project is, the square footage of the property, and the number of layers already installed on the roof. If you don’t know how many layers are involved, find out from the local authority about an inspection or ask your contractor to make a determination.
Regardless of how you do this, contacting the proper authorities about permit and inspection requirements ensure that no problems with the city or county about building codes, ordinances, or regulations involving new roof installation arise.
Hiring a Contractor in North Carolina
- If you know someone who can recommend a roofing contractor, that is a good option as they can provide you with firsthand information regarding cost, timeliness, and quality of the installation.
- Contact local roofing contractors for estimates. Schedule an appointment with several so each can measure the property and provide you with estimated information including the cost of the roofing material, additional supplies, labor, and extra equipment if needed.
- Since the contractor will not be aware of any potential problems beneath the existing roofing, ask how this will be addressed in terms of cost of repair and how the additional time will affect the completion date.
- Check over the estimate to ensure all pertinent information has been covered, including a signature by the person providing the estimate as well as the month, day, and year the estimate was provided. You do not want any unexpected costs added to the contract. This is why it’s important to ask what fees are not included in the estimate and verifying how any repairs will be factored into the figure.
- Once you hire a contractor and a contract is provided, double-check the information on it against the information on the estimate. There should be no discrepancies between the two unless it is something you have previously discussed and agreed to. Do not sign the contract if information is missing or unclear. If you’ve provided a down payment, this should be clearly explained on the contract with the remaining balance also clearly outlined.
- It is to your advantage to check out each contractor’s history prior to making a decision. Use the information available at your local Better Business Bureau to determine if the business/contractor provides quality service and completes a project on time. Any positive or negative reviews, complaints, public record information, or law suits should be available to you. If you have any questions– ask.
- Use the convenient free search tool available at the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors website to validate a potential contractor’s license.
- Be alert of any scams that may be prevalent in your city. This could be someone offering to install a new roof at a discounted price but they don’t have a license. Regardless that it may save you money, it can cost you in the long run if the roof isn’t installed correctly resulting in leaks and the necessity of hiring an actual contractor to fix the problem, which could be quite costly.
- Take the time to do it right and contact appropriately licensed and insured contractors that know what to do and how to do it right.
Roofing Material Types
- Asphalt shingles aka composite shingles are seen just about everywhere. They’re comprised of fiberglass with mineral and asphalt granules. They are low cost, easy to install and repair and have a roof life of 20 to 30 years.
- Rolled roofing is used on homes with a portion of the building having a flat roof. This section of the roof has no slope or a minimal slope.
- Metal roofing brings several benefits to the table. The material is available in copper, aluminum, or stainless steel. While more expensive than shingles, the material is recyclable, eco-friendly, and provides no wood-boring insects a meal. This type of material requires expert installation by experienced roofing installers.
- Slate tiles or shingles look good on any roof. The real stone material is durable but, like metal roofing, needs experienced installers only on the job. This material can be on the very high end in cost per square foot.
- Wood shingles are available in redwood, southern pine, or cedar. They have a life expectancy of around 25 years. They are much more expensive than asphalt shingles. Due to established fire codes, in some states, wood shingles are not allowed.
- Tile and cement cylinders are also a durable choice but the material is heavy. It is also expensive.
For estimating purposes, this example uses zip code 28804 and a home with an area of 2500 square feet. The material being install is wood shingles. The figures represent the low and high estimates based on the cost per square foot plus additional costs for labor, supplies, and materials and equipment.
The low end estimated breakdown is as follows:
Roof cost $8,276.50
Roof labor $2,423.73
Roof materials and supplies $561.00
Roof equipment $52.50
The estimated total for the low end is $11, 313.73 with the cost per square foot at $4.53.
The high end estimated breakdown is as follows:
Roof cost $11,808.25
Roof labor $5,586.85
Roof materials and supplies $645.00
Roof equipment $86.25
The estimated total high end cost based on cost per square foot of $7.36 is $18, 396.35.
Financing Options and Resources for North Carolina
Two websites to visit are Energy Star and DSIRE – Department of Energy for information about federal tax credits, rebates, grants, residential and commercial loans, as well as other helpful programs. At DSIRE, check programs that include attic insulation as that may be something to consider when having a new roof installed.
Also, consider using the equity in your home for a home equity loan. If this isn’t an option, consider a home improvement loan from your financial institution.
It’s always best to be prepared for the unexpected. With a new roofing project, several problems can involve more money and impact the time of completion. Knowing this in advance allows you to have a secondary plan of action, if necessary.
- The underlying roof is damaged and needs repairing. This means funds will be needed. Have a back-up plan in place to take care of additional expenses.
- Problems may be found related to termites, other wood-boring insects, or water leakage causing beams to be weak or resulting in soggy decking and wood rot. Repairs are necessary.
- The time for completing the new roof project is affected by the necessary repairs. This can be problematic depending on the extent of the damage and how quickly it can be addressed.
- Bad weather can bring a contractor and crew to a halt especially with torrential downpours and lightning.
Benefits of a New Roof in North Carolina
Here are a few good reasons for installing a new roof:
- Securing the property from the elements for many years.
- Lowering utility bills due to an increase in the interior’s energy efficiency. Note: the color you choose can impact the efficiency of the roofing material. Dark colors tend to absorb heat while light colors reflect it. It’s also important that the home is properly caulked and sealed to prevent air leakage.
- The value of the property will immediately increase.
- A new roof generates a positive marketing and selling point for homes going on the market in the near future.
- Curb appeal increases when the roof and exterior blend together for a positive visual effect.
- You may be eligible for a discount on your homeowner’s insurance if you have upgrades made such as installing hurricane clips to the new roof.
A new roof is a good thing providing many benefits and security to your property as long as it’s installed by a professional roofing contractor. With such an investment at stake, follow the guide and have the project done right from start to finish.