City Roofing Buying Guide for Philadelphia, PA
This city buying guide is a basic roadmap of things you’ll need to consider prior to having a new roof installed. Selecting the type and color of roofing material is just one of many steps involved in a successful roofing project. Use this checklist to be sure you’ve covered all the bases for what can be a significant investment in your home.
- Climate & Weather
- Required Permits
- Contractor Selection
- Roofing Materials
- Estimated Cost
- Other Considerations
Philadelphia Climate Considerations for Your New Roof
Climate is a consideration when choosing roofing material that is best suited to the weather in your region. Philadelphia receives about 44 inches of rain yearly. The US average is 37. Snowfall is 20 inches with the average U.S. city receiving 25 inches of snow annually.
The average number of rainy days is 119. On average, the city receives sunshine 207 days a year with July highs around 88 degrees. The January low averages around 26 degrees. Philadelphia’s comfort index is 44 out of 100, which is good.
Roofing Permits and Inspections in Philadelphia
Philadelphia requires a building permit for new construction projects and projects that change or alter an existing structure. An inspection by a professional staffer from Licenses and Inspections is also required. You can contact the L&I at two locations. One location is 6100 Rising Sun Ave., phone (215) 685-0580 and 4225 Market St., phone (215) 685-7681.
Hiring a Roof Contractor in Philadelphia
In Philadelphia, any contractor who is paid $500 or more must have a contractor’s license. Since a new roof will cost more than $500, you’ll need to set aside time to find a qualified, licensed, insured and bonded roofing contractor. Hiring a contractor is an important step as you want to know the roof is installed according to code from start to finish. Get estimates from several roofing companies, ask for each contractor’s license and insurance, check with the Better Business Bureau for negative reviews, and with the Pennsylvania Department of State licensing verification website page to validate credentials.
Types of Roofs
When installing or replacing a roof, one thing to consider is the style of your home’s roof. This can factor into the type of material that can be used to provide the best covering. The following is a short list of roof styles:
- Cross Gabled
- Other types include butterfly, bonnet, A-frame, pyramid, shed and skillion
Types of Roofing Material
When it’s time to select the roofing material, there are quite a few types and colors to choose from and range in price from inexpensive to expensive.
- Asphalt shingles – one of the most popular materials due to low cost, durability and easy installation.
- Metal – if you want to be considered green friendly, metal roofing is the choice. The recyclable material is available in copper, steel and aluminum.
- Clay and slate – carry the most weight. Both materials are long-lasting and recyclable. Installation of these two types requires a separate framework.
- Fiber cement – lighter in weight than concrete slate and clay, fiber cement roofing is fire proof, durable and recyclable.
- Other roofing materials include torch down, hot mop, rock, wood or shake shingles and reflective roofing.
Estimated Costs of New Roofing in Philadelphia
Be prepared with your own roofing cost estimate to compare to contractor estimates. There are several free, roofing calculator tools available on the Internet.
Rebates for New Roofing in Philadelphia
Many states and the government offer incentives when a new roof is installed. Check these resources for rebates, tax credits and programs.
Other Considerations for Your Philadelphia Roof Project
When the contractor does the calculation for the cost of the roofing materials, it is based on the square footage of the home. What won’t be included are repairs that can’t be seen until the current roofing is removed. There may be areas of wood rot in beams or deteriorated roof decking due to leaks. These types of issues will need to be repaired prior to installing the new roof.
Another area to consider is exterior maintenance. This would include having any tree limbs hanging over the roof be removed to avoid the tree branch causing damage to the roofing material.
You also want to eliminate as much travel as possible on your roof. Prior to the new roof installation, if replacement of fascia board or soffits is on the agenda, or if you’re planning to have the exterior painted, it’s recommended these types of projects be completed to prevent workers traversing across new roofing material.
Also, contact your homeowner’s insurance agent regarding discounts available for upgrading your roof with additional stability against hurricanes or high winds.
When having a new roof installed, you’re adding a layer of energy efficiency, security and comfort that can last from 7 to 100 years depending on the selected material. You’re also increasing your home’s curb appeal and property value. Following the checklist is a helpful reminder for you to cross all the t’s and dot all the I’s which will in turn ensure your investment is secure.