City Roofing Buying Guide for Pittsburgh, PA
If you’re in the market for a new roof but not sure of all the steps involved, this buying guide provides some basic information to help get you started. From permits to roofing materials and other necessary areas to consider, you’ll be better prepared for the installation project.
Using this checklist as a guideline covers the areas you’ll need to know about when making decisions that affect the installation process:
- Examples of Roofing Materials
- Estimated Cost
- Estimated Roof Cost Example
- Benefits of New Roof Installation
- Tax credit
Climate Considerations for New Roofing in Pittsburgh
While the climate may be the last thing you’re thinking about when planning a new roofing project, weather is a consideration. Discuss the types of available roofing materials that are best suited for your area with your contractor and the roofing salesperson. If the area where you live is susceptible to high winds, contact your homeowner’s insurance agent about any discounts available for the addition of hurricane clips when the new roof is being installed.
Pittsburgh’s weather runs close to the average for U.S. cities regarding rainfall and snowfall. The city receives approximately 36 inches of rain and 29 inches of snowfall yearly. Sun-filled days average 160 and rain-filled days average 146. The summertime high runs in the mid 80-degree range and wintertime lows average in the mid 20-degree range. The humidity comfort zone is 48 out of a 100, with the U.S. comfort index set at 44.
Building Permits and Inspections in Pittsburgh
It’s important that you contact the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections for Pittsburgh to determine if you’ll need a permit for the new roof. In most cases, a permit is required along with an inspection by the city to ensure the roof is installed in accordance with the city and state building code. You can contact department staff by phone at (412) 255-2175, visit in person at 200 Ross Street, 3rd Floor, or find information at their website. The offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hiring a Roofing Contractor in Pittsburgh
Choosing a contractor is a key step in the roofing project as you will be relying on the contractor’s experience, knowledge, and ability to start and complete the installation in a timely manner. With this in mind, it’s recommended that you request at least 3 estimates from local contractors for comparison in pricing. Ask for their license number and proof of insurance. You can check the contractor’s credentials using the Pennsylvania Department of State’s free online tool. Also check the local Better Business Bureau for reviews of the businesses history and practices.
Examples of Roofing Materials
- Asphalt Shingles – low cost with a lifespan of 15 to 30 years.
- Metal — recyclable with a lifespan of up to 50 years.
- Fiber-Cement – blended materials lighter in weight than clay or slat. Material can last 20 to 30 years.
- Slate/clay tiles – heavier in weight and require a framework. Clay tiles can last 50+ years. Slate tiles can last 50 to 100 years.
Estimated Cost of a New Roof
The main areas of the estimate should include the costs for the following:
- Roofing material cost
- Labor cost
- Additional roofing materials and supplies related to the job
- Material and equipment delivery to the job site
- Any worksite prep work
- Site cleanup and removal of debris upon completion
Estimates may not include all of the potential costs for a new roof. The following is a short list of potential additional costs:
- Repairs to rotted wood or other structural issues
- Sales tax on supplies and materials
- Permit and inspection fees required by the building department
- Testing of hazardous materials
Estimated Roof Cost Example in Pittsburgh, PA
Roofing costs will vary according to the size of the area to be covered and roofing material chosen. The following is an example for the current cost of a wood shingle roof installed on a 2000 square foot home in Pittsburgh’s 15210 zip code area.
Material – $6,621.20 $9,446.60
Labor – $2,364.52 $5,713.36
Supplies – $448.80 $516.00
Equipment – $52.50 $86.25
Total – $9,487.02 $15,762.21
Average cost per square foot
Low: $4.74 High: $7.88
Benefits of a New Roof Installation
There are several benefits to investing in a new roof and why it’s important it be installed correctly with the right materials and according to code. With a new roof, your home’s value increases and if you’re contemplating selling in the future, a new roof is a positive selling point. Along with a value increase, you’ll also increase your home’s energy efficiency resulting in a more comfortable interior. A new roof can be an expensive project but with quality work and materials, your return on investment is assured.
Tax Credits in Pittsburgh for New Roofing
If you’re having an asphalt or metal roof installed, check the Energy Star website for information about applying for a federal tax credit.
A new roof adds instant curb appeal to your home as well as the other benefits listed. Allow ample time for the project, which can run for several days depending on the size of your home. Follow the checklist, do your research, and above all, ask questions along the way to ensure the material being installed is the best choice for your home.