Houston Roof Installation and Repair Buying Guide
Some home improvements cost more than others, and roof replacement is one of the more expensive repairs you can make to your home. Although there are many factors influencing the cost of a new roof, including the size of the home and type of materials used, a completely new roof will cost no less than $5,000 and most will cost closer to $15,000 or more.
Since installing a new roof is a significant financial investment, it is important to fully research the multitude of decisions that will need to be made throughout the process. These decisions will include creating a budget for the project, the type of materials being used, who you will hire for the job, and how you will finance the project. Additionally, it is important to consider the climate in Houston and how it will influence the materials you use for your new roof along with the permit requirements and building codes put in place by the city government.
In this Houston roof buying guide, you will find the information you need to replace your roof, including understanding ENERGY STAR® roofing guidelines, how the climate in Houston should influence your purchasing decisions, financing options for roof replacement, and the permit and licensing requirements for roof replacement in Houston.
Knowing When to Replace Your Roof in Houston
In many cases, age is the clearest indication that it is time to install a new roof on your home. Most roofs are built to last between 20 and 25 years, so if your roof is older than 25 years it is time to consider a complete replacement. There are other signs, such as leaks, light shining through boards in your attic, buckling of your roof, or curling or missing shingles that often require a repair but can require a full replacement when serious enough.
Buying Roofing Materials Suited for the Climate in Houston
The climate in Houston is characterized by hot summers, with an average high of 93 degrees in August, and mild winters, with an average low of 44 degrees in January. The best roof for your home in Houston will be energy efficient, serving as a barrier between your home and the hot outdoor environment.
In recent years, there has been a stronger push for the installation of Cool Roofs in regions with warm climates. These roofs are constructed from materials like reflective paint, sheet covering, or tiles and shingles that are highly reflective.
In general, conventional roofing materials are only able to reflect an average of 20 percent of the solar radiation that hits their surface, cool roofing products reflect up to 80 percent of solar radiation. When more of the solar radiation is reflected, less heat is absorbed by the roof. As a result, the surface of these roofs are 50 percent cooler and the temperature in the home is lowered by several degrees.
In order to simplify the task of purchasing energy efficiency roofing that performs well in Houston’s climate, ENERGY STAR® has created specific guidelines for manufacturers who wish to place an ENERGY STAR® label on their products. The solar reflectance index of a roof is the rating given to a roof that indicates how much solar radiation is reflected instead of absorbed by the home. In order to meet ENERGY STAR® requirements, low-slope roofs must have a solar reflectance index of 0.65 or more and steep-slope roofs must have a solar reflectance index of 0.25 or more.
Cool roofs are becoming the new standard in both residential and commercial building because they lower the temperature inside of the building and reduce the consumption of energy by the heating and cooling system and, in turn, they reduce power plant emissions. These roofs also play a large role in reducing air temperatures in the area surrounding the home.
Paying for a New Roof in Houston
Unfortunately, there are no rebates available to Houston residents who have installed an energy efficient roof on their home and all federal tax credits expired in the year 2014. In general, you can expect to rely on conventional methods for paying for your roof including saving to pay cash and applying for a home equity line of credit.
A limited number of grants are offered to homeowners each year to pay for the cost of major home repairs. These funds are made available through the Community Development Block Grant and are only awarded to a handful of households each year. To learn more about applying for a grant, visit the Texas Housing and Community Development Department website.
Houston Roofing Permit and Licensing Requirements
Each city in Texas has the authority to outline unique permit regulations and building codes for homeowners living within their city. Installation of a new roof is considered to be a major home improvement, and the city government in Houston requires homeowners to apply for a permit before purchasing materials or beginning work on their roof. As part of the process of applying for a permit, you will need to provide detailed building plans and information about the materials being used. To learn more about applying for a permit, visit the Houston Permitting Center website.
When you begin to look for a contractor to install your new roof, it is important to make sure the person you hire is licensed and insured to perform work in your city. Any contractor performing major home improvements should have an active general builder’s license that was issued by the state. They should also carry workers’ compensation insurance that with adequately cover medical expenses or missed wages if an employee they have hired is hurt while working on your home.
Maintaining the Life of Your Roof in Houston
If you want to maintain a high energy efficiency and lengthen the life of your roof, regular upkeep is the way to go. Once or twice a year, closely inspect your roof for damage and make repairs immediately in order to avoid further problems. If you have experienced severe weather, it is a good idea to perform a quick inspection for debris or damage.
Choosing a cool roof that complies with the standards set in place by ENERGY STAR® will play a role in lowering your monthly heating and cooling costs. In addition to these savings, if you decide to sell your home after replacing your roof, you can expect to recoup an average of 80 percent of your initials costs.