Hire the Right Roofer
Brought to you by our friend Joe Provey:
Hiring the right roofer can make a big difference with regard to the return on investment upon resale and impact on your home’s value. Workmanship, of course, needs to be topnotch. Patch jobs can’t be lumpy, or a different shade or hue. Shingle quality has to be better with a good, transferable warranty. If there are already a couple of layers of roofing, they need to come off; don’t allow any roofer to convince you otherwise.
The cost has to be right, otherwise, you can get all of the above correct and still lose out upon resale. Unlike the heady days of 8 or 9 years ago, re-roofing no longer generates the kind of return it once did. In 2005, Remodeling magazine’s cost-value survey stated that you could expect a return of nearly 85 percent on a quality re-roofing job. In its most recent survey, the anticipated return is closer to 63 percent. That’s a huge drop, probably driven by the still-tough housing market.
Taking my own recent re-roofing job as an example, hiring the right contractor at the right price can make a big difference upon return at resale. My roof involved the removal of four layers of roofing, including the original wood shingles that were nailed to skip sheathing. All new sheathing had to be installed, along with much of the flashing. The roof is two and a half stories high and very steep. Finally, it was winter and I couldn’t wait until spring. Hurricane Sandy had torn off a substantial section of the top layer of shingles and what looked to be squirrels were digging their way into the insulated cathedral ceiling below.
The three quotes I received were $17,000, $12,000, and $9,000. In my judgment, having done a fair amount of roofing in my youth, $11,000 was a fair price for the job. Using Remodeling magazine’s 2013 mid-range return of 62.9 percent for re-roofing, I can expect $6919 to come back to me upon resale for the new roof. I eventually went with the lowest quote, less because of price and more because of the company’s track record, professionalism and stellar references. In doing so, it’s fair to say that my return upon resale will be significantly greater than 63 percent. Taking the $6919 as my baseline cost and dividing by my cost of $9,000 results in a return of 76.9 percent. If I had gone with the high quote, the return would have been only 40.7 percent!
All this to say that taking a little extra time when shopping for major home improvements can make a significant difference when it comes time to your home value. When you re-roof consider registering for the transferable warranty; which needs to be signed by your contractor. When you do sell, make sure you advise the new owner to register the transfer within the allotted time frame. Here are some tips for hiring a roofer. Remember, you don’t have to sacrifice quality for price. Make sure to hire the right roofer for your roofing project.
Joe Provey is a home improvement and green living writer who has authored several books including Convert Your Home to Solar Energy.