How To Reroof A House – How to Save Money on Re-Roofing

Old and leaking roofs can be a real pain to the home owner. As much as one may be willing to reroof, the expense usually scares them off. Do not be worried anymore; here are some of the tips that will help save money on re-roofing.

how to reroof a house

This is a process of replacing an old roof completely or a section of it, due to poor roofing, leakage or damage to the old roofing structure. It can also be done so as to change the appearance of the building.

The old part of the roof can then be used for other activities. Re-roofing can be done either by the owner of the building or by a professional roofer so as to ensure quality work and to prevent wastage of the other roof parts. The size of the facility can affect the re-roofing process and also the costs incurred during the process.

What is involved in re-roofing a house

Before starting reroofing, one should ensure that he or she has the required roofing materials, tools to be used in the roofing process and enough labor to assist in the roofing process.

  • Ensure you have the roofing standards and codes for your area so as to cater for any disabilities.

Different areas have different roof building codes due to the different environmental factors affecting the areas.

  • Obtain the required permits from the necessary local or national authorities.

The building permits are often offered by the local building department. The project of re-roofing will be approved if you provide: Proof of house ownership, a statement of repair, stating that you will keep the building codes in consideration, construction, design and elevation drawings of the house.

  • Select the required size and type of shingles to be used in the process. You should consider your environment and select the best type that can work in your area, on your building and on your roofing style.

There are various types of shingles that one can choose from:

  1. Asphalt shingles: These are the most common types of roofing shingles and they are quite durable compared to the other types. They have a life span of 20 to 30 years when placed under the right conditions.
  2. Slate shingles: These are the most durable and heaviest shingles that one can buy. Since they crack easily, they require special pressure cutters so as to prevent damage. They require an extra effort when being used for re-roofing.
  3. Wood shingles: These are often made from pine, spruce or cedar trees. They allow for expansion and a natural weathering appearance that is appealing to some people. Wood shingles can last to 30 years if they are installed properly and under good conditions.
  4. Organic shingles:  Organic asphalt shingles were originally made with wood chips, recycled cardboard, rags and paper. Even though they are cheap and are also considered waterproof, they are not recommended for areas with high humidity or very low temperatures, as they are prone to moisture.
  5. Tiles shingles: Tiled shingles are durable and come in many different shapes and colours. They are heavy, expensive and not suitable when re-roofing an asphalt roof. Some common problems with tiled shingles are small cracks or holes, leaks and cracked or broken tiles.

Find out more here about roofing shingles

How to calculate the number of shingles needed


Shingles are usually sold in terms of bundles whereby one square foot of the roof requires 3 bundles of shingles.

To find out the number of shingles needed, find the dimensions of each roofing section and find the area so as to find the number of squares on the roof. Get the product of the number of squares and 3 to know the number of bundles required.

  • Measure the length of a single shingle as it lies across the roof so as to determine the positioning of the shingles.
  • Ensure you take the required safety precautions for example use of roofing jacks to make the job safe. Scaffolding around the roof to prevent tools and equipment from dropping and hitting passers-by.
  • Ensure there’s presence of a trash can to drop the old shingles into.
  • Start by removing the shingles from the side that is farthest from the trash can.


How to properly remove old shingles

Use a roofing shovel to remove the shingles and pull them off quickly or by use of a hammer. This stage is usually the most demanding and untidy part of the work.

  • Removing the metal flashing around chimneys, vents and valleys in the roof. If the metal is in good condition it can still be reused.
  • Clean the roof by sweeping off any particles and dust. Remove stray nails that remained while removing the shingles.
  • Install an underlayer to act as temporary weather barrier protecting the roof from water and ice.
  • Mount drip molding around the perimeter of the roof by use of roofing nails.
  • In the roof valleys, place the flashing where two sections create a valley.
  • Use chalk lines to mark the points for placement of shingles.
  • Place the first and second row of shingles and also around vents and chimneys.
  • Finish the reroofing works.

Although it can be a long and tiresome piece of work, reroofing a house can be part of the renovation works of a house hence it is of much importance. The cost of reroofing can be high but it is better to have quality in the long run since cheap is expensive.

Watch the following video to learn how to remove shingles 

Prior and proper planning

Time is of the essence and it’s a resource that one cannot simply afford to waste. In designing and repairing a roof, planning reduces lag time. Proper information is the essence in saving money as it reduces labour expenses that arise from a lack of decision making on the tastes of the homeowner.

During the planning phase, the homeowner may plan the whole process first by estimating the amount of cash they are willing to invest in the project. At this point, they may also include the size, texture, durability of the type of roofing they want, the contractors that they prefer to work with (the contractor labour cost should be able to fit within the estimated project cost), the duration that the whole project should take to complete and the key areas to focus on during the repair.

Use a professional roofer to do the work

Because you are a homeowner it does not automatically make you a construction professional. Roofing professionals have experience and skills to understand the systematic arrangement of events during the project and how to handle more technical stuff when they arise. They can be flexible and improvise where necessary in case of any technical hinges. They can also offer advice on the type of material and finishing needed to complete the project.

Changing orders

Changing the initial plan can be both beneficial and disastrous. They may accrue more investment than initially planned. For example, changing the ventilation vents position or removing the gutters from the installed places.

Most of these changes are not documented but done verbally between the contractor and the homeowner. This can lead to the unaccountability of some finances used. To avoid this once the plan is set it should be followed strictly unless some necessary adjustments have to be made.

Roofing materials

roofing materials

Consult with the professional contractor on the best quality material in the market. Do not compromise on the quality because some years down the line you will be required to repair again the roof if you used sub-standard material. Consider the size, thickness, durability and quality of the material to be used in the roofing process. Do not go for expensive products that will not be durable for a long time.

The size of the tiles used

It may seem an obvious decision to make during planning but not to everyone. The installation costs may increase due to the number of pieces being installed. Smaller tiles are also tiresome and may lead to increased labour fee.

Re-use roofing materials

Do not dispose of everything; just because you are repairing the roof it does not mean that the whole roof was rotten. There are some materials that are still in good shape and they can be used. This will save cost on the quantity of material needed for the project. Therefore, removing the old roof should be done carefully so as not to destroy materials that can be used.

Use roof trusses

The construction cost of a framed roof can be relatively expensive than a trussed roof when time and material are put into consideration. The lesser the time used the higher the saving on labour cost. They also provide room to be vaulted and customised according to the homeowners taste and preferences.

Use local labour force

The re-roofing or roof repair cost is relatively higher than even the materials at times. Do not get labourers from other areas while you can get them locally and do a relative perfect job. Importing labour may cost you more money than it is necessary.

The key to a successful project is planning. You will cut your repair cost greatly if you follow the above factors and put them into consideration during planning. You can now have your dream home with less expenditure.

Enhancing your roof to save on energy costs

According to the Federal Trade Commission, cooling and heating your home takes almost half of your total money spent on utility bills. To put it another way, the energy costs of many British families are rising through the roof, literally. For combating the winter cold and summer heat, the roof is the best shield. A roof with poor insulation and low-efficiency, therefore, can cause massive air conditioning or heating costs, by allowing large amounts of heat during the summer, and releasing large amounts of warmth during the winter.

Hence, if you decide to spend a bit of your money in order to build an efficient roof, you will save huge heating or cooling costs in the coming years. Keeping your house warm during the winter and cool during the summer, an energy-efficient roof can withstand UV radiations as well, which enhances its overall life.

The best roofing materials show good solar reflectance, which basically means that the energy of the sun is reflected back, rather than being absorbed by the roof. These roofs have the ability to reduce roof temperature by as high as 30 per cent. The ability to release any absorbed solar energy is very high too, which is termed as high emittance.

Addition of insulation can enhance the energy efficiency of a roof too. When the temperature is low, insulation materials with high R-value (the resistance capacity of transfer of heat of the insulation) trap lots of heat inside a house, causing lower heating bills.

How to Pick the Right Roof

The government has the Energy Star program, which promotes energy-efficient product use. Be sure to buy roofing products that have the Energy Star label. Only products that have very high reflective capacity are stamped the Energy Star, and such products have the ability to reflect a great portion of sun rays. This decreases the roof temperature by a surprising 56 degrees in some cases.
Note that light coloured roofs reflect heat, whereas dark coloured ones absorb heat. So if the area you live in warm, you can simply use a light colour for coating the roof if you don’t want to build a totally new one, in order to decrease costs of cooling and vice versa. The surface temperature of roofs can be reduced by 50 to 80 degrees by roof coatings alone!

The options for selecting roofing materials are almost endless. Metal, wood, asphalt, tile, concrete are just some examples. Concrete or clay tile roofs are generally expensive when installed, but can save money if the big picture is considered because these roofs are energy-efficient in all conditions. It is best to avoid aluminium roofs or unpainted ones because releasing energy is not the strongest point of these roofs. Note that the new photovoltaic or PV cells can not only protect the house but can also produce electricity using sunlight.

When it comes to saving money, choosing the proper materials is not enough. Make sure that you find a contractor having a license that offers good warranty for materials as well as for work. A good amount of experience on the contractor’s part when it comes to the installation of energy-efficient roofs should be considered too.