Friday, March 28, 2014

Five Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractor

Hiring a contractor to repair or replace your roof is an important decision. Here are five questions to ask a contractor before you allow any work to be done on your roof:

 1.  How long will the re-roof job take?
There are many variables that can slow down and even stop a job.  Getting a timeline is always a good idea.

2.  Will you need to tear off the old roof or can you re-roof on top of the old roof?

Ask what the contractor recommends.  Many contractors will advise tear off to allow him to inspect the sheathing and expose any problems.

3.  If the old roof needs to be torn off, who will be responsible for hauling away the waste? 

Most contractors charge an additional fee to haul away tear-off debris. 

4.  Will the contractor furnish you with a written contract including detailed payment instruction and total price?

 Always get a written contract.  Verbal agreements are always a bad idea.

5.  Is your company licensed and insured?

Never allow any contractor on your roof who is unwilling to show you a copy of his or her license, and proof of insurance.  You don't want to be responsible for any accidents that may occur.

Need to find a reliable roofing contractor in your area?  Check out the Metal Roofing Alliance's Find a Contractor feature.  

For more information, check out this post.  Angie's List is another good resource.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Considering a Remodeling Project?

For many families considering a remodeling project, a key question is always whether you'll be able to recoup the cost of the project if you sell your home.

According to the 2014 Remodeling Magazine Cost Vs. Value report, the overall trends are looking positive.

"For the second consecutive year, Cost vs. Value data show that the value of remodeling is up for all 35 projects included in the survey. This trend signals an end to the long slide in the cost-value ratio, which began to fall in 2006 and didn’t begin to rebound until last year (see, “Cost vs. Value 11-Year Trend”). For 2014, the cost-value ratio stands at 66.1%, a jump of 5.5 points over last year and the largest increase since 2005, when the ratio jumped 6.1 points to reach its high of 86.7%."
Click on this link for more details from the study.

Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Choose a Roofing Contractor

Choosing the right contractor to install your roof is just as important as using the right materials.  There are two steps in the process - finding a pool of local contractors, then evaluating them to find the perfect fit.

Step One: Finding A Roofing Contractor
If you're looking for a durable metal roof, the Metal Roofing Alliance should be your first stop.   Our Find a Contractor feature allows you to enter your zip code to find a list of local contractors.

Step Two: Evaluating Roofing Contractors

The Better Business Bureau has a terrific article with tips for choosing a reputable roofing contractor.  Check it out here.

For more information on choosing a roofing material and contractor, check out this earlier post featuring an interview with Angie Hicks of Angie's List (another good source for reviewing contractors).

Monday, February 3, 2014

Roofing Terminology for Homeowners: Part Two

Part Two: Roofing Terminology Explained

Nosing:  Metal flashing bent at a 90° angle and is installed around roof perimeters, curbs, platforms, etc., in order to protect the roofing system.  Nosing should not be used in place of a drip edge.

Penetration:  Any object that pierces the surface of the roof.

Rake:  A slanting edge of a gabled roof extending beyond the end wall of the house.

Rafter:  A rafter is a parallel beam that supports the roof, and is part of the truss.  They are the main frame of the roof. Sheathing is nailed to the rafters.

Ridge:  The highest point of the roof that runs the length of the roof.

Roof Truss:  A truss is a triangular wood structure that supports the roof and gives it added strength.  It takes several trusses to build the structure that supports the roof.

Sheathing:  Also called decking, it covers the rafters.  Tar paper or another type of underlayment is laid on top of it.  Plywood is the most common material used for decking.  Once the underlayment is installed to the sheathing, the roofing materials are ready to be installed.

Slope or Pitch:   The number of inches of vertical rise in a roof, per 12-inches of horizontal distance.

Soffit:  The finished underside of the eaves.  Covers the area between the end of the eaves and the house. 

Square:  One hundred square feet of roof.

Steep Slope:  Generally all slopes higher than 4/12 are considered steep slopes.

Substrate:  The surface that the roof is installed upon.

Tear-Off:  Removal of existing roofing materials down to the roof deck.

Truss:  Engineered components that supplement rafters in many newer homes and buildings.  Trusses are designed for specific applications and cannot be cut or altered.

Underlayment:  The material (usually an asphalt-base rolled material) laid on top of sheathing before roofing material is installed

Valley:  The less-than 180-degree angle where two adjoining sloped roof planes intersect on a roof creating a “V” shaped depression.
Vapor:  Term used to describe moisture-laden air.

Vapor Retarder:  A material designed to restrict the passage of water vapor through a roof system or wall.

Vent:  An opening or device used to permit air or vapor to exit an enclosed structure.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Homeowner Tips: Roofing Terms Explained

Is a roof repair or replacement in your future?  If you're a homeowner, the answer is probably yes - most people purchase at least 2-3 roofs in their lifetime.  

Whether or not you decide on a long-lasting metal roof, taking a little time to learn ‘roofing language’ can be especially helpful when discussing your current roof's issues with a contractor.  It will also help you to be a bit more knowledgeable when reviewing a roofing estimate.
In the first of a 2-part series, here's a handy list of roofing terms you may encounter:

Roofing Terms Explained: Part One

Aluminized Steel:  Sheet steel with a thin aluminum coating on the surface to enhance the steel’s ability to withstand weathering.

Aluminum:  A non-rusting metal used in roofing for metal roofing and the fabrication of gutter and flashings.

Decking:  The surface, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), to which roofing materials are applied.  This material covers the rafters.

Dormer:  A small structure projecting from a sloped roof, usually with a window.  It is often used in attics to add light and a pleasing design to the house.

Drip Edge:  An L-shaped strip (usually metal) installed along roof edges to allow water run off the drip clear of the deck, eaves and siding

Eaves:  The lower edge of a roof (usually overhanging beyond the edge of the house).

Fascia:  Trim board behind the gutter and eaves.

Felt:  The ‘tar paper’ used by roofers, usually made of a combination of asphalt and either paper or rags.

Fire Rating:  System for classifying the fire resistances of various materials.  Roofing materials are rated Class A, B, or C, with Class A materials having the highest resistance to fire originating outside the structure.

Flashing:  Sheet metal or other material used at junctions of different planes on a roof.  Flashing is used to prevent the seepage of water around any intersection or projection in a roof, such as vent pipes, chimneys, valleys, and the joints at vertical walls.

Frieze Board:  A board at the top of the house’s siding, forming a corner with the soffit.

Gable:  The triangular shaped part of the end of a building underneath the roof and above the main portion of the house.

Galvanized Steel:  Steel that is coated with Zinc to aid in corrosion resistance.

Gutter:  A channel (usually sheet metal) installed along the down slope perimeter of a roof to convey runoff water from the roof to the downspouts.

Hip:  The external angle at the junction of two sides of a roof whose supporting walls adjoin.  The external angle at the junction of its two sides is known as the hip.

Joist:  In a flat roof, a horizontal structural member over which sheathing is nailed.

Louvers:  The slatted devices that are installed in a gable or soffit in order to ventilate and equalize air temperature under the roof deck.

Membrane:  The portion of the roofing system that serves as the waterproofing material.

Want to avoid having to place more than one roof on your current home?  Choose a metal roof - find a contractor here.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Design tips for Winter-Proofing Your Home

Here's a new story featured on with suggestions for designing a home that withstands harsh winter weather, including #4.  "Choose a Metal Roof".  You can see the full article by Houzz contributor Laura Gaskill here.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Follow Metal Roofing on Pinterest

The Metal Roofing Alliance has a new Pinterest page where we share photos of metal roofs, as well as relevant videos explaining the benefits of metal for homeowners.

Please follow us on Pinterest to see all of the latest photos and ideas.

We have boards that highlight homeowner tips, design ideas, styles of metal roofing, and guidance for choosing the right roof for your home.

And of course, feel free to Pin any content from our blog or MRA website to your Pinterest boards!