Roof Replacement: The Ultimate Guide for Homeowners

August 18th, 2020 BY First American Roofing

Getting your roof replaced is a big decision, and there are a lot of things to consider before taking the plunge — especially since a project of this scope can get pricy.

So, how much does it cost to replace a roof? And can you ever get financing for a roof replacement? Or can you get by with a simple repair? See — so much to think about!

These are the questions that homeowners want honest answers to when pursuing a roof replacement, and we want to help! In this ultimate guide for homeowners, we’ll provide in-depth insight into a variety of topics related to residential roof replacements, including:

If you’re in need of a new roof, whether it’s because a big storm came through town and blew off shingles or due to your outdated roof simply reaching the end of its lifespan, read this guide to learn everything you need to know about your upcoming roofing replacement.

roof replacement

Topic #1 – How Do Roofing Materials Get Damaged?

As the primary barrier between a home and the outside world, every homeowner hopes that their roof stays sturdy and damage-free over their family’s head. However durable and strong your roof might seem, they’re still susceptible to damage, whether that’s due to standard wear or a severe storm. Learn more about how your home’s roof can be affected by both age and weather conditions below:

Storms and Weathering Will Take a Toll ☔️

Storm damage is one of the most common reasons homeowners seek out a roof replacement. Your home can easily be damaged by weather conditions and unexpected events, including:

The Age of Your Roof Also Matters ⏰

Every roofing material has an average life expectancy as well and will last for decades with proper care and maintenance. You might require a roof replacement if your home’s roof is nearing the end of its lifespan. Take a look at the average lifespan for each type of roof:

curling shingles roof replacement

Topic #2 – Identifying Roof Damage

Now that you’re aware of the different ways a roof can get damaged, you’ll be better able to assess your roof and identify any issues that might require repairs or a replacement. Inspect your home from the following areas to find out if there is any roof damage:

Topic #3 – Make Repairs or Go With a Full Roof Replacement?

Knowing when to get a new roof as opposed to just a professional cleaning or repair can be tough. While modern tile or metal roofs and shingles are made to last, the wear and tear of the elements will take their toll over time. When you find yourself wondering, “do I need a new roof?” look for these six signs:



cracked roof replacement

Topic #4 – Average Roof Replacement Cost by Roofing Material (Asphalt Shingles, Metal Roofs, & More)

Once you’ve recognized some roof damage on your home, you’ll probably start to get a bit concerned about the cost of a roof replacement. Re-roofing a home is an expensive undertaking no matter how you look at it, but the total cost will ultimately hinge on a few factors, including:



It’s clear to see that the cost of a roof replacement can differ greatly in every circumstance, given all of the various factors that go into your final quote. Even so, we can provide you with a solid estimate of roofing costs by material based on national averages.

Of course, every material differs in price point, so let’s explore the cost of some of the most popular types of roof you can install right now:


Topic # 5 – The Real Cost of Making Some Common Mistakes

Any kind of home improvement can get expensive, but with the roof that protects your home and helps it run efficiently, the last thing you want to do is cut corners. Many homeowners make a few crucial mistakes that can mean an increased likelihood of needing more repairs or experiencing further damage to other parts of their home in the future. Follow these general tips to avoid that same fate:

Cheap Labor Causes Costly Repairs

One of the most prevalent ways people try to cut costs on roofing repair projects is through labor. Opting for the lower estimate with inexpensive labor is often a sign of inexperienced workers. They may get the job done, but that doesn’t mean it’s done well. An improper roofing installation will most commonly cause you to need further repairs when the poor craftsmanship inevitably fails.

Instead of falling for an almost unbelievable estimate (and trust us, it is), you want to compare multiple quotes from reputable contractors and find one you can trust to get the job done right the first time. This is especially important because your homeowners insurance company may deny a claim if your roof was installed incorrectly.

Lower-Quality Materials Will Lead to Damage

You might also be inclined to cut corners when it comes to roofing materials, but this can cause problems too. As the saying goes: “You get what you pay for.” And this is particularly true in terms of home construction, including your roof.

If you opt for cheaper roofing materials, the odds are not in your favor for avoiding future repairs. There’s a reason homeowners shy away from corrugated tin roofs and turn to tough as nails metal materials like steel and copper instead, and the same can be said for things like ridge vents and the underlayment as well. All in all, always go for better quality goods.

Watch Out for Red Flags During Estimates 🚩

As we already mentioned, but can’t continue to emphasize enough, make sure you’re working with a trusted roofing company or contractor to complete the re-roof correctly. Look out for long turnaround times or teams that agree to work on your home without ever inspecting it in person. That probably means they’re just looking for fast payment, and won’t finish the work. After all, how can they give you an accurate estimate without seeing the damage themselves?

Another red flag to remember revolves around permitting and building codes. If your contractor ever asks you to obtain the necessary permits for a roof installation — run. That’s a good indicator that they’re not properly licensed and likely don’t have the knowledge, skills, or experience to provide you with quality workmanship.

Don’t Get Duped by Storm Chasers

The other big issue surrounding re-roofing after storm damage is a common scam ran by people that we in the biz refer to as “storm chasers.” Like those TV-infomercial-ambulance-chasing lawyers we all know and love (or love to hate) from our local areas, a lot of less-than-morally-correct contractors (and con-artists in general) go out of their way to ambush, swindle, and ultimately take advantage of unsuspecting people when they need emergency repairs.

If someone shows up on your doorstep the day after a severe storm hits with a too-good-to-be-true estimate in hand, it’s easy to feel like you should jump at the offer. However, many times, these quotes are too good to be true in actuality, and it’s just a scam to get you to fork over cash immediately for construction that’ll never occur.

The worst aspect of storm chasing is how often these money-hungry scammers typically hunt down and target the elderly, who often live alone and can’t get a second opinion from someone they trust. This newscast dissects this disturbing issue even further:

Topic #6 – Choosing a Roofing Contractor You Can Trust

Now that you know what happens when you hire cheap labor, order inexpensive materials, or work with an experienced roofing team, let’s talk about what you should take into consideration when selecting a trusted roofing partner to complete your replacement. Every good roofing company or contractor should possess these traits:

roofer completing inspection to put together roof replacement estimate

The Roof Replacement Partner You’re Looking For

If you are looking for a company that possesses these qualities, knows roofs like the back of their hand, and can offer premium-level service with a guarantee to match, reach out to First American today!

We are among only 2% of contractors cross-country who have achieved a GAF Master Elite certification, meaning we go above and beyond what is required for contractors because we want our customers to have the highest quality homes around.

We also offer the GAF Golden Pledge Warranty, which is the best roof warranty available. It includes a 25-year water-tight workmanship warranty, as well as coverage for your home’s entire roofing system against material defects for 50 years.

You can find our trusted team of skilled roofing professionals, with nearly two decades of combined industry experience, at our business location in Onalaska, Wisconsin. We’ll come out to inspect your roof, provide a free quote, and work quickly to resolve your roofing issues with honesty, transparency, and integrity.

Make sure to head to our blog for more tips and tricks when it comes to home performance, roofing, siding, and more, and make your appointment today to start a new roof replacement with our trusted team.