Westchase Roofing Buying a House with Roof Damage

How to Handle Buying a House With Roof Damage

You’ve been searching for months, and it looks like you’ve finally found your dream home. The neighborhood is perfect, there’s a pool out back, and there’s even plenty of room for your growing family. There’s just one catch — a recent hurricane has blown shingles off of the roof. Is it buying a house with roof damage ok? What exactly are you be getting yourself into?

Is Buying a House with Roof Damage a Good Idea?

Roof damage is serious, but it doesn’t have to be an instant turn off for buyers, either. Here are some tips for buying a house with roof damage.

Assess the Damage and Get a Quote

Not all roof damage is the same, so the first step in your decision-making process should be to assess the severity of the situation. During the home inspection period, have a licensed roofing contractor do this for you so that they provide you with a quote for repair or replacement.

Minor Damage

If the damage is minor and there are just a few shingles missing, the repairs may only cost a few hundred dollars. In this case, the seller will either fix it or take the cost of repair off of the price of the house so that you can fix it yourself.

Hidden Damage

That being said, what looks like nothing more than a few missing shingles could actually be a far more costly problem underneath. Over time, a small leak can result in major water damage. Before you buy a home with roof damage, have a professional home inspector look for signs of structural damage, mold, and mildew on the interior.

If the only evidence of water damage is a few spots of discoloration on the ceiling, that’s usually an easy fix. But if the leak has been present for some time and the home’s structure is compromised, you’re better off putting your money elsewhere.

Severe Damage

If the damage is more severe — a large number of shingles are missing, the roof is rotten or caving in — then things get a bit more complicated. When the damage is so severe that the roof is past the point of repair and needs to be replaced completely, most buyers choose to walk away. While this is certainly an option, it isn’t the only option. If you’re able to negotiate with the seller, you might be able to get the replacement you need for a fair price.

Who Should Fix the Roof Damage?

You decide that you want to fix the roof and buy the home. Should you close the deal and fix it yourself, or have the seller take care of it beforehand?

Option #1: The Seller Fixes It

This is usually the most common option, especially if the repairs are relatively minor. They may choose to fix the problem before selling or subtract the cost of repairs from the selling price. However, the seller is not obligated to do this.

Option #2: Split the Cost

You don’t want to have to pay the full price of a new roof, and neither does the seller — that’s why it’s becoming more common to split the cost. If the seller refuses to fix the problem or reduce the price so that you can fix it yourself, you might be able to negotiate a 50/50 deal.

Option #3: The Buyer Fixes It

This last option gives you the most control but also costs you the most money if the damage is severe. If you plan on fixing the roof yourself, it’s recommended to get a second opinion from another roof inspector so that you can make your budget as accurate as possible.

Whatever you do, don’t let the seller fix the roof after you’ve closed the deal. At that point, their only goal is to save money. They’ll likely choose the cheapest roofing service available and leave you with a second-rate repair job. If you’ve already proceeded with the sale, try to negotiate the price down so that you can hire your own quality Tampa roofing contractor who will get the job done right.

Should You Buy a Home with an Old Roof?

Like homes with roof damage, homes with older roofs tend to scare away buyers. Should you buy a home with an aging roof, or will it be more trouble than it’s worth?

That depends. Exactly how old is it? The average lifespan of a roof varies by material. Twenty years may sound old, but a 20-year-old clay roof may still have 80 more good years in it. Under normal conditions, the average lifespan of each material is as follows:

  • Slate/Clay – 80 to 100 years
  • Metal – 40 to 80 years
  • Wood Shingles – 20 to 25 years
  • Asphalt Shingles (3-tab) – 20 to 30 years
  • Asphalt Shingles (Architectural) – 25 to 35 years
  • Asphalt Shingles (Luxury) – 30 to 50 years

A roof’s lifespan also depends on the quality of workmanship that goes into it. Extreme weather conditions like hurricanes or tornadoes may also shorten the lifespan.

If the roof is old but undamaged, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing it just yet — as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. At the same time, you don’t want to put off replacement until the last minute, especially if there are signs of significant wear and tear. It’s a good idea to start planning ahead for an eventual replacement.

Asphalt Shingle Roof Replacement in Tampa, FL

Don’t let roof damage stop you from buying your dream home. If the roof needs to be replaced, call our roofers in Tampa to install brand new asphalt shingles. Made from high-quality materials and expertly installed, you won’t have to deal with the stress of repairs for many years to come.

On the other hand, if you’re a seller struggling to sell your home, a beautiful new roof might be exactly what you need to attract buyers. Give Westchase Roofing Services a call today to request a quote for a roof replacement in Tampa.

Westchase Roofing Myths Tampa Roofer

Mythbusters, The Roofing Edition

Not many people spend a lot of time thinking about their roofs—except for roofers. Unfortunately, that means that there’s a lot of misinformation out there concerning roofing. Those roofing myths can lead to some pretty expensive damage if you aren’t careful. To help ease the pain, here are some common roofing myths debunked.

Roofing Myth 1: Roofing? There’s a Youtube DIY Video For That

While there are probably several DIY roofing videos out there on the web (in this day and age, what isn’t on the web?), that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to go the DIY route. Roofing is more than just a learned skilled. A knowledgeable roofer doesn’t just focus on nailing down shingles. They also check that the roof deck is safe and usable and ensure that your roof has the proper underlayments to protect your home. Roofing isn’t an easy task—or a safe one for a novice. Let a trained, licensed, and insured professional handling the job.

Roofing Myth 2: All Roofing Contractors Are Created Equally

It’s easy to find a roofing contractor on Google and to score some free quotes. Digging a little deeper, however, you’ll find that roofing contractors are not created equally. Some contractors, like Westchase Roofing, focus solely on one material (we only install asphalt shingles). Others may only do commercial roofs. Beyond that, contractors differ in how well they do their jobs and how they treat their clients. Check reviews during your vetting process to learn more about your potential contractors. We frequently receive 5-star reviews for our detail-oriented work.

Roofing Myth 3: You Gotta Pay More For the Best

Once you have a few quotes, you can pick the highest one and know you are getting the best contractor, right? Wrong. Quotes will likely run the gamut, but a high price tag is not a guarantee of quality. Your quote should include labor and supplies. Check to see what the difference is and determine what your personal threshold is.

Roofing Myth 4: Roofs Don’t Require Maintenance

Roofs aren’t a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. To extend the lifetime of your roof and to best protect your home, you’ll want to do regular inspections and maintenance.

Roofing Myth 5: The Warranty That Comes With the Shingles is Enough

The warranty that comes with your shingles may cover materials and not labor. Or maybe it only covers materials under particular situations. While that may seem like enough, it’s important to check your homeowner’s policy to see what they cover and to compare the additional warranties offered by your contractor.

As an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Roofing Contractor, Westchase Roofing offers several additional warranties to help homeowners protect their investment. You can learn more about the warranties in this post.

Roofing Myth 6: All Asphalt Shingles Are the Same

To the untrained eye, asphalt shingles may all appear alike. However, a quick glance through Owens Corning’s shingle specs and you’ll find that different shingles are made to withstand different weather conditions. Don’t worry, though! With Westchase Roofing, you don’t have to dig through all the specs alone. We’ll help you identify the best Owens Corning asphalt shingles for your home and style.

Roofing Myth 7: I Can Just Cover the Old Shingles with New Ones

Covering your old shingles with new ones may seem like a good fix, but it doesn’t take care of the problem. If you have an old roof, your shingles need to be removed completely. A new roof deck or underlayment may be necessary depending on their condition. New shingles can then be applied to help protect against wind and rain.

Roofing Myth 8: A Roof Replacement Takes Too Long

Westchase Roofing works quickly and safely, giving all of our attention to the job at hand. Our crew commits to doing one home at a time to ensure that your job is completed as soon as possible. If the weather cooperates, this can be as little as one or two days! We never subcontract our work, so you can rest assured that our top-notch team will be the ones on site to install your new roof.

The Westchase Roofing Crew is always happy to answer your questions. Contact us to learn more about what we do or for a free quote!

Westchase Roofing Tampa New Year New Roof

New Year, New Roof? Planning for a Roof Installation

A new roof is not an expense anyone wants to be surprised with. While inclement weather (I’m talking about you, Irma) can hasten the need for a new roof, often we can plan ahead for a roof installation.

Barring any future natural disasters, homeowners can generally take their time and shop around when seeking a roofing contractor. This helps ensure that a good roofing contractor is found and that homeowners can pick the shingles that are right for them. Shingles have a major impact on how a home looks; choosing a roofing contractor and picking your shingles shouldn’t be a rush job! In this post, we’ll be covering different aspects of planning for a roof. It’s an important decision, so you’ll find plenty of links and information to help ensure you have everything you need to get started on the process.

As always, we’re happy to speak to Tampa area residents about their roofing needs and provide a free estimate for roof replacement or installation. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more about how Westchase Roofing will treat you like family!

Do You Need a New Roof?

A loose shingle or two doesn’t mean you need an entirely new roof; however, numerous ripped or broken shingles, bald shingles, or a saggy roof can indicate it’s time to start speaking with a roofing contractor.

We’ve detailed when homeowners should start thinking about roof replacement in this post. If you don’t know how old your roof is, check for shingle damage and granule debris. Extensive shingle damage or bald shingles could signal it’s time to hire a roofing a contractor. If you have an attic, take a look inside to see if you are experiencing any water damage. If there appear to be stains, you may have a leak in your roof.

If you’ve determined that you’re not quite ready for a roof, be sure to bookmark this post so you can call it up when you need it! Also, take care to properly maintain your roof to ensure it lasts as long as possible! Once you start noticing signs of wear, come on back and start planning for that roof replacement!

Know Your Shingle Options

Homeowners have an amazing amount of options when it comes to roofing shingles. In addition to long-lasting asphalt shingles like the Owens Corning shingles we install, homeowners can have clay or tile shingles, wood shingles, metal shingles, solar shingles, and more. Ultimately, your shingles are an investment in the health of your home. While they add to the stylistic beauty of your home, they also protect it from the elements and help keep you and your family safe.

We’ve given some extensive coverage to shingle types in previous posts. We’ve also shared why we believe asphalt shingles are the best choice.

For starters, here’s our ultimate guide to roofing shingles. This post covers asphalt, wood, metal, and solar shingles, as well as various things you should keep in mind when choosing your shingles.

Costs vary across shingle types (post: Why Tile Shingles Are More Expensive Than Asphalt Shingles), though that is not necessarily due to quality. Here’s why we think asphalt shingles are top of the line. (Hint: it’s all about protection. And with the Total Protection Roofing System, you have an extra line of defense against the Florida elements.)

When you’re considering which type of shingles are the best for your home, you may want to consider:

  • The type of elements your shingles will encounter.
  • The style and color you want for your home.
  • The durability of the shingle types.
  • The quality of the warranty that accompanies the shingles and their installation.
  • The cost of the various shingles.

Here’s our latest post on selecting the asphalt shingles that are right for you and your home.

Vet All Contractors

Finding the right contractor to install your new roof can take time. We recently wrote some posts to help homeowners as they make this important decision:

Ultimately, the quality of work you get comes down to who you hire. Make sure you and your contractor are on the same page and that they have all the necessary licenses and insurance before they ever get on a ladder. This protects both you and your contractor. Never hire someone who isn’t willing to share their licenses with you or their proof of insurance!

If you want a specific type of shingle, make sure the roofers you speak with have experience with them. For example, at Westchase Roofing, we only install Owens Corning asphalt shingles and the Total Protection Roofing System because we believe they offer our clients the best quality and value. As an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor, we have the ability to offer our clients additional warranties. Plus, we’ve undergone extensive training with the Total Protection Roofing System to ensure our clients are always satisfied.

Get a Couple Roofing Quotes

A quote isn’t a contract, but it helps homeowners understand the general scope of the project and the projected costs. A good quote will provide you with information about labor costs and supplies. At the same time, a quote doesn’t tell you everything about a potential contractor. That’s why it’s so important to ask questions (and to know what type of questions to ask). Too many homeowners get taken in by shoddy operations. If you aren’t sure what type of questions to ask, revisit the vetting post mentioned earlier so that you can better understand a given operation and the quote they’re giving you.

To learn about what goes into a roofing quote, visit this post.

Select Your Contractor

With your quotes completed and having met a couple of contractors, you’ll be better prepared to pick the right contractor for your roofing needs.

As you compare quotes, remember that cost should not necessarily be the deciding factor. Your roof is an investment into the wellbeing of your home. You want to ensure that you have quality roofing materials and a skilled contractor to install them.

When comparing quotes, consider:

  • Highest qualifications
  • Timeline for work
  • Who will be completing the work (roofing contractor’s crew or subcontractors?)
  • Reviews
  • Cost estimate

Your decision will likely be based on a variety of factors. There’s no shame in making a pros and cons list if you are having trouble deciding between contractors. And if questions arise during the process, a high-quality roofing contractor will have no problem answering them and putting your qualms to rest.

Finalize the Details & Sign

Once you’ve picked your contractor, you’ll want to finalize the details. This includes setting a date for the job, determining how your old shingles will be disposed, finalizing your choice of shingle, and learning more about who will be completing your roof. Make sure you have a point person that you can be in touch with in case you have any questions or concerns. Read over your work contract. If there is anything you don’t understand, say something! A good roofing contractor will have no problem explaining the contract to you and ensuring that everything is to your satisfaction.

We hope this new year brings you plenty of joy and laughter. And if you happen to need a new roof, too, we’d be happy to help you make the best choice for your home—Owens Corning asphalt shingles combined with expert installation by Westchase Roofing.

 

 

Westchase Roofing Vet a Roofing Company Contractor

How to Vet a Roofing Company

Westchase Roofing Vet a Roofing CompanyWhen faced with a big decision like getting a new roof, many homeowners don’t know where to start. They may ask friends or do a quick search to find a local contractor. While you may find a reputable Tampa roofing company that way, asking the right questions and doing a little background work can help ensure you find the best roofing company for your house.

Ask Potential Roofing Contractors These Questions

Are you licensed?

Not having a license should be a nonstarter. For a contractor to legally work in Florida, they must be licensed. Someone who does not have a license may still be a good contractor—and if so, they should apply for a license.

What kind of insurance do you carry?

Roofing contractors should carry general liability insurance and worker’s comp at a minimum. Some companies may carry additional insurance like business auto insurance for their work trucks, however, the most important for a homeowner is general liability insurance. General liability insurance helps protect your property if something goes wrong.

Who will be working on my home?

When a company comes out to do a quote on your roof, you may assume that the kind face you see will be the person you’ll see on the ladder in a couple of weeks.

Don’t.

Too often, roofing companies subcontract their work. They focus on getting the clients and then outsource the jobs. Protect your home and hire a company that maintains its own crew. Only then can a company truly guarantee its work.

How long will the job take?

Everyone wants to know how long a job will take and it’s a homeowner’s right to a good estimate. A roofing contractor should be able to provide you with an estimate for when they will be starting work, how long they will be working each day, and how many days they believe it will take to complete the job. Hiring a company that works on only one house at a time may ensure that they get the job more quickly and are better able to meet their estimates.

What kind of roofing options do you offer?

Not all roofers carry all roofing options, which can actually be better for homeowners. Roofers who specialize in one or two roofing materials are better able to become experts in the material. They can keep up to date on the latest advances in roofing for their chosen material and understand the nuances of installing it. Before setting up an appointment, check to see if the roofing company installs the type of roof you want.

Do you offer any warranties?

Some roofing materials come with warranties, though those warranties generally don’t cover workmanship. Ask any potential roofing companies what type of warranties they are able to offer you and what exactly the warranties cover.

Watch For These Red Flags

They ask for a deposit.

Often, someone asking for a deposit up front is running a scam. You should not write a check or hand over cash before any work has been completed or you may not see them again.

They come to your home unsolicited.

Very rarely does a reputable roofing company knock on doors to advertise their services. This can be a sign of a storm chaser.

“So and so’s cousin can do it.”

While trying to find a roofer, you may come across a well meaning friend who tells you someone they know can do the job on the cheap for you. While this may work for patching a spot of drywall or doing other handyman tasks, it’s not advisable for roofing.

Roofing a home can be a dangerous endeavor. It is important that anyone that works on your roof knows what they are doing and that they’re appropriately insured. In addition, shoddy workmanship by someone with little or no training can lead to more problems down the line. Water damage, mold growth, and poorly installed shingles can be expensive to repair. Rather than hiring a local handyman for a roofer’s job, stick with the professionals.

Checking Reviews and Testimonials

Seeing what others have said about a company’s work can help you better understand the company. GuildQuality allows home improvement contractors’ clients to share their experiences and rate the company who has remodeled their kitchen, built their new home, or installed their new roof. Check any potential contractors and make sure you like what you see.

At Westchase Roofing, we understand that choosing a contractor can be a difficult decision. We try to make it a little easier by being completely upfront with our potential clients. As a licensed and insured roofing company operating in the Tampa area, we take each and every job we do very seriously. We know we aren’t just working on people’s houses, we’re protecting their homes.

We’re ready for your questions and we’d love to give you a quote on a new asphalt roof.

Westchase Roofing Hiring a Roofing Contractor

Check for These Certifications Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor

Hiring a contractor isn’t easy. Many people feel a sense of unease when thousands of dollars are on the line. We completely understand. When you’re entrusting your home to the hands of a contractor, you want to be sure you’re making the right decision. Checking for these certifications and memberships before hiring a roofing contractor can help set your mind at ease and assure you that you’ve made the right choice.

Appropriate Licenses

For a roofing contractor to legally work on your home, they must be licensed to work within the state of Florida and in their particular county. Aspiring contractors are tested by the state to receive their license. In addition, contractors can apply to be certified.

To be a state certified contractor, a contractor must provide a copy of their state contractor license, proof of liability insurance, and proof of workers comp insurance coverage.

Westchase Roofing Services is licensed as a certified roofing contractor in the state of Florida and in Hillsborough County. Not only have we passed all requisite tests, we also carry the necessary insurance to protect your home and our crew.

Liability Insurance

Any roofing contractor you hire should have insurance. An uninsured contractor poses a risk to your home.

General liability insurance covers any property damage caused by a contractor or injury to a non-employee. Workers’ compensation covers employee injuries that may occur on a worksite. Together, these two policies help protect a homeowner’s property as well as a contractor’s employees.

Don’t hesitate to ask whether your roofing contractor has liability insurance. A certified contractor will have insurance, however, fly by night operations that tend to pop up after a storm are generally uninsured and unlicensed. Be wary of anyone knocking on your door and telling you that your homeowner’s insurance will cover a new roof. (You can learn more about these scams here.)

Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau helps consumers find reputable businesses to work with. The BBB supports businesses by providing them ethical standards they can implement and providing educational resources. For consumers, the BBB is a hub where they can share their experiences with a company and research companies they are considering hiring.

To be a Better Business Bureau accredited, a company must sign up with the organization. It’s a voluntary organization, and membership tends to show a commitment to the values espoused by the BBB.

Westchase Roofing Services is a BBB accredited contractor with an A+ score. We work hard to maintain that top score by continuing to provide excellent service.

National Roofing Contractors Association

The National Roofing Contractors Association is a trade association for roofing professionals. They provide training and resources for contractors and other roofing professionals. The NRCA is a nonprofit organization supported by its members that advocates on behalf of roofing contractors, manufacturers, distributors, engineers, and more.

Membership in the NRCA illustrates a commitment to improving one’s skills and staying on top of the latest roofing information and technology. Westchase Roofing is a proud NRCA member.

Hiring a contractor can be difficult. Look for these certifications on a potential contractor’s page to make the job easier. In our next post, we’ll be discussing how to vet a contractor. However, if you’re in need of a roofing contractor to replace your roof, don’t wait! Schedule a quote with us today.

We’d love to discuss our certifications and memberships with you and let you know why we’re the best roofing contractor for your roof replacement. Give us a call and learn more about Westchase Roofing.