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Roof Replacement Cost
Roofing Blog

What Determines Roof Replacement Cost?

If you are in the market to replace the roof on your home, you probably have a lot of questions. One of the primary concerns, inevitably, is how much this is going to cost. Homeowners are often unaware of what exactly goes into the process of replacing a roof and what goes into calculating the cost of each project. Before getting an estimate, you may want to find out what factors are considered by contractors when offering a price. This way you will be better informed and able to evaluate the fairness of any given price. Remember, you should always contact reputable and licensed roofing contractors and compare their estimates before agreeing to any contract.

To help you understand how contractors arrive at the number you may see on an estimate, below we detail the factors involved in our calculations of roof replacement.

 

Size of the Roof

The most obvious factor to consider is the size of the roof. You may think that you can get an estimate of your roof’s size based on the square footage of the house, and you are right, but with several caveats. Firstly, the square footage listed on most documents related to the property, and the one used by realtors in making a sale, is the square footage of the living area. This often excludes areas that are under the roof, but are not considered lived-in because they are not connected to the HVAC system of the house. This may include the garage, attic spaces, and screened or unscreened porches. Likewise, for a two story or taller structure the square footage will include all the floors, but the roof often covers only one total floor (although this may differ based on the architecture of the house).

Another element to consider in roof size is the pitch of the roof. Unlike the square footage of the house itself, the square footage of the roof also depends on its slope. The steeper the roof, the greater the difference between the house size and roof size. Roof slope is typically expressed in rise over run. That is, how many inches the roof rises over a 12 inch horizontal run. A 4/12 roof is fairly low sloped, while a 10/12 is very steep. Roofing contractors typically use roofing calculator tables or take hands-on measurements to make these calculations. The final roof size measurement is then expressed in roofing squares. Each roofing square is 100 square feet. For instance, a roof of 2500 square feet would be measured as 25 squares. Once the contractor has this square measurement, they use a per-square rate as a multiplier to calculate the total price. This multiplier includes material, labor, and overhead costs and varies based on the factors below.

 

Materials

The primary factor that affects price is material type. As we have discussed before, tile is more expensive than metal, which in turn is more expensive than shingles. Even in choosing a particular type of tile or metal or shingles there may be price differences. For instance, a higher quality shingle with greater wind resistance may be more expensive than a lower quality type. You should decide which material you want to use for your roof replacement ahead of time, so that any contractor you call can give you an appropriate estimate for that material.

Underlayment, the layer between the decking and the roof covering, also affects cost. Synthetic underlayment is cheaper than peel and seal (ice/water barrier membrane), but the latter is better at waterproofing. An estimate should always specify which underlayment the contractor is offering and may give two different prices (one for synthetic and one for peel and seal) and leave the choice up to the homeowner.

There are also additional materials that go into roof replacement, like metal vents, drip edge, flashing, and nails. These are all included in material costs. Material costs constantly change based on market price, so any estimate will have an expiration date after which the contractor cannot guarantee the given price. This is typically expressed as a period (say 15 days) after the date of the estimate. 

 

Decking

During roof replacement, it is typically necessary to replace some amount of damaged wood decking (plywood or OSB depending on the construction of the house). Because it is impossible to see how much decking needs replacing until the old roof is torn off, contractors include a small amount of decking in the initial estimate and reserve the right to add any additional wood replacement to the final invoice. This should be explicitly stated in any contract you sign for roof replacement.

 

Slope and Shape

The per square multiplier for the roof price also changes based on slope and shape of the roof. A steeper roof is not only larger, but also a more hazardous working environment. For this reason, steeper roofs will have a steeper price since they require special equipment and higher labor costs.

The roof’s shape and how many sub-roofs it has will also alter price. The more “cut-up”  a roof is (the more its shape deviates from a simple single gable design), the higher the price. This is due to the difficulties and the extra material involved with accommodating unusual shapes, which can require specialized labor and a higher waste factor in cutting up material to fit the shape. 

 

Dumping Fees

A roof replacement estimate will also typically involve dumping fees. This is because the materials torn off of the old roof must be disposed of properly. This requires a trailer (rented or owned by the contractor). The trailer must also be emptied at the local municipal waste facility which typically charges for dumping a rate based on the weight of the materials dumped.

So, as you see, there are a multitude of factors that go into estimating roof replacement. If you are interested in roof replacement and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate! We will be happy to answer any questions you have about your estimated price.

 

Skylights
Roofing Blog

Skylights: Are They Worth It?

Skylights have become more and more popular as of late. You may have them yourself or seen them in a friend’s or neighbor’s house. They can give the interior of a home a great look with lots of natural light, but what are the real pros and cons of skylights? Below we take a look at the benefits of skylights as well as some of the challenges involved in their installation and maintenance.

 

The Benefits of Skylights

First let us consider the positive side of having one or more skylights installed in a home.

Natural Light: Skylights can bring natural light to areas that are otherwise dark. Rooms like interior bathrooms, which may not have any windows, can benefit from a skylight. A bathroom skylight also brings the advantage of leaving the room unseen from the street. In other cases, large rooms in the house which may have too few windows or whose windows may face out onto an enclosed porch can also be better lit with a skylight or two. 

Aesthetics: Skylights are aesthetically pleasing. They bring brightness and a new atmosphere to the entire room. Natural light is also proven to be beneficial to humans’ physical and mental well-being.

Fresh Air: Venting skylights are available on the market which can provide fresh air to a room, just like any window. Venting can let in a cool breeze in the summer and help lower temperatures in a room. It is important; however, to make sure that the mechanism to open and close the vents is close at hand, since otherwise vents left open when heating or air conditioning is on can lead to energy waste.

Solar: Solar skylights can also provide heating or cooling assistance depending on their location on the roof and the climate in which the building is located. Additionally, east or west facing skylights can provide heating or cooling effects in the morning and evening respectively.

 

The Challenges Associated with Skylights

Expenses: Skylights can be fairly expensive, depending on their size and style, and they will increase the price of future roof replacements. While skylight quality has been going up in recent years, so have their prices. Material price, excluding labor, ranges from about $300 to $1000 depending on elements like size, type, glass quality, safety rating, and so on. Skylight styles also frequently change, which means that the skylight you get now may not have a matching replacement ten or twenty years down the line when it needs replacing. In this case, replacement will require converting the skylight tunnel, which can be quite pricey. 

Roof Leaks: Skylights are a notorious cause of roof leaks. If they are old, improperly sealed, or improperly installed they will cause leaking and interior damages. It is extremely important to make sure before installing that you buy high quality tempered or laminated glass skylights with e-coating to control UV rays and heat. Stay away from cheap skylights which will discover and crack over time. Also, hire a qualified and experienced contractor for installation who will give you a reasonable warranty. Skylights must be installed with a raised trim, proper flashing, and proper sealant to prevent leaks in the future. 

Interior Damages: As mentioned before, skylights have a great potential for causing leaks, which can sometimes get quite severe. These, if not immediately fixed, especially in a rainy environment like central Florida, can cause significant interior damages to ceilings, floors, and furniture. Direct sunlight can also cause damages to certain furniture types and floor types, so it is important that the glass be tinted correctly and that light sensitive items are not placed in direct line to the rays coming through the skylight.

Structural Concerns: Installing skylights on an existing roof, as opposed to concurrently with a new roof installation, can be damaging to the structural integrity of the structure if not done correctly. Roofs constructed of trusses, which is mainly the way houses are built in the Flagler Palm Coast area, must be carefully analyzed and inspected by a structural expert before a plan for installing a skylight is put in place. Compromising the structural integrity of a roof is not only dangerous but also will result in extensive expenses.

Overall, the decision to install skylights must be considered carefully. While the benefits are significant, care must be taken in dealing with the challenges to avoid potential pitfalls. If you have any questions about skylights or want a free estimate for your roof repair or  replacement in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906!

What Affects Property Market Value?
Roofing Blog

What Affects Property Market Value?

Whether you are considering selling or buying a house it is important to know what factors go into determining a property’s market value. Homeowners love to see their property appreciate in value, and whether selling or not, it is wise for them to take into account how they can affect this. Buyers in the meantime need to know which factors to check when considering purchasing a property, to make sure that it is valued correctly. While values are influenced by the ebb and flow of the real estate market, they are also partially determined by the factors we consider below.

Size and Usable Space

The price of most residential properties, whether a single family house or multiple occupation unit, is calculated by square foot. That is, if a 2,000 square foot home is sold for $200,000.00 then its price per square foot is $150.00. This price per square foot fluctuates according to market conditions and certain aspects of the property. Depending on the conditions referenced below, a price of $150.00 per square foot may be a great deal or a complete ripoff. 

One thing to consider is that price per square foot only applies to what is called usable space. This usable space is the area of the property that is livable and does not include features such as garages, unfinished attics, or unfinished porches/other exterior areas. While a garage may add value to a house, its square footage will not be included in the calculation of the price. In other words, the garage as a feature may raise the price per square foot, but for a 2,000 square foot property with a 450 square foot garage, the price per square foot will still be multiplied by 2,000 and not 2,450. For this reason, it may be beneficial to convert any unfinished areas of a property into usable space before selling. 

 Location

Location is hugely important in bestowing value upon a property. You may have noticed that property values in cities across the country have ballooned in recent years. One of the reasons for this is that as an area gets more urbanized it offers more opportunities for jobs and career development, which draws in potential buyers. As demand then increases, the value of the limited supply rises. On the other hand, if a major employer in an area closes or goes out of business, the property values in the area may drop since the wave of people moving out will raise supply at the same time as demand diminishes. 

Then again, within the same city or town there will likely be districts or areas with higher property values and others with lower. In one area houses may be priced in the millions while just a short distance away they may be less than half of that. There are several factors that affect this. In our area here in Florida one of the biggest such factors is distance to water. Houses with direct beach access are especially pricey as well as those situated on a canal. Other factors include distance to school and school quality, distance to commercial centers, shopping, and recreation. 

The value of a property zoned in a residential area close to great schools and a thriving business community will appreciate faster than others. While these factors are largely outside of homeowner’s control, they are important to consider when buying a property or determining sale value.

Comparable Homes

One way that property value is calculated for a house going on the market is to look at other houses for sale or sold in the area. These are called “comps” and can be helpful, but they must be considered appropriately. Applicable comps must be sold or for sale in the same time period, they must be in the same area, and must feature similarities in architectural style, number of rooms, property acreage, age, and features such as a finished porch or pool. It is usually advisable to consult a real estate agent before determining which comps are applicable. 

Home Condition and Renovations

New and newer homes typically sell for higher prices. This is because as a house ages, certain aspects–like the roof, the electrical system, plumbing, etc–may lose efficacy and need repair or replacement. The current condition of the home is the final factor that we will discuss in relation to value. Critical components of a property can deteriorate over time and must be inspected prior to buying or selling. 

The following should be inspected before a house is appraised to be put on the market: windows and doors, the roof, the HVAC system, and the wood (in case there is any rot or pest damage). If anything is found damaged or lacking, repairs should be done or even full system replacement. Upgrades, such as replacing the roof with higher quality shingles, can even increase a property’s appraised value. Interior renovations, such as painting the walls and replacing flooring can also go a long way. Finally, the property must be made presentable to the eyes of the buyer. A clean and aesthetically pleasing property will sell more quickly and at a higher price. 

While many of the aspects discussed above are outside homeowner’s control, it is important to keep in mind how they affect the price. It is also necessary to take care of the factors that are able to be controlled, such as the condition of a property and its curb appeal. If you have any questions about the condition of your roof or need roof repair or replacement in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call and schedule a free estimate at 386-263-7906!

 

Shingle Roof Replacement
Roofing Blog

When Should a Shingle Roof Be Replaced?

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in our area. They are fairly cheap and durable, providing both protection and aesthetics. Still, nothing lasts forever and it is important to keep an eye on something that is so essential to the integrity of your home or property. At some point, any roof may look worn out, old or show other signs that it is time to replace the asphalt shingles. Here we will tell you what to look out for so that you may avoid problems such as extensive water damage or even mold problems in the future. Take a look below so you may recognize the signs that you should have your roof repaired or inspected:

General Lifespan of Asphalt Shingles

The life expectancy of asphalt shingles varies based on their style or type. All asphalt shingles are made of the same materials, mainly asphalt and crushed fiberglass, but sometimes they are made differently. They vary in the number of layers, how these are arranged, and manufacturers’ specific formulas, which can affect the longevity and durability of the shingles.

Generally, 3-tab shingles, the most common type of shingle in use 10-15 years ago, can last up to 20 years but most often wear down within 10-15 years. Laminate, architectural, or dimensional, shingles generally are given a warranty of 30-50 years. With the appropriate maintenance these generally last between 20-40 years, but this can vary based on weather events, especially in a hurricane and tropical storm prone area. 

Signs That Roof Replacement May Be Necessary

Even taking into account shingle manufacturers’ warranties and the durability of modern roofing materials, there are many reasons that a roof may start to fail prematurely. While regular maintenance is helpful, it is also necessary to look for small signs of trouble before they turn into big problems. Exposure to the elements, like sun, wind, rain, hail, and cycles of freeze and thaw can damage asphalt shingles all at once or over time. Falling debris, such as tree branches, can also inflict damage or wear off granules, as can critters.

You will doubtless notice some wear and tear due to the elements, such as fading colors and the loss of that “new” look. Here are some other signs to watch for in order to forestall leaks before they happen.  

Curling, Cracked, or Torn Shingles

Look out for cracked or torn shingles, or those that are loose and no longer stuck to the roof. These may even be creased. In this state the shingles are no longer a protective barrier on a roof and allow moisture to enter below to the underlayment. While the underlayment–depending on its type–will prevent leaks for a time, repeated and prolonged water saturation of the underlayment will eventually cause rot in the plywood sheathing and leaks in the house. The causes of this are many: bad ventilation, installation errors, weather damage, and others, but the result is always the same.

Missing Granules

Granules are the rough material that covers the top of the asphalt shingles. They are made of crushed stone and are essential to the shingles’ function. They protect against the sun, against water, increase fire safety, and help regulate temperature. Without granules, shingles lose their function leading to higher utility bills and leaks. If you see granules in your gutters or around the downspout, or if you see black spots on your roof where the fiberglass is exposed, you need to replace your shingles.

Moss and Rot

Moss naturally grows in humid environments like those in Florida. You will probably see moss on your roof after a couple of years, especially around vent areas. This does not mean that the roof needs immediate replacement. Often, moss can be removed by qualified professionals who clean roofs. If left to grow unchecked, however, moss can grow in abundance and damage the integrity of the roof by separating the shingles from the underlayment. It can also lead to rot in the wood sheathing. At this point replacement or repairs would be necessary. 

Missing or Blown-off Shingles

Heat can cause nail pops, and shingles can be blown off by strong winds or falling debris. Missing shingles need to be replaced as soon as possible, as this clearly indicates that the roof is now exposed to moisture. This problem is easy to spot, as the areas of missing shingles are most often clearly visible from the ground and sometimes you can even find those shingles in your yard. If you notice this, contact a licensed roofing specialist for a roof repair.

Old Appearance

You will know old roof shingles when you see them—discolored, flattened, smooth, and drab. This not only affects curb appeal, it also endangers your roof. Old shingles cannot do their job efficiently, meaning that every time there is a storm, water could be pooling beneath the old shingles or sitting still.

If your shingles start looking aged, it is time to replace them.

 If you have any questions about the integrity of your shingles or need any work done on your roof in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. a call and schedule a free estimate at 386-263-7906!

Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc is a Palm Coast-based roofing contractor, providing professional roofing services in Flagler and Volusia County Areas.

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