When buying a home in Tampa Bay, or if you already own a home here, it’s imperative that you consider your roof as an investment. Most people look at “a roof over their head” as a basic need. Not only does your roof protect your home itself, but the very valuable things within, including your family. Consider what a roof protects you from – sun exposure, several months of summer afternoon showers common to Florida, a humid environment that can easily lock in moisture, and winds that in some locations can easily shuffle around debris during a storm. Your roof is the barrier between you and the outside elements. As much as Floridians live here because we love the sun, it still pays a toll on your roof!
Given the facts, let’s consider what steps can be taken in choosing the right roofing system to protect one of the most valuable investments you’ll ever make – your home.
Your roof is measured in squares and should be done so by a licensed roofer. One square is 100 square feet, or 10′ by 10′. Not to be mistaken with the same square footage as the interior of your home as you must consider the pitch (or slope) of your roof. Once you have your roof measured accurately you can use that information to get a rough estimate together based on the materials you plan to use. Don’t forget to include the cost of labor and warranty.
The national average for a roof replacement, according to numbers reported by approximately 25,000 HomeAdvisor members was $7,061; and the average in Tampa (zip code 33602 used for reference) based on 328 HomeAdvisor members was $7,884.
Keep in mind you will have to take the following into consideration when it comes to comparing your cost to any average cost:
- Roof size
- Number of layers
- Stripping off old layers
- Where you live
- Code requirements
- If you have a lot of skylights, chimneys, plumbing pipes or other adornments that need to be addressed during the installation
We recommend you get at least three estimates from reputable roofing companies before making a decision. Ask your Realtor for references as they’d be more than happy to provide this information to you!
There are several roofing materials to choose from but it would be wise to consider your personal needs in addition to climate conditions, etc., prior to choosing the material based only on the up-front ticket price. You might want to consider the immediate and long-term savings of a higher costing material; ie lower utility bills, better insurance rates, less frequency of replacement or repair. Some popular materials used in Tampa are below:
- Asphalt shingles – most commonly used in Tampa and around the nation
- Wood – lightweight, durable, and suitable for extreme weather conditions
- Metal – long lasting and investment-wise a great purchase
- Tile/Cement – resistant to fire and high-winds and aesthetically pleasing
- Slate – minimal maintenance, long lasting, and durable
Keep in mind that not all roof types can be used on all roofs. Your favorite roofing material may not work for your roof! One material may actually be preferred or regulated by professionals over another depending on your roof type; ie. a flat roof vs a roof with a high pitch. It’s important to seek professional guidance when it comes to choosing the right roofing system for your home. You may also have some guidelines and restrictions outlined by your Homeowner’s Association so it’d be a good idea to check with them prior to making your purchase to avoid any unnecessary fines or replacement costs.
Carefully selecting a roofing contractor is just as important as selecting the right roofing system for your home. At the end of the day a roof installed incorrectly can cost you far more in the long run. From structural damage to the frame and interior, to leaks and distress caused by a patchy, unwarranted job, it’s important that you do some research and again, don’t just consider the ticket price of the labor. When it comes to choosing your Tampa roofing contractor or company, it’ll be well worth it to invest in someone who is licensed, insured and bonded, experienced (with references) and someone who is professional. In addition, it is recommended you use a company who offers a legitimate warranty and that will be around in the future to make any necessary repairs.