What’s Included in a New Roof Installation?

March 25, 2020

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A new roof installation ensures a solid, durable surface outside your home, as well as added insulation for interior spaces. A home’s roof also helps support the structure, giving added strength to interior walls and helping to prevent shifting and settling and the resultant cracks and other such damage inside a home.

A new roof installation typically consists of more than just shingles. A roofing contractor might also replace the underlayment or material under the shingles, as well as flashing, the roof deck or sheathing, roof covering, fascia, gutters, and vents, as needed.

If all these components of a new roof installation sound complicated, that’s because the job is usually more involved than homeowners realize. Knowing a bit more about each of these components and materials, and what’s involved in a new roof installation, might help you better understand what to expect by way of new roofing costs.

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It’s also good for homeowners to realize that a roof installation is not a DIY job, and one you might not want to trust to an everyday general contractor! Investing in professional roofing contractors ensures a durable roof that lasts. Consider a bit more vital information about roofing installation, roofing components, and the process of a new roof installation. You’ll then know when it’s time to schedule this work and why you’ll want to rely on a seasoned pro as well!

What’s Included in a New Roof Installation?

If you’re unfamiliar with all the components of a roof, note a bit more detail about those layers and materials. Remember, too, that everything included in your new roof installation depends on the current roof’s overall condition; for example, your home’s roof vents might be in excellent condition and won’t need replacing, whereas other homes might need vent repair or replacement along with their new roofing materials.

First note the supporting structure of a roof, or its overall framework:

  • The ridge board is the horizontal board running across the bottom of the triangle formed by roof framing.
  • Rafters are the sloped beams that run downward from the roof peak to the edges of the ridge board. Roof rafters help hold up a roof and the home itself, offsetting the force of gravity pulling at a home’s framework!
  • Ceiling joists run parallel to the ridge board. These joists provide support for the roof and a foundation for interior ceiling materials.
  • Eaves are the lower edges of a roof frame. Eaves typically run past roofing framework, to help direct water away from the home itself. You might notice the outside of a home’s roof jutting out from the home’s exterior walls; those are the eaves!
  • A roof deck or sheathing consists of flat panels set out on the roofing framework. The deck provides a solid, level surface for the outer or exterior layers of a roof.

Next, consider the many layers and materials used to comprise the outer parts of a roof:

  • Covering refers to the layers of materials set on a roof deck. These layers are typically comprised of an underlayment or paper that provides added waterproofing for the deck, and then shingles, metal panels, or clay or slate tiles.
  • Flashing refers to thin metal pieces installed around obstructions on the roof, such as a chimney or vent, and under shingles or tiles. Flashing adds extra waterproofing in this area while also encouraging rainwater and other debris to slide off the roof rather than collecting in those crevices.
  • Fascia refers to metal bands or caps around the edges of roof eaves. Gutters are typically attached to fascia.
  • Gutters and downspouts are actually considered part of the roof and are referred to as roof plumbing! Gutters direct rainwater to connected downspouts, which then direct water away from the home.
  • Vents allow for fresh air circulation in a home, letting out trapped heat and humidity. Plumbing vents also typically exit through a home’s roof.

Your new roof installation might include repairs or replacement for any of these materials, all of which affect your expected cost and installation schedule. Poor-quality repairs to decking, the underlayment, and other such materials also means risking additional roof damage over time, which is why it’s best to rely on a professional roofing company near you for any repairs and roof installation you need to have done.

When It’s Time for a New Roof Installation

Because a home’s roof consists of so many layers and various materials, a homeowner might not be qualified to determine it’s time for a new roof installation by visual inspection alone! A roofing contractor near you is the best choice for a proper roof inspection and for noting needed repairs.

However, homeowners would do well to note some signs of roofing damage and needed roof repairs or replacement. You’ll then know when it’s time to call for a roof inspection and start budgeting for a new roof installation!

While a visual inspection is often insufficient for noting needed repairs, you might stand across the street and check out your home’s roofing, looking for soft spots or sagging areas. If your home’s roof seems warped or sloped in any area, it’s time to call a roofing contractor near you!

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Water stains around interior ceilings might indicate needed plumbing repairs but if you’ve ruled out leaky pipes, that water is probably coming into the home from a damaged roof. Roof cracks and leaks also let in summertime humidity and cold drafts during wintertime, so if your home’s interior is never quite comfortable, consider investing in a new roof installation or needed repairs.

Old and brittle shingles, storm damaged shingles, and water damaged shingles also tend to lose their granules, which then wind up in gutters or around the outside of the home. If you notice granules in a home’s gutters or collecting in your landscaping features, it’s time to schedule a quality roofing inspection for your home.

As with other building materials around your home, roofing layers all have an expected lifespan. Many asphalt shingle roofs last no longer than 20 years, and consider scheduling a new roof replacement before that time, to avoid cracks and leaks and the risk of interior water damage.

What Is the Best Residential Roofing Material?

Today’s homeowners have more choices for residential roofing materials than ever before! As these materials all have their own pros and cons, there is no such thing as the “best” roofing material for any home, as you need to choose what fits your home’s style, your budget, and local weather conditions.

Asphalt shingles are durable and affordable, and work well with virtually any home style. They’re also available in a few color tones and shades, including lighter red and slate gray as well as dark ash and black, so you’re sure to find something that enhances your home’s overall appearance.

The downside of asphalt shingles is their shorter lifespan, sometimes lasting only a decade or so in hot and sunny climates. Mold and algae also tend to develop on asphalt shingles, especially in humid climates and shady areas.

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Metal roofing is tough and durable as well as lightweight, allowing some homeowners the opportunity to install metal panels of an existing roof and avoid tear-off costs and mess. Investing in a metal roof might also mean never having to replace that roof or pay for roof repairs for as long as you own your home! If you’re planning on staying in your home for years or even decades to come, a metal roof might be a very sound financial investment.

Clay tiles are also very durable but heavy and not always suited for older and weaker roofs. However, clay offers a natural aesthetic and lots of charm, for added curb appeal. Slate also provides great visual appeal although genuine slate tiles are also quite heavy and might require a specialty installer. Genuine slate might also crack and break more easily than other tiles, making roofing and chimney repairs more difficult overall.

Synthetic slate is much lighter than genuine stone and offers easier installation. Clay, slate, and concrete tiles also reflect heat away from a home, creating a comfortable interior environment. These materials are also very fire-resistant, so your home might suffer far less damage in the case of a house fire.

When deciding on roofing materials, it’s vital to consider any changes you might make to the home or roof over time. For instance, if you might want a skylight installation, consider the difficult of cutting through a slate roof versus asphalt shingles. If you’re eco-conscious, note the ease of recycling roofing materials you’ll have removed during a future roof replacement; asphalt and natural materials such as metal, clay, and slate recycle easily, whereas rubber or plastic roofing might offer far fewer recycling options.

Related Questions

How much does a new roof installation cost?

A new roof installation is typically priced by square footage, and additional needed repairs. For example, decking repairs might increase roof replacement costs by $1000 or more. Without figuring in additional costs, expect to pay approximately $100/s.f. for asphalt shingles, $200/s.f. or more for metal, and at least $500/s.f. for slate.

How long should a new roof installation last?

Your roof’s expected lifespan depends on materials chosen, quality of your new roof installation, and average weather conditions in your area. An asphalt shingle roof might last 15-20 years, while slate and metal might last 50 years and even longer!

Can you put a new roof installation over the existing roof?

Local building codes dictate how many layers of roofing are allowed on homes, so if a new layer would exceed that amount, you have no option but a tear-off! A roofing contractor also needs to note the structural stability of a home and weight of materials chosen for your new roof installation to determine if you can add a roof layer over the existing roof.

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