Your roof is one of the most prominent features of your house. Although it is often overlooked as an architectural feature, it is something that everyone sees when looking at your house, and something that you see every day. In addition to aesthetics, your roof protects your entire house. It is absolutely essential that a new roof is installed professionally, uses the best possible materials, meets your budget and provides you with a long lasting and maintenance free solution. There are so many things to consider when looking at a new roof but the process doesn’t need to be difficult. Follow the steps below and you will be ready to take on any roofing project!
The color of your new roof should be thought about when you first start planning your new roof project. Always keep in mind that your new roof should last quite awhile so it should be thought about as a permanent addition – the color of the roof will not change! Ask a roofing professional or home improvement store for color samples of the proposed roofing material and compare those samples to the color of your house. If your house is brick, keep in mind that brick color is even more permanent than the roofing color and the color of the brick should be focused on.
Compare the roofing material color to siding, brick, and shutters. The color should be complementary and not blend into the same color of the exterior of the house. If deciding between a few different colors, create a mockup with a painted board that is the same color of the house and an actual shingle (or other roofing material) set against it.
If you have landscaping on your property, keep in mind any colors that come from the landscaping and compare the proposed new roof color to that. Ultimately, you need to be happy with the new roof color so take your time and choose wisely.
The climate of your physical location plays a factor in what roofing material may be used. When looking at asphalt shingles, there are specialized “Cool Roof” or “Cool Series” shingles that are used in warm climate locations. These shingles reflect heat from the house instead of absorbing it into the structure. In a cold climate location, these shingles will not provide any benefit and in fact, will increase heat loss and also increase heating costs. Normal asphalt or composite shingles work great in colder climates because they absorb heat and act as an additional layer of insulation and protection. When looking at your roofing project, keep in mind insulation and ventilation in the attic space as part of the whole project. A well sealed, insulated and vented attic space greatly impacts the overall efficiency of the roof.
It’s no secret that dark colors attract and hold heat better than light colors. In a study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture, it was determined that an attic space under a dark-colored roof (dark gray or black) that was installed over plywood sheathing was 10 degrees warmer on a day with full sun when compared to a lighter colored roof (white or very light gray). Although it was found that there were smaller differences when dark colors were compared to the lighter colors, the study reported that the only significant difference was found with extreme dark colors compared to extreme light colors. Although this may be important to a large warehouse or industrial building, it is suggested that you focus on choosing a roof color that is aesthetically pleasing and not worries too much about how the color may impact efficiency.
Asphalt or composite shingles will be the most economical cost of your new roof. In addition to being the most economical, they also provide the best Return on Investment when looking at their performance in extreme temperatures and where the climate has regular rain, snow, ice, and wind. Asphalt shingles are very low maintenance and have a great life expectancy value when compared to other roofing materials. There are also a wide variety of asphalt shingles available in many different styles, designs, and colors. Different roofing materials like wood shakes, metal and tile are all great alternatives to asphalt shingles but they are normally quite high in cost and demand very specific installation and maintenance.
There are many different roof design styles and each one provides different unique considerations. When roofing a gable roof, you will be working on what is considered to be the “standard” roof style. If your home has a different style (A-Frame, flat roof, hipped, etc.) you will want to make sure that your measurements are correct and that additional calculation is done for materials. Different rood designs could possibly create installation issues so it is suggested that you speak with a roofing professional or home improvement store when working with different roofing designs so that proper installation is achieved.
If you are part of a Homeowners’ Association, make sure that your new roof meets all term outlined in the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions. It is suggested that you received written permission from the Homeowners’ Association which can be done by obtaining signatures on a letter that you draft which includes color, materials, installation process and anything else relevant to the project.
Lastly, do not forget to contact your local municipality and ask about any necessary permits.