Every homeowner falls somewhere on the handiness rating scale. From rank amateur to building pro, everyone has a skill level and a comfort zone which informs them when it comes time to decide whether to fix it yourself or hire it out. Some repairs make it easy to choose. Electrical repairs, for example, are often a no-brainer. Electricity can kill you so if you don’t know your Ohms from your Amps hire it out. Plumbing is generally easy, and people are willing to give it a shot. Water eventually dries. But roofs are a different animal. When faced with roof repair, roof replacement, or roof installation. DIY turns quickly into calling a roof contractor once the ladder is climbed and the steep pitch of a slippery roof becomes a reality.
Pros and Cons of DIY Roof Replacement
The following are pros and cons of DIY roof replacement versus hiring a roof contractor. Although it is tempting to save some money by doing it yourself, when it comes to an entire roof replacement it is best, to be honest about your capabilities and choose what ultimately will be the safest and most lasting solution.
DIY Roofing Pros
- Budget: Roof replacement is one of the most expensive DIY projects a homeowner can tackle. The average cost of roof replacement is $6600. Of that, labor is more than 50% of the cost. Saving $3000 makes DIY an attractive option.
- Ease of Repair: Roofing is not complicated. It does not demand specialized skills like finish carpentry. If a homeowner is genuinely handy, especially when it comes to ripping plywood, roof installation is within a DIYer’s grasp.
- Basic Tools: Roofing requires no specialized tools. Most homeowners have what they need in the garage. This makes roofing projects accessible.
DIY Roofing Cons
- Danger: Falls account for the most fatalities in the construction industry, and more than a third of the falls are from roofs. And those are the professionals. Working on a roof is dangerous and must be approached with caution. Fall protection is heavily recommended.
- The Scope of Work is Huge: Roofs are big systems and require a tremendous of amount of material to replace. Installing that material eats up the labor hours. It is a big job. Unless a homeowner has a lot of close friends who can swing a hammer, sometimes hiring a crew is a good option.
- No Warranty: Hiring a roofer means the work will be warrantied. If your new roof leaks due to improper installation, that drywall and paint will be covered.
Meet the Roof Contractor Halfway
So, it seems like there are compelling arguments for and against repairing your own roof. Sure, the small jobs can be done DIY. But the big ones pose a difficult choice. One way to save money and participate in the project is to split the roof replacement with the roof contractor. A homeowner can remove the old shingles and dispose of them and hire a contractor to apply the new roofing. This saves money and retains the expertise of the professional. It’s definitely something to think about. Especially if you have a two-story colonial with a nasty pitch. And it’s winter.
This was a guest post from Brad Da Vault at Paragon Roofing in Fort Collins Colorado