Replacing a roof can get pretty expensive, so it makes sense that most homeowners try to save money in any way possible when it comes time to get a new roof. Unfortunately, when they are focused on saving, many homeowners make mistakes that cause them to end up with a less-than-durable roof, or worse yet, a more expensive situation on their hands. Keep these mistakes in mind when shopping around for a new roof – it's better to learn from others' mistakes than to make your own.
Mistake #1: Having an uninsured company tackle your roofing project.
If you get quotes from several companies and one comes in way cheaper than the others, then there's likely a good reason for that. Some (though not all) bargain basement roofing companies try to keep their costs low by not obtaining the insurance they need to protect their customers and their workers. While there's a chance nothing could happen and you could end up with a good roof for a low price, if someone is injured while working on your property and the company is not insured, you could end up being responsible for thousands of dollars in hospital bills. If the roofers cause damage to your home, you'd be on the hook for that, too.
If a quote seems to be too good to be true, check for proof of insurance, and turn down that offer if the company cannot provide it.
Mistake #2: Buying the materials yourself.
Some homeowners try to save money by purchasing the roofing materials themselves, and then just paying a roofing company to apply them. While you will likely save money if you go this route (since roofing companies must mark up their materials to make a profit), you are increasing the chances of a shoddy roofing job.
Roofers are used to working with certain brands and types of materials. If you purchase a type they're not used to, they may not apply them as well as they could apply the brand they're used to using. Further, the materials obtained by roofers are often higher quality than those you buy at a discount at your home improvement store. Before you purchase your own materials, ask yourself if saving a few hundred dollars is really worth having to call the roofers back to repair your roof in a couple of years.
Mistake #3: Tackling the project yourself.
Worse than purchasing the materials yourself is attempting to put on a roof yourself. Of course, if you're an experienced roofer, this does not apply. However, most homeowners, though they might think they can figure out the basics of applying the roof, do not have enough experience and knowledge to ensure the finer points of roofing – like installing flashing and vents – are done properly. A few little errors in this regard could lead to big leaks, meaning you'd need to have the whole roof replaced in a few years anyways. Let the roofers handle it, so you know it's done properly.