Estimating the costs of a roof replacement isn’t easy. Every home is different and even the best roof contractors cannot account for every single contingency. Thus, it is inevitable that, sometimes, additional costs can be uncovered by your roof contractor, beyond their control, after work has begun.
Especially with older homes, there are just too many factors that cannot be evaluated until they the shingles have been pulled off, revealing what’s below.
Though it doesn’t happen to everyone, especially in newer homes, if you are in a older home (20 years or more) you should be prepared for some surprise expenses that may pop up and, unfortunately, aren’t normally found until after work has begun.
Leaks and Rotten Plywood (Hidden Beneath The Shingles)
It can take a while for a leak to manifest itself inside your home to the point you notice it (stains, streaks on the ceiling or walls) and sometimes the signs just aren’t there until the shingles are removed during a repair or replacement exposing what’s beneath.
If rotten plywood or other evidence of leaks are discovered and shown to have caused extensive damage not evident during the initial inspection, material and labor costs can increase significantly as this must be addressed as soon as it’s found. It’s a show stopper if not addressed, but the damage should be clearly evident, if your roof contractor claims this is the case for you, proof should be easy to show.
Poor Repairs Or Upgrades
There are a lot of “do it yourselfer’s” and unqualified “professional” roofers attempting to be roof contractors out there, and some of them may have the training and equipment necessary to affect roof repairs or upgrades without issue but unfortunately, too many do not. Outside of the obvious dangers like falling off the roof, if a repair or upgrade is done improperly, it can end up causing more damage than the original problem!
Too many times have roof contractors come across these “homemade repairs” and “upgrades” only to discover extensive damage and driving up costs hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars over the initial estimate.
Complying With Local Codes & Ordinances
Older homes and buildings may have been built under different codes that are no longer applicable to new construction. As roof contractors must abide by all codes, laws, and ordinances, this may incur additional costs to bring you up to code if needed. In terms of energy efficiency and sustainability this is great news but it is something to keep in mind if you are in an older home.
Mold & Pests
In warmer, humid areas of the country like Metro Atlanta, mold and termites can add to the costs of your roof replacement. Usually found after construction has started, damage from insects or decay must be addressed before work is continued. If found, it will add to your immediate costs but if found early enough, can save you even more in future prevention.
Roof contractors do their best to provide an accurate estimate and often strive to stay within it, but in practice, you never know what you are working with until you are working on it. If in doubt don’t be afraid to question your roof contractor as much as you need to, all the good ones will explain, in full, any cost increases before the work is done, so take this time to be sure you understand fully and are happy with what they say before continuing. If doubts persist, get a second opinion!