The recent hail storms have many people asking if they can do their own roof. Anyone can repair or replace their own roof, just check out DIY websites that show how simple it is.

The real question you need to be asking is not “Can I replace my own roof?” but Do you want to do it yourself and more importantly SHOULD you do it yourself?

These questions are more difficult to answer. I never recommend a homeowner get on their roof, much less try to repair or replace it. If you don’t know what you are doing you can do much more damage to your roof and possibly to yourself. The DIY websites show very simple straightforward roofs and if you are reasonably handy and follow all safety precautions and package directions you might be okay to roof your own home. However it is still not as simple as they make it look. Also, if you have a steep roof or one with special flashing concerns such as a roof to wall, dead valley, hips, dormers, pitch changes, chimneys or a variety of other special issues, you DO NOT want to try it yourself.

A guy with common sense and a hammer might do a decent job on a small simple straightforward gable home, with few penetrations, but those homes are rare today. The same goes for repairs, if it is a matter of replacing one or two shingles you might be able to tackle the job. The question needs to be asked why am I missing one or two shingles and is there more extensive damage that I don’t see. If you have a leak it is time to hire an expert.

If you have t-lock shingles you will need to replace the entire roof because they have been discontinued, but insurance will typically cover the cost of the new roof. Architectural shingles seal to themselves and once that seal is compromised you need to replace it or risk losing more shingles in a wind storm.

Newer homes or even remodeled older homes are tighter and more energy-efficient than ever before, but that causes new issues as well. Things to consider are ventilation, improper ventilation is one of the biggest causes of roof failure. It can cause premature aging of shingles and rotting of the roof deck, and even mold and mildew issues in your home. Improper ventilation can actually draw moisture into your attic space. If you don’t properly flash chimneys, valleys or walls you might cause leaking which could cause damage to your home and possessions, in some cases a leak into your attic may cause problems for years without any visible damage inside the home. By the time you notice damage on your ceiling, the damage to the structure of your roof may be extensive. If you don’t know what you are doing the very act of walking on your roof can cause damage to the shingles not to mention safety issues of falling off the roof and causing damage to yourself. Keep in mind a day in the emergency room will be far more costly than hiring a roofer.

Some insurance companies will not pay the full claim unless you show that you have used a qualified contractor. Bundles of shingles weigh approximately 80 lbs each and roofing is hot and hard work, it would be a shame to go through all that trouble just to save your insurance company money.

Ultimately my answer is yes you can repair or replace your own roof, but I would rarely suggest that you actually try it. There are too  many ways to cause damage to the roof or to yourself if you don’t take the proper precautions and ultimately these can end up costing you far more than the money you saved by NOT hiring a qualified contractor in the first place. All that being said, choose a contractor carefully and do a little research, don’t hire the first guy that pulls up in a pickup truck with a hammer. Make sure he is licensed and insured and has the proper qualifications to do the job right. DO NOT think you will save money by hiring the cheapest guy, most often they will cost you far more in the long run. Check with the BBB to verify a contractors credentials and how long he has been in business.

Cornerstone Roofing, Where integrity IS the cornerstone of our business. Serving Southeastern Colorado including Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Canon City, Lamar, Trinidad and many other communities. Please call our toll-free number to be connected with the office in your area, 877.564.5470