Q. What’s the best type of roofing system for West Michigan Winters?
A: That depends entirely on your budget and the architectural style of your home, plus specific features of your roof’s construction. Metal Roofing is an excellent option if your roof has adequate pitch because the snow will slide right off, preventing ice dams and the resulting backup of water which causes leaks. Cedar shake is a good option for homes where it would match the aesthetic, because it withstands the freeze/thaw process nicely, isn’t damaged at high winds, and adds R-value to give you better energy efficiency year-round. Slate is a strong performer given it’s strength and longevity and the fact that it’s less than 3% porous. But in terms of economy, there are many options today available in composite and asphalt that are engineered specifically for higher snow loads, and we can add a membrane to prevent leakage from ice damming. Our best recommendation would come after our experienced inspector assessed your home’s roof for load capacity, pitch, condition and prevailing factors.
Q. Why do I need a “professional” roofer?
A. Professional roofing contractors are trained to safely and efficiently repair or replace a roof. We’re also expert at evaluating the condition and lifespan of your shingle or surface. The shingles and other roofing materials you pay for only qualify for the manufacturer’s warranty if they’re installed correctly. Novices can harm a roof with improper roofing techniques or severely injure themselves by falling off or even through a roof.
Homeowner maintenance should be confined to clearing the gutters of debris.
Q. How long can I expect my roof to last in Michigan?
A. The lifespan of your roof will depend on the type of roof you have, prevailing winds, exposure, and the maintenance the roof has received. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, asphalt shingles generally last 15-20 years. Slate roofs can last more than 100 years. Metal roofs often offer lifetime warranties, and Cedar Shake can last 30 – 50 years, depending on location and installation. Roofing product manufacturers offer a variety of warranties on their products. We will help you evaluate each product option in terms of warranty and lifespan in the context of your budget considerations.
Q. What will a new roof cost?
A. The price of a new roof varies widely, depending on the material selected, the home itself, structural considerations, and more. We will give you a comprehensive estimate that includes comparisons of different roofing materials if requested. Keep in mind that cost is only one factor, and it must be balanced against the quality of the materials, workmanship and desired longevity.
For each type of roofing material there are different grades and corresponding prices, plus a wide variance in installation labor required. For example, metal roofing takes considerably longer to install than asphalt. Plus, there are a variety of styles and shapes. You need to look at the full product range and make a choice based on your budget and needs. Within the roofing profession there are different levels of expertise and craftsmanship. Premier is contractor who is committed to quality work, and our craftsmen a fully certified, bonded and insured.
Q. I received very different estimates from multiple roofing companies. Why not just go with the lowest bid?
A. Most often, estimates may appear to be offering the same or similar services, but our experience shows most contracts are not created equal. An unusually low price can signal discrepancies and shortcomings in the reliability of the contractor. In addition to the actual materials, some of the differences to look for when comparing contracts and/or contractors are number of years the company has been in business, experience of the actual crew, and validity of liability and worker’s-compensation insurance. Premier has warrantied more than 4,000 homes in West Michigan and Grand Rapids, and possesses the expertise to price a job correctly, competitively, and to guarantee the work. The same cannot always be said of dramatically low bids who use inexperienced installation laborers or recommend products with inferior warranties and quality.