Roofing

What To Know Before Hiring A Roofing Contractor in Ann Arbor

When you’re a homeowner, you are always thinking about what’s best for your home and your family. Keeping your family safe and happy is probably your top priority, and it’s ours too! 

There are a few important considerations when you’re thinking about renovating your roof, including the materials you choose to build your roof and how to maintain its structural integrity. We’ll help ensure that your home has a sturdy roof for years to come!

As your trusted roofing contractor in Ann Arbor, we’ve put together a handy guide so you can be a smart investor!

Roofing Materials

Roofing materials are not only for structural use; you should consider them when thinking about the overall look and feel of your home, too. According to HGTV, there are several questions you should consider when choosing the right roofing material for your home:

  • How heavy is this material and will it require extra framing work that I need to consider in my budget?
  • Is the material available in a variety of colors and styles that complement my home?
  • Does the material meet the fire codes in my area?
  • Are there special installation and maintenance issues to consider?
  • Does this material offer good performance in extreme weather conditions that are common in my region?
  • What are the costs, life span, and warranty for this product?

Thinking about these things will save you money in the long run, and ensure that you spend your money wisely on materials that are going to not only look good, but increase the sturdiness of your roof as well.

There are many different types of roofing materials available, including:

  • Asphalt shingles: this is the most common residential roofing material used in the U.S. They are popular because they’re economical and easy to install. However, asphalt shingles have a shorter lifespan than some other materials.
  • Clay and concrete tiles: these tiles add texture and elegance to your roof. They’re extremely durable and energy efficient. However, they’re expensive, and can require additional framing. Pay attention to your budget if you decide on this type of shingle!
  • Metal roofing: these roofing materials are durable and resistant to extreme weather conditions. You can purchase metal roofing in panels or individual shingles. 
  • Slate: slate offers beauty and elegance for your roof. You can get slate shingles in many colors, and while it can be expensive, it is very durable, fire-resistant, and recyclable! 
  • Wood shingles: this is a popular look for many homeowners, because even when they start to get older and weathered, they still look classy. Be sure to check your local fire codes before purchasing this material!
  • Synthetic roofing products: Rubber, plastic, and polymer roofing give you more choices when it comes to colors, look, and texture. Synthetic products can mimic the look of other natural materials.

Some cons of the materials listed above include:

  • Asphalt has a shorter life span than other materials and doesn’t provide the insulation other materials may offer.
  • Clay and concrete can be expensive and very heavy to install.
  • Slate requires extra framing and professional installation.
  • Wood shingles are sometimes prohibited in certain areas due to fire codes. They are also at risk to develop mold, to split, or rot in wet climates.
  • Synthetic materials come in many options, but some newer products aren’t as time-tested as traditional materials, making them a gamble if you’re looking for a long-term solution.

Now that we’ve talked about all the choices of materials that are available for your roofing contractor in Ann Arbor to install at your house, it’s time to talk about how to protect your roof after it’s installed.

Protect Your Investment

To make your roof last as long as it possibly can, treat your roof like an investment! It’s the most important piece when it comes to maintaining the structural integrity of your home, and keeping your roof in shape will protect the value of your home, especially if you plan on selling your home in the future.

The key to keeping your roof like new is to start a preventive maintenance checklist that you make sure to update every year. Some areas of your roof that you should check annually are:

  • The perimeter: Walk around your home to double check that any loose materials such as tree limbs, loose shingles, rickety gutters, etc., won’t come loose during a storm or high winds. You should remove or trim dead or broken braches so that they are away from your home.
  • Edges: Roof edge details should be checked to make sure they are properly sealed. Corners are most susceptible to curling and cracked shingles.
  • Drainage: Ensure that you remove any loose materials like debris and leaves from the roof, and gutters. Poor drainage can cause gutters to back up (and cause ice dams in the winter), and a build-up of water caused by debris on the roof can cause cracks and leaks.
  • The rooftop itself: Check all sealants and roof-mounted equipment (HVAC units, antennas, duct work, etc.) to make sure they’re secure and won’t be damaged by storms.

In addition to taking these preventive steps on your own, it’s also a good idea to have a roofing contractor in Ann Arbor come out to your property to do an in-depth inspection to ensure everything is in great shape!

At Wilderness Construction Inc., we worry about those things so you don’t have to! We know you’re busy and can’t always find time to take care of your roof the way you need to, so we have experts readily available to take care of your roofing needs.

What To Consider When Hiring A Roofing Contractor in Ann Arbor

In addition to knowing what roofing materials you should choose for your home and how to take care of it after it’s installed, you should also consider the qualities you want in a roofing contractor before you hire someone.

A typical roofing contractor in Ann Arbor will make you a lot of promises, but not everyone delivers! You deserve contractors who will follow through on their plans and do the work you need them to do in an efficient, professional manner.

We recommend going through this checklist before hiring a contractor:

  • Get references (and check them!) – Go with a well-established company that has a history of doing good work. If you notice your neighbors are having their roof done, talk to them about the contractor they used! Also ask to see references from a potential contractor before you hire them.
  • Check for required licenses – Almost all states require residential roofing contractors to have some type of license. Before you hire a contractor, make sure the license is valid and in good standing.
  • Check for insurance coverage – Make sure your contractor has workers’ compensation insurance and liability insurance. This will cover any damage to your property and any injuries the crew sustains while working on your home.
  • Get a written contract – No matter what, make sure you get a copy of your agreement in writing! A contract protects both parties and reduces the financial risk of making such a big investment. Your contract should have a complete description of the work to be performed, and a price breakdown for materials and labor.
  • Evaluate the communication skills of your contractor – Make sure it’s easy to talk to your contractor and ask them questions. The contractor should be able to provide you with any information you need to make an informed decision about your roof replacement and repairs.

We hope that this information helps you make a more informed decision when deciding on a roofing contractor in Ann Arbor! Choosing a company to install your new roof can be stressful, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you.

At Wilderness Construction, we’re passionate about helping families in Washtenaw County build their dream home! We love what we do, and take great pride in making sure your home is the safest place possible for your family.

Contact An Expert Roofing Contractor in Ann Arbor

If you’re in need of a roof replacement or roofing repairs, give us a call right away! Our friendly roofing experts will come to your home to speak with you and give you a free quote. 

Give us a call at 734-429-0616, or fill out our contact form! Our experts can answer any questions you might have, and evaluate your home to help you make a decision about which roofing option is best for you when hiring a roofing contractor in Ann Arbor.

At the end of the day, we know a roofing project is a big decision for your family! Don’t take it from us; hear from one of our satisfied customers:

I bought a house early this year to renovate. It was built in 1958 and there have been tons of problems to solve even before I could start doing things like painting and carpeting. These problems included a little black mold, ancient wiring, and bad roof leaks in two places where my breezeway and garage came together. 

Every time it rained, water leaked into the garage. It was so bad that the entire garage floor would be wet after a storm, and the wood was rotten at the spots where the water entered. 

I had Wilderness Construction doing some renovation inside, so I asked if they knew of a good roofing contractor in Ann Arbor. Jason said that they could take a look at the roof, so we arranged an appointment time. They showed up on time, brought over their roofing expert, and did a careful inspection. They were able to clearly explain that the leaks were caused both by the degraded older shingles as well as the odd way the gutters had been installed. They showed me how the water flow and freezing in the winter was also causing damage to the brick. They also explained what an ideal number of roof vents would be based on modern knowledge. 

I asked them for an estimate to replace the roof on the breezeway and garage and got it back within 48 hours. They offered me a few choices in shingle quality and how much of the brick repair I wanted done, and we quickly agreed on the approach. 

Wilderness showed up when they said they would, and did a great job installing the new roof. The mason showed up soon after to do the brick repair, and once that was done, the new gutters were installed quickly and competently. 

The difference was as dramatic as you would expect! There have been many strong storms this summer, and my garage floor has not had a drop of water on it! The new roof looks great, works great, and is everything I had hoped it would be. I liked their work so much, I hired Wilderness to install replacement windows in the home. 

My recommendation would be – if you’re looking for a roofing contractor in Ann Arbor, call Wilderness Construction first!

- Nick Suino