The more knowledge you have, the better decisions you make

The price for roofing materials has literally hit the roof. The cost of a new roof can be five per cent or more of the total value of your home.

The price for roofing materials has literally hit the roof. The cost of a new roof can be five per cent or more of the total value of your home.

To put a new roof over your head is an expensive undertaking whether you are going to get a roofing contractor to come in and do the job for you or if you are going to do part or the entire job yourself.

I recommend that a person research both options.

It does not matter that in the end you may not feel comfortable to do it yourself, you will at least have the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. You will know what materials you want, how much material you need, what it should cost and the quotes you receive will make sense to you.

The first decision to be made before picking up the phone or rushing all over town to get pricing on materials is to figure out how much material you will need. There are plenty of books and web sites that give detailed instructions on how to measure your roof.

The second step would be picking out the type of new roofing material you want to use. The most common are asphalt shingles that vary in warranty from five to 30 years.

A metal roof is a popular choice as well since manufactures have changed the look of the metal roofs. They are no longer flat sheets with no style you can now get a metal roof in a variety of colors and looks.

You should get a least three quotes from roofing companies if you are getting them to do the job for you. But before you call them in to do a quote, do some basic research for yourself first.

Knowledge is a good thing to have. It makes understanding your quote and dealing with the contractor about materials, etc., much easier on both of you.

Either way you do this job you need to compare material pricing from a variety of places. Box store, lumber yards and distributors.

If you know the cost of the materials needed, you will have a better informed view to know if the quotes you get are reasonable or being inflated way out of proportion. You will find that the prices for roofing materials vary greatly on what store you call and the manufacturer.

Remember you need more than roofing felt and shingle. There are all the small things as well nails roofing cement tools, time to pick up supplies and time to do the work.

Be sure to discus that incidental charges are also included in your quote, items as fuel charges, delivery, and roof loading fees (you may find you want to pay for this one as hauling bundles of shingles up a ladder to the roof can be exhausting).

You may want to do some of the work yourself and leave some for the professionals. However you decide take the time to gain some knowledge on what is needed and the prices involved.

Never sign up for a deal on the spot.

Sandra Nolan is a freelance writer from Rocky Mountain House. Contact her at