Whether you need repairs or a full replacement, a roofing project almost always means a major inconvenience for you and anyone else in your home. As we’ve mentioned in this space before, the roof is literally what keeps your home safe and dry, so any work needed immediately becomes a priority.
At the same time, that doesn’t mean you cannot take steps designed to minimize your inconvenience at least to some degree. Roofing projects hardly ever happen overnight. If you hire a good roofer, you’ll likely need to wait at least a little bit until the actual project begins.
You can use that time to your advantage. The more you prepare for the project to come, the more smoothly your Ann Arbor roofing repair or replacement will be. Ultimately, you’ll save significant time down the road, while also making sure you save money on potential overages and keeping everyone on both sides happy. To get to that point, take these 10 steps to prepare for your Ann Arbor roofing project.
First things first: you have to make sure that the roofing contractor you’re working with is actually credible. We’ve written plenty on the types of research you need to do and questions you can ask in order to make sure that happens. At its most basic, though, it means checking out a few basics:
Doing the homework on your roofing contractor might be the single most important step you can take in the entire process. It ensures that you have a partner on all of the below follow-ups, maximizing the likelihood of success throughout.
Once you choose a roofer, it’s time to get to know them a little more. If possible, try to meet not just the owner of the business but also the foreman who will oversee the project. That way, you don’t have strangers showing up to your home when the work begins without having any type of background.
This step can happen during the initial review and appraisal. It’s significantly more likely when you work with a reputable company who won’t subcontract the work, establishing a more personal connection in the process. The more emphasis you place on this step early, the more comfortable you’ll get with the actual work getting done.
It’s almost impossible for a roofing project to be isolated. During the time of the repair or replacement, your neighbors will experience at least some inconvenience. Depending on how close their property is, that might be noise, vibrations, or even the need to use their property to access the roof or park vehicles.
Every homeowner understands the importance of a roof, so in theory, you shouldn’t face much resistance. Still, it makes sense to talk to your neighbors as early as possible. Just letting them know what’s coming, and assuring them that you’ll do everything you can to minimize their inconvenience, can go a long way towards generating goodwill with them.
Not every roofing project is the same but again, especially as it gets more comprehensive, you might need to give your roofers access to the attic to work on it from the inside. You may not know ahead of time whether or not that’s the case, although it’s a valid question to ask. Still, you can prepare to make sure everything is in place as needed.
For this purpose, that means both clearing the access to your attic and clearing the attic itself. Remove or move any bulky items that may be difficult to work around. For the items you don’t move, you may want to cover them with old blankets and cloths in case it gets dusty and dirty.
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, a roofing project is almost necessarily an inconvenience for you and your family. You can minimize that inconvenience, however, if you get the timing right. That means a few things:
It will not always line up perfectly. At the same time, you can take a few steps to make sure you get close, minimizing the inconvenience for you and everyone involved in the project.
Especially if you are looking at a fall replacement, things can get a little rough. Depending on the age and build of your house, your walls may start to vibrate occasionally. The worst thing that could happen is that valuable picture or artwork falling down and getting damaged forever.
Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent these types of things from happening. Shortly before the project starts, simply walk through your house and remove any wall decor that could be at risk of falling. Even if nothing happens, being safe is a good choice to prevent any unwanted damage or devastation.
In preparing for your roofing project, you may need to prepare for any number of things that you’re not aware of yet. That might include clearing a specific access point, making sure the driveway is empty at certain times, etc. It’s difficult to know exactly what that might be.
To minimize the chance of overlooking something, the easiest thing to do is ask. Talk to your roofing contractor and understand what they need and look for in getting the project both kicked off and completed. Thinking through the items on this list may be sufficient, but it’s always good to ask and make sure that there aren’t additional steps necessary.
Does your roofing project need a building permit? For simple repairs, in the state of Michigan, the answer is most likely no. But if it’s a full replacement and/or fundamentally changes the structure of your home, that answer may look different. The earlier you know the steps you need to take, the better.
Most Ann Arbor roofing projects don’t require a permit, but it’s another topic to talk to your contractor about. The right roofers will do this as part of their work, but you have to make sure that is the case before you dive into the project not anticipating potential delays because of the red tape.
Especially a new roof is a major construction project on your property. The same may even be true for a more complex roofing repair job. Your best option in minimizing any potential complications is preparing your property in as many ways as possible.
That means pruning trees, especially those that come close to the roof itself. You may also want to mow your lawn, which makes it easier to spot debris and improves cleanup. Finally, and as you can, remove all of your patio furniture and make sure that the roof is easily accessible from multiple points. The more work you do earlier, the less you have to do down the road.
Finally, it’s generally a good idea to keep your driveway clear as the roofing project begins. You don’t know how many vehicles the roofers will need, and how much space they’ll need for the construction. Generally speaking, the driveway is their best spot for any work that doesn’t happen on the roof itself.
Taking this step, depending on where you usually keep your vehicles, may require some planning. You may want to talk to your neighbors about alternative parking spots for the duration of the roofing job. The more you clear up early, the easier it will be once the roofers begin to show up on the day that the work begins.
You don’t have to take any of these steps. Many homeowners go into their Ann Arbor roofingjob just hoping for the best. At the same time, making sure that you’re prepared can save you quite a bit of headache and time down the road. The earlier you start to plan the specifics, the better off you’ll be.
Of course, and as mentioned in the beginning, that almost necessarily starts with the right contractor. They’ll be happy to tell you exactly what they need you to do before construction starts. For more information, and to make sure that you take all the necessary steps, contact us.