You have moved into your new custom home and storm season has arrived. You hear the hail falling on the roof and can see the trees dancing to the wind.  This may create some thoughts about the stability and strength of your roof. We have all seen the aftermath of a major storm, as the roofing contractors parade the neighborhoods offering explanations of why a new roof is in your future. Understanding your roof isn’t as overcomplicated as one might think. As with any of the products within your new home, take a few minutes to learn about your product and you are sure to have peace of mind knowing you built your home with a reputable builder.

Roofing has come a long way over the years and as technology creeps into our daily lives benefiting our everyday tasks, the options and benefits of roofing materials is on the upswing for improvements. These benefits include multiple color options, styles and generally speaking an assortment of applications being applied to the roofing materials themselves like added moisture protection or algae resistant enhancements. It is no surprise that durability and warranty has improved over the years.

Upon considering a roof a few thing to consider are:

  • Wind Ratings
  • Fire Ratings
  • Weather Protection
  • Curb Appeal
  • Warranty & Lifespan

In addition to these items, you may consider the different types of roofing like asphalt shingles, copper & steel, fiberglass shingles, flat roof, stone or tile roofing or wood/shake shingles.  Each of these products is going to come with a different lifespan and the manufacturer of the product you choose may offer different warranties than others.  It is important to ask questions and know what the benefits to each type of roofing system is as well as understanding the different price points and overall look when added to the home.

Naturally you want your home to have a nice curb appeal.  In many cases when people build a custom home they don’t like to consider ever moving out of the home, however at some point this may be a reality and in this event you want to assure your color selections complement each other.  If you are unsure of your color selections I encourage you to visit some of the online design option websites that will assist with the visualization or speak with your building consultant.

A popular style among builders is the 3-tab architectural type roof.  This style of roof offers a great curb appeal for many home plans and many manufacturer warranties offer a 15 – 25 year guarantee.  These shingles are available in an array of colors and the overall lifespan of this type of shingle may depend on the style selected and the manufacturer.

Many steel roofs are designed to last at least 50 years, and some copper roofs with age and weathered patina can sometimes last well over 100 years.  Most asphalt shingles have a life span of 20 – 40 years.  Of course, as it is with any product the key to longevity also depends on the proper installation and maintenance over the years.

Understanding your warranty is vital should you ever need a replacement or repair.  The majority of manufacturer warranties offer a guarantee against manufacturing defects.  What you need to know about this terminology is that in the event there is a defect in the roofing materials then the roofing materials may be replaced under the guidelines of your products manufacturer warranty.  Most people may never even inquire of this information prior to building a home, they may assume the builder is using the best product available and they move forward with a selection primarily based on color.

Most warranties do not mean you will receive new roofing materials or installation once the storm rolls through and your shingles have blown off due to improper installation or if leaks arise due to improperly installed gutters or flashing.  While there are plenty of installation issues that may generate unnecessary roof repairs it is important to understand the difference between a manufacturing defect and a bad installation.

In the event it is in fact a warranty issue, there is generally a time period that is associated with the product you have chosen.  You may have heard the phrase limited lifetime warranty or guarantee, with the lifetime period being set at 15 years.  Once this 15 year period has passed the manufacturer may choose to offer an extended warranty period which becomes prorated, meaning each year that passes the amount of coverage they extend is then based on a percentage of reduction over a set amount of time.  In this event, at 30 years the manufacturer may still extend a portion of the warranty; however it may only be 15% of the cost due to a viable manufacturing defect.

Having a reputable builder who utilizes reputable vendors and manufacturers/suppliers may offer some security with your new home investment.  There are even builders who offer their own warranties and guarantees on particular products and services and this is one other area where you may want to ask questions if you are unsure of what all is available to you.

Other factors to consider and which may be a determining factor in regards to the lifespan of the roof could depend on the climate where the product is being installed as well as the actual slope of the roof.  In areas where there is more wind resistance or higher amounts of annual rainfall a shingle that is designed for more of an arid climate may not do as well as a shingle designed for wet climates.

If you are uncertain of the roofing application you should choose make sure to do your research and inquire with your building consultant for suggested guidance.

For more information about this topic and how it applies to your new custom home contact us at AmericasHomePlace.com