15 Things You Need to Know Before Getting Your Roof Installed

15 Things You Need to Know Before Getting Your Roof Installed

Getting a new roof installed on your home is the single biggest maintenance task any homeowner can take on. Only needed every 15 to 30 years, it’s no surprise that when roofing installation finally does come around, it’s a rather large project. After all, this is the top of your house. Your first line of protection against driving Minnesota storms, blazing UV rays, and heavy seasonal rains. And it spans the entire square footage of your home by necessity.

But before you invest a few thousand dollars and a great deal of personal energy into your next roof installation, it’s important to know a few things ahead of time. Homeowners planning for a new roof can benefit a lot by getting informed and knowing what to expect. This article was designed as a comprehensive guide of the things every homeowner should know before scheduling their Ann Arbor roofing installation service.

Know Your Roofing Needs

The first step is to understand your own home and roofing needs. Having just a few facts and numbers on-hand can help you get more accurate preliminary estimates and get more accurate advice from roofing contractors during consultations. By writing these things down, you can also make sure that nothing is forgotten by accidental omission along the way.

1. The Square Footage of Your Roof

The size and design of your roof directly relate to the cost of an installation. Your roof surface area naturally defines the number of shingles needed to cover it. The pitch (steepness) of the roof will also determine the amount caution roofers will need to use while working. The square footage of your home is a good place to start on your roof’s surface area, but you must also calculate for pitch and layering.

Once you know the square footage of your roof, it will be much easier for contractors to give you a rough estimate, and for you to do your own calculations based on known costs.

2. The Type and Color of Shingles You Want to be Installed

Your choice of shingle has a great deal of influence on the cost and time estimates. Even if you’ve already chosen a type of shingle, there are still options in brand, model, and color. If your home is in an HOA, you may need to conform to HOA roofing standards or even match your previous shingle exactly.

Standard asphalt composite shingles are a good choice and among the most economical. However, Minnesota homeowners often benefit from using the more heavy-duty architectural shingle. This is asphalt composite made heavier and with more connection tabs to help resist the ravages of Minnesota storms and heavy snowfall.

3. The Roof Features to Consider

Detail features of your roof may factor into the estimate. Chimneys, vents, skylights, and dormer windows will need to be flashed to prevent leaking around the aperture. Roof decore and satellites may need to be professionally reinstalled once the roof is complete. All homes have at least a few vents and most Minnesota homes have at least one chimney.

4. Overall Condition of Your Roof

Consider your roof’s maintenance and performance over the last few years. Roofs leading up to their reinstallation date often develop problems due to their age like leaks and rotting beams. The cost and full extent of the roofing work needed will depend on the overall condition of your roof. If the beams and underlayment are still in good shape, you may only need to strip and re-lay shingles. But if there’s deeper damage, these will need to be repaired while the roof is open and before the new shingles go on.

5. Any Special Roofing Requests

Stop and consider if there are any special requests you want to make during the roofing process. Now is the perfect time to add a skylight, a new chimney, or a bathroom fan where one is needed.  By taking care of roofing remodels now, you can ensure the features are professionally integrated into the core roof design of your home. Remember to ask about these requests when calling for estimates or planning your project.

The Estimates

An accurate estimate is an important part of planning your roof installation. You need to know not only how much the roof will most likely cost, but also how long there will be a roofing crew working on top of your house. You may want to compare estimated quotes but you will need a good estimate to make good plans for the roofing project.

6. Getting a Complete Roofing Inspection

The first step to an accurate roofing estimate is a complete inspection. This involves an expert roofer inspecting not only the outside of your roof, but also the inside of your attic. This is the only way a roofer can give you a real estimate on the condition of your roof and how much work needs to be done to complete your installation.

If asked if you would like an inspection before the estimate, say yes and be willing to provide a tour of the attic. If the inspector or contractor ask questions

7. The Estimated Cost of Your Roof Installation

From the inspection, the first estimate you need is of costs. This is also known as a “quote”.  Your roofing quote should consist of a categorized or itemized list of costs and how they combine into the total cost to install a new roof professionally.

The bottom line of your estimate will usually include the cost of demolition, your chosen shingles, roofing supplies, permit costs, work hours, and clean-up among other things.

8. The Estimated Amount of Time to Completion

The other major portion of your estimate is how long it will take to complete the roofing project. This is calculated roughly in roofer work hours, which is why projects go faster with large roofing teams. The time estimate’s accuracy depends on how well your roofing company knows their own capabilities. Most companies will overshoot by several days to create room for possible delays and minor miscalculations.

Know Your Roofing Team

Once you’ve approved the estimates and set a date, you can start preparing for the roof installation in your very near future. Getting to know your roofing team is the number one way to stay in the loop and knowing exactly what to expect during the roofing project.

9. Who Your Roofing Project Manager Will Be

Your most important contact will be the project manager of your roofing service. This is the person who is leading your roofing team and making the important calls on roof features and delay management.

Your roofing project manager is the person you talk to with questions and concerns. They can give you detailed answers based on how the project is going in the moment and can help you build solid expectations for team conduct and home safety during your roof installation.

10. How Many People Are On Your Roofing Team

The next question is how many people will be working on your roof during the project. Roofing companies can put together multiple custom-sized teams for projects currently ongoing. More roofers will directly speed up your project, to a point. But a small number of expert roofers can be more efficient than a larger group of amateurs.

Know What to Expect from Roofing Installation

The final preparation step is to understand what your experience will be like during the actual roof installation process. Most homeowners find they are better off making plans around your roofing installation, giving themselves plenty of time to clear the space, warn neighbors about the noise, and prepare the home for a comprehensive roof installation service. You may have children or pets to worry about, or you may simply need to take a few steps to keep your indoors secure during the roofing experience.

11. Your Roofers Will Need Space

The first thing you need to know about your roofing installation is that your roofers will need room to work. Removing your old roof and working with materials to build the new one requires maneuvering space. Your roofers will need an area to offload cargo and packaging, and there is a continuous risk of some debris or wind-blown singles falling off of the roof.

This is why homeowners will need to create a safe zone for the roofers around the perimeter of the home. Move your cars out of the driveway, then into your garage or further out onto the curb. Clear your lawn of toys and furniture, and cover your flower beds closest to the roof.

12. There will Be Shaking – Secure Your Breakables

One thing that many homeowners overlook is how much shaking is involved with installing a new roof. But it makes sense if you consider the amount of bolting, fastening, and building may be done during a roofing installation. Roofers are pulling shingles away and then fastening new shingles onto the top beams of your attic. So the whole house shakes.

This would seem like a minor warning until you consider the things hanging on your wall. When the house shakes from a roofing project, there’s a good chance that mirrors, framed pictures, and other hanging wall art might fall and get damaged as a result of the roofing. The best way to prevent this is to take down and wrap your wall decor before the first day of your roofing installation service.

13. It Will Be Loud – Plan for Temporary Relocation

Another thing to know ahead of time about roofing is the noise. All that hammering and movement up on your roof can be surprisingly noisy. Enough so that many homeowners find that the most courteous thing to do is warn neighbors of the days and hours what your roofing team will be on the job. Your neighbors might choose to vacate for a while and, quite frankly, you should do the same.

Having your entire residential roof removed and reinstalled is not for the faint of heart to try and keep living in the house at the same time. Your family will probably enjoy the experience more if you temporarily find somewhere else to be either during the day or for the entire duration of the roofing. This is a perfect opportunity to take the family on a local ‘staycation’ where you explore vacationing in your own city.

14. There Will Be Debris & Clean-Up

Roofing is not a tidy business. Even the cleanest roofing teams still deal with a truly impressive amount of debris to dispose of. Some roofers will toss removed shingles and discarded packaging into the yard below while other teams set up a designated ‘drop corner’ with a nearby dumpster for roofing trash. But the wind can still pick up debris and little bits are constantly rolling or being kicked off the edge.

This is why it’s important to keep tabs on your kids and pets during a roofing project, and to clear out the space around the roof edge. However, a great roofing team not only tries to keep it tidy; they also make sure to handle clean-up afterward. With dedication to a pristine clean-up process, your lawn might be cleaner after your roof installation than it was before.

15. You Can Ask Questions

Finally, remember that you are the homeowner and you can always ask questions. You have a right to concise and informative answers, and to discuss things until you understand them. Roofing is not complicated in concept, so your project manager or their boss at HQ should be able to explain everything you need to know about your roofing service, estimates, and expectations during the installation days.

Whether you want to know more about the service or have concerns with something you’ve seen, you can always get in touch with the project manager, HQ, or both to discuss your concerns or questions.


Getting your roof installed is a big investment, and not just from your budget. Ann Arbor roofing installation takes time for the inspection, scheduling, and the work of replacing your home’s roof. But by knowing what to expect and planning a nearby little family vacation, you can achieve the best possible experience from your roof installation. That is the number one reason to study up on these 15 things before getting your roof installed. Call A2 Roofing today at 734-548-9915 for a free quote on your roofing needs.