DIY Roofing: How to Make it Work and What You Will Need

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the close-up image of some carpenter tools

A DIY roof is just as it sounds. This is when the owner of the roof either alone or with a group of friends attempts to install or repair a roof. There are several things you need to think through before deciding if DIY roofing is right for you. There are materials that need to be purchased. Installing a roof is an arduous job and requires physical stamina. DIY roofing has many advantages, but also considerable disadvantages. This article will help you understand the process of installing a roof and what needs to happen to make this happen.

What Is DIY Roofing?

a man working on a roof

DIY roofing can occur with any type of roof. Deciding to install your own roof is not a decision that should be taken lightly. One of these decisions is to make sure that the working environment is safe.

A common risk for roofers is falling. To prevent this, make sure the roof is dry, clean-up tools as soon as you are done using them, and use a harness if the slope of the roof is too great. Other safety features to consider are to avoid live wires, to wear eye safety, and to lift heavy materials appropriately.

There are different levels of DIY roof repair. You may need to install a completely new roof, to do a total replacement of an existing roof, or to make minor repairs. Naturally, minor repairs are easier for a novice to complete than completing an entire project from start to finish.

Common roof repairs are identifying and replacing a couple of missing shingles, replacing the vents to maintain proper ventilation, or locating the source of a leak and plugging that leak.

Pros and Cons of DIY Roofing

a man building a slate roof

Advantages of DIY Roofing

Clearly, the largest advantage of DIY roofing is a substantial cost saving. It is estimated that a roof installation can cost anywhere from $11,000 to $20,000. However, there are other advantages seen in the list below.

  • Someone who installs their own roof has control over the process from start to finish. They can choose the materials they want and complete the job according to their own timeline. This includes choosing a DIY green roof or a DIY metal roof.
  • Working on your roof without a professional contractor eliminates the need to vet and choose a contractor.
  • Installing and repairing your own roof forces you to be proactive in identifying small repairs before they become big problems. Little leaks or condensation can become a huge issue if they are not identified early.
  • DIY roofing also helps you to develop new skills that could be useful in the future. Learning how to install your roof by yourself will multiply cost savings down the road.
  • Enjoy camaraderie with friends or family who help you install the roof. Installing or repairing a roof can take a lot of time, and working with friends can increase the time to completion, allow you to focus more, and to take breaks when needed.

Disadvantages of DIY Roofing

A quick Google search will show that there are several more disadvantages to installing your roof than advantages. Installing a roof is dangerous and takes a considerable amount of time.

  • It is very easy to fall off the roof as you are working on it. You need to work with several power tools and sharp knives on a slanted surface. Working with this equipment and keeping your balance at the same time is challenging.
  • There is a ton of equipment that is needed to accurately install a roof. Some of this can be very expensive. If you are only planning on using it one time, then it might make sense to pay someone else who already has all of the necessary equipment.
  • It can be challenging to repair roof problems. If you do not know exactly what you are doing then attempting to repair a problem could just cause a bigger problem.
  • It is physically demanding to install a roof. This can be a disadvantage if you do not have the stamina to engage in manual labor all day.

Guidelines and Standards for DIY Roofing

an older man up on a roof

The following outlines the many decisions and guidelines that should be followed when completing a DIY roof project.

Determine if you need a new roof or just a simple repair. You can assess the status of your roof from the ground and from the ladder. Things to look for are leaks, peeling paint, mold, or broken or missing shingles. You will need to walk on all parts of the roof to make sure it is in good condition. If something needs to be fixed, then the next steps should be followed.

Purchase all of the necessary materials and tools, including the roofing material you want to use. You will need to complete some math calculations to order the appropriate amount of shingles.

Assess your ability to install a roof by yourself. You will need to work in varied weather, use a ladder multiple times, work in awkward positions, use power equipment at a height, and carry heavy material. If any of these things would be a struggle, then it might be a good idea to hire a contractor.

The steps to install a roof are to take off the existing roof, install a roof deck protection and the leak barrier, install the starter shingles, and then installing the different types of shingles and the ridge vents.

Final Words

A roof is a substantial investment in a home. Knowing when and how to do a DIY roof replacement can be huge cost savings for the owner of the property. However, this decision should not be taken lightly. A good idea is to help other people you know with their roof repairs or installations to gain experience before you work on your own roof.

If you have several days to spend on the project and the initiative and awareness of the process to install a roof by yourself, then it might be just the right project for you.

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