Replacing Your Roof

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Does your roof need a makeover? There is a wide selection of roofing shingles available. This Angie's List explains what factors you should consider before you start work.

"Well, we had shingles blowing off in the yard. They were in our bushes and stuff, so we knew we were having some problems with all the rain and hail. We were having shingles come loose," Lon Vonkonhn said, who is a homeowner.

Lon and Janet Vonkonhn were in the market for a new roof, so they contacted a roofing contractor who discussed the pros and cons of materials available.

"Before we chose the roof, he brought samples and he suggested types for the roof, and he also suggested color, and we did that and we've been very happy," Janet Vonkonhn said.

"There's really only 3 shingles," Tom Scribbins, who is a roofing contractor, mentioned. "There's a 20 year three tab, which is probably the shingle that was put on the house when it was built. There's a 25 year three tab, and there's an architectural, which is the laminated, fancy shingle. People will say 'How come that roof looks so good?' Chances are that's a 30 year or lifetime laminated shingle."

Asphalt is the most common type of shingle used today and is relatively inexpensive, but other materials can also be used like wood, slate or tile.

"A lot of roofing manufacturers also have a computer program that can show you exactly what it's going to look like when it's on your house," Angie Hicks, who is the founder of Angie's List, added. "The last thing you want to do is pick a roof that doesn't compliment your home or the neighborhood, because you don't want to be an eyesore."

If the shingle is installed incorrectly, it will fail. That's why it's important to hire a reputable roofing contractor, who has experience with the type of product you want.

Re-roofing your house is one of the biggest projects you'll do as a homeowner. It typically should last 20 to 30 years. Make sure your contractor is licensed and insured because you're going to have people on your roof.

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