Contractor in red t-shirt hammering nails into tan siding

Do-it-yourself wisdom is abundant in books, online, and on TV, including instructions on how to put on a roof. All of this should prove very helpful -- that is, if you're hoping to be more informed about how to do roofing and what the roofers you hire are doing. If you plan to install the new roof yourself based on what you've read or seen though, please read this article first and then give your DIY idea some more consideration.

Ask Yourself How Comfortable You Feel About Walking on a Roof

You might have conquered your fear of heights already by skydiving, rock climbing, or even bungee jumping. How hard could walking on a roof be?

Walking on a roof is nothing like it appears to be. If you've watched roofers working, they make roof-walking look easy. What you don't see, though, are the years of experience behind their apparent ease and competence.

We'd ask you to consider the impact a slip and fall from the rooftop might have on your livelihood and even the rest of your life overall.

How Prepared Are You to Live With the Results of Your Work?

Do you still look at that area of drywall in your kitchen that you patched a few years ago and wonder if you couldn't have made it smoother? And how did your family react to your first effort at laying tile? Yikes!

Finished projects done by professionals or even highly experienced amateurs can build and bolster your ambitions. But what happens when your whole kitchen is caked with drywall mud (except the area to be patched), and the floor is uneven?

Just as professional roofers make roof-walking seem simple, they also tend to hide their roofing know-how beneath the shingles. You can't see that much evidence of their expertise and hard work, so it's easy to assume (wrongly) that you could learn it quickly and easily -- on the job, by yourself.

How Much Will You Really Save?

First off, did you know that DIY roofing work can void the warranty on your materials? Most manufacturers refuse to guarantee materials not installed professionally. They know from experience that many amateurs make costly mistakes, and they don't want to pay for those.

Also, have you estimated correctly the amount of material you'll need for the project and what it will cost? That includes spare shingles to replace any that might get mangled.

Will you want to stop everything so you can run to the home improvement store for replacements or items you forgot in the first place?

Even more seriously, what if something you missed turns out to be a significant problem down the road, for which you need to call a professional to bail you out? They'd need to uncover your oversight and rectify it. Ouch!

Do You Have the Right Equipment?

Have you ever looked inside a roofers' truck or van or noticed any larger equipment that has to be delivered separately, such as a large dumpster for a tear-off?

Do you have the right safety gear and roofing shoes, for example? And do you own a magnetic sweeper to pick up stray nails and other metal, so those walking on your lawn don't get hurt?

These are the kinds of supplies and tools professional roofers take for granted. Although you probably own many of the tools roofers use already, you would want to be sure you have all the essentials before getting started.

Are You Looking for a Compromise?

Some sources recommend that ambitious roofing amateurs strike a deal with their roofing contractor to do part of the work in exchange for a discount on the overall cost. Some people will even consider tearing off the old roof themselves or with the help of amateur friends and neighbors. All we can say is "Be very, very cautious!"

  • Do you have the time the project will require?
  • Do you have the proper tools?
  • How will you waterproof your home during the work and any interval before the professional roofers arrive?
  • Will your homeowner's insurance cover you (or any helpers) in the event of an accident? This is very important!

What Professional Roofers Have to Offer

Most professional roofers work in familiar and well-coordinated teams, which means that they can do the work quickly and efficiently. They also know how to deal with unexpected problems, and they'll provide you with informed options for how to handle those issues.

When they've finished their work, professional roofers will leave you feeling pleased and satisfied with your new roof. At least, that's what we can say for ourselves at Graves Bros.!

Contact us today if you're looking for professional roofers with years of experience.