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Roof Restoration or Roof Replacement?

It can be a big call making the choice to restore your roof or replace it.

The cost implications are an obvious concern, but there are other practicalities to think about, such as what material to choose and if you need to move out while the work is getting done. In terms of deciding - unless you have large sections of damaged roofing, chances are you are going to want to repair what you can. If you are renovating a fixer upper, have a really old leaky roof or have had your roofing damaged extensively in a storm - then replacement is likely the best option.

Whatever your decision, a faulty roof can cause serious structural damage to your home and may even lead to costly repairs. If water penetrates into the home it can also cause damp and mould to take hold, which could lead to all sorts of health issues - not something you want to deal with!

Let’s take a look at each option in more detail

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Replace or repair your roofing?

If you want to change the material on your roof or your roof is just beyond repair an entire roof replacement is in order. If you are extending your home it may be worthwhile to replace the entire roof so that you maintain continuity throughout your home, though this is by no means compulsory.

If on the whole your roof is in good condition, you may be able to save big bucks by repairing the areas that need particular attention. Remember though, doing too many spot repairs may see your roof end up as a patchwork of irregular areas and can look quite unpleasant - not that you will be seeing it very often.

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What is roof restoration?

Roof restoration involves the repair of damaged roofing, and can include:

  • Rebedding ridges and gables
  • Repointing tiles
  • Pressure cleaning
  • Removing fungus or mould
  • Applying a waterproof sealer
  • Gutter repair
  • Applying a roof membrane
  • Replacing flashing
  • Replacing individual tiles or sheets

For a tiled roof you could need to replace individual tiles or rebed and repoint the ridge tiles. For a metal roof, a spot leak is repaired or, could require an entire sheet of roof sheeting being replaced. The surface is then normally cleaned, sealed and repainted.

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What roofing should I choose?

If you are replacing your entire roof it is worth finding out what other materials are available. There could be a cheaper, quieter and more attractive option than your current roofing. The most common roof materials are:

Metal or steel roofing, otherwise known as Colorbond. This is a very durable, fire resistant and it can be painted any number of colours. It should also come with a warranty of at least 25 years.

With tiled roofing you have a wide choice, of terracotta, concrete or slate. These are all non-combustible, making them a good choice in bushfire-prone areas. Concrete tiles are extremely durable and should last for at least 50 years. Slate is also extremely durable and will not fade, crack or discolour and can last for over a century if properly installed. It is ideal to use when you want to make your roof a feature.

Which roofing is the most cost effective?

In terms of price concrete tiles are the cheapest, followed by steel with clay/stone tiles at the top end of the scale. Compared to tiles, metal roofing is more affordable to install and easier to maintain. However there are also aesthetic factors to consider when choosing your roofing material.

For a ballpark idea of cost you can expect to pay anywhere from $80 and $110 per square metre for removal and disposal of your old roof and a new replacement. To strip and replace your roofing (for an average sized 3 bedroom family home), expect to pay in the region of:

  • $6,000 to $10,000 to replace an existing metal skillion roof with Colorbond
  • $20,000 to replace existing tiles with Colorbond
  • $15,000 to $20,000 to replace an existing asbestos cement roof with Colorbond

Factors that will affect the overall cost of your roofing job include:

  • Access to your roof and/or property
  • The height and pitch of your roof
  • The size of your roof

 

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Hiring a roofer

Roof replacement and repair is not an easy DIY project - in fact it can be really dangerous. Hiring a pro is advisable, and in many cases you are required to use a licensed roofer. In NSW there are a variety of licences which your tradie may hold, including metal roofing & cladding, roof plumbing, roof tiling or roof slating. In Victoria they need to hold a builders registration with an endorsement to work on roofing. When it comes to hiring a roofer make sure they are right for your job. Some questions to ask them include:

  • Are you licensed?
  • Do you have valid insurance?
  • Can you provide a written quote?
  • How long is the warranty on your materials?
  • Do you have references I can follow up?

And no matter the size of your roofing job, always request a fully itemised quote.

Getting quotes for roof replacement

The easiest way to get an accurate idea of roof replacement or restoration costs is to get quotes from at least 3 roofing contractors in your local area or by getting quotes from local roof repairers. Roof repairers can give more accurate quotes if they have more details to go on, but may have to come to a site to give an accurate quote. This will give you a sense of what market rates currently are. You can then compare them on reputation, experience and price.

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