What You Should Know Before Taking on a DIY Roof Replacement

There’s a wide variety of home repairs, and installing a new roof is easily one of the hardest and most important. While roofs don’t usually get a lot of attention or “oohs and ahhs”, they are vital to the wellbeing of your home (and your family!). Considering all the different reasons that you might need a new roof, it makes sense that it should happen to everyone at some point along the way. Naturally, you might wonder, “What do I need to know before taking on a DIY roof replacement?”

Well, for starters, there’s a lot that goes into it. Improperly installed roofing can fail, letting water get in and damage your home, from the attic installation all the way down to the living room where your expensive furnishing and electronics live. In fact, there are few issues relating to your house that can prove more damaging than a bad roof installation or faulty roof replacement.

In other words, DIY roof replacement is not something that should be taken on by anyone other than trained professionals. If you’re considering a Do It Yourself roof replacement, please take all of the following information into account before making your decision.

DIY Roof Replacement Is Physically Challenging

When considering a DIY roof installation, you first need to ask yourself this question (and to answer it honestly): “Am I physically able or capable of standing, moving around, and balancing on my roof for hours on end?”

This is a hard question for many to answer, because of all it entails. You need to assess whether you’re afraid of heights, whether you’ll be comfortable up there, how capable you are of carrying stacks of shingles up and down the roof, your comfort level with ladders, and a whole lot more.

Old roofs tend to be slippery, and if they’re wet after rain, it’s even worse. Plus, replacing a roof takes days of difficult labor, climbing, carrying, and installing — not just a single afternoon of hard work.


DIY Roof Replacement Tools

Here’s another question for you: Do you even have the right tools necessary to get the job done properly? Pro roofers usually need at least the following tools and equipment, and sometimes much more:

  • Roofing nail gun
  • Roof hammer tacker stapler
  • Roofing hammer
  • Roofing hatchet
  • Air compressing machine
  • Roofing blades
  • Utility knives
  • Roofing shovel
  • Roof shingle tear-off tool
  • Scoop shovels
  • Pry bars
  • Tarpaulin
  • Chalk and reel tools
  • Measuring tape
  • Measuring laser tool
  • Caulking gun
  • Cement bucket
  • Trowel
  • Tin snips
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Circular saw
  • Sawhorse(s)
  • Cordless drill, electric drill, or air drill
  • Generator
  • Ladder
  • Extension ladder
  • Ladder hoists
  • Hard hat
  • Safety harness
  • Construction protective equipment
  • Steel-toed roofing boots/shoes with a soft sole
  • Roof brackets
  • Toe boards
  • Rakes
  • Brooms
  • Magnetic sweepers
  • Pickup truck

As you can see, it’s a ton of stuff. You’ll need to tie yourself off, too, to make sure you can use all these tools safely and comfortably. Also, we haven’t even mentioned the materials required. That’s a completely different subject entirely. After the diy roof replacement job is complete, you’ll also need to manage waste disposal of all used materials or tools. This can be a hefty undertaking and requires coordinating proper waste disposal methods with the right municipalities or local waste companies. If you’re starting to think that this is more of a “Why You Shouldn’t DIY Your New Roof” article… Then we’re doing a good job!


Roof Permits and Roofing Code

No matter where you live, you’ll need to pull a permit for your new roof replacement. In Lexington County and Richland County, South Carolina, you can apply for a permit as a homeowner for your residential property, within certain restrictions. For instance, in Lexington County, your home can’t be for sale.

Once you apply, you will be required to schedule an inspection on your house or other residential property prior to permit approval and roof installation. Depending on where you live, the inspection may be a “drive-by”, or it could require an inspector to physically go up on top of your roof to look at it more closely.

For example, the City of Caycee will ask for the dates that you’ll be installing the new roof. They’ll also ask for an interim inspection to confirm that the underlayment is properly installed as well.

An extension of the required roof permit is roofing code. Not completing the work up to code will greatly affect your home’s value, and not using a certified contractor for the shingles can even void the warranty. Unknown to many people, code violations (with your roof or elsewhere) can even dictate whether or not you can sell your house down the road.

Put simply, roof permits and residential building code are a nightmare if you don’t know what you’re doing. As it turns out, that includes just about everybody outside the professional roofing and construction world. Don’t leave it to chance. Hire a local team that can do it right, and on time, the first time.

DIY Roof Installation Difficulty Level

While they all may look somewhat similar, no two roofs are exactly the same. If you’re planning on a DIY roof replacement, you probably already watched a video or two on YouTube about how to do it yourself. Here’s the bad news: Your roof will almost certainly be more difficult than anything you watch online. Online instructional videos are usually aimed at simplicity, so they focus on straightforward projects with very few curveballs.

Your own roof will definitely throw a curveball or two that make the project much more difficult: shingles, dormers, plumbing vents, and chimneys, just to name a few. When that happens, you could strike out pretty quickly without the right tools, expertise, and experience.

When to Hire an Expert for Your Roof Replacement

Here’s one of the most important and common questions we hear: “When should I hire an expert for my roof replacement or roof installation?”

The answer is pretty easy: ASAP. As this article has tried to show, DIY roof replacements are not easy home renovation projects. They are some of the most difficult and challenging renovations that exist.

For all these reasons, it’s much better (also easier, simpler, and less stressful) to just hire a local professional right from the start. An expert will be able to diagnose any other potential issues related to your roof that an untrained eye would never see.

Final Thoughts on DIY Roof Replacements

Have you gone through a professional roof installation or replacement before? If you had a bad experience, you may wish to avoid that again at all costs. That’s a totally understandable feeling. The problem is that doing it yourself is likely to turn out even worse.

If you need a new roof installation or roof replacement in the Midlands of South Carolina, or if you’ve had an improperly installed roof since your house was built, or if you just want a new roof for the sake of your property’s value…

We can help. At Rennison Roofing, we have certified local professionals that will get your roof replacement completed without any DIY headaches. Call or email us for a free consultation and see if we’re a good fit for your new roof installation today.