Roofing Guide for Homeowners – Repair, Materials and Prices

Most homeowners do not start thinking about their roof until it leaks. It’s understandable, but if your roof is already leaking, and you can see it inside your house – it means that it has been slowly leaking for a while, and the damage is probably more extensive than what you see.

We understand that roofing is not the most exciting topic. However, if you have problems with your roof, you will want to know as much as possible about how to fix them quickly and without breaking the bank.

This is just the place for homeowners to learn about roofing!

In this Roofing Guide for Homeowners you will find information on how to prevent and repair leaks, how to choose the longest lasting roofing materials, how much a new roof should cost, how to choose a contractor, and many other related topics. We separated this guide into three sections:

  • Roof Leaks Prevention and Repair
  • Choosing Roofing Materials and Hiring a Contractor
  • Roofing Prices Guide
  • Miscellaneous Roofing Articles for Homeowners

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Using Roof Pitch to Choose Roofing Materials

Roof pitch is an essential metric when it comes to choosing the right materials and accessories for your new roof. Of course, you will most often go with what’s aesthetically pleasing for you, and fits the budget. However, it is very important to consider the pitch of your roof, before making the decision on materials.

Many roofing materials are designed for a certain roof slope and will not work properly, if at all, if the correct pitch is not met. The most common example is with asphalt shingles and most types of metal roofing, which are designed for a minimum of 3 in 12 pitch roofs.

Everything below the 3 pitch, is considered a low slope, and requires a special low-slope or flat roofing material, to work properly. Therefore, while asphalt shingles will not work on low-slope roofs, they often still get installed, in violation with manufacturer’s minimum pitch requirement, and thus voiding the warranty.

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Roof Types – Gable, Hip, Mansard & Others

image of roof construction diagramThere are actually two major types of roofs with multiple variations derived from them (except of course flat roofs). These are a Gable Roof and a Hip Roof. Depending on the type, you will need to order a different amount of roofing materials, when you are going to replace your roof. It is equally important for homeowners and contractors alike to know this, as it will affect the total cost of the job.

Depending on the type of roof you have, the replacement price will differ, as will the difficulty of installing the roof, and the amount of waste associated with each type of material. You can refer to our roofing materials calculator to see exactly how much and which materials you will need to order, depending on whether it is a gable or a hip type variation.

Gable Roof

Gable is the most common and the simplest type of roof- basically it is a two sloped roof, like an open book, turned upside down. The name “gable” comes from a roof detail, also called rake, the sloped edge of the roof, which you see when standing on the side of a house.

Gable roofs are the easiest to install, especially when they have a rather shallow roof pitch of 3-7, and will have the lowest amount of waste materials. It only gets complicated when you get additional structures on the gable roof, such as dormers / shed dormers, valleys, etc. Then the amount of flashing and other detail work increases. Continue reading