Tony, Home Buyer in Lehigh Acres, FL

Roofing-Handy man versus Roofing company-Putting the new roof over the old roof or removing the old roof-Pros and Cons

Asked by Tony, Lehigh Acres, FL Sun Oct 17, 2010

My small and older home needs a new roof. It is too old but not leaking and I couldn't get the insurance coverage. I think sooner or later I will have to replace the roof anyway; so I am thinking to replace to old roof. It is part of shingles and part of flat tar roller roof (it is about 1300sq/ft. Since I don't have a lot of money left because my saving already spent for the house so I am looking for cost effective but work well.
Do you recommend a handy man or respectible roofing company? Put the new roof over the old one or remove the old and put the new one.
Many thanks in advance

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jessesToons’ answer
I think the best thing to do is look around, see what kind of deals and services you can get with the money you have left. There are a lot of if ans buts that come with either, you just need to process and see what the costs are going to be like. I've even been looking into my own Twin Cities, roofing contractors so I don't have to do it myself. I guess we'll see how it goes soon enough. Good luck, hope it all works out!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 19, 2013
Hi Toni. I was a general contractor in PA & NJ for many years and replaced a LOT of roofs. I now live in Florida, and although the roofs are very different, much of the labor and requirements are the same.

First of all, I would not use a handyman to do your roof. Personally, I would prefer someone that only does roofing. Like others answered here, get 3 estimates in writing.

In Florida, you need a specific Roofing Contractor's license to perform work legally, AND, to pull permits.
Only use a licensed contractor. Ask them for their license number and check it out on:

Ask these same roofers for a copy of their insurance policy. You can call the insurance company direct to make sure the policy has not been cancelled and is indeed in effect.

The proper way to replace a roof is to tear off existing shingles completely. Your contractor may need a dumpster. We used them all the time. Otherwise, it's a mess. Flat tar roofs can be torn off, too, down to the plywood decking. Both will be replaced with new roofs. If a contractor tells you that he will go right over your old roofs and that there's no reason to tear off the old one, keep looking for another roofer.

There are lots of problems with old roofs and many of them carry water between the shingles, bubble under the tar, or are hiding rotted wood on your roof decking/plywood.

So remember: Roofing contractor. Tear off old, put on new.

GOOD LUCK and let us know how your roof turns out.

Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 17, 2010
Hi Toni

Go with a licensed, insured, Roofer.

It will be more expensive if you do it otherwise, get reported and have the City come knocking asking you to do a redo.

Good luck.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 17, 2010
Thanks for your post! I would recommend a roofing company. I had a roofing company that also does commercial roofing in Champaign Urbana to fix my roof and I had no regrets. They were professional, fast, and had all the necessary insurance and documentation to make me feel at peace.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 7, 2013
Wouldn't putting an old roof over the old roof be the best option? like the roofing company in Garland TX
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
Depending on your County Code requirements you may not be able to do a "roof over". In Hillsborough this is no longer allowed.

Permits have to be filed with the county and I don't think a handyman would qualify. As an "owner" I think you can do the work so there may be a loophole.

I had a client who recently put on a new roof and she saved money by hiring a roofing contractor do the "labor" and then negotiated a spectacular deal on the shingles from Home Depot. She estimated she saved over a $1k.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 17, 2010
I will always recommend a professional roofing company with a good reputation. The roof is a major component of your home, and protects it from all sorts of potential damage, and that's not the place to try to save money. Especially when you're dealing with multiple surfaces. Flat roofs, especially, take experience and know-how.

Most professional roofing companies recommend a full tear-off. If you put the new one, over the old one, you might get a few less years wear out of the roof.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 17, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Toni nothing beats getting written estimates from at least 3 companies and ask them if they recomend removing or not. Without looking at your roof it is difficult to judge, if you have more than 1 layer, then it should be removed, if they are peeling or curling up, they should be removed, if there is only 1 layer of shingles and they are not curling, then you may be able to go over it. You want to make sur eit is a reputable person or company, with insurance and who wont take off with your money.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 17, 2010
hi Toni, they will remove most of it, probably all of it, especially because of the varies surface texture areas.

Colonial roofing: 239-458-1000
Frank's roofing and spray: (239) 369-9045
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 17, 2010
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