When was the last time you attempted a house repair yourself thinking that you were just the handyman for the job, only to realize half way through the process that it would have better to hire a professional? Sometimes the idea of saving a little money and completing basic handyman tasks yourself is just too tempting. While you might get by doing some basic home repairs yourself, other jobs are best left for a home maintenance contractor.
Installing a new roof, replacing old shingles and installing gutters are likely all examples of jobs that should not be attempted by a weekend handyman. This major projects are better left to the professionals. Consider some of the complicated facts about working on roofs, shingles or gutters:
- Up to 95% of roof leaks occur at flashing details — anywhere the membrane is terminated or interrupted.
- A roof’s slope/pitch is measured as a ratio of vertical rise, in inches, over a horizontal distance of 12 inches.
- Asphalt roofing shingles, the most common choice North America, last for 15 to 30 years, depending on maintenance and weather conditions.
- Four out of five roofs are covered with asphalt.
- Gutters installed incorrectly can lead to leaks into the house or under siding.
- Some insurance companies offer home owners as much as a 30% reduction in premiums if they install weather-resistant metal roofs.
New gutters, when properly installed and maintained, can last anywhere from 20 to 40 years. Most types of roofing materials can have an equally long life. If properly installed and maintained, a roof can last for 25 years, and some may even last as long as 50. When you combine the complexity and the safety issues of any kind of roofing or gutter repair with the expected life of these materials, does it really make sense to look for a cheap installation?
While some weekend small home repair projects might be a possibility for some handy homeowners, it just makes good sense to leave more complex, more difficult and more dangerous repairs to a hired professional. It may cost more money, but the warrantied work that certified installers provide can help your investment last for many years. The next time you need major home improvements or repairs completed, make sure you call a professional to see what they have to say. You might be surprised that their bid includes much more insurance and longevity than a home install can provide.