When it comes to planning a major home remodeling or home improvement
project, including re-shingling a roof, it’s imperative you call your
municipality’s local building inspector first. Regarding roof permits in
particular, it often never crosses a homeowner’s mind that a permit may be
required. As a matter of fact, in most towns and cities it is required. The
repercussions of not pulling a roof permit can be very expensive as by the
law you’re doing illegal work. And with illegal work there are always fines
and penalties charged, along with cease and desist orders.
In some circumstances the local building inspector can even go as far as to
order you to tear down the new construction work and restore the property to its
original state before construction began.
If you plan to hire a roofing contractor to roof your home make sure there is
language in the contract that specifies who will pull the roof permit. Also,
building permits should be placed in a location that a building inspector can
easily see it on the job site. When building an addition or a deck I always post
the building permit on the outside of the addition or home. Similarly, if I’ve
hired a roofing contractor to re-shingle my home’s roof I make sure the roofing
permit is tacked up to the outside of my home in easy view for building
inspectors and neighbors. I mention neighbors because it’s often a neighbor who
calls the local building inspector about your unapproved building project.
|Getting a roof permit does have one positive
advantage. The main purpose of the building permit process is to
ensure that the construction is done properly and safely to protect
the workers and the occupants of the home. The other purpose is to
make sure the municipality’s tax collector is aware of the need to
tax you more on your home, at least when it comes to new additions
and decks, but I digress.
As part of the permitting process the building inspector will review
your building, or roofing plans in this case, to make sure you or
your roofing contractor are using the right materials to ensure a
quality and safe roofing job.
They also want to understand if you plan to remove the existing shingles or
simply add another layer on top of them. If you or your roofing contractor plans
to add another layer of shingles on top of the existing layer(s), the building
inspector will want to know how many shingle layers are already on the roof.
He’ll also want to know something about the roof construction to see if it can
support the additional weight of another layer of shingles.
Personally I would never allow a roofing contractor to install shingles over an
existing layer of shingles. Besides the tremendous extra weight on the roof
framing, which could result in interior wall cracks or even catastrophic roof
failure under heavy snow loads, it also often voids the manufacturers’ warranty
on the new shingles.
To conclude, asphalt shingled roofs, as well as other roofing material types,
wear out over time. When your home is in need of a new roof, make the financial
investment in installing the best roof you can afford and make sure to pull a
roof permit. In the long run both the interior contents of your home and your
savings account will thank you.
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For more help on Shingling Your Home's Roof, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s
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yard for weeks
as you wait for the roofing contractor to come back and finish roofing your
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