Dark roof on White House at upward angle.

What to Expect During (and after) Your Roof Replacement

A good roof is typically a good investment, but sooner or later it’ll be time to consider an upgrade for the long-term health of your home. Here’s a handy guide for what to expect when you’re preparing for a roof replacement.

1. Getting Quoted

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to replacing your roof, so your representative will be putting together a package that considers the needs of your home, your budget, and how you’d like the finished product to look and feel. A good assessment will take 1 – 2 hours, while the representative takes measurements, shows samples, and takes the time to answer any questions you have about the process, cost, or design. So jot some thoughts down in advance!

2. Contract & Scheduling

Once you’ve settled on a package, the contract is next! This is a binding agreement between you and the vendor, designed to ensure that all work is completed based on the specifications you agree to. You should receive a scheduling call for the installation within 4 business days.

Tip: Wait times vary based on the weather and the time of the year, but two to five weeks is typical for a full roof replacement.

3. The Drop-Off

The day before your installation, shingles, flashing, and other heavy materials needed for the project will be delivered to the work site. Why? Roof replacements are labor intensive, and it’s easier to confine the labor to a shorter period of time if all the prep work is done in advance. Typically the supplies will be placed in a bundle on the roof, but if the your yard is wooded or crowded with belongings they might be placed in the yard or driveway.

And it’s a cardinal rule of roof work: moisture must be avoided at all costs for the work to maintain the integrity you’re looking for in a new roof. If there’s rain on the radar, you’ll receive a rescheduling call from the office, and the work will be completed after the weather clears up. Any roofing materials that have already been dropped off will be secure for up to 2 – 3 weeks.

Interior living room with chair beside window.

4. Installation

Installers will typically arrive bright and early on the day of the installation, removing old shingles first before conducting a full examination of the plywood underneath. If any damaged pieces are found, they’ll be removed and replaced so that your new roof goes on with all potential support issues corrected. The process will typically take a single day, but your vendor should let you know if any issues come up that call for more time.

Tip: Installations are loud! Installers won’t be entering your home, so it may be a good time to catch a movie or take a walk – especially if you have small children or easily startled animals.

5. Clean-Up

New roof installations can stir up plenty of dust, so cleanup will always be part of the deal. Workers use a magnetic rake to clean up the yard and driveway, clearing the area of nails and metal debris.

And of course, if you run into any issues before, during, or after the installation, your vendor is a phone call away! Excellent customer service matters to us here at The Home Doctor, so don’t be afraid to give us a shout out if you’d like to discuss any project.

White and red house in autumn.

Get Your Home Ready for Fall in 4 Easy Steps

Love it or hate it, Indian summers here in the DMV come with a big benefit for homeowners – a little extra time to get your home ready for fall before the inevitable cool down. Besides piling up the firewood and stocking up on pumpkin spice, here are a few ways to beat the oncoming chill while the weather is still on your side.

1. Clean Gutters and Downspouts

If you’re seeing dead leaves and pine needles around downspouts, it means the gutters are doing their job – siphoning water and debris away from the roof. It’s when gutters start to overfill that problems arise, as leaves sitting in wet piles can damage shingles over time. Keeping them in top shape is especially important as the weather starts to turn.Luckily this is an easy job to outsource if you’re not keen on climbing a ladder yourself. If you are looking to take on the task, be sure you have a stable ladder and a small hand-trowel. Start closer to a downspout, and gravity will help you out as you work your way back. This is also a great opportunity to check in on the gutters themselves – any flaking, cracking, or breaking is a good sign that you should consider scheduling a replacement.

2. Check Your Windows

A faulty window is essentially a chink in the armor of your home – which you’ve likely already seen firsthand if you’ve ever watched your heating bill rise at a steady clip through winter. Cracks and breaks between planes of glass are usually obvious, but it can be tougher to spot weak points n the frame and sill, and those tend to be the bigger culprits for letting hot air escape as soon as your heating system can generate it. Look for cold spots in the house and any places on window sills where wood may be peeling or breaking.

Living room with beige furniture.

3. Check Your Roof

You’ll need to climb the roof again for this step, so make sure you can do this safely! When you have a stable ladder and a good set of boots, look for cracks, loose shingles, and spots where flashing may be coming loose. A few missing shingles can often be repaired by hand, though be sure to check with an expert if you’re not sure.When do you know it’s time to consider a full replacement? If the patterns of water damager are more consistent than not, or if you’re seeing repetitive leaks inside.

4. Check Weatherstripping Around Exterior Doors

If you’ve ever lived through a winter storm with a faulty door, you probably already know that it’s best to get ahead of the problem before punishing weather makes it an absolute necessity. Cold spots by doors are one obvious sign, but an increase in exterior noise or a consistently sticky frame can also indicate an ongoing problem.

If your exteriors need a little more TLC than you can manage on your own, we’re here to help! Give us a call for a free estimate on roof, gutter, window, or door replacements. Our quotes are always good for a full calendar year. Your toes will thank you come winter!

Apartment roof in sunlight

Remodeling 550 Ranks The Home Doctor 125th in the Nation

Top trade mag Remodeling has dropped its Remodeling 550 for 2018 – an annual listing of the top full-service remodelers in the country – with The Home Doctor ranking in at a whopping 125.

Since launching in 2013, we’ve been one of the fastest growing home improvement venders in the country, replacing thousands of roofs and windows. We’ve consistently offered the kind of quick, efficient service that keeps our customers recommending us to their friends and neighbors.

“You can tell from the 2017 reports and 2018 forecasts that today’s biggest remodeling companies are busier—and likely more successful—than ever before,” said Craig Webb, REMODELING’s editor-in-chief. 

“The top 300 full-service remodelers on our list earned 8% more in revenue in 2017 than they did in 2016, and they expect to increase another 12% this year,” Webb said. “Meanwhile, the list’s top 150 replacement contractor firms (generally, companies that specialize in home improvement work like roofing, siding, gutters, windows, and foundations) earned a whopping 41% more last year, and they predict 17% more growth in 2018.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. If you have a roof in need of a little love, call us today for a free quote!

Large family home against blue sky.

5 Ways to Prep for Roof Replacement

You don’t schedule a full roof replacement for your home every day – at least not if it’s getting done right. While a good installer will always keep your family’s convenience and safety in mind, it’s a good idea to head off potential accidents or damage with a few simple precautions. Here are a few pointers from our installers:

1. Clear personal belongings from the yard.

Dust and falling debris may damage anything left in the open, so clear a path for the work crew before they arrive. The day before your scheduled installation, take a few minutes to move patio furniture, children’s toys, and any vehicles in the driveway away from the work zone. As an added bonus, you won’t have to clean up the yard later.

2. Keep friends and family informed.

Work zones can be dangerous places, so create a plan for keeping your kids occupied during your roof replacement. Ladders, nails, and loud noises will all be difficult to avoid while contractors are working, so getting out of the house entirely may be your best option.

And take it from us: a little advance warning can go a long way, so keep your neighbors in the loop. Let them know a few days beforehand to expect some noise and dust.

kitchen interior

3. Mark exterior outlets.

Electrical access is easy to take for granted, but your contractors almost certainly can’t do the job without it. This matters more if your home is older or if your outlets are tough to spot, but the set up phase of the job will almost certainly move faster if your contractors know exactly where to plug in. Colored masking tape or even luggage tags will work.

4. Clean out the attic.

It’s better to be safe than sorry – and vibrations and debris are unfortunately no friend to fragile family heirlooms. Sturdier furniture should hold up fine underneath a blanket or tarp, but consider moving grandma’s fine china and your kid’s 5thgrade science experiment.

5. Sweep the driveway.

Reputable installers will pick up stray nails with a magnetic wand, but it’s not uncommon for a few to go missing despite best intentions. If your driveway is asphalt or concrete, sweeping ahead of time will make it easier to spot debris where it’s most likely to damage tires and children’s’ toys.

Should you run across any issues during the roof replacement itself, don’t be afraid to contact your installation company directly! We only work with venders that commit to our philosophy – our job is never done until you’re satisfied.

home doctor, storm damage, blog post, list

4 Simple Ways to Recover from Storm Damage

Homeowners across the DMV are learning it the hard way – the torrential rains and about-face temperature shifts of summer can do a number on even the hardiest roof. Whether you’ve spotted missing singles or seeping water damage, the best time to tackle storm damage is now. Here are four tips from our industry-leading venders on how to get ahead of the problem before it gets out of hand:

1. Document the Damage.

Take photos of any new trouble spots around the house, as soon as you can do so safely. A smart phone camera should be all you need, though you can get fancier if you have the means. The goal is to establish a record of the damage that you can share with your insurance company as well as any venders who may be providing repairs. You’ll also have the images for your own records, which will give you a point of reference as your repairs are completed. Keep an eye out for gaps between shingles and spots where sealant may be peeling off.

2. Determine what homeowner’s insurance will cover.

Homeowner’s insurance is one of the important purchases you can make as a homeowner, but unfortunately it isn’t a magic bullet – at least where storm damage is concerned. While damage relating directly to a freak storm will typically fall under most policies, you may hit a snag on your claim if your roof was old or previously in disrepair. The best way to understand the specifics of your policy is to contact your provider directly. Go in with an idea of what type of claim you’ll be filing and a list of questions for the agent.

3. Check your warranty.

Most reputable companies provide a warranty that should cover your roof for a period of time after a full replacement, though this will vary depending on the age of the home itself and when the work was previously completed. Check it on paper first, then call a representative to determine where they can help.

4. Call for an estimate.

We’re ready to work on your time table, and that’s why our free estimates are always honored for a full year. Give us a call and we’ll send a representative who will assess the damage and then work with you to find the best option for your home – always with the needs of your family in mind.

Addressing damage to your home is never fun no matter the reason, but our goal is to help you find the silver lining – by putting the pieces back in place stronger than before.