How to replace your roof: A to Z guideline 2021

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The roof is an essential part of the house as it protects it from the elements. Whether it’s old, poorly maintained, or leaking leaks, it might be time to consider replacing it.

When your roof has reached the end of its lifespan (yes, even slate doesn’t exceed 100-120 years at best!) If your roof has suffered too much damage, it’s time to replace your roof.

When should you replace your roof?

Checking the roof’s condition is often a priority when renovating a home. Materials like tile, slate, or zinc have rather long lifetimes, and sometimes it may be necessary to have only a few items replaced.

A roof does not necessarily have to be replaced entirely. There may only be certain areas of the top to be replaced, repairs, or renovations to be made.

If you are unsure of the future of your roof covering, the best thing to do is to contact a professional who will come in to diagnose your roof or visit

However, there are several cases where a complete roof renovation should be considered:

  • If you notice that the roofing elements have become porous and that the tile or slate debris is piling up in the gutter;
  • If you notice that the frame is sagging (this can be seen from the outside by looking at the roof);
  • If you notice the presence of large and numerous leaks in the roof;
  • If you notice an accumulation of mold in the frame (this requires accessing the attic and carefully inspecting the pieces of wood);
  • if your roof was made of asbestos cement and, despite its good condition, you want to remove asbestos from your property, for example, before selling it
  • if you’re going to change the look of your roof after installing roof openings, chimneys, or Velux windows, for a different style
  • if you need to raise your house and redo the roof frame
  • if you have to change the structure or a damaged roof screen: in both cases, you will not escape the need to dismantle the cover entirely if you want to make exterior thermal insulation
  • if you had filed an inaccurate building permit and depending on the rules of your PLU, you are asked to change coverage (near a historical monument, etc.)
  • if you want to install solar panels on your roof
  • But in most cases, roof replacement is used to renovate a roof that is out of breath: porous materials, infiltration or leaks, sagging roof, mold.
  • If xylophagous insects have invaded the frame (by accessing the attic, you may find traces of sawdust on the ground, and possibly small holes in the frame, a sign of the presence of these insects);
  • If a violent storm came to cause damage;
  • Following faulty artistry or the installation of the roof was severely executed, causing significant deterioration.
  • Before renovating your roof, take stock of the administrative procedures
  • .Depending on the roofing work envisaged, renovation, or total repair, it is necessary to comply with specific managerial procedures and local regulations. It will also be required to verify the presence or not of historical monuments near your project, whether they are classified. The PLU (Local Urban Plan) will guide you on the type of roof you can put in place, the roofing materials you can use, the minimum slope to respect, or the color of the tiles you can lay. Check the PLU carefully with your town hall before embarking on your work project.
  • Suppose the initial appearance of the roof must be changed, with the installation of a roof window, for example, the installation of a chimney, solar panels, or a dog-sitting. In that case, it will be necessary to file a declaration file Preliminary work in the town hall.

Suppose the work changes the roof’s appearance by a change in slope, an elevation, or a modification of the frame resulting in a difference in the attic volume. In that case, it will be necessary to file a building permit.

In addition, if the total area of ​​the house exceeds 150 m² after completion of this roofing work, the use of an architect will be mandatory.

Sagging or warping roofs

Sagging or warping roofs are things that happen, of course, but only to homes left abandoned or with unmaintained frames and ceilings(which is the same thing). In this case, the moss does its work, the roof becomes porous, mold and water seep in, the insulation is soaked, and the frame rots until it becomes deformed, resulting in disaster.

But unfortunately, following poor artistry, poor roofing by unscrupulous companies,

This is the case, for example, if the “professional” place roofing materials that are too heavy on an unsuitable frame. Hence, always calling on qualified professionals with ten-year guaranteed coverage for their work!

However, parts of your roof framing can be damaged, either because the wood-boring insects have invaded it or because you have had leaks.

For example, the wall plate (the horizontal wooden beam that sits just under the roof and divides the weight of the top towards the load-bearing walls) may suffer and be partially moldy or cracked.

The carpenter or roofer-carpenter who will come to make the repairs must remove the covering from your roof. If it is recent and in good condition, there is no reason to change it.

This may be an opportunity to invest in a roof replacement budget if it’s getting old, including coverage.

Roof maintenance

Replace a few tiles or the entire roof:

Tiles generally last 10 to 15 years and must be changed after this time.

Recycle tiles in good condition

When the roofing is still intact, and when only the frame or part of the sub-roof is damaged, the existing tiles can be recovered in good condition. But be aware that this can be even more expensive than replacing the entire roof!

For the simple reason that the roofer will have to find the exact tile model and inspect the ones you want to keep! one by one

A roofer will charge an hourly rate for this work: 40 to 65 € per hour. Or you can visit for the entire roofing replacement.

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Request a free quote for your roofing work

If you only need to change a few tiles, no worries. If we are talking about 40 m², study the budget carefully with your roofer.

In some cases, a roof is replaced by covering it with another. But this should be reserved for certain specific circumstances such as metal roofs, asbestos cement roofs, or concrete.

If you are used to working at heights and are a good handyman, you may decide to remove your old roof yourself.

In this case, you will respect the safety instructions and agree with the roofer on the state in which you will have to leave your roof for the roofer’s arrival.

Be careful, as the piles of tiles and slates are much heavier and require more travel to remove. On the other hand, you need a special ladder o walk on the slate.s

The shingles (wood or shingle) are removed horizontally and not vertically. The first step, namely removing the ridge, remains the same. The shingle rolls are cumbersome; you will have to carry them in pairs.

The elements to be checked (frame, insulation, etc.) before replacing the roof:

Several elements should be checked regularly, at least once a year, if you do not want your roof to deteriorate prematurely. If you are in an area prone to severe weather (torrential rains, hail, snow, high winds), it may be advisable to perform several inspections during the year.

Without going up on the roof, you can observe the roof and your house and see if any tiles or slates are broken or out of place. You must also check the top of the roof, the ridge, because it can be unsealed, or cracked (you can quickly check this point from the bottom of the roof).

Check whether the presence of mosses or lichens is too abundant because these plants can make the tile or slate more porous and alter the waterproofing.

In the case of a metal roof, it is essential to check for the presence of rust or traces of oxidation. If your roof is zinc, this is red for the steel deck or white.

In the case of a roof terrace with a waterproofing membrane, it is essential to check that the plants have not been invited onto the roof, particularly at the level of the membrane junctions, because the roots can deteriorate the roof. Waterproofing of the roof.

Regardless of the cover type, consider regularly removing debris that may have accumulated in gutters, channels, and other storm drains. Stagnation of rainwater there could create seepage in the walls of the house.

What budget should you plan to replace your roof?

Replacing your roof can represent a significant budget depending on the surface of the construction and the type of coating materials used (tiles, natural slates or fiber cement, zinc, etc.).

It is recommended to call in a professional who will establish a detailed estimate and offer you insurance and guarantees that will cover the work carried out in future problems.

The removal of your old roof will cost you between 23.46 $ and 35.19 $ per m² with waste management. For the installation of the roofing, the cost may vary from 120$ to 180 $ per m², supplies, and installation, depending on the type of materials used, the complexity of the roof (number of slopes, roof openings) of the region where your home is located, the kind of storm drains, and the skills and qualifications of the roofer you are using.

In addition, if you also take the opportunity to redo the insulation of the building at the same time, it will be necessary to add between 25 $ and 180 $ per m², whether it is the insulation of attics lost by blowing for the less expensive, insulation of the roof from the outside for the most costly.

Financial assistance or subsidies may be granted to you if you improve the energy performance of your house at the same time as the replacement of the roof.

Depending on their resources and the composition of their household, they will directly deduct the amount of the bill.

Aid from local authorities: certain regions, departments, inter-municipal authorities, or municipalities may grant additional support for federal assistance in carrying out work to improve energy performance.

Installation of the new roof of your house

Installing the new roof can be quick and easy if the frame is in good condition and there is no straightening required. On the contrary, if the structural work is also expected, it will be necessary to consider a little more intervention time.

Install an under-roof screen is recommended depending on the slope of the roof, the geographical location, or the roofing material used. This will protect against bad weather, particularly against infiltration of rain, snow, and wind.

Then the new battens will be put in place to stay the tiles or slates (natural or fiber cement). Continuous shoring will be put in place if the roof covering is zinc. In the case of the steel deck, it will be placed directly on the frame.


This represents a budget, sometimes more important than that of the construction of a new roof:

you have to remove the old roofing, check the condition of the frame, possibly renovate the screen and the insulation, check the state of the zinc work and refit a new cover. And obviously, transport the old one to the recycling center.

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