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Nobody is happy to find out that it’s time for a roof replacement. And for a lot of people, this news comes at a bad time when the funds for a new roof aren’t readily available. So for many homeowners around Tampa Bay, there’s one big question they’re asking: Can I replace my own roof in Florida? And that’s an important question! But there’s another question that you should ask right after that one: Should I replace my own roof in Florida?
We’ve got the answers to both questions. Classic Roofing & Construction has been providing local roofing services across Tampa Bay and beyond for 20 years, so we know the ins and outs of roof replacement. Now, let’s discuss if a homeowner can legally replace their own roof in Florida.
Can I Replace My Own Roof in Tampa Bay, Florida?
So, can you replace your own roof in Florida? Good news: The short answer is yes, you can! Bad news: The accurate answer is more complicated. Legally speaking, yes, a homeowner can conduct their own roof replacement thanks to an exception in Florida Statute 489.103(7)(a). But before you commit to this long and expensive process, you should make sure that you know what you’re signing up for.
That’s why we’re going to walk you through what each step of the roof replacement process looks like when you do your own roof replacement.
Pick the Right Time
Timing is an important factor in DIY roof replacement. The biggest reason for this is that a sudden shower while you’re working could expose your roof to water damage and other roofing hazards. So when you’re picking a time to start your roof replacement, you’ll need to be completely sure that there won’t be any chance of inclement weather.
Or, failing that, you need to be sure that you can quickly tarp and cover your roof at the first sign of bad weather, and then shift your roof replacement schedule to resume after the weather has passed. This can be an issue since a lot of DIY roof replacements rely on friends and family who may not be available on another day.
The time of year is also worth considering. While you can legally replace your own roof in Florida any time, there are certainly hazards to roof replacement in the Sunshine State. Specifically, summer is a difficult time to replace roofs. It’s incredibly hot, and this doesn’t just make the job unpleasant—this makes it hazardous. Heat exhaustion during a roof replacement can lead to serious damage to both yourself and your property, so it’s essential that you either choose a cooler time of year or come prepared to manage the extreme heat.
Get the Right Permits
Without the right roofing permits, a homeowner who does their own roof replacement can run into a lot of headaches. Not only could they be penalized, but their homeowners insurance company may not accept their word that they completed a roof replacement and could demand that they get it replaced earlier than necessary. So how do you get the right permits to do your own roof replacement in Florida?
Each area in Tampa Bay will have its own local regulations, but a good place to start is by contacting your local building department to see what permits you’ll need and how to obtain them. But in general, the homeowner will need to be physically present to sign for any permits.
Purchase Roofing Materials
If you’re doing your own roof replacement, you’re probably going to go with shingle roofing materials. Not only are these the simplest roofing materials to install, but they’re also the most affordable and accessible to the average homeowner. In addition to your primary roofing materials, you will likely need to buy and install additional roofing accessories like water-resistant underlayments, ventilation systems, ridge caps, and other parts of a roofing system that keep your roof healthy over the long term.
Complete the Roof Replacement
Finally, you’re nearing the end of the roof replacement process! At this point in the roof replacement process, you can remove your old roof and install your new roofing system. There are just a few things to keep in mind:
- Legally, a homeowner doing their own roof replacement in Florida must supervise all work not completed by a licensed contractor. This could mean taking several days off work if you don’t have a large, experienced crew. And you may need to take off even more time if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
- If your roof deck has sustained any damage (and if you’ve experienced roof leaks, it probably has), then you will need to repair this damage after removing your old roof and before installing your new one.
- After you’ve completed your installation, you will need to have a final inspection to make sure that everything is installed correctly and safely. If your roof does not pass this inspection, you will need to go back and fix whatever issues the inspector finds, which usually means investing more time and money into your roof replacement.
As you can see, there are a lot of places where a DIY Florida roof replacement can go wrong. So now that we’ve covered that you can replace your own roof in Florida, it’s time to ask the next most important question. Should you?
Should I Replace My Roof in Florida?
In most cases, you should not replace your own roof in Florida. There are exceptions, like if you have years of roofing experience and a reliable crew of people who have also worked on roofs before. But in most situations, even if you have the experience, it still makes more sense to hire a professional roofing company.
To illustrate why it may not be a great idea to replace your own roof in Florida, we’re going to debunk some of the most common myths about DIY roof replacements.
Myth #1: DIY Roof Replacement Is Cheaper
On the surface, it seems like replacing your own roof would save you money. You can just buy the materials yourself, do all the work yourself, and save a lot of money on labor costs. But the truth is that replacing your roof will almost certainly cost you more money than hiring a professional.
Part of this is because if you’re getting a roof replacement for any reason other than age, then there could be damage to the underlying structure of your home. In this case, fixing these damages is essential before installing your new roof. And if you skip this step, you may end up paying for an entire roof replacement anyway when the new roofing system fails.
Moreover, replacing your own roof (especially if you’re not a roofing professional) can lead to problems with your homeowners insurance company. Specifically, if they decide that the job wasn’t completed to their satisfaction, then they could drop your policy. If this happens, it’s going to be a big problem to get insurance with another company, especially amidst Florida’s homeowners insurance crisis. And in the event of a hurricane or other damage to your home, this could cost you a lot of money.
Myth #2: DIY Roofs Are as Good as Professional Roof Replacements
Even if you’re a master roofer and know exactly what you’re doing, you still lose out when you replace your own roof. Why? Because you’re missing out on warranties. When you get your roof replaced by a licensed roofing company, you usually get warranties on both the roofing materials and the workmanship. But when you install your own roof, you don’t get these benefits. So if there are issues down the line, which are more likely with DIY roof replacements, then you won’t have any warranties shielding you from additional costs.
Myth #3: Replacing Your Own Roof Is Safe
What many people don’t realize is that roofing can be dangerous. And it’s especially dangerous if you’re not an experienced professional following industry safety practices. In addition to heat exhaustion mentioned above, people can easily be hurt by falls or by accidents with tools. And in addition to the concern for human wellbeing, this can also be a cause for financial concern.
With a professional crew, you can feel secure knowing that they are covered by the company’s liability insurance and workman’s compensation. But without that coverage, someone being injured on a job site on your property is your financial responsibility, and medical bills can quickly skyrocket. That’s why the state of Florida requires roofing companies to carry a minimum of $300,000 in liability insurance. And at Classic, we play it safe with our policy of $1 million, so we wouldn’t advise working without those protections in place.
Alternatives to Replacing Your Own Roof
Okay, so it’s pretty clear that replacing your own roof in Florida isn’t usually a good idea. But if you were thinking about a DIY roof replacement, then you probably had a good reason to not want to hire professional roofers. And for most people, that reason comes down to money. So let’s talk about how you can afford a professional roof replacement if the funds aren’t available.
Get Insurance to Pay for It
If you need a roof replacement due to storm damage like high winds or rains, then your insurance company may pay for your new roof. First, you should check your policy to confirm that this is a benefit that your insurance provider offers. Then, start gathering proof of storm damage—pictures of tiles blown off by winds, online articles about the storm that caused the damage, etc. After that, you can check your insurance company’s website to see where to send this information and get your claim started.
Once you’re approved by your insurance company, you can pick a roofing company to handle your roof replacement. But our advice: Don’t go with any company that wants to work with your insurance company directly. Florida has a long history of scam roofing companies over-charging insurance companies for roof replacements and pocketing all of the extra money, and this will mean nothing but headaches for you.
Go With Roof Replacement Financing
At Classic, we understand that roof replacements rarely come at a good time. That’s why we offer low-interest financing for roof replacements. Our financing options let you get the roof replacement that you need now and pay it off as you can. For a lot of families in Florida, this takes roof replacement from a pressing burden into an exciting opportunity to reinvest in your home without breaking the bank.
Choose Florida’s Top Roofing Company for Your Roof Replacement
When your roof needs replaced, don’t try to cut corners by doing it yourself. Instead, turn to experienced roofing professionals who know how to help. Classic has been in business across the Greater Tampa Bay region for 20 years. And we’ve got hundreds of five-star reviews to show for it! So instead of trying to save money by replacing your own roof, save money by making sure the job is done right and with the best roofing materials on the market.
We even make the process simple and easy: All you have to do is schedule your free roofing estimate online. Once you have a clear understanding of the total costs of your roof replacement, we will help you figure out a financing option that makes sense for you.
So don’t wait—get your free, no-obligation estimate and discover why Classic is one of the best roofing companies in Florida!