The Downside to DIY Roofing

the-downside-to-diy-roofingRoofing involves incredible intricacy and skill. Approaching it the DIY way exposes you to every element and requires plenty of hard labor. It’s an extensive and time-consuming task, so weigh up the pros and cons before deciding to rely on your own expertise.

The Practicalities

If you can’t walk comfortably around on your roof, you won’t manage to carry a load of materials across it during an extensive DIY project. Roofing demands that you create a surface that withstands wind, rain, and heavy snow. You need to understand how it responds to the unique climate of your area. Building codes vary enormously from state to state for this reason, so you’ll need to talk to your building inspector before starting your project. Some states require you to use No.30 asphalt saturated felt, while others require No. 15, for example. The roof needs to be solid enough to protect your home from the harshest elements. You’ll also need the right tools, which can collectively make your project economically impractical.


Not all tiles are created equal. You’ll need to investigate how well a certain material works in your climate. Even a dry, desert environment needs a specific kind of tile. About 96% of tile roofing projects are professionally done because cutting tiles so that hips and valleys conform to one another is no mean task. The material underneath your tiles is just as important. The tile itself should last between 50 and 75 years, but the flashings and underlayment tend to deteriorate. You’ll need to know which nails to use for each portion of your roof, too. In some cases, copper and stainless steel screws are called for.

Structural Support

If it isn’t complicated enough that you need to choose materials for longevity, you also need all fabrications to work well together. Those that provide structural support need to be able to take the weight of the materials you place over them. Some tile weights are only sold in certain areas, so you may have to ship them at an additional cost, which can reach several hundred dollars.


If your roof is steep or high, no saving can make up to the risk of death or injury. It’s best to rely on professionals in this case. Fall protection kits, complete with harnesses and rope, are needed, particularly when working with dirty or wet roofs. Extension cords, scaffolding, and hard hats are the last of your safety equipment.


Water is one of the most destructive forces for your DIY roofing. It will form ice dams if your attic is poorly insulated or ventilated. It will blow under your shingles and leak around your nails. All of these aspects need to be taken care of with underlayment, plastic backing, and seals. Underlayment is a tricky thing to install, particularly on hot days, so your roofing project will need to be planned according to climate. Felt or tar paper is required to shed water that might leak beneath your shingles. Professional roofing is performed quickly and skillfully, reducing the problems of weather and water significantly.

Physical Limitations

Your strength is an important consideration when you’re planning a DIY roofing project, particularly if you intend to use heavy clay tiles.

Roofing is hard work, and you’ll probably second guess yourself a lot with your techniques and decisions because there is no single right way to handle it. Before you decide to go forward with a DIY roofing project, calculate the costs of all materials, tools, and safety equipment. You’ll probably find that that professional price is less steep than you imagined.


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