Cottage Roof: Should You DIY?

cottage roof Repairing or changing the cottage roof can be an expensive project, and deciding between a DIY job and using professional roofers requires some careful consideration.

Should you do the cottage roof yourself?

The cabin roof might be the most expensive project you will undertake at the lake, especially if you have a water-access property.

In an effort to reduce costs, many cottage owners lean towards doing the roof themselves, but the actual savings might not turn out to be as big as expected.

Here are some things to consider before deciding to do your own cottage roof.

Material costs
Contractors generally get a better deal on shingles, wood, and other materials needed to repair or replace a roof than the average Joe who walks into the store and wants to purchase the supplies. The pros also know exactly what to order, and already own the necessary tools.

Labour costs
Inviting friends and family over for the weekend to help with the roof repair might sound like a cost-effective way of getting the roof done, but the reality can turn out to be quite different.

Providing food, drinks, transportation, pocket money, etc. can quickly add up, and in the event the team isn’t as efficient as expected, a project that was supposed to take two days can quickly turn into one that has to be done over the course of two or three weekends.

In addition, the help can suddenly become unavailable once everyone realizes how difficult it is to be a roofer.

Disposal costs
In many cases, you have to remove the old shingles and take them to the dump. Normally, that requires a trailer, a dumpster, or several trips with your pickup truck.

You have to figure in gas, rental, and disposal fees when making the calculations. Again, the contractors tend to have the proper equipment, and often get deals on landfill charges.

Quality of work
Roofing isn’t an easy job, and if you mess it up, the end result could be a much more expensive project than it would have been to simply hire the pros.

In the worst case scenario, you butcher the job, have a major leak, and then get refused by the insurance company because the roof wasn’t done properly.

Weather conditions
Cottage country tends to see some unpredictable weather, and it is best to get a roof job done as quickly as possible. The last thing you want to happen is to get caught with an exposed roof when a storm arrives.

DIY roof jobs usually result in a bunch of buddies with a broad range of handyman capabilities pitching in to help. Safety isn’t always the first thing on everyone’s mind, and you have to consider the possibility that someone could fall off the ladder or the roof, put a roofing nail through their foot using the nail gun, or throw out their back carrying shingles.

Value of lost time
The most important decision might simply come down to the value you place on your time.

If you are self-employed, could you be working instead of doing your roof?

If you have limited time available to enjoy the cottage, do you really want to spend those precious days slaving away slugging shingles up the ladder and boiling under the summer sun?

The bottom line
A cabin owner with the required skills, equipment, and access to quality help can certainly save some cash by doing his own roof, but the majority of cottagers should probably leave the roofing work to the professionals who do it every day.

Written by: Andrew Walker


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