What Do You Need to Do to Change a Roof Design?

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A roof redesign can radically improve the appearance of a house.
A roof redesign can radically improve the appearance of a house. (Image: roof image by sanyal from Fotolia.com)

The specific steps of each stage for a roof redesign will vary according to exactly what changes you plan to make. However, every roof project will progress in the same five stages. Although anybody can perform some of the steps in the process, in most states you will require the help of a licensed building professional.

Define the Existing Roof

In order to plan your redesign you have to start by understanding exactly what's in place. Make a rough sketch of your existing roof from the top and sides. Get schematics of the roof's structural components; these are often available from your county records office.

Design the New Roof

Make a rough sketch of what you want the new roof to look like. Based on this sketch and your structural sketch of the existing roof, make detailed notes about what you will need to change in order to bring about the new roof design.

Draw the New Schematic

Based on your notes, draw a schematic blueprint of the structure for the new roof design. You may want to have a professional draftsman or architect complete this stage for you. In many states you will need a professionally drawn plan in order to get your building permit approved.

Get Permits

Apply for your building permit, usually with your county. This process may require professionally drawn plans or an okay from a building professional. It also includes a nominal fee and a waiting period of a week to a few months.

Bid and Build

Unless you're a building professional yourself, contract for the actual roof work with a licensed and bonded roofing company. Get bids from at least three companies and ask for references from each. When calling the references they give you, ask those references for names of other clients who worked with the company. Once you've decided on a building company, don't look for reasons to be dissatisfied; changing builders mid-job is a huge hassle.

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References

  • Matt Zanger, Licensed Architect, Dayton, WA
  • "Protecting the Gift"; Gavin De Becker; 1999
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