Roof restoration - does it add value to a home at sale time?

Residential


Roof renovations: some of the trickiest, most frustrating and commonly overlooked renovations that you can do. You might ask yourself if it’s all worth it: does it really add all that much to your home sale?


We’re here to put those questions to rest, and provide you with the advice you need to renovate your roof at the lowest cost and the best value. 

Read more: Renovations that add value from inside out

Does a new roof add value at sale time?

Before we begin, we should take note of something that applies to nearly all renovation work: not every reno is created equal. Some will add more value than others, while some will be complete money sinks that don’t add anything to your final sale price.

Roofing is included in these renovations—but it also exists in a special space where sometimes ‘value’ isn’t the most important thing.

The roof of your home is one of the key traits that buyers see before they even walk in your front door. Along with your exterior walls, the state of your roof can tell a buyer (or infer to a buyer) a lot about the condition of the rest of your home.

It tells them how well the house has been looked after, how dry the home is, and generally how much they should be paying for your home.

Think of it like a haircut: if you met someone with a sharp suit and a friendly demeanour but hair that looked like it hadn’t been washed in weeks, wouldn’t that detract from the overall look and your opinion of them?

Roofing is the same. No matter how great the rest of your exterior looks, if your roofing is subpar, it’s going to impact your sale price.

That’s why we encourage you to think less about the standalone return-on-investment for a roofing revamp and more about how much it helps you to sell your house as a whole. A buyer might not be willing to be spend extra thousands of dollars because the roof has just been redone, but they might not go through with the sale at all if the roof requires a lot of work and puts them off!

With that in mind, here’s what you need to consider when renovating your roof for your home sale:

Different repairs for different roofs

In New Zealand, there are a number of different roofing options, each of which will have slightly different requirements and costs with repairs. These include:

  • Metal, such as corrugated iron and steel. These can suffer from rust or salt damage in coastal areas but are quite low maintenance compared to others.
  • Membrane, such as bitumen and butyl rubber. These can be punctured, cut or scratched by foot traffic or debris.
  • Concrete and clay tiles. These tiles are extremely durable, but can crack over time and might need replacing.
  • Slate tiles. These are extraordinarily durable and have been known to last for 400 years. However, under adverse conditions, like any other tiles, they can become loose and require repair.
  • Asphalt. These can last decades at a time, but will degrade over time—especially if they have been installed under less-than-ideal circumstances.

Doing these repairs yourself can keep the budget down as you are not legally required to have scaffolding erected around your house.  If hiring a professional however, make sure you factor this cost into your budget as it is a Health and Safety requirement for all roofing contractors and painters. Check out the working on roofs guide from Worksafe NZ here for current guidelines and legislation.

Depending on your roofing material, you may find that you don’t need a complete reroof, but rather a repair.


Avoid big renos when a small one will do

Sometimes, you just need to completely reroof a house. Roofs older than 10 years old, for example, are unlikely to meet current building codes and could probably do with a complete switchover.

However, depending on the type of roof your home has, the roof may just need to be repaired, pointing replaced, cleaned, and then painted, in that order. A patch repair is a lot more cost effective than a full refit, as you can imagine, and can often have just as much effect on your curb appeal.  And don’t forget the gutters and downpipes. Replacing the guttering can be a relatively inexpensive repair that will frame your freshly repaired and painted roof nicely.


But also know when to cut your losses

Sometimes a patch job just won’t do the trick. Sometimes the repairs needed are so extensive that you might as well get a new roof entirely.

This can happen more often than you think. Sometimes patching a roof can be almost half the price of replacing it entirely, and even if you did patch it, it won’t be stable for much longer.

Repairing instead of replacing can result in the costs of replacement being used against you during the sale negotiation, effectively deducting this cost from your sale price despite the fact you’ve already done repairs. In other words, you might as well not have done the repairs in the first place.

If you aren’t sure if your roof needs a replacement, keep an eye out for:

  • Severe moisture damage
  • Signs of old age (1970s or older)
  • Notoriously non-durable materials
  • Corrosion or rusting

If you spot these, get a professional evaluation and be prepared to bite the bullet if you want a solid home sale.

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