The (Not-So) Ugly Truth about Roofs

January 19, 2024

The roof over your head may be doing a lot more than just protecting your assets, yet it’s often a neglected feature when considering home improvements. You probably know that your roof is a necessity, but you probably don’t realize how imperative it is to the aesthetic of your house. While you may not notice the roof specifically when you’re admiring (or not) a house, chances are the roof is playing a huge part in the visual appeal.  

If you’ve ever had to replace a roof, you know there are literally hundreds of options. Brands, materials, styles, colors, and thickness – the selections are endless. And there’s a reason for this! The appearance of the roof matters! The type of roof sets the tone for the entire house. For instance, when you think of a “spanish style house” you can probably visualize exactly what that looks like – and it’s equipped with a red or orange “S” or clay tile. Now imagine that roof on a craftsman style home, or a cabin, or even a Tudor- that visualization is a little jarring, right? The overall style of your house ultimately relies on the style of roof installed. Removing the spanish style tile from the house and installing a dark composition shingle, would dramatically change the aesthetic of the home.

When remodeling for selling, many homeowners are looking for a high ROI. Extravagant kitchens and updated bathrooms are what we’ve been conditioned to look towards, but these aren’t always the best decisions. You can have a beautifully designed (and expensive) kitchen, but it won’t get you a single buyer if the roof is leaking, or looks to be in poor shape. They say you have eight seconds to make a first impression, those eight seconds are finished by the time potential buyers have walked up to the front door. If the roof is ugly, it doesn’t matter how extravagant the kitchen is – some won’t even go inside to see. For buyers, living with an outdated bathroom is more ideal than knowing the roof needs to be replaced.

Curb appeal is everything. In fact, nearly all the highest ROI projects had to do with exterior or curb appeal of a home. As mentioned above, it doesn’t matter how upgraded the interior is, if the exterior of the home is not appealing, many people won’t waste their time going inside. When selling a home, it’s important to make the home inviting. There’s nothing less welcoming than a roof covered in cracked tiles, or missing shingles.

The bottom line is, we can all live without granite counter tops and farmhouse sinks. We can get by on formica counters in the bathrooms, and outdated shower-tub combos. But, we need a solid roof. Unfortunately, while we may fantasize about subway tile backsplash, we don’t usually put the same thought into a roof. As dream-crushing as it may feel though, the return of investment on a roof, according to HGTV has an expected ROI of nearly 80%. Most contractors (and real estate agents) will agree; when necessary, focus on the structural aspects of your home first – starting with the roof.