Is a Permit Required to Replace a Roof? 4 Common Roof Replacement Questions

Posted By: Debbie Hathorne Consumer,

“Is a permit required to replace a roof,” you might be pondering to yourself as you gaze upon your withering roof. If you ponder long enough, you’ll likely find yourself with a few other questions as well. We’ve gathered some of the most common roof replacement questions to help you prepare for the installation of your new roof.

Is a Permit Required to Replace a Roof? 

In the state of Colorado, a permit is required to replace a roof. If this is your first question when considering a roof replacement, then you’re on the right track. Asking, “Is a permit required to replace a roof”, displays that you have the desire to get the job done right. While the permitting process can feel cumbersome, remember that permitting requirements are ultimately in place to keep everyone safe.

Another thing to note is that permitting regulations can vary from county to county and city to city. While a permit for a roof replacement is a fairly universal requirement in Colorado, you may find that you may or may not need permits for roofing repairs – most often, it comes down to the size and involvement of the repairs.

Helpful resource:

How Do I Find the Right Contractor?

Of all the questions, this one is our specialty. Our aim is to ensure every homeowner in Colorado has access to quality, licensed roofing contractors, along with the know-how to avoid scams. Luckily for you, we have a tool that allows you to search through our member contractors. Our members are licensed, insured, experienced, and reputable contractors, any one of which would be a good choice. Click here to start your search.

Once you’ve selected your roofing contractor, might we suggest asking the following questions. If nothing else, they will help make sure you and your contractor are on the same page.

  • Ask about their workmanship warranty. A warranty on your roof is like extra insurance. You’ll want to select a roofing contractor that backs their work with a good warranty.
  • Ask if they are certified by shingle manufacturers. This will tell you how trusted the contractor is. If they're certified by a manufacturer, you can be sure they're a trustworthy contractor.
  • Ask about their business. Find out how long they’ve been replacing roofs and where they’ve completed their work. You want to know where to find them if any problems arise.
  • Ask them for references. A reputable roofing contractor will be happy to share their work with you. Be sure to ask for references from the recent past – 3-6 months should do.

How Often Should a Roof be Replaced?

Unlike “Is a permit required to replace a roof,” the answer to this question is a bit more nuanced. Like most assets, the lifespan of a roof can vary depending on a handful of factors. Extreme temperatures, weather conditions, and degree of maintenance diligence are just a few of those factors. Many licensed roofers will estimate the lifespan of a roof to be somewhere between 15 and 30 years, while most manufacturers’ warranties are good from 30 up to 50 years.

There’s no one right answer to this question, but we can attest that the best way to be sure of when your home is ready for a new roof is with regular, professional inspections. The general Colorado inspection rule of thumb is twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall. With regular inspections, your contractor will catch minor repairs before they become big problems, and overall increase the life expectancy of your roof.

What’s Included in a Roof Replacement?

Depending on the type of roof and the roofing material used, there can be some variation in what’s included in your roof replacement, but for the most part, the components of a roof are the same. We’ll use a standard asphalt shingle roof as an example. Here are the typical components included in a roof replacement.

  • Roof decking. This consists of the wooden boards that make up the framing of your roof. Some of these boards may need replacement if they’re damaged, but your contractor will only know that once the old roof is removed.
  • Underlayment. This is a felt material that goes over your roof decking to provide extra protection. There are different types of underlayment, but a new layer of underlayment MUST be installed with your new roof.
  • Ice and water shields. These waterproof membranes are a type of underlayment and help keep water flowing in the right direction through the valleys of your roof. They provide extra protection for the wettest parts of your roof and, depending on city and county ordinances, replacement of this roofing component may be required with your new roof.
  • Roof flashing. These are the pieces of metal that butt up to walls and chimneys and run down the valleys of your roof. These won’t need to be replaced if they are in good shape.
  • Drip edge. Another type of flashing, drip edge is the metal that’s installed at the edge of your roof that helps to direct water away from your home. Like underlayment, this MUST be replaced with a new roof.
  • Roof vents. These help your attic breathe, allowing hot and cold air to escape properly. Without them, your roof’s lifespan will be cut short. There are various types of roof vents, but these MUST be installed with your new roof.
  • Pipe boots. These rubber boots fit around the base of the pipes on your roof and work to keep water from running down them into your house. Old and worn pipe boots are the most common cause of leaks. These MUST be installed with your new roof.
  • Asphalt shingles. The part of your roof that’s most visible, these are what you typically think of when you think of roofing. These will obviously be replaced with your new roof but must be installed using the proper technique.
  • Ridge capping. This is the trim installed on the peaks of your roof. Also made of asphalt, they are thicker than regular shingles and come prebent to fight your roof correctly. These MUST be installed with your new roof. Beware of roofers who try to cut costs by using regular shingles for ridge capping.

Answers for Colorado Home and Building Owners

Asking yourself, “Is a permit required to replace a roof”, is a great first step. We hope we’ve left you more equipped for all the intricacies of replacing your roof. The Colorado Roofing Association exists to help home and building owners make informed decisions when it comes to replacing and repairing their roofs. Keep asking the right questions, and you’ll find yourself with a dependable roof for years to come.