Budget for Your Biggest Expense Before It’s Too Late

Budget for Your Biggest Expense Before It’s Too Late

By Casey Crowther / Published September 2019

Photo by iStockphoto.com/DERO2084

When a water heater breaks, a new one will set you back $750 to $1,500. When a three-ton HVAC unit goes out, many ballpark estimates range from $3,000 to $5,000. They’re unexpected expenses but manageable.

     But when your roof needs to be repaired or replaced, you’re talking tens of thousands of dollars, potentially upwards of $100,000 or more if it’s a large property.

     Most community associations and property managers complete annual budgets that include predictable monthly expenses, like utilities, insurance, taxes, and landscaping. The budget spreadsheet also shows revenue from rent or leases, dues, and sales.

     Annual budgeting is terrific for predictable expenses. It’s not so great when the unexpected happens, like a hurricane, fire, or flood. Multi-year budgeting is a challenge because it can be difficult to forecast revenue and expenses three to five years down the road.

     At some point, every roof will need to be repaired or replaced. That’s a fact of life in Florida, as the three Hs—heat, humidity, and hurricanes—take their toll over time in the Sunshine State.

     Target Roofing & Sheet Metal has made it simple for those who own or manage high-rises, apartment buildings, condominiums, shopping plazas, churches, schools, and government facilities. We can be part of your budgeting process. Here’s how it can happen with the following steps:

  • Free inspection—Certified, experienced inspectors will visit your property to complete a thorough inspection. They’ll look for cracks or chips in tiles, displaced or buckled shingles, missing screws and nails, evidence of pooled water or drainage issues, mold and algae growth, damaged flashing, rust, and more.
  • Photos—During the inspection, high-definition photos will be taken to document a roof’s condition. These not only help property managers, owners, and board members see the roof, but the inspectors will compare images from year to year to notice any changes.
  • Recommendations—All comments and images will be compiled into a formal inspection report that offers a detailed “state-of-the-roof” assessment, as well as recommendations for repairs. Routine maintenance is the key to extending the life of a roof, which is why we offer a maintenance plan to all of our clients.
  • Projections—Based on the inspector’s qualified opinion, the inspection report will include a statement outlining the expected lifespan remaining on the roof and the potential costs of future repairs and replacement. This is the key to multi-year budgeting, and estimating software simplifies the finances.

    How can the unpredictable be predicted? Experience. Although one never knows when or where a hurricane will strike, it is possible for an experienced roofer to know how Florida’s climate impacts a roof. In addition, an experienced roofing company is also familiar with the major manufacturers of shingles and tiles and knows which brands hold up well past their warranty. Target Roofing has an in-house sheet metal manufacturing facility, and our metal roofs are the most durable on the market.

     For a trained professional, predicting when your roof will need to be replaced is similar to predicting when you’ll need a new car. A well-maintained five-year-old vehicle with 50,000 miles and a clean CarFax report likely will last another five years. Conversely, a five-year-old vehicle with 150,000 miles on the odometer that was driven by an aggressive driver known to skip oil changes might have a short future.

     Only a skilled mechanic will know for certain if a vehicle is ready for another road trip, or if its next trip is a visit to the junkyard. Likewise, only a skilled roofing inspector knows whether a 15-year-old roof that’s endured Charley, Irma, or Michael, not to mention hundreds of thunderstorms and damaging UV rays, is on its last leg.

     A smart vehicle owner will save up for a down payment on a new car, and a smart property manager or board will budget for a new roof. Once you’ve entered the five-year window to replace your roof, that’s the time to start setting aside funds to cover the expense. That unexpected expense just became an expected one. 

Casey Crowther

President, Target Roofing & Sheet Metal

Casey Crowther is a fifth-generation roofer and president of Target Roofing & Sheet Metal, a licensed and insured commercial roofing specialist that provides new roofs, reroofs, repairs, and maintenance plans. The company is headquartered in Fort Myers. For more information, please visit TargetRoofers.com or call (239) 334-7496.