A failing roof on a duplex can pose a tricky situation. Although the homes share a roof, they have different owners. If you want or need a new roof on your half of the duplex, it doesn't automatically mean that your neighbor will agree.
1. Insurance Coverage Can Vary
Since a duplex is technically two homes with two owners, there may be different insurance companies covering each half of the roof. Although one company may approve a full replacement due to damage, the other may only approve repairs or may approve nothing. If the uncovered owner decides not to pay out of pocket for the repair, you may not be able to force the issue. Both owners may decide to split the remaining out-of-pocket costs or only a partial replacement may occur.
2. Shingle Matching Is Challenging
Partial replacements come with several challenges, and one of those challenges is matching the shingles for the new part of the roof to the old. In some cases, a perfect match may not be possible. In this case, you must choose whether to simply match as well as possible or opt for a completely different color that complements the other half of the roof without clashing. An experienced roofer can help you navigate this issue should it come up.
3. Both Parties Should Agree
Whatever decision on the roofing is made, it's best if both owners agree. If a full replacement is decided upon, then take the time to choose shingles and other components that you both like and are willing to pay for either in cash or via insurance. When only a partial replacement is approved, try and get this approval in writing from the other owner. Make sure they are well aware of some of the potential issues, such as color matching challenges or issues with sealing the two differing roofs together.
4. Sharing a Contractor Is Best
Even if both parties agree to a roof replacement, it may be tempting to use different roofing contractors for each half. Ignore this temptation, as it is much better to use one contractor for the whole roof replacement. This ensures that the materials and craftsmanship match, which can increase the attractiveness and the quality of the roof. Further, the roof will likely cost less if it is put in by a single crew at the same time.
Contact a roofing replacement contractor if you need a new roof on your duplex.