Going from complete ignorance about what all is needed for a successful roofing job to learning something is basically what you need to do. If you do the right kind of preparation, then this will not be a short list. One thing that needs to be at the top of your list is how to choose the best roofing contractor. You may not know this, but your state has dedicated offices and people who oversee contractors.
Anytime there’s a roofing issue, they tend to start small and then grow from there. What you need to do is survey all those places on your roof where there is something coming up from below as these tend to be the problematic areas. Just use your ability to recognize something that clearly is not supposed to be there, and that will allow you to take a closer look or bring out a contractor for a professional opinion. Keep in mind that roof repairs or problems may be just the surface of things, and you may need additional repairs.
If your roof is leaking, then it will be apparent in the attic or even on the ceiling in bedrooms.
Also be sure you take a good flashlight because you want to be able to see small moisture spots round the support planks under the roof. You know what wet wood looks like, and it will have a darker appearance than surrounding wood. You’ll need to get something and anything wrong repaired since you don’t want to compromise the integrity of your brand new roof.
Obviously part of getting a new roof means your shingles will be removed with new ones installed. Of course you will not be reusing the old shingles, and there are many different kinds to choose from. The most long-lasting decision you’ll make here is the type of shingle you buy because they are very different and you need to know how they are so different. You get what you pay for in so many ways, and this applies directly to shingles.
Doing your research in advance of a new roof installation will save you potentially a lot of money. Anytime you go onto your roof, be very careful about your footing as you do things like measure the roof. Anything you are capable of doing should be done, but there is a lot to think about and plan for.