A roof is one of the most important parts of a house. It protects you, your home, and your belongings from the outside elements. However, it won’t last forever. You need to keep up on the maintenance to maximize its life but will eventually need to replace it.
While the roof is one of the more expensive parts of the home, the good news is, you shouldn’t have to replace it many times in your life. To prepare for the situation in which you do, here’s a comprehensive guide on the roof replacement costs you can expect.
What is the average cost to replace a roof?
According to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide, the average total cost to install a new roof in the U.S. is $7,494. The cost range starts at $5,128 and goes up to $9,995.
What goes into the cost of the roof? It includes the roofing materials (shingles, tiles, etc.), accompanying materials, labor to install the roof, protective elements, and removal of waste.
The amount of your replacement will depend on a number of factors which we will cover next.
Factors that impact the cost of roof replacement
What can make the difference in the cost of your roof? Here is a look at what you should know;
- Roof size: The larger your roof, the more materials you need and the more labor it requires to install.
- Pitch: The steeper a roof’s slope is, the more difficult it is to cover, so the more expensive.
- Material type: The materials you decide to use for your roof greatly impact the cost. Ken Owenby, the owner of Roofing Products and Building Supply, says, “The type of roof you choose determines the cost. For example, a slate roof, cedar shakes, or Spanish tiles will be much more expensive than an asphalt shingle roof.” Here’s a look at the cost ranges for a variety of material types. Note the most common type of roofing installed in the U.S. is asphalt shingles, according to HGTV.
- Design: Owneby says, “The overall design of a roof can increase labor cost. For example, a roof with more peeks, valleys and facets will incur more labor. The more complex the design, the most costly.”
- Location of home: Where you live is also a factor as requirements vary and prices fluctuate based on the local economy. Plus, you may need protective elements if the weather in your region is too cold or hot. Here’s a look at the average cost of a roof installation in each state’s capital city.
- Code requirements: Your roof may require special treatment depending on the code requirements that apply to it.
- Tear-offs: Different projects require varying amounts of waste removal depending on how many tear-offs are needed. The average cost range to remove an old roof on a basic ranch-style home is $510 to $1,100, according to Home Advisor.
- Features: The features on a roof such as chimneys, ridge vents, and skylights affect the cost as they can complicate the installation.
- Reinforcements: If your roof requires further reinforcements, that can increase the cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, according to Home Advisor.
Now that you know the factors that can impact the cost of replacing your roof, let’s look at when you can save money by simply repairing it.
Replace vs. repair
Before installing a new roof, you should consider the possibility of repairing it as it is much cheaper, averaging $787 nationwide, according to Home Advisor.
The typical causes for repair include:
- Missing or blown-off shingles
- Leaking flashing around pipes
- Chimneys or skylights
- Sagging gutters
- Damaged valleys and soffits
All of these compromise the roof and allow water to penetrate it.
But when is it time to go for the full replacement vs. the repair?
Ask the following questions.
- Is the roof nearing the end of its service life? If so, you may be facing the first of many problems. As a general rule, Owenby says, “If your roof is more than 12 years old, you should begin to look for wear and tear. If you notice granules around the perimeter of your home or in your gutters, that is an indication the shingles are deteriorating and should be replaced.”
Here’s a look at how long different types of roofing should last:
- Is there extensive leaking in multiple places? According to the national averages, after making about nine repairs, you will have paid for a new roof, so keep that in mind. Once things start going downhill with leaks in multiple places, it’s often better to go for the replacement to stop the frequent repairs.
- Is the roof in need of an update to improve your home’s curb appeal or energy efficiency? You may be able to recoup some of the costs of your investment which can increase the benefits of opting for a new roof.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time for a replacement. Get a quote on the repair and have someone inspect your roof to find out about its condition. Weigh the pros and cons to decide if the replacement cost justifies the benefits or if a repair is the best route for now.
How do I estimate roofing costs?
Roofing is quoted as the cost per square (100 sq. ft. of roof surface) or square foot. The quote includes materials, labor, waste removal, dumpster fees, disposal fees, permitting fees, workmanship warranty, and installation. Once you know the cost per square for the material of your choice, you can multiply it by your home’s roof size.
The average cost in the U.S. for an asphalt shingle roof ranges from $3.50 to $5.50 per sq. ft. Generally, 40% of that is for materials, and 60% is for the installation.
You can (roughly) estimate the square footage of a roof as one and half times the square footage of a house, according to BaldEagle Construction and Permit Services. Being so, multiply your square footage by one and a half, and then by the cost per square for your roofing.
Here are some examples:
- How much does it cost to replace a roof on a 1200 square foot house? $8,100.
- How much does it cost to replace a roof on a 2000 square foot house? $13,500.
- How much does it cost to replace a roof on a 2500 square foot house? $16,875.
- How much does it cost to replace a roof on a 3000 sq ft house? $20,250.
You can use this method to get a rough estimate of your roofing costs. However, it’s best to call in a professional (or a few) to get quotes when you’re serious about making the investment.
Well, the cost depends on a number of factors, as we learned above. Some factors can be difficult to assess with precision, such as roof size, which requires a professional to climb on the roof and take measurements.
How to choose the right roofing contractor
When comparing roofing bids, it can be tempting to take the lowest one. However, that can cost you in the long run. Before making your choice, check the following:
- Reviews from past customers
- Pictures of previous jobs
- The contractor’s liability insurance and workers compensation
- The warranty that comes with the roof
- The contractor’s licenses (if applicable in your state)
- Who does the work? (subcontractors or in-house)
- The quality of the materials
If the price is lower than the rest, there is usually a reason, and your roof is not an investment with which you want to cut corners.
At the same time, you don’t want to overpay. Larger companies may have more overhead and a strong reputation which enables them to charge more but which doesn’t necessarily guarantee a better value. For example, they may outsource the work to subcontractors who aren’t paid as much and cut corners.
In summary, compare all of the bids and research the companies to find the best combination of value and price.
How to pay for a new roof
What if you don’t have the money to pay for a new roof when you need one? Then, it’s time to look into financing solutions. But, how do you find the best deal?
Well, you’ll need to look at the different types of financing available, what each offers, and which provides the best value. Some of the top available options to pay for a new roof include contractor financing, HELOCs, and mortgage refinancing
Learn more about home improvement loans.
Contractor financing involves getting a loan from the contractor you hire for the roof installation. This can provide an all-in-one kind of deal which is great for convenience. However, you’ll want to compare it to other offers to ensure you get the best deal. Plus, things can get kind of complicated when the financing and the project are in the hands of one party.
HELOCs allow you to tap into your home’s equity through a credit line. You can then withdraw from the credit line to pay for the roof. The upside is that you only pay interest on the amount you withdraw. Once the withdraw period ends, you will pay off the amount you owe over a set term.
Refinancing your mortgage enables you to cash out some of your home’s equity. You can then use those funds to pay for your roof. Repayments will be over a set term with interest.
Read this article for the in-depth scoop on roof-financing options and how to find the best one for you. (link to roof cost financing article)
Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney, The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, Commonbond, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Guardian, Personalloans.org and many others. She specializes in taking personal finance topics like loans, credit cards, and budgeting, and making them accessible and fun.