Your roof is one of the most important investments you will make when it comes to your home.
When the time comes to upgrade to a new one, you need to know the answer to several questions. First, how much does a new roof cost? Second, what factors play into the total cost?
Roof replacement is a change that improves curb appeal, safety, and property value all at once, so it is worthy of such a significant investment.
How Much Does a New Roof Cost?
Only a certified roofing contractor who knows your roof’s dimensions, the price of materials, and labor rates in your area can give you an accurate price quote.
Across the country, the national average is about $8,000 for a new roof replacement. On the low end, it could be as little as $5,000 – but most are closer to $10,000 or slightly more.
In many circumstances, homeowner’s insurance may help cover the cost of a new replacement, depending on the nature of the damage.
Roof Labor Cost
The largest factor in your overall replacement cost is the rate of labor in your area.
In fact, labor accounts for approximately 60 percent of the total replacement cost.
Typically, labor is billed at a “per square” rate. A roofing square is a 10 x 10 area, equivalent to 100 square feet.
Installation fees can range from $150 to $300 per square or around $1.50 to $3 per square foot.
The labor rates per square fluctuate based on a variety of factors. For example, your labor costs may increase (or decrease) based on the material that you choose.
Materials like metal will increase the labor while choosing asphalt shingles will lower costs.
Labor rates are also affected by the shape of the roof, geographic location, and features like a steep pitch, skylights, chimneys, etc.
Roof Material Cost
The second most significant factor is raw materials.
Again, keeping in mind that a square is 100 square feet, the materials could cost anywhere from $100 to $1,500 per square or $1-$15 per square foot.
Several factors influence material costs. For example:
- The size of your roof. Obviously, the larger the roof, the more materials are required and the higher the replacement cost.
- Geography can also affect material costs. It’s based on how difficult it may be to get the materials to your property, and if that distance requires additional freight or shipping expenses.
- If you’re changing materials, going from something lightweight (asphalt shingles) to something heavier (slate or tile) there may be structural changes necessary to support the new materials.
The most common roofing material is asphalt shingles, which will also be the least expensive.
Other materials provide additional benefits, but will also increase the overall replacement cost.
Asphalt Shingles: The average cost of replacement across the country varies between $5,750–$12,200. It’s the least expensive, easy to install, lightweight, and recyclable.
Tile Roof: This is a popular option, particularly for coastal cities, and will cost between $25,000 and $35,000 to install. However, it is relatively heavy, so your home must be built to support the weight.
Metal Roof: This is an excellent long-term investment, but will set you back around $20,000 for a new replacement. There are several metal options, some (like copper, for example) that will cost significantly more to install.
Shake: For a beautiful authentic cedar shake roof, you’re looking at between $25,000 and $40,000 to replace. This is because of their unique appearance and also high maintenance.
Slate: A slate roof has an extremely long lifespan and is naturally resistant to fire but will likely cost over $30,000 for the average home. Synthetic slate is also an option, but the costs are significantly higher.
How to Calculate the Cost of a New Roof
With three important factors, you can calculate the total replacement cost:
- Size: You’ll need to know how many square feet of roof you have. If you’re not sure, you can check for original blueprints or have a roofing contractor come to inspect and read the dimensions free of charge.
- Material: It’s best to ask for material cost per square foot. This will give you the best opportunity to compare material prices. You can look for the price of various materials in your area and see what most homeowners choose in your neighborhood.
- Labor: Get quotes from multiple contractors to compare labor costs. You may be surprised how much it can vary from one company to another within your area.
Once you have these three numbers, you can calculate the total replacement cost:
(Material Sq. Ft cost + Labor Sq. Ft cost) x Size Sq. Ft = New Roof Cost
The homeowner wants to install metal on their 1,800 sq. ft roof.
($15.25 sq. ft. + $4.15 sq. ft.) x 1,800 = $34,920
The homeowner wants to install asphalt shingles on their 2,000 sq. ft roof.
($4.68 sq. ft. + $4.15 sq. ft.) x 2,000 = $17,660
Using this simple formula can help you to estimate future costs, confirm the quote that you’re given from the contractor, and give you peace of mind knowing what you’re paying for.
6 Factors To Consider When Calculating Roof Replacement Costs
Material, size, and labor are the three main factors in the cost of a new replacement, but other factors also play a role.
1. Geographical Location: If you have a cabin deep in the woods or a beach house in a remote location, you may end up paying more for both labor and material costs for a new replacement. Additionally, an area with a booming housing market with supplies in high demand may also end up spending more because prices are increased.
2. Underlying Damage: When you remove your existing roof, it’s important to inspect the underlayment and base layer. If you have damage that must be fixed, rot that requires replacement, or other structural issues, the total replacement cost may increase or even double.
3. Additional Designs: This can be the literal shape and angle of your roof, or additional designs like chimneys, skylights, dormer windows, etc. Additionally, if you choose to have your materials installed in a unique pattern or specific design, this will also increase the time and labor costs.
4. Removal of Old Material: You never want to install a new roof over existing materials. While (technically) your roof can handle two layers of asphalt shingles, it’s not a good idea. Removal of the old material is rolled into the total replacement cost. How simple (or complex) it is to remove can affect the cost of your new installation.
5. Accessibility: This is simply the time and labor it requires to get on the roof. A single-story home requires less harnessing, fewer ladders, and less time climbing up and down ladders with heavy supplies. A home with limited roof access can increase replacement costs because of the additional time and labor required.
6. Environmental Conditions: The ideal time for a roof upgrade is the spring or fall seasons. If you’re forced to replace your roof in either extreme cold or heat it can increase the rate you’ll pay for the job. This is due to additional protective elements required for the team.
Preparing for Your New Roof
The total new roof cost can be surprising and overwhelming, particularly if you weren’t planning for or expecting to replace your roof. But there are some ways to save money on replacement costs to make it more manageable.
First, if you require a replacement due to a storm, check with your homeowner’s policy to see if there is coverage available to help offset the cost.
Second, ask the contractor specifically what you can do to manage the budget or reduce costs. Third, request several estimates. They are of no cost to you and can help you find the best option in your area. Make sure you ask for an itemized list of costs so you have a reliable and accurate estimate.
Last, many contractors will work with you to find financing options or offer a payment plan that works with your budget.
When you’re making a significant investment in your home’s roof, it’s important to find a contractor you can trust.
We are here to make replacing your roof a little easier with clear estimates, honest pricing, and expertise you can rely on, give us a call today!