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How much does it cost to replace a roof?

Published May 20, 2024| minute read

    Replacing your roof is unlike most other repairs and renovations you might make to your home. Compared to adding a fancy new backsplash or replacing a wall in your bathroom, replacing a roof is a larger, multi-faceted process. But how much does it cost to replace a roof? And what should homeowners looking to save money know ahead of time?

    What is the average cost to replace a roof?

    The average cost to replace a roof depends on a few things, from where you live to the kind of roof you have and how much of it you need to replace. While exact numbers will vary, here’s a rundown of the factors likely to shape the cost:

    • Roofing material: Asphalt shingles, metal, slate or any other material comes with its own price point and lifespan.
    • Roof size and complexity: Many roofing companies scale their costs according to the square footage of the roof. Larger roofs or those with unique designs and multiple angles might involve more materials and labor, contributing to higher roof-replacement costs.
    • Labor costs: Depending on your region and the expertise of the professionals you hire, labor rates vary considerably.
    • Old roof removal: Sometimes old material needs to be removed (and disposed of) before the new roof is installed, adding to the overall price. How much the roof and the disposal process itself can add costs.
    • Underlayment and accessories: A roof is more than the surface layer. There’s the underlayment, a waterproofing barrier that sits between the roof deck and the upper layer, and any necessary flashing, metal layering that helps protect protrusions from seepage.
    • Local building codes: Keep in mind that local regulations might stipulate specific materials or methods, potentially influencing your costs, too.
    • Unforeseen repairs: Once a project starts, you might discover underlying issues like rotted wood or structural damage that would need addressing, impacting your bottom line.
    • Warranties or guarantees: You might want to figure in the price of extended warranties, if interested. These could add to the upfront costs but save money in the long run.

    How to pay for a new roof

    Once you have an average cost to replace a roof for your type of house in your area, the next question might be how to pay for it. Here are a few standard options homeowners may consider when replacing their roof.

    Using savings

    Without added interests or ongoing costs to consider, paying out of pocket might be the cheapest way to pay for a roof replacement — if feasible. This is where an emergency fund might come in handy; having funds earmarked for unexpected expenses might help avoid dipping into other savings.

    Financing

    Not everybody has funds ready to pay for a roof repair — but, as many might attest to, roofs are generally important. Leaky or structurally unsound roofs can pose a threat to the rest of your home, and it might pay to explore financing options to make the necessary repairs sooner rather than later. For most homeowners, there are a couple standard options:

    • Roofing company financing: Some roofing companies partner with lenders to offer financing options directly to their customers. You could explore your roofing company’s options or even use financing as a point of comparison to help you choose the roofing company in the first place.
    • Personal financing: Many financial institutions offer personal loans that can be used for home improvement projects. Speaking with your bank or credit union about their options might highlight a plan that works well for you.

    How often should a roof be replaced?

    The answer to how often a roof should be replaced is that it varies. No two homes, and no two roofs, are the same. Similar to estimating replacement costs, deciding how often your roof should be replaced means looking at a few factors:

    • Material type: Different materials have distinct lifespans. For instance, metal and tile roofing typically lasts longer than asphalt shingles. Understanding the type of material being used and the general guidelines for its longevity can potentially be a good start in estimating your roof replacement interval.
    • Installation quality: A well-installed roof tends to last longer. This is why it might pay to emphasize expertise and a reputation for quality among roofing companies.
    • Environmental factors: Roofs in areas prone to severe weather conditions, such as hurricanes, heavy snow or hail, might need more frequent replacement.
    • Maintenance and upkeep: Regularly inspecting and making prompt repairs can significantly extend a roof’s life.
    • Ventilation: Proper attic ventilation helps prevent moisture buildup and temperature extremes, both of which can shorten the lifespan of your roof.
    • Unexpected damage: Events like falling trees, fire or other accidents can pop up anytime, regardless of the roof’s age.

    Signs your roof should be replaced

    Just as important as the cost is knowing when to replace a roof. Catching problems early can help you save and prevent additional damage to the inside of your home. Here are a few tell-tale signs it might be time to consider a roof replacement or repair:

    • Damaged or missing shingles: Curling, buckling or entirely missing shingles can be a clear sign that a roof’s protection is diminishing.
    • Granule loss: If you’re finding granules filling your gutters or bare patches on your shingle, this might mean the shingles are nearing the end of their life.
    • Leaks: Water seeping into the home, especially after rain, is an immediate concern and means your roof’s protective barrier has been compromised.
    • Sagging roof: A visibly sagging roof may be a sign of significant structural issues that you’ll likely want to address quickly.
    • Water stains: Water stains might mean more than just leaks. Seepage into your ceilings or walls can indicate water damage, suggesting problems with your roof’s structural integrity.
    • Visible damage: If there’s evident external damage, especially after a storm or other incident, inspecting the roof to identify any further damage can help you spot underlying issues earlier.
    • Multiple repairs: If you’re already making frequent calls for repairs, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to replace the roof entirely.
    • Neighbors replacing their roofs: If houses in your neighborhood were built around the same time and with similar materials and you notice neighbors getting new roofs, it could hint that yours needs attention soon, too.

    How does roof replacement work?

    For homeowners looking at their first roof repair, it might be helpful to look at the basic process for a roof repair and whether you should stay home during the roof replacement.

    • Assessment: Before any work begins, you’ll generally start with an inspection to review the damage and whether a complete replacement is necessary.
    • Choosing the company: It’s generally wise to opt for licensed and insured roofing contracts with good reviews and references to help ensure the job is done correctly and safely.
    • Picking materials: Depending on your budget, aesthetic preferences and regional considerations, you’ll want to pick a material suitable for your roof.
    • Scheduling the replacement: With a roofing company and material in mind, you’ll want to set a date for the replacement. Checking the forecast to schedule the replacement for a day with good weather could be an ideal option.
    • The replacement process: Typically, the actual replacement begins with removing the old roofing material, inspecting the roof deck, making any necessary repairs and installing the new underlayment before applying the roofing material.
    • Cleanup and final inspection: Once the roof is installed, the team will generally clean up debris and make a final inspection to ensure correct installation and that everything adheres to your local building codes.

    Should I stay home during a roof replacement?

    While not mandatory, some homeowners prefer to be around during the process, especially if they have specific concerns or questions. However, be prepared for noise and other disruptions.

    In summary

    How much does it cost to replace a roof? It varies. Materials, design, age and weather patterns will all factor into how often and how much it costs to replace a roof. But keeping a watchful eye on your roof to spot signature signs of wear and tear can help you get ahead of problems before they worsen, potentially saving you time and money.

    Roof replacement FAQs

    1. Should I replace my own roof or hire a professional?

    Replacing a roof generally involves complexities and potential risks that are best managed by qualified professionals. Roofing requires specific tools, knowledge and expertise to help ensure longevity, functionality and safety. Hiring a qualified professional can go a long way toward a well-installed roof, potentially saving you from costly repairs or replacements down the line due to mistakes or oversights.

    2. Are there any additional costs to consider?

    Yes, when budgeting for a roof replacement, it might be wise to factor in more than just the cost of materials and labor. Additional expenses might include permits, waste disposal fees and the potential costs of unforeseen damage or structural issues uncovered during the replacement. Getting a detailed estimate from a qualified roofing contractor can help you make informed savings decisions for your roof repair.

    3. How long will my new roof last?

    The lifespan of a roof largely depends on the material used and quality of installation. Factors like local climate, maintenance and environmental conditions can also affect your roof’s longevity. Regular inspections and proper maintenance can help maximize the life of your roof.

    4. Is a roof warranty worth it?

    A roof warranty may provide some homeowners peace of mind. There are typically two types of warranties: manufacturer’s warranties, which cover defects in roofing materials, and workmanship warranties, which are typically offered by the contractor to cover installation errors. Understanding what’s covered, the warranty’s duration and any exclusions is a helpful step before choosing any warranty.

    5. What time of year should I replace my roof?

    A common recommendation is replacing a roof during periods of generally mild weather, usually late spring to early fall. During these months, roofing contractors typically face fewer weather-related delays and materials can settle and adhere correctly. However, many professional roofers are equipped to handle installations year-round. Scheduling during off-peak seasons might also help quicken the replacement and offer potential discounts.

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