Having a new roof installed is one of the most costly home improvement projects the average homeowner will ever have done. Installation costs vary widely and it can be difficult to compare estimates from different contractors. When it’s time for a roof replacement, understanding the factors that contribute to the cost of a new roof can help homeowners make an informed decision.
Considerations for Pricing a New Roof
Here are nine factors that contribute to the cost of a roof replacement:
1. Type of Roof
The type of roofing materials used has a tremendous impact on the total cost of a new roof, both for materials and labor costs. Heavier materials may require reinforcement of the roof deck, while others need specially trained installers.
Asphalt shingles continue to be popular for residential roofing because they are economical, long-lasting, and easy to install. Tile, slate, or metal roofing materials cost more to purchase and often have higher installation costs as well.
2. The Size and Complexity of the Roof
Larger square footage means more materials and higher labor costs. In general, a one-story ranch-style roof is easier to replace. A roof that has multiple angles, hips, valleys, and a steep pitch is more difficult to work on and takes longer to replace.
The height of the roof is another important consideration. The higher the roof, the more safety precautions installers have to take. For their own safety, they have to move slower and more carefully.
3. Type of Replacement
Whether the roof is a “complete tear-off” or a “layover” will impact the replacement cost. If the contractor has to remove all of the existing shingles before installing new ones, labor and disposal costs will increase.
Putting one layer of shingles on top of another does not address any potential issues with the underlying roof and is not always advisable. Local building codes and manufacturer’s warranties may also factor into whether or not a layover is an option.
4. Type of Roof Being Removed and Number of Layers
For the most part, the cost of a roof tear-off is determined by the amount of time it takes to remove the tiles (the labor) and the dump charges to dispose of old roofing materials, which is typically determined by the weight of the material. The heavier the materials or the more there are, the longer it takes to remove the old roof and the more it costs to dispose of.
5. Repairs to the Roofing System
If a storm has damaged a roof, the infrastructure and insulation may also need to be replaced which adds to the cost. Neglecting a leaky roof can lead to substantial damage to the interior of a home, as well as damage to the roof deck.
If components of the roofing system are rotting, have mold or mildew, or other damage, repair costs increase. The true condition of the underlayment and decking often cannot be determined before taking an old roof off.
6. Roof Penetrations
A roof penetration is anything that sticks out of a roof. Plumbing vents, gas vents, kitchen/bathroom vents, skylights, and chimneys are common roof penetrations. The more penetrations a roof has, the more time and manpower it takes to work around them to install a new roof.
7. Roof Accessibility
Roofing contractors need an easy access point to tear off the old roofing, get the old materials into the dump truck and send new materials up to the roof for installation. The harder it is to access a roof to complete these tasks, the more it impacts the total cost. The amount of landscaping around a home, fences, driveways, and other factors can create accessibility issues for roofers.
8. Time and Labor Rates
Time and labor are two of the main factors a roofing contractor considers when calculating the price of a roof replacement. Labor costs can vary widely depending on region, skill level, and experience. If the roof is complex and difficult to access, it will take longer to complete the job. From tearing off an old roof to cleaning up the property after the job is complete, if it takes manpower and time, it’s going to impact the cost of a new roof.
9. Type of Roofing Warranty
There is a significant difference between a standard roofing warranty, where the roofing contractor is backing the labor and workmanship of the installation, versus an extended or no-dollar-limit (NDL) warranty backed by the manufacturer. A manufacturer's warranty typically requires additional steps, materials, and inspections along with a fee that is charged by the manufacturer to back and support the roofing contractor’s labor and workmanship.
Get an Accurate Estimate from a Reputable Roofer
With so many factors playing into the total cost of a roof replacement, it’s clear that a roof estimate cannot be accurately given online or over the phone. The only way to know if your roof needs to be repaired or replaced is to have a professional roofing inspection done. It’s important to get several written estimates that detail all material and labor costs before selecting a contractor to install a new roof.
Since 1999, Brian Dawson Roofing & Construction has been installing residential and commercial roofing systems throughout the greater St. Louis region. Because all of our work is done under warranty and fully insured, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your new roof is dependable and long-lasting.
Contact us online or at (636) 733-6435 to schedule a free inspection and consultation. Our experienced professionals will arrive on time, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to detect leaks and other problems your roof may be facing. Our mission is to provide quality roofing services and top-notch customer service, all at a competitive price.