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How Much Does Roof Replacement Cost

How Much Does Roof Replacement Cost
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updated: June 16, 2024

Replacing a roof is one of the most expensive projects for homeowners. HomeAdvisor says the average cost is between $5,853 and $13,044. However, the exact cost can vary widely based on the size of your home, the roofing material, and where you live.

If your roof shows signs of needing a replacement, it’s important not to ignore them, as this can negatively impact your home’s value in the long run. Here are some ideas to help make costs manageable, from partial roof replacements to the best credit options.

Factors that affect roof-replacement cost

A number of factors can determine the cost of replacing a roof, which is why the estimated replacement price has a wide range. Your home’s design may also influence the final outlay. Here are the main factors that can influence how much you may need to spend:

  • Home size: The size of your home is one of the biggest determinants of cost, as larger roofs require more materials and labor.
  • Logistics: Roofs with a steeper pitch or intricate designs can be more challenging to work on, which tends to increase costs.
  • Roofing materials: Some roofing materials are much more expensive than others. Asphalt shingles are the most common and relatively affordable. Other options—for example, slate, tile, or metal—can last longer but tend to be more expensive.
  • Labor: According to HomeAdvisor, labor accounts for 60% of the total roof replacement cost, compared to just 40% for materials. Highly experienced roofers may charge higher rates than those with less experience.
  • Permits: You’ll need to secure the necessary permits for your roofing project, which can cost up to $1,000 in some cities. Check the cost of permits where you live.
  • Disposal: If you are replacing an existing roof, contractors may need to remove and dispose of old roofing materials. This can cost $1,000 or more, depending on the roof size.
  • Time of year: Summer and fall are often busy for roofers, leading to higher costs. If possible, have your roof replaced during the off-season.

Roofing costs by material

Material costs are naturally a major component of the roof replacements, and prices can differ considerably. Material prices are usually quoted per “square,” which refers to a 10-foot by 10-foot area.

Shingles are the most common roofing material, lasting between 25 and 50 years. But while affordable, “they do show their age as they fade over time and can get blown away in strong winds if not installed correctly,” Michael Friedlander, general manager at Dr. Roof Atlanta said.

Generally, materials like asphalt are cheaper than slate or tile. And many homeowners associations, subdivisions or communities require roof uniformity to keep up property values, Friedlander said. Here is a closer look at how the costs might look.

TypeMaterial cost per squareLifespan (years)
Architectural shingles
$100 – $250
20 – 30
Asphalt
$80 – $130
15 – 20
Metal
$100 – $800
30 – 80
Tile
$300 – $2,500
30 – 100
Slate
$600 – $1,600
50 – 200
Wood shakes
$300 – $700
25 – 30

Source: Homeguide. Material cost per square does not include cost of installation.

These are only estimates, and they don’t include labor costs. So for example, if you have a 2,000-square-foot house and want to use asphalt shingles with a material cost of $150 per square, your entire home would cost $3,000, plus labor.

Full vs. partial roof-replacement costs

If damage to your roof is limited to one side or one section, you might be able to get away with a partial replacement. This can save you money because it requires less labor and materials.

But if the roof has structural issues that need addressing, a full replacement could be the cheaper option in the long term. Ignoring these issues could lead to damage that costs more to fix.

Costs to replace a roof yourself

Given that labor can be more than half the cost of a roof replacement, you might think doing it yourself would be cheaper. Strictly speaking, that may be true, but you must understand what is involved when you decide to go it alone.

Firstly, let’s consider the costs:

  • Materials: The cost per square will generally be about the same, with higher costs for some of the more durable options.
  • Disposal: This can still cost money even if you are DIYing your project. For instance, you might need to rent a dumpster or pay someone to remove your old roofing materials.
  • Permits: Chances are, you’ll still need to secure permits before you can get started.
  • Tools and equipment: If you don’t already have the right equipment (ladders, harnesses, nail guns, etc.), you will need to buy or rent. This can eat away at some of the cost savings of doing the job yourself.

There are other potential hidden costs to keep in mind. For instance, if you aren’t experienced in roof replacements, you could end up with leaks, structural damage and voiding of material warranties. These issues could make replacing your own roof more expensive in the long run, not less.

Roofing can also be hazardous, especially without the necessary safety equipment and precautions. “Roofing is extremely dangerous and has a high rate of injuries and death compared to other types of construction labor,” Friedlander says. While replacing your roof to save money can be tempting, Friedlander says it’s not worth risking your life.

Additional roof-replacement–cost factors

Here’s what else you should keep in mind for this major project.

Roof-leak repair

There is a layer underneath shingles called the underlayment. The underlayment can serve many purposes, such as providing moisture protection, fire resistance, and insulation while your roof is being installed.

If your roof is old, it can leak, damaging the underlayment and decking (the wooden layer beneath the shingles). Repairing the underlayment can be expensive, and an early inspection can help minimize any costs you might incur.

Warranty

Warranties are crucial to protecting your investment from the elements, such as rain, hail, wind, snow, or tornadoes. The material and contractor you choose will greatly influence the ultimate amount of warranty coverage, with more comprehensive warranties increasing the upfront cost. Explore these issues carefully before you decide on a final plan.

Unexpected issues

A roof replacement is such a complex job that it’s likely at least a few unexpected issues will arise—such as hidden water damage and structural issues.

“Roofs often have slow leaks that homeowners are unaware of. These unnoticed and sometimes undetectable leaks often cause the wood surface that the roof is attached to rot and become unusable,” Friedlander explains. He says these issues often remain hidden during the inspection and estimate process, only to be revealed when the old roof and underlayment are removed.

If the wood underneath is rotten, warped, or delaminated, it must be replaced before attaching new shingles. “The cost of replacing this wood is often an unexpected cost and can range from $50 to several thousand dollars in some cases,” Friedlander says. It’s a good idea to have extra cash available to address any issues that arise.

Signs you need a new roof

Any of the following signs could indicate your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan. The more you see, the clearer the message should be.

  • Missing shingles: More than an eyesore, this can leave your roof vulnerable to water damage.
  • Cracked, curled, or buckled shingles: Any of these symptoms indicate deterioration, which could translate to reduced effectiveness.
  • Water stains or leaks: Check underneath the roof for signs of water currently leaking or for past leaks.
  • Sunlight peeking through roof boards: If sunlight is coming through the roof boards, it indicates damage.
  • Water stains in the attic: Finding water stains in the attic reveals that water is getting through the roof.
  • Sagging roof: This is a sign that the roof is losing its structural integrity, which could be a serious problem.

These are just a few indications that you may need a new roof. If it has been many years since your roof was replaced and you have a basic asphalt shingle roof, you never know what issues could be hiding. In these cases, it’s best to have an inspection and find out whether you may be in need of a replacement.

How to pay for replacing your roof

Roof replacement can be very expensive, but there are many ways you might be able to pay for it. Here are some of the most common routes.

Cash or savings

If you have enough cash or savings set aside, you might be able to pay for your roof replacement upfront. This is the simplest option and doesn’t require paying any interest.

However, not everyone will have enough cash available. Even if they do, it could mean depleting their savings to an uncomfortable point.

Home equity financing

There are several home equity financing options available, including home equity loans and a home equity line of credit (HELOC). In either case, you use your existing home equity as collateral, which could result in a lower interest rate. However, it also means your home could be repossessed if you are unable to pay.

Personal loans

Personal loans generally have a simple approval process, and some companies may provide up to $100,000 loans. While this is enough to cover almost any project, these loans can have higher interest rates than secured options. However, another upside is they often don’t require collateral.

Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance may cover some or even all of the cost to repair or replace your roof. However, this generally means the replacement is necessary due to things like damage from rain, wind, hail, snow, etc. While this won’t apply in all situations, it’s well worth looking into if your roof was damaged in a storm.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Does a new roof increase home value?

A new roof can increase your home’s value, especially if the old roof has significant issues. It can also increase your home’s curb appeal and attract more buyers willing to pay more. Keep in mind that higher-quality materials, while more expensive, can increase value and the home’s price.

How long do roofs last?

How long roofs last can vary significantly depending on factors like the materials used and where you live. Asphalt shingles, which are among the most common materials, usually last 15 to 30 years. More durable materials, such as slate shingles, can last anywhere from 50 to 200 years.

What time of year is best to replace a roof?

The best time of year to replace a roof may vary by location, but fall and spring are generally popular. The weather tends to be milder, and this time of year can also be less busy than summer. However, if your roof has serious issues, it’s likely better to address them right away than wait.

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