How Much Does Roof Replacement Cost?
When it’s raining outside, and then it’s raining from your kitchen ceiling, it’s time to think about replacing your roof. With the average roof replacement cost between $5,619 and $22,000 and the national average cost at $11,536, there are many elements to consider as you budget for this vital project.
- Typical Range: $5,619 to $22,000
- National Average: $11,536
Roof repair isn’t a project that any homeowner looks forward to, but the roof replacement cost is even less appealing. Maintenance and care will prolong the life of any roof, but sooner or later shingles and flashing wear out, and it’ll be time to replace the whole roof to protect the integrity of the structure and prevent damage and hazards. Replacing a roof can be expensive, with the average homeowner paying anywhere from $5,619 to $22,000 and the typical national average cost sitting at $11,536. However, roof replacement is such a fundamental part of a home’s structure that the cost is understandable, as is the specialized labor needed. Several factors can raise or lower the cost of new roof materials and labor, so doing some research before needing to do an emergency repair or replacement is a good plan.
Factors in Calculating Roof Replacement Cost
Some basic components will affect the cost of replacing a roof. Some of these are outside of the homeowner’s control, including geographic location, weather, and the size of the roof. Other items, such as the materials, can make a massive difference in the overall cost and are within the homeowner’s control.
As you calculate the project budget and review estimates, you may see the unfamiliar term “roofing square.” This is a unit of measure unique to roofing that makes it easier for roofers to calculate ordering and material costs. A roofing square is a 10-foot by 10-foot section of the roof or 100 square feet. When discussing the price per square foot, the number usually includes the cost of the roofing material, supplies, protective elements, waste removal, and labor. Some roofers still use a per-square-foot measure, so just be clear about the units your contractor uses as you discuss the cost.
How much does a new roof cost? As with most construction projects, the cost varies by the home’s location. Places like Florida and the Pacific Northwest will have higher roofing costs; Florida because of the materials needed to withstand heat and hurricanes, and the Pacific Northwest because of the constant rainfall that requires roofs to be truly watertight. While the house’s location isn’t something the homeowner can change, it’s a good idea to seek out multiple estimates to see the average in the area.
Number of Stories and Roof Accessibility
The height of the home will affect the overall cost of replacing the roof. This is a simple factor of time and labor: a single-story home requires less harnessing, fewer ladders, and less time climbing up and down ladders with heavy supplies. A home surrounded by stone walls or large foundation plantings can increase the cost of roof replacement, as the access to the roof is limited to where the roofers can safely place their ladders.
Roof Size and Pitch
The size of the roof will determine the cost of supplies, permits, and labor. A new roof on a 1,000-square-foot house costs an average of $4,000 to $5,500 while the cost to replace a 3,000-square-foot home’s roof can rise to an average of $11,200 to $16,000.
In addition, the pitch, or steepness, of the roof can add to the cost. Perfectly flat roofs require extra structure to support. Steeply pitched roofs require additional safety considerations and make them more challenging to navigate. Some very steep roofs may require scaffolding for the contractors to work safely. Additionally, the pitch determines the type of structure that needs to be installed underneath the shingles, adding to the cost. The shape of the pitch can change the cost per square foot as well. A gable roof, which is reasonably easy to work on with its low pitch, might cost between $3.50 and $9 per square foot, while a hipped roof will have a similar cost per square foot but requires more footage, as hipped roofs extend out past the edge of the home on all four sides. Mansard and A-frame roofs are steeper; the A-frame’s steep, nearly vertical pitch costs between $4.75 and $25 per square foot.
Many of the features that make a home uniquely beautiful and customized—skylights, bay windows, and dormer windows—increase roof replacement cost because of the additional flashing and waterproofing cuts necessary. Chimneys, plumbing vent stacks, and HVAC openings and vents can also add to the new roof cost as the flashing and caulking around these fixtures adds time and materials to the project.
Shingle Type and Other Materials
The choice of shingle type or alternate materials probably has the largest overall effect on the cost of reroofing a house and, in most cases, is the choice that rests with you. Splurging on luxury materials can mean the roof lasts longer or adds value to your home, but there are plenty of affordable options as well. Basic asphalt shingles typically cost between $5,700 and $12,000 for material and installation, while luxury copper can cost as much as $25,000 or more.
Labor and Permits
On average, labor will cost between $150 and $300 per roofing square ($1.50 to $3 per square foot), contingent on the style, pitch, and accessibility of the roof. The labor cost will comprise approximately 60 percent of the total project cost, so don’t be surprised by this. In most towns and cities, homeowners need a permit to replace a roof so that the town inspectors can make sure that the new roof meets local code and is safely installed. Permit costs vary but are not negotiable or optional. Check your contract: Your professional roofer may be able to pull the permits for you and include the cost in your total, or you may need to go to the town offices yourself to request and pay for the permit and schedule the inspection.
While a new roof can sometimes be placed on top of an existing layer, if the current roof is badly damaged, structurally unsound, or already layered, you’ll need to pay for the old roof to be removed and disposed of. The cost for this varies based on the material of the current roof. The average cost is $1 to $5 per square foot or an average of $1,000 to $1,500. Should the contractor discover old or rotted timbers, the replacement cost for those can run between $400 and $2,000. Removal of some roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles, can be a DIY job. Still, it’s difficult to work while balancing on a sloped roof, and the savings may not be worth the risk, as removal is often bundled into the cost of the replacement.
Additional Costs and Considerations
Beyond the basic costs, there are some other factors you’ll need to consider when planning roofing replacement or repair. These elements can affect the overall cost of the project, so include them when budgeting.
Condition of the Existing Roof
Consider the roof that’s presently in place. If it’s just old and needs replacement, the project should be reasonably straightforward. If, however, there are holes, leaks, or pest problems, there’s likely some damage to the underlying structure. This may mean that the plywood underlayment or the structural beams that support the roof will need to be repaired or replaced. This can add to the total project cost.
Full vs. Partial Roof Replacement
Does the entire roof need to be replaced? Partial reroofing may be an option to save some money upfront. If the back of the roof is badly damaged, but the front is still intact and has years left, you can choose to replace only the back. This is actually more expensive per square foot than a complete replacement would be, as many of the costs (permits, removal costs) remain the same regardless of the area of roof being replaced, and you may not get as good a price on materials. If, however, you don’t have the funds to replace the entire roof, paying a little more per square foot to replace only the portion you need to can be a great option.
In some localities, the building inspector may need to inspect the roof at several points during the process (for example, to ensure that flashing is up to code before shingle installation). Some inspectors charge for these additional inspections. Plus, the hurry-up-and-wait for multiple inspections can cause delays and problems with scheduling, causing an increase in the labor cost overall.
If you’re having an old roof removed, that material has to go somewhere, and there will be a lot of it. Many state and local entities have rules regarding the disposal of asphalt shingles or any materials that may be hazardous. The contractor may need to arrange for a dumpster on-site or charge general material disposal fees.
Roof Replacement Cost: Types of Shingles
Perhaps you’re interested in upgrading your roof from the builder-grade shingles that were originally installed. You can change out the roof’s material, but there can be additional costs, as heavier materials require stronger structure underneath. Roof replacement contracts generally include the total cost of removing the previous roof layers, shoring up any framing that needs strengthening, applying the appropriate backing, water- and weatherproofing material, and covering the roof with your selected shingles. A basic asphalt roof, which is the most common, costs an average of $5,700 to $12,000 to install. Other materials are more labor-intensive to install and more expensive to acquire, so the cost can ramp up swiftly.
Wood Shake Roof
Wood shake roofs are attractive, natural, and traditional and cost between $20,000 to $40,000. While this roof is easy to repair if a shingle is damaged, wood’s natural properties mean this roof requires a lot of maintenance. It will break down faster than synthetic or man-made materials, requires treatments to resist insects, is prone to mold growth, and is a greater fire risk than other materials.
For homeowners in areas with extreme climates, metal roofs can be an attractive and resilient option. Costing between $20,000 and $50,000, traditional metal roofs allow heavy snow to slide off, are impervious to insects, develop a lovely patina over time, and are an excellent long-term investment. Copper roofing is a luxury option and will raise the cost to an average of $25,000.
There are many options for homeowners who choose tile as their roofing material. From sturdy concrete tiles ($8,000 to $22,000) to clay tiles, which are often hand-shaped ($13,000 to $30,000), tiles offer homeowners the ability to customize their homes’ appearance. Tiles are sturdy, long lasting, and easy to repair or replace but require a larger upfront investment. If the existing roof was made of a lighter material, plan on spending more to add structural support to the roof before installation—tiles are heavy.
The most costly type of roofing material, natural slate provides a stunning, luxurious finish to a home. Installing slate roofing on an average-size home will cost between $32,000 and $50,000. Slate is durable and provides some insulation value. A synthetic slate product is available with similar qualities for a slightly lower cost ($12,000 to $30,000). Slate is often used on larger homes but can make an attractive statement on smaller homes as well.
Roof Replacement Cost: Do I Need a New Roof?
By their nature, roofs are above the eye line, so unless you regularly inspect the roof, you may not notice problems right away. How do you know when it’s time to replace the roof? First, check inside the attic for signs of leakage, including dry water stains, and then check the shingles at that location. Then check your home’s records and do a thorough walk-around inspection of your roof. If you spot any of the following, it’s time to consider replacing the existing roof.
The Roof Is Old
Asphalt shingles have a lifespan of around 15 to 30 years. If you’ve been in your house for 20 years and have never replaced the roof or have no documentation of when the previous owners replaced it, it’s probably time to have the roof replaced before problems strike. Other roof materials can last longer. Wood shingles can last 30 to 40 years, and metal can last for as many as 70 years. Slate and clay tile roofs can last for up to 100 years if carefully maintained. If you don’t know how old your roof is, a professional roofer can do an inspection and give you an idea.
Neighbors Are Getting New Roofs
Usually, the homes in a neighborhood are built around the same time, which means that they will be roughly on the same roof replacement timetable. If your street looks like a parking lot for roofing contractors, chances are your roof is nearing the end of its useful life, so walk over and ask one of them to take a look at it. You’re not locked into using that contractor, but they should be able to give you an assessment and estimate.
The Roof Is Leaking and Ceilings Are Sagging
This is often the first indication that there’s a problem with the roof. Water unexpectedly starts dripping (or pouring) out of a ceiling that moments before looked intact. The leak doesn’t have to be on the upper floor, either—water from a leaking roof can travel through the walls, pool across a ceiling, and break through at a low point in the ceiling. Generally, leaks send homeowners running to a plumber, but if there’s no apparent plumbing leak, the next logical place to look is the roof. If you notice a bubble or bulge in the ceiling, investigate immediately before more damage occurs.
The Shingles Are Showing Signs of Wear and Tear
Shingles should lie flat against the slope of the roof. Cracks, tears, or buckling are all signs that a repair or replacement is necessary. Also, check your gutters: If you see many roof bits or granules, your roof is disintegrating, and it’s time for a new one.
Moss or Mold Is Growing
Growing a garden on your roof? That look is fetching on adorable cottages in movies, but in your yard, it means that moss and mold have taken hold and are slowly (or quickly) digging through your roof’s defenses. Even a light-green cast means this process has begun. If caught early, mold or light moss can be cleaned off, but if there’s significant growth, it probably means the roof has been compromised.
The Roof Is Rotting
As dry rot sets in to the structural support for the shingles, the wood bends and bows. If you can see a distinct curve or swoop in a roof that should be flat, you’ll want to make a call sooner rather than later—before the roof collapses. Other signs of rot include visibly rotting boards and damp spots when it hasn’t rained. Torn or twisted flashing can indicate that the roof is rotting and pulling away, letting in more water and making the problem worse.
Energy Bills Are Going Up
Energy bill creeping up when you’ve barely turned on the heat or AC? A failing roof will not insulate the house properly and may even be encouraging heat or cooling loss. A gradually increasing electric bill with no other apparent cause is a clue that it’s time for a roof inspection.
There’s Visible Weather Damage
You may be aware that a branch glanced off the roof during a storm or that the gutter is loose and some shingles are missing after a windy night. If you can see damage, then water and insects can find their way in, so it’s time for repair or replacement before moisture causes other problems.
Roof Replacement vs. Roof Repair
Because roof replacement cost is substantial, it’s tempting to keep patching over roof damage, and sometimes that’s fine—a repair is all that is needed. But how do you know when a repair isn’t the right call? It depends on the severity of the damage. A few torn or broken shakes or shingles from a storm or tree branch is an easy and inexpensive fix, and performing the roof leak repair promptly will actually protect the rest of the roof and extend its life. The patch may not match perfectly, but especially if your roof is reasonably new, it’s worth putting in a tidy patch and avoiding replacement costs for another 10 or 15 years.
A middle-of-the-road option is partial reroofing if only one part of the roof is badly damaged and needs to be replaced but the remainder of the roof is still in good condition.
If the entire roof is showing wear or leaks in multiple locations, it’s time to replace the whole roof. Also, suppose you’re planning to sell your home in the next few years and can’t find material that precisely matches your existing roof for a patch or repair. In that case, it’s best to replace the entire roof, as an obviously patched roof may lower the selling price of your home if buyers see evidence of a leak or damage in one location.
Roof Replacement Cost: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Replacing your own roof can offer significant cost savings—at first glance. Labor makes up approximately 60 percent of any roofing project, so the savvy and handy homeowner might look at that figure and think that it’s a solid DIY project. For a homeowner who already owns the right tools and safety equipment and has some experience, it can be. But there are additional costs to consider if you’re going to attempt to replace your own roof. You’ll need to rent or buy special tools, such as shingle scrapers, drapes, and pneumatic roofing nailers. To render your roof a safe place to work, you’ll need ladders and possibly scaffolding, safety harnessing, and handholds or grips. You’ll destroy the clothes and shoes you wear while working on the job. And working on a roof is fraught with danger—one misstep with a bag of shingles on your shoulder, and you’re saddled with injury and expensive medical bills.
Roofing installation is a skilled trade. Professional roofers can spot dry rot or damage to roofing timbers, provide experience-based recommendations, and ensure the flashing is shaped and installed correctly to prevent leaks and damage. A professional crew can also get the job done faster and knows how to button up your house tightly in the case of unexpected rain midway through the project.
If you have the knowledge and tools and a good crew of similarly knowledgeable helpers, you can replace your own roof. Most of us don’t meet that criteria and will be safer and happier with the finished result if the roof is installed by a professional.
How to Save Money on Roof Replacement Cost
Roof replacement can be a sudden, significant, and overwhelming cost. But there are some ways to save money on the costs of roof replacement to make it more manageable.
- Ask the bank for a personal loan or inquire about a home equity line of credit to space out the time you need to pay for the roof.
- Look into home improvement grants, such as the Repairing and Improving a Home program, the Low-Income Housing Repair program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other state and local resources.
- If you’re replacing the roof due to storm damage to an otherwise healthy roof, consult your homeowners insurance company to see if your policy will cover part or all of the replacement.
- Request several estimates for the replacement project, and ask specifically what the contractor can do to help you manage the budget. If there’s just a single layer of asphalt shingles on your existing roof, you may be able to save on removal costs by installing a new layer on top of the old one.
Questions to Ask About Roof Replacement Cost
You have the information you need about the components that factor into the cost of roof replacement, so you’ll be able to ask smart questions that will help you get an accurate estimate. There are, however, other things you need to know before hiring a contractor.
- Can you provide an itemized list of the costs?
- Is there an option to repair instead of replacing? Why do you recommend one over the other?
- Can you provide proof of licensing, insurance, and bonding?
- I’d like to see other homes whose roofs you’ve installed and speak with prior customers; can you provide those references?
- Do you guarantee your work in addition to any warranties provided by the manufacturers?
- Will the same crew be working on the house every day? How do you keep those workers safe while they’re working?
- What are your cleanup practices to keep my property safe and protected while you work?
- What potential problems do you see in this job? How will those be addressed should they occur?
- What is your timeline?
This is a lot of information—maybe more than you want when you’re first considering roof repair or replacement! It’s the information you’ll need to make informed decisions about maintaining your home’s roof. These are some of the questions asked most frequently by homeowners just getting started with assessing their roofing projects to help you get your footing as you dive into the more complex questions.
Q. How much does it cost to replace a roof on a 2,200-square-foot house?
There is no single answer to this question. Because the cost depends on the material you choose for your roof and the cost of labor where you live, it will vary. In general, the replacement cost for asphalt shingles on a 2,200-square-foot home will range from approximately $7,700 to $11,000.
Q. Can you get a government grant for a new roof?
In some cases, yes. There are several programs available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and state and local governments to assist with the cost of critical home repairs. These programs have specific income limitations and are intended for low or very low-income homeowners to help maintain their homes safely and prevent them from falling into disrepair. If you don’t qualify for these grants, there are also loans specifically designed for home repair at national and local banks.
Q. How long will a new roof last?
The answer to this question depends mainly on the roofing material. Asphalt shingles have the shortest lifespan of about 15 to 30 years, while premium architectural shingles can last 25 to 30 years. Wood shake roofs will last for around 30 years with regular annual maintenance, and tile roofs can last more than 50 years. Metal roofs will perform for 70 years, and natural slate can last more than 100 years. This is helpful information when you’re purchasing a home, so you’ll be able to negotiate the house price based on how much life the roof has left, but it is also helpful as you balance higher costs against the lifespan of the roof.