How to Estimate How Much a Roof Replacement Costs

Because the cost of replacing a roof is pricey, a lot of people flinch when they start seeing the signs they need a roof replacement. Missing shingles, warped valleys, and other visible damages all point to issues that could spread. Rather than waiting for the problem to worsen (and be even more expensive to repair), it’s a good idea to be proactive and get your roof replaced now. And while you’re at it, learn how to estimate your roof replacement, so you can start budgeting. 

  • Figure Out Your Roofing Materials

The first step to estimating how much roof repair or replacement will cost is looking into your roofing materials. Do you plan on using asphalt shingles? Or do you plan on switching it up with something else? Although certain materials may be more expensive depending on the region, availability, and other factors, some are always going to be more budget-friendly than the rest. 

Here are some common roofing materials and their typical cost per square foot: 

  • Asphalt shingles: around $2.76 per square foot
  • Premium asphalt shingles/architectural shingles: about $500 per square foot
  • Steel or aluminum roofing: between $9 and $36 per square foot (depending on the metal and installation)
  • Clay or concrete tiles: $10-$12 per square foot
  • Cedar shingles and shakes: $3-$15 per square foot (depending on style)
  • Slate tiles: between $15-$25 per square foot

You should also consider how big your roof is and how much materials it will take to cover it. For instance, a square of shingles is usually around 100 square feet. So, if you have a 2,500 square foot roof, you need 25 squares of asphalt shingles. 

The other thing to keep in mind is this: installation. Some materials, like clay tiles or slate, are heavier than your average shingle. This means the contractor might have to upgrade your roof to ensure it’s properly reinforced. Otherwise, the structural integrity could be compromised. 

  • Labor Costs During Installation

We’ve already mentioned how roofing might require additional steps. This goes into the cost of labor, which is already high because the job is intensive. Typically, roofing contractors charge around $300 for a square of shingles. If you know the square footage of your roof, you may be able to estimate the cost of replacement with that. 

  • Other Factors That Contribute to Cost 

Here are some other things that influence the total cost of a roof replacement: 

  • Removing older materials. Having to remove the old roof, dispose of the materials, and rent the dumpster is factored into the total cost. 
  • Repairing the roof deck. If the underpinnings of the roof (the roof deck) have been damaged, that will have to be repaired prior to your roof replacement. 
  • Steep roof pitch. Specialized equipment may be required to secure roofing materials to steep slopes. 
  • Skylights and chimneys. These features require flashing, which is an additional element on the roof. 
  • Moisture-proofing. The contractor might recommend a moisture barrier if you live somewhere humid. 
  • Architecture. Many homes tend to have peaks and valleys, particularly those considered luxury. That increases the complexity of installation, often raising the cost by as much as $12,000 or more
  • Final Thoughts

Now that you know some of the things that influence the cost of roof replacement, you should be able to create an estimate on your own. Remember that contractors can set their own rates for labor, but generally their estimates should be close to yours.

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