It your roof needs replaced, often your first thought is, “How much is my roof replacement?”
Great question – but it doesn’t come with an easy answer. There are many different factors that effect the pricing of your roof replacement. Those include:
- Size of your roof
- Does your roof have multiple layers on it currently?
- The type of shingle you want to install (architecural shingle, metal roof, synthetic slate tile, a clay roof, etc)
- The steepness (or pitch) of your roof
- How complicated your roof is – are there multiple roof lines or is it a simple roofline
- The quality of contractor you hire
Quick Overview Of A Roof Replacement
Before we get into unique selections for each roof replacement, let’s go over the process of a roof replacement. The crew will remove the shingles, replace any rotten roof decking, install new underlayment, install new shingles, install new flashing, and apply any necessary caulking.
Costs In Shingle Removal
First step in a roof replacement is removing the old shingles. There will be disposal fees with either a dumpster or a dump trailer. The roofer will need to recycle or dispose of the old material at landfill or shingle recycling center.
Size And Shape Of Your Roof
The size of your roof is directly relative to the cost of your roof. The bigger your roof is, the more it will cost. It simply requires more materials and more labor.
If you have a very steep roof, either all over or in sections, that will increase the cost of your roof replacement. Depending on the steepness, the pitch of your roof may impact the total cost anywhere between 15-50%. That is because the crew will need to set up special safety equipment or possibly use a special installation technique.
If the roof has a complicated shape, it will take the roofers more time to fit the shingles. Think roof turrets, multiple roof lines, to dormer roof lines needing to blend into the roof line – all of these take extra labor to install.
You can expect labor to make up around 40% of your roof cost. This can increase and decrease depending on the quality of contractor you are using. The roofing contractor will pay their higher skilled roofers more than their entry level roofers. If you selected a more specialty roofing product or have a more complicated roof, you will likely need more experienced roofers on the roof replacement crew. If you hired a higher quality contractor they will likely pay their employees by a check and not by cash. This will also mean they pay all the other necessities that a standup roofing company will be required to pay – taxes, workers compensation, permits, license fees, registration fees, etc. A contractor with payroll employees will likely cost more for a roof replacement than a contractor who pays cash under the table.
The type of shingle you select is a huge part of the cost. Let’s compare your options:
Architectural Asphalt Shingles
Architectural shingles are the most popular choice because they are the most affordable option while maintaining some of the best roof warranties. Depending upon your contractor, you will also have asphalt shingle options. Carlson Exteriors typically quotes Landmarks, Landmark Pro (Impact 3 Resistant), and Northgate Climate Flex (Impact 4 Resistant). There are some Energy Star rated shingle colors available in those lines as well.
Wood Shake Shingles
Cedar shakes offer great curb appeal but it’s not the right selection for every roof. The wooden structure underneath the roof needs to be built to accommodate the manufacture requirements of wooden roofs. If you are going from an asphalt shingle to a wood shingle, expect some extra costs to allow for the roof decking to be modified. Not every contractor is skilled enough to install a wood shake roof; you will likely expect a higher cost for a roof replacement in wood shake due to quality of contractor required to accomplish the project.
Metal roofs are often requested because homeowners desire the longevity associated with metal roofs. Metal roofs have an expected life-span of 50 years. Most homeowners expect to pay more for metal roofs but they are not aware that metal roofs are close to 5x more than asphalt. If your roof has lots of ridge and is a very complicated shape, your cost for a metal roof maybe even more than 5 times. Asphalt shingles now have fantastic warranties that last close to 50 years so often times homeowners cannot justify the cost for a metal roof. If you do select a metal roof for your home, be sure to be selective about the contractor you use. The most common problem with metal roofs is leaking around fasteners. You will want a contractor who is local and has no problem standing behind their craftsmanship.
If you are looking for a higher end shingle you have likely found yourself researching synthetic shingles. These are available in styles that resemble, wood shake, slate, or even clay tile roofs. The material cost for synthetic roofs are extremely high, then you are looking at a harder time finding a contractor qualified to install the synthetic roof. Homeowners should expect to pay more for labor on synthetic roofs since this is such a niche category of roofing, very few roofers are skilled enough to install.
There will be associated costs to how responsible your roofer is. Does your roofer apply and pay for all necessary permits associated with your roof replacement? Does your roofer hold an actual roofing license or are they “borrowing” a friend’s roofing license number? Does your roofer have General Liability and Workers Comp Insurance? Does your roofer pay their employees cash or on payroll checks? The more responsible your roofer is the more overhead there will be to cover on each and every roof replacement. To dive deeper into contractor responsibility Download our Free Guide to Contractors Standards.
Current Economical Situation
There will be some factors that are simply out of your hands and your contractors hands. Inflation, material shortages, and labor shortages all affect the pricing of your roof replacement.
Getting The Best Deal
The best deal is not always the lowest priced roof. When you compare your roof replacement quotes be sure to look at shingle quality, warranty offered by the shingle manufacturer, and the labor warranty offered by your roofers. Compare the contractors; look at their level of responsibility, involvement in your local company, and the skill level they possess.