What is the average cost of a new roof? Or what is the replacement cost of a residential roof are tough questions to answer.
Actually, “the average cost” is a misnomer, the average of what? The average retail price of all roofs that a particular contractor installed in the last 12 months? The average price of every roof they have ever installed? The average of the roofs that they have installed this week?
The obvious better question is how much will it cost to replace MY ROOF?
That answer gets to the heart of the matter.
The Factors That Affect the Cost of New Roof
A comprehensive cost analysis of your roofing system is required because many factors determine the final cost of a residential roof replacement. Such as:
- The variables of roof size
- Roof design
These all factor into the cost of your new roof, along with your choice of shingle, manufacturer, material, color, and quality.
I have seen neighboring homes of the same model with the same size roof have roofs installed that vary by as much as 15% in the final price due to the brand, style, and color of shingle chosen. That difference can be significantly higher if a specialty roofing material is selected, i.e., slate, cedar, or Spanish tile.
So once you have looked at several manufacturers’ samples and chosen the right shingle for your home, the contractor should be able to tell you what your specific roof will cost.
But wait, there are other factors to take into consideration.
Namely, what is the condition of the structure of the roof?
The structure of the roof.
A roof is composed of several different layers and materials. From the Top Down:
- Penetration collars
- Underlayment, ice, and water shield
- Facia board
Having the right contractor will help you minimize your roof replacement cost.
A good inspector/estimator will walk your roof and look at each of these components in detail, take pictures, and relay to you the condition of your roof. Everywhere moisture comes in contact with wood is a point of concern. Rake Boards and Facia boards are particularly vulnerable.
What should a good roofing contractor keep in mind while inspecting a roof?
During the inspection, the estimator should use a combination of observation and penetration, carrying a tool that allows them to test the wood’s structural integrity to determine how much, if any, of these boards will need to be replaced. Some items can only be inspected after the old roofing material is removed.
Sometimes you can feel softwood sheathing underfoot as you are inspecting the roof. Still, often it isn’t until the shingles and underlayment are removed that you can see deteriorated wood sheathing.
Your contract should have a clause that spells out how many sheets of sheathing are included in the price or what the price per sheet of sheathing will cost if/when it is found.
How do you ensure that you’re getting the best roof replacement price?
When your estimate/contract is presented to you, it should be comprehensive and list precisely what products will be used and what labor will be performed; this is called the “Scope of Work.”
While detailed line-item costing is uncommon, the brand, style, and color of the shingles you have chosen should be listed in the proposal.
An approximation of when the work should begin and the project’s timeline. The job’s total price, deposits required, and monthly pricing if the contractor has a financing option. In general, make sure you are getting an apples to apples contract by comparing all the details in the scope of work.
How can you minimize the cost of a roof replacement and maximize the value of what you spend?
- The answer to a general Google search for “How Much Does a Roof Cost” is much more complex than most people realize.
- The best way to get that answer is to have a few reputable contractors visit your home and provide you with quotes for your specific project.
- Be sure that your roofer has a business license and carries liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. Also, ask for references from recent customers who are willing to talk about their experience with the contractor’s crew.
- The simple fact is that no website or call center can answer that question honestly without a thorough inspection of your roof and a conversation with you to determine your home’s needs.
- The ultimate value lies in the quality of the materials used, the installer’s expertise, and the level of customer service the contractor delivers before, during, and after the project.