The cost of a new roof is, without a doubt, our most frequently asked question.
“I just need a price for a new roof on a 2,000 square foot home.”
“How much does a new roof cost?”
“Can you provide a quote for roof replacement without performing an inspection?”
All roofing companies are familiar with these questions. As a consumer, it makes sense, right? For most things, we can ask and receive a straightforward answer about the cost of something we want to purchase. However, not all roofs are made equal, so a quote for a roof replacement is much more complicated than just the size of the home. The cost of a roof depends on a few different factors – roofing material, roof age, roof pitch, and more. When your local roofing contractor says they need to inspect the roof in person, they are doing their due diligence to provide you with an accurate estimate that considers your home’s uniqueness. Trust us; you’ll prefer it that way.
Roof Replacement Cost
Before we start, let’s clear up a roofing term that will help you in your search for finding quotes for a roof replacement. Roofing industry prices are calculated on a “per square” basis. What this means is that every 100 square feet of your roof, a 10-by-10-foot area, is a single unit for both material and labor estimation. For example, if your roof measures 3,000 square feet, it would be a 30 square roof. Remember, the square footage of your home does not equate to the size of your roof. For most roofing contractors, the price per square will include roofing material, supplies, labor, permits, inspection fees, and waste removal. Let’s break a few of those items down, so you can better understand how they impact your roof replacement quote.
Cost of Roofing Materials
One of the first considerations in determining new roof cost are the proposed and existing roofing materials. Do you have a specialty roofing material such as a slate roof? Will you be sticking with standard asphalt shingle roofing? How about changing to metal? There are a few different material options to choose from in Commercial roofing. Each of those materials has a distinct cost and circumstances in which it will be the appropriate choice. You can learn more about shingle roofs versus metal roofs in our recent posts.
Additionally, given damage or previous water intrusion, the wood decking underneath your existing roof may be rotten and need to be replaced, which is another cost component. Finally, your unique roof may need to be modified to meet current building codes if code requirements have changed since the house’s construction and those changes impact your particular home. One of the most critical choices you’ll make during this process is choosing the right roofing contractor with appropriate experience in differing roofing materials, roof insurance claims, and local building code requirements.
Roof Pitch & Roof Complexity
If every roof was of simple design, with no especially-steep pitches, finding the cost of a new roof would be much easier. That’s not how it is, though. When pricing a roof, all roofing companies should account for areas with steep slopes. Steep pitch slopes are more difficult and dangerous to work on by nature. Appropriate precautions are needed to work on those areas, including using specialized safety equipment or tasking two roofers to tasks that would only require a single roofer on a lower pitch slope. Taking those precautions incurs costs in terms of necessary materials and additional labor.
The complexity of your roof also influences the roof price. Whether the roof consists of a large number of small slopes or instead just a few large ones will have a significant impact on the cost of a new roof. Each slope transition requires specialized materials to appropriately waterproof that transition and necessitates the wastage of some shingle material to meet manufacturer instructions for properly installing the transitions.
If you’re unfamiliar with these areas of your roofing system, check out our Roofing Terms & FAQ’s guide for detailed definitions.
We do not recommend shingling over an existing shingle roofing system but instead removing the current system before installing a new shingle roof. Most roofing companies give this same recommendation, and most manufacturers require the removal of the previous shingle roof to warranty the newly installed roof. Removing an old roof can cost between $3 – $10 per square foot. Some contractors build roof removal into their new roof cost, but others don’t – it’s essential to discuss this with your local roofing experts as they put together your estimate for a roof replacement.
Roof Underlayment Types
It’s a roofing material you don’t see very often, but your choice of roof underlayment plays a significant role in the cost of a new roof. Roof underlayment is a water-resistant or waterproof barrier material installed directly onto the roof decking, underneath all other roofing material, including shingle. It serves as an added protection from severe weather. There are three primary types of roofing underlayment:
Asphalt-Saturated Felt – commonly referred to as “felt paper” or “tar paper,” roofing felt is made of varying blends of plant fibers, polyester, fiberglass, bituminous materials, or asphalt. It’s a water-resistant barrier that allows water vapor to pass through and out of the roofing system.
Non-Bituminous Synthetic Underlayment (a.k.a. Synthetic Felt) – The underlayment option preferred by most roofing contractors. Synthetic underlayment consists of woven plastic fibers. The use of fully waterproof and high durability materials gives synthetic felt superior tear resistance, UV resistance, and improved waterproofing qualities while still allowing water vapor to exit the roofing system.
Polymer-Modified Bitumen Underlayment (a.k.a. Ice & Water Shield) – A specialty underlayment used in valleys, around penetrations, on slopes with sufficiently shallow pitches, and in additional locations in climate zones that experience significant ice & snow buildup. Using this material in the areas listed above eliminates the most common causes of roof leaks. In most cases, this material is not appropriate for installation on the entire roof surface as this material does not allow for water vapor to exit the roofing system.
If you’re in the process of a roof insurance claim, be sure to speak to your contractor about the underlayment that your insurance company approves for your roof replacement.
Skylights & Roof Vents
When looking at the cost of a new roof, you should remember the uniqueness of your home that we mentioned earlier. Replacing a roof is more than just tearing off shingles and replacing them with new ones. There are often roof vents such as plumbing vents, attic vents, and goosenecks that require consideration in the plan for your roof. The replacement of these items depends on their condition, which is impossible to know without a full-service roof inspection by a certified, local roofing company. Pricing for replacing these items can vary from contractor to contractor, depending on the condition of the existing components and the replacement materials selected.
What is the cost of a new roof?
In conclusion, the cost of a new roof varies depending on the various factors listed above. When comparing the estimates you receive, it’s critical to ensure that the estimates include similar materials and appropriate accommodations for pitch and any other special considerations for your particular roof. Like skydiving, sometimes the cheapest cost for a new roof isn’t the best cost for a new roof. Quality of materials and installation methods matter to the life expectancy of your new roof, and quality is what we here at Signature Exteriors keep as the highest priority for our customers. Whoever you choose to estimate the new roof cost, please use the information in our article to be sure you’re asking the right questions and develop an understanding of the estimate you’re receiving.