It’s Time for a New Roof, Now What?

in Home Improvement

When getting a price on a new there are many factors to consider that might affect the cost of the new roof. As with any major construction in your home, you want to make sure you are getting the best price for the best service.

First the selection of the contractor is important. You want to make sure you find a reputable contractor. One that is known for their quality work and service. Ask around to neighbors and friends and see what they have to say about the contractors they have used. Word of mouth can be the best way to find a contractor with a good reputation. The contractor needs to be licensed and insured in your area. Never work with a contract that cannot show you their license and insurance.

Roof Size

The roof size is one of the main price determinants in replacing a roof. Obviously the size is what it is and there isn’t much you can do about the size. Make sure the contractor takes an accurate measurement. Some companies will take aerial roof measurements such as Diyroofs Aerial Roof Measurements. Once the measurement is found in square footage, it is divided by 100 to obtain the roofing square since materials are sold by the square and not the square foot. There is no way around it: the larger the house, the larger the roof and the more materials needed to cover the roof.

Don’t forget, if you have any detached buildings such as garages or sheds, you might want to reroof them at the same time to make sure that the look is consistent. It can be cheaper also to reroof at the same time since there will be no added mobilization costs.


The pitch of the roof is calculated by the number of inches it rises vertically for every 12 inches it extends horizontally. The pitch, or slope, of the roof is important when it comes to the cost of a new roof, due to a steep pitch not being able to be walked. If there is a great pitch, then there is additional staging required such as scaffolding, to make the work area safe for the roofers. There are also safety concerns with high pitched roofs so laborers will take a bit longer to use all of the safety precautions necessary.

Current Roofing

A cost associated with the new roof is the cost to remove the old roofing. This cost will vary per home based upon the type of roof that is currently installed. The contractor will take into consideration the current type of roof and the labor it will require to remove the roof. Also, there is a fee associated with the disposal of the materials removed. The fee is based on the weight of the material removed and the type of material being removed so it can be disposed of properly.

New Roof Material

Now that the cost of the old roof is calculated, it is time to start the consideration of the new roof. There are many materials to choose from when looking for a new roof. The type of material picked will have a big effect on the cost of the new roof. When picking the material, you need to keep in mind aesthetic design, weight, durability and longevity which all affect the price.

Asphalt shingles are the entry level product for a roof. Concrete and clay tile tend to be mid-range. Synthetic, wood shake, metal roofing and traditional slate will be the higher end roofing products. There are things to take into consideration when selecting the grade of roofing including the maintenance required for the new roof. Higher end roofing products can actually be cheaper in the long run due to better warranties and potential energy savings.

Underlaying Required

Underlayment is a water-resistant or waterproof barrier that varies in requirement based on the roofing type and roofing pitch. It is applied as an added layer against the elements to protect the house from severe weather. Some type of roofing may require two layers of underlayment while other roofing types may require a certain underlayment to meet the township codes. There are roofing system components that need installed with each type of roof. The decking material used and the ventilation and insulation installed all add additional costs to your new roof.

Contractor’s Roof Access

Labor is a large part of the roof installation. Difficult access to the roof such as a several stories high and the pitch/slope of the roof, all means additional equipment and labor. A staging area may be required to store the materials that would normally be stored on the roof. The easier the roof to work on, the easier it will be on the laborers, the easier it will be on your wallet.

Roofing Warranties

The standard roofing warranty makes the contractor back the labor and workmanship of the project. There is also an extended warranty that is provided by the manufacturer at a cost. Remember when it comes to the warranty, you get what you pay for. Depending on the roofing material, the extended warranty may be a good investment. Weigh your options.

The Finishing Touches

There are the little details that are required for completion of your roof. The amount of fascia needed, and sealants and counter-flashing details all increase the price of your new roof.

When pricing the new roof, don’t think cheap. You need to decide what it is that you need and are trying to accomplish with a new roof besides keeping you dry. How much maintenance do you want to invest into this new roof and what you want the finished roof to look like is another factor to consider. If you drive home to a house you don’t like the look of or drive home to a house that has a leaking roof, that extra dollar in your pocket will cost you much more.

The more complicated the project, the more time it may entail. Since every roof is different, you need to make sure you find an experienced roofer to provide a complete and accurate quote. Having all the information up front will allow you to make the best decision about your new roofing project.

Image Credits: Alex Holyoake

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