A strong and stylish roof is an essential element of your house. Yet, every three to seven decades, extensive roof damage might signal that it’s time to replace your roof. Full roof replacement costs vary widely, ranging from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. So, why the big difference in roof replacement cost?
It turns out that you have many options when it comes to choosing the type of roof. Other factors also determine the cost of replacing a roof.
Factors that determine Roof Replacement Cost
When preparing for your roof replacement, it is always recommended to shop around for a roofing option that’s affordable, compatible with your property, and get a trusted roofing contractor. Ensure you are comparing apples to apples by understanding how the following factors influence the cost of a new roof.
The cost of the roofing materials you plan to use will significantly affect the total cost of replacing the entire roof. Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material used in Canadian homes. More property owners are also choosing to install metal roofs. These roofs are made from recycled material and are energy-efficient. Here are some of the roofing materials.
For budget-conscious choices for roofing materials, asphalt shingles stand out as the most affordable. Within this category, variations like 3-tab shingles offer cost-effectiveness but demand precise installation for optimal protection.
On the other hand, 30-year architectural shingles are slightly more expensive but offer durability and ease of installation. The premium 50-year shingles cost more than other types of shingles but promise an extended lifespan, although the actual longevity might differ.
Metal roofs, despite a higher initial cost compared to asphalt, offer longevity exceeding 60 years with minimal maintenance. They are resistant to mould growth, damage associated with insects and weather damage.
This makes them one of the most common roofing materials and a cost-efficient roofing option in the long run. Some metal types, like copper, can increase the initial roofing costs, but their durability and overall performance are worth the metal roof costs.
Tile roofs are attractive and can last up to a century with proper maintenance. Although they are pricier than an asphalt shingle roof but cheaper than metal, they may require additional structural support due to their weight. Remember, tile roofs are customizable and easily repairable. They also offer aesthetic appeal and are durable.
Slate Tiles and Stone
Slate tiles and stone tiles, albeit more costly than asphalt or metal, offer unparalleled durability and insulation properties. However, their installation demands expertise and additional reinforcement due to their weight.
While the initial cost can be high, their extended long lifespan justifies the tile roof cost. This makes them suitable roofing materials for larger homes.
If you want traditional and rustic aesthetics, wood shake roofs are an option. However, these roofs require proper maintenance. The total cost of installing a wood shake roof extends beyond the installation as it requires treatment against insects. Further, such roofs are prone to mould and fire. With proper care, they can last between 30 to 40 years.
Each roofing material comes with unique properties that affect its cost, longevity, and maintenance requirements. To choose the right roof material for your roof replacement, consider the material’s compatibility with your property, your aesthetic preferences, and long-term financial aspects. This way, you can choose a roofing material that best aligns with your needs and budget.
When selecting roofing contractors, pick a professional who specializes in roof replacements and offers a home warranty or roof warranty. Such experts help determine whether a complete roof replacement is a more cost-effective option than repairs. They can also help you choose suitable roofing material and design a new roof that protects your home while enhancing its aesthetic appeal.
Hiring Roofing Contractors
New roof costs also vary depending on roofing companies. The high end of the cost ‘per square foot’ of roofing labour accounts for complex projects – those with steep roofs and hard-to-access areas. Besides, labour costs are likely to be high in regions with a high cost of living.
Remember, the work of the roofing company involves the removal and disposal of the entire roof (tear-off in roofer’s lingo), new roof installation, and cleanup. On average, labour costs take up about 60% of the entire roof cost estimate. Simpler roofs will be less expensive, while more complicated projects like homes with skylights or chimneys can be costly.
Cost of Building Permits
In most cities and towns, homeowners require permits to replace roofs so that the area’s construction authority can ensure your new roof meets local building codes and safety standards. The cost of such permits varies widely and is neither negotiable nor optional.
Once you choose a roof replacement contractor, check your contract. Professional roofers may handle the permit and include its cost in the roof replacement costs. Alternatively, you can visit the construction authority’s office, apply for the permit, pay for it, and schedule a property inspection.
Roof Size and Pitch
Your roof size will determine the total cost of permits, roofing supplies, and labour. That’s why a new roof for a 1,000-square-foot home is less than the cost of replacing a similar roof for a 3,000-square-foot house.
Additionally, your roof pitch or its steepness can add to the total roof replacement costs. Flat roofs require supporting structures. On the other hand, pitched roofs require various safety considerations that make them challenging to navigate.
For instance, a very steep roof requires scaffolding for the roofers to work safely. This adds to the total roof replacement cost.
Your roof’s pitch will determine the type of structure to be installed underneath the roofing, such as asphalt shingles or tiles. This adds to the total cost of removing an old roof and installing a new one. The shape of the pitch often changes the cost per square foot or hourly rates for a new roof installation.
Many roof features make a house customized and uniquely beautiful. These include dormer windows, skylights, bay windows, and other features. The downside of such roof features is that they often increase the cost per square foot. This is because they necessitate additional flashing and waterproofing cuts.
Note that such roof features can be costly. For instance, bay windows are more expensive than traditional windows, and replacing asphalt shingle roofs on a bay window adds to the total roof cost. The cost of acquiring and installing skylights and chimneys also adds to the total roofing costs.
Similarly, HVAC openings and vents, as well as plumbing vent stacks, add to the roof replacement cost. After all, the additional flashing and caulking around such fixtures require more labour, time, and materials – this increases the total cost of installing a new roof.
Number of Stories
The height of your house will also affect the total cost per square foot for replacing its roof. This is a simple factor of labour and time – a single-story house requires fewer ladders, less harnessing, and less time climbing up ladders with heavy roofing supplies. A multi-story home requires more resources, such as ladders, scaffolding, and more time to replace its roof.
Similarly, a property surrounded by high stone walls or foundation plantings is associated with high roof repair and replacement costs. This is because access to such roofs is limited. The roofers will find it difficult to safely place their ladders.
Other Costs and Considerations
In addition to the basic roof replacement costs, there are other important factors to assess when planning roofing replacement. These elements add to the overall roof cost, which is why you should factor them into your roof replacement budget. These elements include:
Layering vs. Removing the Old Roof
Did you know that you can place your new roof on top of the old one? However, if the existing roof has suffered extensive water damage, its structural integrity is compromised, or is already layered, it should be removed and disposed of. In this case, you will need to budget for tearing off the old roof.
The cost of tearing off your roof will vary based on the roof’s material – and don’t be tempted to save money and handle the roof removal yourself. It’s difficult to work while balancing on a steep slope. Besides, the savings may not be worth the safety risks.
Roof Replacement vs. Repair
Considering the average costs of roof replacement are substantial, it is tempting for property owners to patch over roof damage. Sometimes, roof repairs are fine. However, when are repairs not the right call? Your choice will depend on the severity of your roof damage.
Minor roof damage, such as a few broken or torn shingles or shakes, can be fixed easily. In such cases, it’s cost-effective to perform repairs and extend your roof’s lifespan.
A middle-of-the-road solution is partial roof replacement if a small part of your roof is badly damaged. Be sure to consult an experienced roofer to assess the damage and determine the cost to replace the damaged section. If the rest of the roof is in perfect condition, partial reroofing may be a cost-effective option.
If the entire roof is badly damaged and weak, it’s better to replace the entire roof. Also, if you plan to sell the property in the future, it may be wise to replace the roof instead of performing frequent repairs. A patched roof might lower the property’s selling price, particularly if your potential buyers can still see evidence of water damage, old shingles, and other forms of roof damage.
In some regions, a construction inspector may need to assess your roof at different points during the replacement process. For instance, a building inspector may need to evaluate flashing. Such inspections add to the total cost of replacing a roof.
Underlying Structural Repairs
If your current roof is old and requires replacement, the entire project should be straightforward. However, underlying structural damage complicates the reroofing project and makes it expensive. For instance, weak and damaged standing seam panels that support the roof may require full replacement.
Replacing an old, damaged roof gives you peace of mind that your house is strong enough to withstand the elements and maintain its value. However, this isn’t a small expense. It includes the cost of roofing supplies, labour, and more.
Consult trusted local contractors to assess your roof and determine whether repairs, partial replacement, or an entire roof replacement is necessary.