There are many other decisions in the process, but the abundance of cost calculators and estimators prove that pricing dictates many roof replacement decisions. While that’s understandable, it’s equally important to understand what you’re paying for.
The first step to properly gauging the cost of your roof replacement is recognizing the key factors that go into creating a proposal. Here are a few of the important components of roof replacement pricing that homeowners should keep in mind.
1. The Roofing Material
Most articles discussing roof replacement costs focus on the actual materials chosen for the roof. This is an important decision to make—one that has significant impact on the total cost of the project.
Generally speaking, there are four types of roofing materials to consider:
- Asphalt Shingles: The most common type of roofing material. These shingles will last about 20 years depending on the specific type you choose (architectural or 3-tab). It’s cost efficient and jack-of-all-trades nature makes it a popular choice for most homes.
- Wooden Shingles and Shakes: While wooden shingles and shakes require more maintenance than other options, their lifespan (15-30 years) and high-energy efficiency make them an appealing option. However, they do tend to cost more than asphalt shingles.
- Metal: This type of roof continues to gain in popularity. However, metal roof replacements come at a higher cost than asphalt or wooden shingles. Part of the reason is that they outperform other roofing materials in nearly every category—energy efficiency, longevity, durability, maintenance costs, and more.
- Slate: The most luxurious roofing material is slate. While it can last up to 150 years and provides unparalleled durability against the elements, the sheer weight can be a challenge. Because slate is so heavy, it requires more material in the deck for support, driving up the overall cost of the system. Not to mention the high cost of slate itself.
2. Pitch and Slope of the Roof
Any added complexity to staging, safety, and general labor is going to drive up the cost of your roof replacement. So, if your roof is un-walkable because of a steep slope, you should expect higher pricing.
3. Roof Removal
Typically, a roof tear-off is factored into the expected labor costs of your roof replacement. That means the time it takes to tear down the existing system in addition to the cost of disposing of roofing materials. Metal and wooden roofing systems are easier to recycle than asphalt, and therefore cost less to dispose of. Total weight is also an important factor in disposal costs.
4. Components Beyond the Shingle
Remember that your roof is more than just a collection of shingles. There are many other components that make up the full system that you’re purchasing in a roof replacement.
When working with a contractor, pay attention to the type of underlayment and decking materials used as well as the insulation and ventilation chosen for the project. If the cost seems too high, discuss your options with a contractor. It’s possible those higher-cost materials are necessary, but that’s the point of a transparent proposal process.
5. Warranty CoverageRoofing warranties can be confusing for homeowners. There are many nuances that we’ll cover in another post. Most importantly, there are two types of warranties to recognize—manufacturer and contractor.
Manufacturer warranties protect the roofing materials and require strict adherence during installation. If your contractor follows these guidelines to maintain coverage, you may experience higher roof replacement costs.
Contractors warranties cover workmanship. Pay special attention to any promises in the contractor’s warranty. Workmanship guarantees vary greatly by the provider, so you may experience higher costs for better coverage.
Roof Replacement Services You Can Trust
These are just a few of the factors that play into the total cost of a roof replacement. It’s a significant investment—one that no homeowner should make lightly.
However, the most important part of gauging roof replacement costs is to work with a contractor that you trust. That way, you know that the proposal is fair and reasonable.
It can be tempting to move forward with the cheapest, fastest proposal you can find, but this is a once-per-20-years decision and you often get what you pay for. Take the time to make the right decision.