There will come a time when the universe will conspire and do something to make us get a new roof.
It may be because of roof leaks.
Or because there is a severe mold infestation.
Or the algae and moss have gotten out of hand.
Or too many shingles on your roof have gone missing or are damaged beyond repair.
On this page:
- Considerations When Installing a New Roof
- Factors That Affect Roof Installation Cost
- Roofing Materials
- Estimating the Materials for a Roofing Project
- Cost to Remove a Roof
- National Average Cost When Installing a New Roof Per Square Foot and In Total
- New Roof Installation Calculators
- The Easier Option
Or, to be blunt about it, your roof is absolutely hideous.
Whatever your reason may be, you know that it’s going to cost you – a lot.
This is why having to get a new roof installed is one of the worst nightmares of homeowners. They know that it’s going to be expensive, yet it’s also something that needs to be done.
If this is a problem you’re facing right now, we’re here to help you out.
Keep reading our guide for you to know about how much it can possibly cost you, as well as your available options.
By being aware, you may even strategize how you may lower the costs, even if you hire professional roofing contractors to work on it. Here’s everything you need to know about what goes into new roof installation estimates, and remember it’s always important that you distinguish between estimates and quotes. In contrast, roof repair estimates are easier to deal with since fewer factors influence the cost.
Considerations When Installing a New Roof
One of the most important life choices people will make at some point is choosing what kind of roof to get for their home. After all, you can consider this as your home’s first line of defense against extreme weather conditions, harsh temperatures, and various debris.
Getting a new roof installed is a monumental decision – it’s not like choosing which shirt you’re going to buy. You can even say it’s a matter of life and death, since this will affect the safety of you and your family.
This is why you need to really think things through when a new roof is involved. Whether or not it’s your first time deciding, you need to know the things you should keep in mind before making a final decision about it.
Contrary to what you and most homeowners might think, choosing a new roof is more than just deciding the color and materials you want to get.
And if you’re clueless about roofing matters, our list will make it easier for you:
This is arguably the most important aspect of getting a new roof installed. There are now so many options available for homeowners out on the market, and this variety makes it hard for anyone to decide what particular material to use for their home.
You’re no longer limited to picking what kind of shingle to use, or if metal will be a good option.
The material you choose will make-or-break your entire roof, and this is why choosing what to get is serious business.
This will also predict approximately how long you can expect it to last before needing to replace it.
Don’t worry, we’ll delve deeper into this later.
If you have a rustic feel for your home, why would you go for a metal roof? Or if you have a modern theme for your home, maybe going for a roof with clay tiles is a bad idea. And if you live in a Victorian-themed neighborhood, you can expect your neighbors to raise hell if you change your roof into a flat one.
Regardless if it’s going to be your first roof or you’re just replacing your old one, you need to choose the one that complements your entire home. Remember, you’re going to have it in your home for years, even for more than a lifetime if you will.
If the cheapest roof option is something that will stick out like a sore thumb and make you cringe whenever you look at it, can you live with that?
Always aim for the one that fits the theme of your home. If the best option is way out of your league, there are always cheaper alternatives for you.
You can always consult with a professional if you have no idea what will look great for your home.
Not all kinds of roof can be used for any home; some materials work best in certain climates and environments, and some can easy break apart in certain conditions. Here are some things you need to remember:
- Living in a coastal area means avoiding wooden or 3-tab shingles
- Arid areas are suitable for tile roofs because of their heat absorption capabilities
- Metal roofs allow water, ice and snow to easily slide off
- If you frequently get rains, a flat roof may trap rainwater on your roof
Simply put, choose the one that can easily survive the kind of weather you normally get. This will also help you prevent various roof issues in the long run.
This is the aspect that concerns homeowners most. They already have an idea that getting a new roof is going to put a large dent on their budget, but they don’t know by how much.
In general, construction work done in any home is going to be expensive. We can’t deny it – getting a new roof is one of those that will cost you a lot. You have to think about not just the materials you’re going to use but also labor costs. And if you need to vacate your home during its installation, you also have to consider your rent.
Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the cost of materials when setting a budget for your new roof.
When to Get It Installed
If it’s not an emergency, get your new roof installed at the most convenient time for everyone in your household.
Most get them installed during the spring and summer seasons, with the majority getting it done around late summer. Fall is a good time because it’s not too hot nor too cold, yet there are hardly any rains. This makes it the perfect working condition for roofers.
Extreme temperatures can slow down work, and if you get billed by the hour, this is going to cost you a lot.
Don’t schedule the work at a time you’re expecting guests, or when everyone needs a lot of peace to catch up on work or school. It’s going to be loud and messy and you don’t want to be inconvenienced by it.
But if you need to get a new one asap, don’t stall and wait for the right time. The longer you put off the installation of a new roof, the more issues you have to fix later on. You’re not just going to pay for a new roof later on.
To get your roof to last for a long time, you need to get it regularly maintained. The cost of upkeep can also be quite expensive, especially if the materials used require meticulous maintenance to keep it looking good and in perfect condition. On the other hand, there are also some that can be left alone and would only need cleaning every now and then.
You should consider warranty if you live in an area frequented by hurricanes, hailstorms, and other harsh weather conditions. Constant exposure to it can take a huge toll on your roof and ups the risk of being damaged. And if this happens, the warranty can help you save costs on repairs.
Again, don’t just focus on what your roof will look like when deciding what to get. Think long-term. You’re going to be stuck with it for a long time.
Factors That Affect Roof Installation Cost
There’s no fixed price when it comes to roofing installation. Even if you were given a certain quote by your roofer, you should be prepared with the possibility of additional charges. It happens and it’s more common than you think.
These things may either increase or decrease the amount you have to pay to get a new roof installed:
- Peak or off-peak season – contractors also have peak seasons. And as we mentioned, peak season is during late summer for roofers, and off-peak is sometime during fall. Getting work done during peak season means higher labor rates, as well as a longer waiting time for a roofer to become available.
- Roof issues are present – the structures that will hold it up will be checked first, especially if you are replacing your roof with a new one. Wood rot, leaks, and other issues must be resolved first before getting your new roof installed. You may have to get other contractors for it if the work needed is beyond the scope of a roofer.
- Old roof removal – most states allow roofers to install a new roof with shingles over an old one, as long as it is limited to two layers. This saves money since there is no need to remove the old one. But if you plan to use other materials, you need to get the old one removed first. Your roofer will charge extra for this task.
- Your roofer – rates of roofers are not fixed, that’s why it is always important to compare quotes of different roofers. Some may charge higher, and some may also have the option for you to choose between paying them by the hour or for the entire project. Negotiate to get the best rates with the best value.
- Required paperwork – you still have to check in with your neighborhood officials about all the needed requirements before you can get work done in your home. You might be required to get permits and pay bonds first, and you might be subjected to penalties if you get work done without the necessary paperwork. Roofers normally know the policies for it, and they may even do it for you for a fee.
- Chosen material – aside from materials having varying price tags, they will also be installed using different methods. The higher-priced materials will normally require more meticulous installation, and a roofer may charge higher for it.
- Pitch of your roof – a lot of safety risks are involved when it comes to work done on any roof. Steeper roofs may require special equipment, and your roofer may charge a bit more for the job because of the dangers involved, as well as the difficulty of working on it.
- Size of your roof – of course, you pay more for larger roof installations.
- Skylights, chimneys, and other components and accessories – the job gets harder for roofers if you have various accessories installed on your roof. Instead of working continuously, roofers will have to work around your vents and chimneys. As a result, the work takes longer and increases the labor cost.
- Presence of valleys, peaks, and corners – installing any kind of roofing material on these sections of your roof is challenging, and this can also slow down the work on your roof
- Warranty – roofing warranties can be the standard one offered by your contractor and the one by the manufacturer. But before you can claim it, especially that of the manufacturers’ warranties, you have to make sure that the installation is in accordance to the requirements and policies. This may mean extra work for your roofer during installation.
You can use all this information to your advantage, particularly in lowering the installation costs. You just have to be strategic about it.
Aside from labor, the bulk of your budget will go to your chosen roofing material. To make it easier for you to choose, we will divide out guide into two categories: those suitable for pitched roofs and for flat roofs.
This is the most commonly used material, owing to the fact that it is the cheapest one out there. They now come in two types: organic and fiberglass. The organic type is the one traditionally used, while the fiberglass one is the most favored nowadays due to its fire protection capabilities.
Advantages of using asphalt shingles include:
- Can be used on any type of home, including low-cost ones
- Its light weight makes installation easier, helping homeowners save on labor costs
- Comes in different colors
Its downsides include:
- Vulnerability to extreme temperature changes
- Will get damaged when its installation is done at subzero temperatures.
- Not a green material because it is petroleum-based and uses a lot of resources in its production
You can choose among three styles:
- 3-tab shingle – popular because it is the lowest priced among the three, this style is the one you will often see on various homes, especially in North America, and has a flat appearance that looks like each tab is separate from the others.
Price: starts at $25 for a bundle, from $100 to $150 on average for every square.
Best for: all homes that don’t have extreme temperatures
- Architectural – an improved version of the 3-tab shingle, it is also known as the composition or laminated shingle. It is known for its textured and contoured appearance.
Price: starts at $30 for a bundle, from $150 to $180 on average for every square.
Best for: all homes that don’t get extreme temperatures, except for roofs that are quite shallow.
- Dimensional or 3D – known as the premium type, it imitates the look of wood shakes. It is made using a combination of fiberglass and asphalt, making it the most durable. This is perfect for those who want an asphalt roof that looks like it is actually wood.
Price: starts at $160 for a bundle, from $470 on average for every square
Best for: all homes that don’t experience extreme temperature
In general, the price of asphalt shingles per square foot will start at $3.50. Also, make sure to check its hail rating – without it, the shingle is likely substandard and won’t last long.
Wooden shingles and shakes
You might think that they are just the same, but they actually aren’t. Wood shakes are thicker and look rougher compared to wooden shingles. Cedar shakes and shingles are the most common, but other fire-resistant wood, like southern pine and redwood, are also used.
Many homeowners prefer this material because:
- It has a rustic appeal
- Completely natural, making it environment-friendly
Its major drawbacks are:
- Not completely fireproof
- Some areas ban its use, even if flame retardants can be applied. So, checking the local fire code is a must
- High maintenance and a preservative must be applied every 2 to 5 years if you want to retain its look
- Prone to cracking and growth of mold, algae, and moss
- Poor maintenance can quickly lead to roof leaks
Price: starts at $160 for a bundle, from $470 on average for every square
Best for: homes that need good insulation
Among all roofing materials, slate is known as the most durable. Like asphalt, you can also choose from different colors for it and has a certain appeal that other roofing materials can’t match. Slate roof used to be purely made of stone but synthetic slate is also now available.
This material is favored because of its:
- Durability; you can expect it to last more than a lifetime
- Fireproof, waterproof, and weatherproof
- Maintenance is hardly needed
- Resistant to molds and other fungi
- Natural material and the chances of it being thrown away in the future are basically zero
What prevents most homeowners from choosing slate are:
- High price – it’s the most expensive roofing material
- Heavy, making installation challenging and costly
- Not all homes can support the weight of a slate roof
- Can break when stepped on
- Replacing damaged slate can be hard due to the difficulty of finding one that looks the same, since they are produced by batch and each batch often has a unique appearance
- Not easy to install and would require the skills of experienced roofers that are trained to work on this particular material
Price: starts at $270 for a bundle and can reach $530 per bundle, from $800 to $1600 on average for every square. A square foot of slate normally ranges from $12 to $25.
Best for: homes that experience extreme weather conditions and are sturdy enough to support its weight. It’s not recommended for small homes.
Nothing beats the history of a tile roof – after all, it’s known as the oldest man-made roofing material. They are recognizable by their half-circle appearance, although other styles are also now available. You can commonly see them in the Southwestern parts of the country.
Tile roofs can either be clay or concrete. Concrete may be the cheaper material but their difference is nearly negligible when installation costs are considered, that’s why clay is still more widely used. Clay tiles also last a lot longer than concrete.
This is a favored material because of its:
- Fire, earthquake, and wind resistance
- Energy efficiency, helping keep homes cooler
- Being long lasting and durable
- Unique appearance
The disadvantages of a tile roof include:
- Its weight, with each square weighing as much as 600 to 900 pounds
- Cost of the material itself and installation
- Like slate, not all homes can support it
- Can be brittle in cold and wet environments
Price: starts at $200 for a bundle, from $600 to $800 on average for every square. A square foot of clay tile (ceramic type) normally ranges from $12 to $25, while concrete is a bit lower.
Best for: homes found on warmer climates, although some types handle heat better than others. It should only be used on homes that can bear its weight.
Another popular option for a new roof is metal. It comes in two types: residential metal and agricultural metal. You can have them installed as sheets soldered together or as shingles.
Metal is favored because it is generally:
- Resistant to harsh weather and impacts
- Low maintenance
- Great insulator
- Customizable and come in various color options
- Can last a long time
- Made using recycled materials nowadays, and it can also be recycled
You should also know that metal:
- Gets loud when being pelted by rains, hail, and debris
- Can get rust and corrode
If you are considering metal, you have the following options:
- Steel – most common not only in homes but also in industrial roofs. It is the cheapest among the three metal roofs. Common choices include Galvanized steel, Galvalume steel, stainless steel, and stone-coated steel.
Price: from $300 on average for every square, depending on the type used. Steel shingles range from $270 to $320 for every square
Best for: homes away from coastal areas
- Aluminum – much more durable than steel, aluminum resists corrosion better than steel and is lighter.
Price: from $400 on average for every square.
Best for: all homes, including those on coastal areas
- Copper – sturdiest among the three, copper is the most expensive. It also has a striking appearance that is known to change as time passes, eventually developing a green layer known as patina.
Price: from $900 to $1400 on average for every square, excluding labor costs.
Best for: all homes, including those on coastal areas
Do note that there are also other available metals you can use, but these three are the most commonly installed.
You can also choose from four different styles of metal roofs:
- Standing seam
- Ribbed or corrugated
- Stone-coated steel (mimicking clay tiles)
- Interlocking shingles
If you think you’re going to save a lot on labor costs if you own a flat roof, think again. Installing a flat roof also poses its own set of challenges. Your roofer will use a lot of adhesives and other similar materials, including a torch, to prevent leaks. If you’re not aware, a flat roof is highly susceptible to it because of its seams.
Flat roof can be a literally backbreaking work, that’s why some roofers charge a bit higher for work on this type of roof.
If you have a flat roof, these are the roofing materials you can use:
- Modified Bitumen – consists of several layers and each layer needs to be torched at uniform points, specifically every quarter of an inch turn of its roll. Installation is complicated and requires a lot of manpower.
Price: each square foot ranges from $3 to $6.
Longevity: 10-20 years
- Spray-on Roof – self-explanatory. Yes, it’s what you’re thinking. The spray can either be acrylic, silicon, or polyurethane foam.
Price: each square foot costs a minimum of $6 for acrylic, between $6 to $11 for silicon, and $3 for polyurethane foam.
Longevity: 20 years at most
- Built Up Roof – using hot asphalt, layers of ply sheets are joined together. A roofer can use gravel as its top layer to make it durable or have a reflective coating if you want it to be energy efficient.
Price: each square foot ranges from $5 to $8.
Longevity: 15-20 years
- TPO – its rolls are either self-adhesive or would require mechanical fastening to your roof’s insulation boards. These boards should be already fastened to the substrate of your roof before adding the rolls
Price: each square foot ranges from $5 to $8.50.
Longevity: 7-20 years
- EPDM – usually comes in rolls, think of this rubber as a giant sticker that is placed over your roof.
Price: each square foot ranges from $4 to $8.
Longevity: 10-15 years
- PVC – consists of a membrane and an insulation board, with the latter needing to be installed first to make it energy efficient. The membrane is then installed in even rows, with each row’s seams requiring hot-air welding. To avoid uplift, roofers may fasten a PVC roof’s edges manually. Compared to others, installation of PVC can be costly.
Price: each square foot ranges from $7 to $11
Longevity: 15-30 years
In the end, it will just be a matter of preference – installation costs of pitched and flat roofs are not that far apart anyway. Do note that materials of pitched roofs, in general, have a higher longevity than those of flat roof.
If you are still choosing between going for a flat roof or a pitched one, you might want to keep that in mind.
Estimating the Materials for a Roofing Project
You might notice in the previous section how materials are priced either by bundle, per square foot, or per square. If these terms confuse you, allow us to explain it better.
Bundles refer to shakes or shingles that are packed together. As a standard, there are 29 pieces of shingles measuring 12 x 36” in each bundle.
A square foot is just that. It measures 144 square inches.
The ‘square’ in roofing speak doesn’t talk about the shape but the measurement. To be precise, a square is equivalent to 100 square feet of the area of a roof, and each square requires 3 to 5 bundles of shingles, depending on the material and the size of the shingle.
Your roofer will generally do the following to get an estimate of the amount of materials needed for your roof:
- Your roofer must first get its actual square footage. Each plane’s length will be multiplied to its width, and the total measurement of each plane of your roof will be added together.
- The total number of squares of your roof will be calculated by dividing the square footage by 100.
- Once the number of squares is available, your roofer will then compute for the number of bundles needed. Again, the number of bundles per square depends on your chosen material.
- Your roofer will add 10% to the estimate as extra material or allowance. And if your roof has valleys and various accessories, the extra amount will be increased to 15%.
The tar paper or underlayment will also rely on the computed square. Each roll of tar paper can cover up to 4 squares. By dividing the total square of your roof by 4, your roofer will know how many rolls is needed.
As for the nails, note that each shingle requires 4 to 6 nails on average. Allot 320 to 480 nails for every square of your roof. Do note that the kind of nails needed for the shingles and for the underlayment are different.
Of course, you also have to consider miscellaneous materials you may or may not get installed, such as:
You also have to consider the labor costs. For that, you need to talk to your roofer and get his or her quote for the entire project.
And if you need to first remove your existing roof, you also have to find out where you can throw the old shingles and other debris away. You will be charged if you hire someone to dispose of it for you, so you can do it yourself if you want to save money.
Cost to Remove a Roof
If you are replacing your roof with a new one, you’re likely to remove the old one first before getting the new one installed.
On average, getting your old roof removed can set you back by around $1000 to $1500, with each square foot costing $1 to $5. But if there are structural issues, like rotting frames, you may have to pay an extra $1000 to as much as $10,000. Roofers normally charge between $40 to $80 per hour for this task.
The cost of removal (per square) will also depend on the roofing material:
- Metal – $125 to $175
- Tile or Slate – $125 to $150
- Wood Shake – $100 to $125
- Shingle – $100 to $150 for a single layer, $115 to $165 for two layers, and $125 to $175 for three layers of shingle
National Average Cost When Installing a New Roof Per Square Foot and In Total
Because of the wide variety of roofing materials, as well as the different styles to choose from, it can be difficult to predict how much a roofing project can cost.
To help you out, here’s a list showing how much each roofing material costs on average per square foot, based on the latest national average for a single-story home:
- 3-tab Asphalt Shingles – $3.54 (average total of $5,300)
- Architectural Asphalt Shingles – $3.56 (average total of $5,300)
- Wooden Shakes and Shingles – $7.84 (average total of $11,700)
- Synthetic Slate – $10.04 (average total of $15,000)
- Natural Slate – $11.77 (average total of $17,600)
- Tile Roof – $8.80 (average total of $13,100)
- Metal Roof (5V-Crimp or R-Panel) – $6.14 (average total of $9,200)
- Metal Shingles Roof – $8.27 (average total of $12,300)
- TPO Flat Roof – $6.69 (average total of $10,000)
- EPDM Flat Roof – $6.15 (average total of $9,200)
- PVC Flat Roof – $7.48 (average total of $11,100)
The rates posted above already includes labor costs, which averages $1.50 to $3 for each square foot, as well as miscellaneous materials and expenses.
New Roof Installation Calculators
To help out homeowners like you, many websites have roof installation calculators available. These calculators can give a rough estimate of how much a roofing project can cost you, depending on your chosen material, dimensions of your roof, and other factors.
Emphasis on ‘rough estimate.’
This means it’s not completely accurate.
In fact, you can expect it to be more off-the-mark than close to what you will likely be billed for.
Roofing calculators likely do not take into consideration the fact that a roofing project has so many factors involved, such as the different materials available, the variation of labor costs in each state, whether a roofer will charge by the hour or will give a quote for the entire project, the total square of your roof, any peaks, valleys, and accessories installed, and so many others.
Yes, it does help if you can actually get a figure even if it’s not accurate. But with roof installation calculators, the numbers you get tend to be way off.
Imagine getting a quote from a roof installation calculator that a new shingle roof will just cost you $1500, but an actual roofer who personally checked out your roof gave you a quote of $5000 for the entire project.
This happens in real life. If the choice is between the quote given by the calculator or your roofer, always go for the roofer’s quote. You can never justify the quote given by the calculator. Roofers, on the other hand, can explain and prove how they came up with their figures.
And no matter what happens, it’s their quotes you will follow anyway.
The Easier Option
So, why not just directly reach out to them and ask?
If convenience is what you’re after by using the roofing calculator, our service is also convenient because you only have to do it online.
Just fill out our form, and up to 4 qualified roofers can give you their quotes. And we offer this for FREE.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to say ‘yes’ to any of them just yet if you don’t want to.
There’s no commitment – it’s all up to you.