How Much Does a New Roof Cost?

Having a new or replacement roof installed is a large expense for most homeowners.  This roofing guide looks at the major factors in the cost of a new roof.

1. The Type of Roofing Material

This is the largest factor in what the total roof price will be.  Prices for materials differ widely but here is a rough idea of the cost per square of the most common types of roof.  A square is the term roofing contractors use describe 100 square feet of roofing material.

Keep in mind that these roof price examples are for material only.  Installation is extra, though some roofers will give quotes  on an “installed” basis.  So that you can better compare quotes, ask contractors to break down their bids into materials and labor.  The material charges will also include drip edge, underlayment, tar paper, flashing and fasteners — usually roofing nails.

2. Complexity of the Roof

The steeper a roof is and the more angles, peaks, valleys, and hips it has, the higher the installation cost is likely to be.  The simplest roofs offer one peak that runs the length of the house, with gabled ends, and a 4/12 pitch.  The pitch is measured in the number of vertical inches the roof rises in each linear foot as it moves toward the peak.  Most builders recommend at least a 4/12 pitch to give the roof good ability to shed water.

3. Removal of Old Roof

Removing old roofing material will be an extra, added expense.  If your roof has only 1 layer of shingles on it, most state and local building codes allow a second layer to be added without tearing off shingles.  The first layer must be in decent condition, allowing the second layer to lay flat.  Keep in mind that a shingles used as a second layer are not expected to last as long as shingles used as a first layer.

Removing the old layer of shingles is one area homeowners can save money.  They rent a dumpster, buy a few shingle shovels, find a few willing friends to help — or pay a couple neighborhood kids.  This can save a significant amount of money.  If you choose this route, use tarps on the ground to catch the shingles and be careful of shrubs and flower beds below.  Also, make sure that any nails remaining in the roof are pulled out or pounded flat so that the roofer doesn’t have to do that — or fails to do it, which can cause the nail heads to damage the new shingles.

Finally, when you ask how much does a new roof cost?  Prices vary greatly based on the above factors.  The good news is that there is a range of quality roofing material to fit any budget.  You’ll likely find a style and color that will look good on your home and do the job of protecting your home from the elements.

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