7 crucial factors that determine the roofing cost of your home

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By: Lisa Evans
Published: November 2, 2016
Last Update: February 12, 2023

A sound understanding of the factors that drive the new roof cost is key when installing a roof in your home without breaking the bank.

Discover the primary drivers of the new roof cost

Discover the primary drivers of the new roof cost

You need a good grasp of the roofing process to get the best results at affordable prices.

Always negotiate

Despite the urgency of a new roof, you should never accept a blind quote from a roofing company offering to carry out roof replacement. Installing a new roof over your house carries a significant cost, but with the proper information, you can negotiate a better deal. Sometimes roofers include unnecessary costs or items in their quote, and by knowing what to look out for, you can always ask for a reduction. However, you should never attempt to install the roof yourself as a cost-cutting measure. Without the right tools, skills, and experience, you could end up with a disaster on your hands. According to Home Advisor, the new roof cost varies across states but works out to a national average of about $6,600, with some states being on the higher or lower side. A roofing contractor will use several variables when determining the cost of a new roof, including the cost of materials, its pitch, its height, and accessibility.

The size of your roof matters

Roofers base their charges on roofing squares, which equal 100-square-foot boxes of the roof patch. Consequently, a 4,000-square-foot roof comes down to 40 squares, but the average size of a regular home is between 22 and 34 squares. On top of the installation, the roofer also charges labor for taking down the old roof. With a one-story home, removing a single layer of shingle works out to between $100 and $150 per square, while a double layer could set you back as much as $165 a square. With triple layers, the costs might climb to $175 a square and go even higher depending on the slope of the roof.

The pitch of the roof also counts a great deal

The slope of the roof is another key driver of the roof replacement cost. Some roofs are flat, while the rest divide into high and low pitches, causing the cost of each roofing project to vary wildly. Roofers express the pitch as a ratio such as 7:12 comparing the height and the length of the roof. In this example, the roof rises seven inches for every 12 inches it runs horizontally. The pitch of such a roof is quite high, and as a result, the roof repair cost can be quite pricey. Such a roof is not walkable, and workers would need safety equipment and harnesses while carrying out the replacement. Additionally, the work is slow and laborious, and roofers have to pay more in insurance costs as well.

The pitch of the roof also counts a great deal

The type of roofing materials counts

According to Homewyse, the average cost of installing a wood shingle roof works out to between $1,274 and $1,754 for two roofing squares. An asphalt roof, on the other hand, would work out to between $4,100 and $6,000 for a 1,200-square-foot home. Many roofers feel that asphalt is the most attractive and affordable roofing material, followed by wood, metal, and slate. Expect a metal roof to set you back upwards of $1,800 every square, making it almost twice as costly as asphalt shingles. Slate is the most expensive roofing option, working to about five times the cost of asphalt shingles but lasting almost twice as long.

Roof accessibility

The location of the house, in addition to the height and slope, are key pricing factors a contractor will use to calculate the roof replacement cost. You would have to pay more to replace a steep roof on a two or three-story home than on a ranch-style home. Such an installation calls for specialty tools and harnesses to keep the workers safe throughout the entire process. Projects that require less labor and equipment tend to have a lower price tag and take a relatively shorter time.

The condition and style of the roof counts

Extensive water damage on the deck might require you to replace it, leading you to incur additional expenses. Unfortunately, such losses only become apparent once the contractors remove the shingles. Such an occurrence might lead you to replace the entire roof instead of carrying out minor repairs. In this case, you would need to get a current roofing estimate for the whole project. Chimneys and skylights also increase the cost of a roofing project as contractors have to work around them. Repairing the flashing around a chimney can increase the roof repair cost by at least $200, while a skylight can lead to an increase of at least $300 to your construction bill.

The condition and style of the roof counts

The type of warranty your roof carries

Reputable roofing contractors offer a standard roofing warranty wherein they back the workmanship and labor of the project. Shingles manufacturers, on the other hand, offer an extended or no-dollar-limit warranty. However, the latter carries additional requirements, specifications and charges to back the workmanship and labor. While the extended warranty might be a tad pricier, it leads to superior artistry as the company sends around roofing inspectors to check on the work as it progresses. As a result, you have more peace of mind and security as a homeowner. You need to make the distinction between these two types of warranties when asking for a roof estimate.

Other factors that affect the new roof cost

The prep and finish details of your roof often affect the new roof cost, and you should consider them when getting a roof estimate. The quality and type of lumber used for rafters and fascia, along with counter-flashing and finishing sealants, have a significant influence on roof replacement cost. Be sure to have a reliable roofer give you a precise roofing estimate before commencing with the project for a smoother process. You might have to pay for vent covers, trim, flashing and gutters when making a roof replacement, which will drive up the costs. Shingling over the current roof keeps the new roof cost low but reduces the lifespan of the roof. Contractors cannot access and repair the deck if you go this route, nor can they make use of the modern synthetic membranes that offer superior protection against ice and water damage on your roof.