A new roof is not a cheap investment.
If you’re concerned about the cost of a new roof, you may be wondering how to save money… or you just may be curious to know what goes into the cost.
When trying to determine what you can expect to pay for a new roof, the answer is not a simple one to estimate.
There are multiple variables that drive roofing costs.
Today, we’re going to look at 4 factors that affect the cost of a new roof.
Some things are within your control…
And some things are not within your control…
Let’s get started with an overall list of variables that affect new roof cost. Then we’ll look at ways we can adjust some of them to suit your project requirements and your budget.
Things You DON’T Choose
1 – ENGINEERING REQUIREMENTS
- Coverage Area
- Type of Material
- Steepness (pitch)
- Moisture Barrier
2 – CODE REQUIREMENTS
- Safety and Building Codes
- Manufacturer Specs
Things You DO Choose
3 – LIFESTYLE CHOICES
4 – CONTRACTOR REQUIREMENTS
- Commitment to Excellence
When looking at variables that affect new roof cost, there are some things we can’t change.
And there are others we can change. This is where you can, as the homeowner, have some flexibility to adjust variables that affect the cost of your project.
Let’s start with those things we can’t change about your roofing project.
#1 – Engineering Requirements That Affect Roof Cost
Coverage Area – if you need a new roof, you can’t change the coverage area and the amount of materials required to install a new roof. The size of your roof is what it is.
Type of Material – If your home (or neighborhood) was designed for a specific type of roofing material – asphalt, tile, wood shake etc., – you may or may not be able to change the roof material.
Architecture – The architecture style of your home often determines what material and quality of materials required for your roofing project. You can’t use cheap asphalt shingles on an elaborately-designed home.
Steepness – The steepness of your roof slopes will affect the new roof cost. For starters, a steeper roof requires more shingles than a low-slope roof. Additionally, if your roof slope is considered unwalkable, installation costs will be higher.
Valleys – Roof valleys require ice and water shields that provide added waterproofing protection. Additionally, if your old roof leaked, some valleys may need to be re-decked or rebuilt.
Angles – As with valleys, more angles require more cuts and more labor for installation.
Moisture Barrier – Every new roof requires underlayment and flashing around roof vents and chimneys.
#2 – Code Requirements That Affect Roof Cost
Safety & Building Codes – Professional contractors perform services in accordance with the accepted code requirements to provide a safe work environment and to deliver a finished roof that meets code.
Township/City Codes – Each city has it’s own set of residential and commercial construction requirements or code adjustments to the International Building Code that must be followed.
County/State Codes – States have their own requirements of roofers. For instance, the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board is the governing body over Oklahoma roofer licenses and requirements, and they require minimum insurance requirements as well as things like continuing education for commercial roofers.
Federal Requirements – Federal tax code, labor laws and OSHA may affect the personnel employed and the manner in which your new roof can be installed.
Manufacturer’s Specifications – Each manufacturer of roof shingles, water barriers or other roofing materials have their own set of installation specifications. A qualified roofer will be trained in the installation of each type of roof. Many manufacturers offer advanced training and installation certifications to ensure their roofing products are installed properly.
#3 – Lifestyle Choices That Affect Roof Cost
Durability – Roof shingles are manufactured at varying levels of quality and come with different warranties. The same applies to other roofing components, like vent pipe flashing, starters and even shingle nails. You may also want to consider a metal roof.
Beauty – The style of your chosen shingle (or metal roof material) can certainly affect the new roof cost. Simple 3-tab shingles are less expensive than architectural shingles. Although, architectural shingles will add a beautiful dimensional look to your roof, they are thicker and in fact weigh approximately 50% more than traditional 3-tab asphalt shingles.
Safety – Some roofing materials are safer than others. For instance in general, metal roofs offer greater fire resistance than asphalt shingle roofs. A metal roof may also have some advantages for wind resistance.
Comfort – How cool do you like to keep your home in the summer? And how warm in the winter? Your choice of roof can make a difference.
Affordability – Although it may be tempting to go with the lowest bidder for your roofing project, you need to consider costs now and costs that could come in the future. A professional roofing company will work to balance your need for a high quality roof with the requirements of your budget.
Efficiency – Your choice of shingles, roof decking and insulation will affect utility costs. It’s important to consider the local climate, along with heating & cooling requirements that may come with choices in roofing materials.
Ventilation – Your roof needs to breath. You may have some options in terms of ventilation style and what is recommended for your new roof.
#4 – Contractor Requirements That Affect Roof Cost
Commitment to Excellence – For the best result, you’ll want to choose a roofing company that is always advancing in the trade, staying current with the latest best practices and products that deliver a better end result, and have a very high commitment to quality and excellence.
Communication – Well-run projects don’t just happen. They require pro-active, forward-moving communication and status updates. Low-ball roofers can’t afford to spend extra time communicating well. The professional roofer will keep you informed from start to finish, so you can rest assured that the project is being carefully managed.
Expertise – A+ Roofing companies invest in their employees and invest in education to keep their team members knowledgeable and valuable to the client. You want to work with a company that holds manufacturer certifications, ensuring that they’ve gone through the best training to install your roof.
Character – Unfortunately, the roofing industry has several “fly-by-nighters” mixed in among good, solid companies that care. Read roofer reviews on Google, Angie’s List, BBB, and talk to previous clients to get an idea of what you can expect.
Morals – It goes without saying that your chosen roofer should operate a foundation of good moral judgement, treating you, as their client, and their employees with respect.
Ethics – Additionally, your roofing contractor must be honest and committed to delivering first-class quality. If you work with someone who chooses to “cut corners,” it could be a costly decision down the road.
Good Ways to Save Money on a New Roof
There are a few good ways you can save money on new roof replacement.
Do your homework
Understand the basics of what goes into your roof and research quality roofing companies in your local area.
Shop for the best roofer
Get a few different quotes and request references from past clients before hiring a roofer for your new roof.
Use your homeowners insurance
Ask your roofer to do a hail damage or wind damage inspection. Your damage may be covered by insurance.
Ask your roofer if it’s repairable
From an honest roofer, you may learn that you don’t need a full roof replacement, you just need a roof repair.
Bad Ways to Save Money on a New Roof
Hire the lowest bidder
This is rarely the best option, especially if the lowest bidder is significantly lower than everyone else. Instead, you should select the roofing contractor that provides that best solution for the most reasonable long-term cost. If you get a cheap roof today, and have to replace tomorrow, it was a wasted investment. Trust your gut, and go with a pro.
Select cheap roofing materials
There are several cheap options for shingles and roofing components, but choose carefully. A roof that leaks into your living room could be very expensive later on.
Do it yourself
Although a DIY roofing project may be appealing to some, most learn that it is a lot more involved than they first thought. Professional roofers are trained to give you leak-proof roof that will last for decades.