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How Much Does a Roof Replacement Cost?

September 8, 2021 | 8 min. read

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Home improvements in general can be intimidating- especially when it comes to money. When you have kids to feed, school fees, and braces to afford, it can be a daunting experience trying to plan your finances around a new roof. The first step to making a plan to replace your new roof is to answer this question: how much does a roof replacement cost?  

Rescue My Roof is not just made of roofing professionals. Our team members are parents, spouses, coaches, and most importantly, they are human. We understand how big of a struggle it can be to pay for a roof replacement. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a set cost for a roof. But we can tell you the average range, and what circumstances can impact the price so that you can prepare financially. We’ve broken it all down for you here: 

What is the average cost of a roof replacement?

The national average of a roof replacement is approximately $8,000. However, it can range anywhere from $5,500 to $11,000. 

When you break this cost down by square footage, you’ll find that many companies will charge around $3.50 – $5.00 per square ft. However, these prices can vary widely depending on many factors like the complexity of your roof, labor, and materials.

How Will the Price of Materials Impact the Total of my Roof Replacement?

Price breakdown of all roof materials

Materials are important. Without them, you won’t have a beautiful new roof that is capable of protecting your home.

However, materials also eat up a lot of the roof’s budget. Here is exactly how each material will impact the overall cost of a new roof. 


Shingles being put on a new roof
Carpenter uses a nail gun to attach asphalt shingles to a roof.

There are several different types of shingles you can choose for your new roof: everything from asphalt shingles to metal.

The cost of shingles is going to be the biggest variant in your budget. More expensive shingles like slate, metal, and cedar shake, are going to increase the price of your roof drastically.

How Much Will It Cost to put Asphalt Shingles on my Roof?

If you go with the traditional asphalt shingles (which are available in three styles) you can save a bit on material costs. 

As asphalt shingles are most popular for new roofs, here is the breakdown of the prices for 3-Tab, Dimensional, and Luxury asphalt shingles:

3-tab shingles: $1-2 per sq. ft.
3-tab asphalt shingles

3-tab shingles are made to look deceptive, where it looks like 3 shingles in one. The shingles lay flat and add dimension to your roof. They are also the most susceptible to weather damage and are not as long-lasting as their counterparts.

If you are looking for a simple roof upgrade with a little cost, these are the shingles for you.

Dimensional shingles: $2-4 per sq. ft.
dimensional asphalt shingles

Dimensional shingles are a bit more expensive, but they will add a higher-end, modern look to your home.

Because these shingles are thicker and more durable, they are less susceptible to storm damage. If you live in an area where the climate may be a problem, or simply want more curb appeal and are willing to shell out the money- these could be for you. 

Luxury shingles: $4-5 per sq. ft. 
Luxury Asphalt Shingles

Luxury shingles are pricey. Many people do not consider these a good fit unless they live in an extremely expensive area. 

While there are benefits to choosing the shingles as they are long-lasting and very durable, the price makes most people shy away.

Read more: 3-Tab, Dimensional, or Luxury: Which Asphalt Shingles Should I Choose?

The Price of Metal Shingles 

Metal Roof

Rescue My Roof does not currently handle metal roofing projects, but you need to have a full list of available options when looking into the price estimation for your next roof. 

A roof being completed with metal shingles is estimated to cost from $9,545- $43,819. The range you see in price here is most likely impacted by the factors we are discussing in this article (size, complexity, etc.) but also by the type of metal roofing you are choosing.

Broken down by square footage, the price for metal shingles ranges from $10-$25. With such a wide price range and selection of materials, you’ll want to consider all of your options for roof shingles. 

Breakdown of Metal Roof Prices
The Price of Aluminum Roofs

Aluminum roofs are long-lasting and durable. They are also ideal in cases where you live in a hot climate as they reflect heat.

The bright side: they can last up to 40 years. The downside: the price. Aluminum shingles can cost anywhere from $3.00 to $9.00 per square ft. 

The Price of Copper Roofs

Copper roofs are extremely long-lasting (with some still standing over 60 years later) and they are fire-resistant. 

But the benefits of this type of roof come at a high cost: Copper roofs can cost between $4.00-$15.00 per sq. ft.

The Price of Corrugated Metal Roofs

Corrugated metal roofs look awfully fancy. They have repeated wavy patterns throughout that will give your roof a lot of texture. If you live in harsh weather conditions, this roof is perfect as it is stronger than many other types of roofs.

As a bonus: they are also one of the least expensive types of metal roofs. Corrugated Metal Roofs can run anywhere from $1.20 to $5.00 per square ft. 

The Price of Metal Slate Roofs 

Note: this type of roofing is not your average slate roof. 

Typical slate roofs are made from natural stone. Metal slate roofs are stone-coated steel (fancy).  So they have the benefits of a metal roof with the appearance of a slate roof.

Metal Slate Roofs can range from $5.00 to $12.00 per square ft. You will also need to find a company that specializes in materials like these, so you may have to hire a more expensive company to handle the job.

The Cost of Standing Seam Metal Roofs 

These are most common for metal roofing in the U.S. They are long sheets of metal joined by interlocking edges. 

Standing seam metal roofs are also fairly inexpensive, running at $4.00 to $6.50 per square ft. 

Pricing for Steel Roofing 

Steel roofing has many upsides: weather-resistant, energy-efficient, and recyclable. 

But it comes at a price. Steel roofing tends to be $3.00-$9.00 per square foot and does not have as long of a life expectancy as other roofs. 

Tin Roofing Costs

Tin roofing has one of the biggest price ranges associated with it, as it can be anywhere from $3.25-$14.65 per square foot. 

While it is extremely eco-friendly and long-lasting, this price can be a deterrent. Our advice: read through this article thoroughly to see if there is another more affordable option for you before doing an impulse buy. 

Cedar Shake Roofs

Cedar Shake Roofs

Cedar shake is a pretty popular shingle in the U.S. The shingles themselves are made from split logs and give that perfect rustic feel to your home.

Lumber has become a hot commodity in recent years, and the prices are continuing to go up. Due to demand, cedar shake shingles have also become more expensive.

The average for cedar shake shingles ranges from $8.50 per square ft. to $14.50 per square ft. While the shingles themselves are beautiful, the price may not be worth it. 

Slate Roofing

Slate roof

You often see slate roofs more popular in warmer climates like Arizona or California. They are resistant to fire and can withstand extremely warm temperatures.

They are also lower in price than other premium shingles. The average cost to install a slate roof ranges from $11,000 to $24,000.

Breaking it down by square ft., you can expect to pay $9-$16 per square foot. 

Clay Roofing

Beautiful Clay Tiles

Clay is also another popular choice for warm climates as it is heat resistant. They also price a more textured look to your roof due to the thickness of the shingles.

Clay shingles come in mission style, interlocking style, French style, and Spanish style, but the price ranges for each fall within $10-18 per square foot. 

Wood Decking Prices

Rotten decking can be a hidden costs in the roofing industry

As we said before, lumber prices are increasing. Unfortunately, if you’ve had water damage on your roof, it may be a more expensive fix than you think.

Depending on the price of lumber in your area and the extent of the rotted wood on your roof, you may have to pay more than the initial estimate to replace your roof. 

This should be the only price that can increase the overall cost of your roof after the estimate is made. All of the other aspects (time, labor, and profit) should already be accounted for. 

Just be prepared that if you get the bad news your decking is rotten, the price is going to increase. 

How Will Labor and Time Affect the Cost of My Roof?

Installing a New Roof

Think about the overall cost of your roof, and split the costs into three categories: materials, labor, and profits.

We’ve already gone through how materials can impact the price of a roof. The more expensive the shingle you choose, the more expensive the overall roof is going to be. But now we have to consider time and labor.

Roofing professionals, whether they are in-house or subcontracted employees, need to be paid. 

This is a cost that is factored into the initial estimate you receive from your roofing company, and shouldn’t increase afterward. 

Specialized Crews and Contractors

Traditional asphalt roofs only take approximately two days to complete. However, if you choose a more difficult material, like cedar shake, metal roofing, or slate shingles you may need a specialized crew. 

Specialized crews can charge more because they are experts at what they do. They should have the reviews and the portfolio to prove it. You know you will be getting the best-of-the-best in your area when you hire them to complete your project. 

Installation Methods

Different materials and different crews will require different installation methods. 

We will continue to use asphalt shingles as a comparison because they are one of the most common types of roofs. With asphalt shingles, the installation process is relatively simple. You strip everything off of the roof, you put down the underlayment, and you use a nail gun to secure the shingles in place.

With metal, cedar shake, or slate roofing the process will look a lot different. The thickness of the tiles and the materials may mean they have alternative means of securing them to your roof. And the extra time and labor it takes to do so will cost you.

How to Calculate the Square Footage of Your Roof to Estimate Price

The larger the roof, the more time, labor, and materials it’s going to take. Meaning a bigger roof = more money.

However, you don’t have to be completed blindsided by this cost. There are ways to calculate the square footage of your home to give you a rough idea of how much you are going to have to pay.  You’re going to need these three numbers:

  • The length of your home
  • The width of your home
  • And a number ranging between 1.04 and 1.06 (the steeper your roof appears, the higher the number you use)

Using these variables, your calculation is going to look like this:

If your home is 40 feet long, and 25 feet wide, this is the equation you’d use: 40×25=1000

Then, take your answer and multiply it by your steepness variable. I am choosing 1.12

1,000 x 1.12= 1,112 square ft. 

Ta-da! A roof for the home with these dimensions would be approximately 1,112 square feet. This number won’t be perfect, but it can give you an idea. 

How Roof Complexity Impacts the Price of a Roof Replacement

Some homes (like the one pictured below) have fairly simple roofs. They don’t have many angles, aren’t too steep, and have a lot of accessibility.

If your roof looks a lot different from this one, (for example a lot of angles and valleys) then it is going to cost more because there will be more time and labor associated with it.

To get a vague idea of how the costs will be impacted by roof complexity, use the following list: 

  • A roof with no penetrations (chimneys, exhaust vents) and no valleys, will be approximately $3.60 per square ft. 
  • For a roof with a little complexity, maybe some angles, valleys, or a chimney, it will cost approximately $4.70 per square ft. 
  • For a roof with a lot of complexity- perhaps it is really steep, has a lot of different angles, and a lot of exhaust vents- it will cost, on average,  $7 per square foot.

If you recognize your home in the list above, that will give you a good idea of what to expect based on roof complexity alone.

Ready to Take On Your Next Roof Replacement?

The cost of a new roof may seem pricey, but as you can see here it varies due to many factors. The bigger the roof, the more complex it is, or the more expensive materials you choose will cause the overall price to increase.

Keep in mind, prices will always vary from company to company. That’s why we recommend getting several estimates to determine the right contractor for you.

Learn more about getting started with your roof replacement with “3 Things to Compare When Looking at Multiple Roof Estimates” and “What to Expect At Your Roof Estimation Appointment.”

Looking for an estimate in the greater Milwaukee area? You’ve come to the right place. Rescue My Roof has dedicated a decade in the roofing industry to helping homeowners achieve their perfect roof.

You can contact us to receive a free inspection and estimate!

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