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How Much Does a Roof Replacement Cost?

September 8, 2021 | 6 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: 

The Average Cost of a Roof Replacement

The national average of a roof replacement is approximately $12,000. However, it can range anywhere from $8,500 to upwards of $20,000

When you break this cost down by square footage, you’ll find that many companies will charge around $4.75 – $7.00 per square ft. However, these prices can vary widely depending on many factors like the complexity of your roof, labor, and materials.

4 Factors Impacting Roof Replacement Costs

Material costs are just one of many factors that determine the overall cost of your roof replacement. Here are some factors to consider when planning your roof replacement budget.

1. Material Costs

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. 

Asphalt Shingles

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.

If you go with the traditional asphalt shingles (which are available in three styles) you can save a bit on material costs. To get the best bang for your buck, we recommend considering dimensional or luxury asphalt shingles.

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: $4-8 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?

Metal Roofing Prices

Breakdown of Metal Roof Prices

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 metal roof is estimated to cost from $15,000 – $50,000. 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 ranges from $15-50. With such a wide price range and selection of materials, you’ll want to consider all of your options for roof shingles. 

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 $18,000-25,000. 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 $19,000 to $37,000.

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. 

2. Time and Labor

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.

3. Roof Size (How to Calculate Square Footage)

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. 

4. Roof Complexity

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 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 southeastern Wisconsin? Rescue My Roof has dedicated a decade in the roofing industry to helping homeowners achieve their perfect roof. Contact us today to get a free estimate.