How to Calculate the Cost to Replace Your Roof

Sep 8, 2016Blog, Roof Replacement

A new roof is one of the best investments you can make for your home. By definition, an investment requires an allocation of capital or other resources in order to reap the benefits of what is being received in return. In other words, a new roof does cost money, but it’s money well spent in that the roof performs better in protecting your home, doesn’t leak, and often just looks better.

The cost to replace your roof can be significant, depending on a variety of factors. The best way to determine exactly how much a new roof will cost is to work with an experienced contractor that can walk you through every expenditure so that you understand exactly what you will be paying for and why. However, if you are trying to come up with a ballpark figure and understand what may be involved before taking the next step, what follows is a good start to get an idea of what it might cost to replace your roof. And remember, as your estimations add up, a new roof, whether for aesthetics, prevention, or maintenance, is an investment—the money you put in will yield dividends for years to come.



Getting Rid of the Previous Roof

Expect to pay at least $1,000-$2,000 for the contractor to remove and haul away the previous roof from your home. Obviously, this cost will increase with the size of your roof and the difficulty of workers to remove the old shingles—the longer it takes, the more man-hours will be required.




First, some basic roofing terminology: A 10-by-10-foot section of roof is commonly referred to as a square. That equals a 100 square feet, so a 2,500-square foot roof is 25 squares. Here are some basic estimations on the cost of one square of shingles (actual costs will vary, of course, depending on shingle quality, materials used, and brand):

  • Asphalt shingles: $80-$120
  • Cedar shake shingles: $600-$900
  • Slate tile: $300-$500
  • Metal roofs: $200-$1500



Other Roofing Materials

From the nails used to the underlayments that shingles will reside upon to the flashing that secures joints, seams, and edges, the materials to hold your roof together will be part of your investment. The quality of these materials can vary—generally, the more you spend, the better the roof—but plan on about $50-$100 per square



Roof Size and Pitch

Again, the larger the roof, the more cost involved, not just for materials, but for time spent on the job. Moreover, the pitch of your roof—the angle and slope—can add to cost; a flatter roof is obviously going to be less technical to replace than a more angled one. If your pitch is steep, multiply your costs by 1.25 to 1.5 times.




By now, you may have a general idea of a cost to replace your roof for mostly just the materials. As a good rule of thumb, the estimated dollar amount you just computed will give you a rough idea how much labor will additionally costs. Put another way, double the number you’ve come up with for an almost total cost. There’s one more consideration to factor in …




Extended roof warranty options are a smart add-on to your investment, but the coverages available are complex. Generally, expect to pay into four digits for the warranty, and of course, the more comprehensive, the more expensive the warranty will be.

If this seems like too much math, the best way to determine the cost replacing your roof is to seek help from a qualified, local, and experienced contractor. Such an expert is familiar with the DMV market, can describe the various choices available to you (including warranties), and will even discuss financing options with you if necessary—all without a hard sell.

What has prevented you from replacing your roof?

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