How to Estimate the Cost of a New Roof

Cost of a New Roof

So, you’re thinking about getting your roof replaced, but you have no clue how much money you need to budget.

If you’re scratching your head researching price estimates, don’t worry. Roof replacement costs can vary greatly, and the price you pay is determined by a number of different factors. 

However, it is important to have an estimate before your sign on. For one, you’ll want to know how much money you need to budget for the project. Also, you’ll want to be able to compare estimates from different companies. That way, you’ll be able to tell if a company is charging too much and trying to rip you off or if they’re charging too low and are possibly running some sort of a scam.  

Luckily, figuring out the cost of a new roof isn’t as hard as you may think. You just need to know what factors to take into consideration. Keep reading to find out what these are. 

Location, Location, Location

If you live in the South and you’re talking to your friend in New York who just got their roof replaced, you’re probably not getting the best estimate. This is because the cost of a new roof is largely affected by your geographical location. 

Those living in the deep South (think Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Louisiana) are going to pay a significantly lower fee than those living in the Northeast states. If anything, talk to friends in your state who’ve had their roof replaced to get a better idea of what you’ll end up paying. 

Size Matters 

Above everything else, the size of the roof is the largest cost factor. Obviously, the bigger the roof, the more you’ll pay.

But if you don’t know the exact size of your roof offhand, don’t worry. It’s pretty easy to figure out and you don’t have to climb on top of your roof with a tape measure. 

First, you need to understand how roofers set their prices. They charge per roofing square. An area that is 10 by 10 feet (or 100 square feet) is the equivalent of one roofing square. 

For example, the average home is around 30 squares, meaning its roof is 3,000 square feet. 

Now, we promised you wouldn’t have to climb your roof with a tape measure, but you will need one to figure out its size. You will use a tape measure to figure out the length and width of the inside of your home. If your home is irregularly shaped,  you can divide it into sections, find the area of each, and then add them together. 

Once you know the area of your home, you’ll need to figure out the pitch. We’ll talk about that in the next section. 

Pitch 

Pitch is another word for slope, and it’s another very important variable that can affect the cost of your roof. 

In order to measure the pitch, you’ll need to head up to your attic. Place the end of a ruler against the bottom of a roof rafter (also known as a roof beam), holding it at a perfectly horizontal level. Now, move a finger to the 12-inch mark. Measure vertically from this mark straight up to the underside of the rafter. That number will tell you the length the roof rises for every 12 inches it runs horizontally. 

And why is this number important? Well, if the number is 7 or greater, it means you have a high pitch/slope. This means that the roof isn’t walkable and that you’ll have to pay more, as extra safety equipment and harnesses will be required. 

Some roofing contractors will charge extra at starting at a 6:12 ratio, so be sure to talk to your contractor about their cut off. 

Material Costs 

The kind of material you choose will also greatly influence the cost of a new roof. 

Luckily, if you are replacing a roof, all of the previous shingles will be torn off. Therefore, depending on your budget, you can opt for a cheaper or more expensive material. Let’s look at the different materials you have to choose from:

Asphalt Shingles: The most common type of roofing material in America are asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are very cost-effective. They are also light and very easy to install for the average home handyman. 

Asphalt usually costs $120-$400 per 100 square feet. 

Wood Shake: Wood shake is a beautiful option, but also much more expensive than asphalt and is very high-maintenance. This is because it deteriorates fast, is prone to fire, and is susceptible to insects and mold. However, if you can afford it and can keep up with the maintenance, its looks are hard to beat. 

Wood shake roofs typically cost anywhere from $7,000 to $20,000 in total. 

Metal: If you’re intending to live in your current home for a long period of time, a metal roof is the way to go. They are hands down the most durable material available. 

Metal usually costs $500-$1800 per 100 square feet. Steel will be the cheapest, aluminum the next cheapest, and copper the most expensive. 

Tile: Many people choose tile because it is easily replaced if damaged. Also, you have the option with tile to choose your own shape and color. 

Tile prices range from $600- $4,000 per 100 square feet. You can expect to pay more if you choose to customize or if you opt for ceramic tiles. 

Slate: Slate is a great option for those looking for something very long-lasting with a slightly more appealing look than metal. 

Slate costs an average of $800- $4,000 per 100 square feet. 

Other Factors 

Location, size, pitch, and materials are the biggest factors you need to take into consideration when estimating the cost of a new roof. 

However, there are some other things to keep in mind, such as:

  • Removing the old roof tiles: Usually $3- $5 per square foot
  • Water or storm damage
  • Chimneys and Skylights: Roofers need to work around these, so it can increase the price
  • Labor Costs: Small, local companies can usually offer a better price because they charge less for overhead

Cost of a New Roof: Wrap Up

Once you have an idea of what you’re willing to spend, you’ll definitely want an estimate from the roofing company as well. 

Davis Construction is a licensed and insured roofing company that offers free estimates. Just fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you with an estimate in no time.