How much is the average cost to replace a roof? For those in a hurry, I’ll first list out average costs of roof replacement – and then get into the details about what impacts and affects them.
The average cost to replace a roof depends upon the type of material used in the roofing. Asphalt shingle roofs can be replaced for $700 to $3,500 and slate runs between $20,000 and $85,000. Other materials lie somewhere in between these extremes, with wood shingles or shakes costing $10,000 to $20,000 and concrete tile roofing running between $7,500 and $20,000.
The average cost to replace a roof with metal is even higher, with steel roofing costing $6,000 to $21,000 and aluminum being twice as costly and copper setting home owners back by $25,000 to $40,000 for similar sizes roofs.
Obviously, then, the question is bound to draw a flawed answer. How much is the average cost to replace a roof? A figure derived from the above approximates will be far higher than asphalt roof replacement, and much lesser than copper roofing.
So let’s take a closer look at what factors influence the cost to replace a roof.
The average cost to replace a roof is clearly a function of the size or area of the roof. A larger roof will cost more than a smaller one, primarily because more material will be used in the larger construction and labor costs will be greater because it takes longer to roof a greater area.
Roofers will give you estimates based on the measured (or calculated) area of your roof, computed in ‘squares’ (100 square feet).
The type of material used in roofing has an impact on the average cost to replace a roof. Commonly used material like asphalt shingles are the least expensive, and can cost under $1,000. Metal roofing has the highest upfront cost, running to $40,000 or more, though the cost distributed over the lifetime of the roof is more reasonable, and even cheaper by some analyses.
In addition to the kind of material used, the quality of material has an effect upon the average cost to replace a roof. Premium material of higher grade and better quality will cost more than basic ones. If we take asphalt shingles as an example, the difference in quality may change the rate from $50 per square to three times as much.
Roof Pitch or Slope
Steeper roofs are harder to work on and labor charges will be higher to compensate workers for this effort. The pitch of a roof is measured by dividing the length by height. Steep roofs are more expensive to replace.
Access to the Roof
Some roofs are very high, or close to tree branches or other obstacles, making it harder for contractors to access them. The labor rates charged for roof replacement will reflect this added difficulty. In such inaccessible roofs, expect to pay more for a replacement or repair job.
Number of Stories
A taller multi storied building roof is likely to cost more to replace because of access problems for the contractors. Labor time is longer as each time material is needed, it must be moved up a larger distance. Also, there is a greater degree of danger while working at heights, for which workers expect to be compensated by higher wages. Safety precautions that are mandatory by law also cost the contractor more – and they will pass along those additional expenses to the home owner.
Old Roof Tear Off
An old and worn out roof may need to be taken down before a new roof can be installed. The average cost to replace a roof will be higher if the labor costs of removal of an old roof are tacked on to the total. The same is true if extra labor is involved in repairing or replacing the supporting framework of the older roof.
Permits and Licenses
Some kinds of roofing projects require special permissions or licenses from the government or local authorities, which costs more money. In cities, this cost can be significant and boosts the average cost to replace a roof.