Replacing or repairing a roof can be one of the most expensive projects a homeowner can take on. The average cost for a full roof replacement is just under $10,000, and can go as high as $25,000. Repairing a roof can be expensive as well, averaging around $700 for a basic project. While a reputable contractor or roofing specialist can give you an estimate on what you can expect to spend, it’s also a good idea to know how to assess the cost of a roofing project yourself.
How Large is Your Roof?
When it comes to roofing, contractors charge by the square foot, making your roof’s size the greatest factor in determining the cost of the project. A roof’s pitch also has a major impact on what you can expect to spend. Roofs can be flat, steep, sloped or any variety of configurations and pitch heights. Generally, the steeper the roof, the higher the cost will be to repair or replace it. Steeply pitched roofs tend to take longer to complete and require extra safety measures and equipment, both of which ultimately affect the cost of labor.
Material & Installation Costs
Whether your roof is shingled, metal, or tiled, the materials you use will also determine how much you will spend. Asphalt shingles are the least expensive roofing material available; they are also easily obtainable, as well as easy to install. Slate, metal, and tile cost more, and may not be readily available in your area, but overall these materials last substantially longer than the less expensive asphalt shingles, and save you money over time.
Repair or Replace?
If you are repairing your roof rather than replacing it, determine the full extent of the damaged area. A few missing shingles or a leak may only be part of the problem, so check for underlying factors such as hidden water damage. While repairing and shingling over an existing roof is an option, a whole roof replacement is recommended if the damage is significant. Partial repairs will only end up costing you more in the long run.
When calculating the cost of your roofing project, be sure to factor in often overlooked expenses such as possible skylight and chimney repairs or replacements, as well as the cost of new trim, paint, flashing, and even construction material dump fees.
Depending on where you live and what type of roofing project you are undertaking, you will most likely be required to obtain a permit, so factor at least another few hundred dollars into your budget. Call your local planning commission or city clerk to find out the requirements and fees. If you hire a contractor they will take care of this step themselves.
Get an Estimate
Lastly, there are several online websites such as roofcalc.org and roofinstallationcalculator.com that use simple plug-in tools to help you figure out the cost of a roof replacement or retrofit. These websites use current national averages to calculate the estimated cost of a roofing project based on information such as a home’s location, roof type, size, pitch, and more.
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