One of the most common questions we get as roofers is, “How much does a roof cost?” Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to answer this question. Many factors go into the final cost of a new roof — but that also means there are plenty of ways to save money and get a quality roof that fits your budget.
If you’re trying to budget for a new roof or you want to make sure you get the best roof for your price range, you should know the factors that affect your roof’s price and the choices you can make to change it.
Nails might seem like one of the most standard parts of a roof, but in truth, there are many types that can affect the final cost. Different metals, such as stainless steel, galvanised steel, or copper, are each appropriate for different roof types and climates. Depending on the type of roof and underlayment you use you might also need a larger or thicker nail to secure your roof. And since a standard roof needs thousands of nails, it’s easy to see how different choices can change your costs.
Even though they’re rarely seen, an underlayment is one of the most important parts of your roof. Underlayment comes in many varieties, from standard asphalt-saturated felt to many types of synthetic underlayment. Different underlayment is appropriate for different kinds of roofs, and a stronger or more advanced underlayment can also improve the durability and lifespan of your roof. However, they can also dramatically affect the cost of your roof, so choose wisely.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the type of shingle you use on your roof affects its cost. More durable and advanced shingles, such as Architectural shingles, have a longer lifespan but also a higher price tag. Simpler shingles still provide strong protection at a lower budget, but they won’t last quite as long. You’ll also need to choose between multiple styles and colours of shingles to best suit your home and your budget.
Flashing is one of the most often overlooked parts of your roof. It secures joints, seams, and roof edges from water intrusion and other problems. However, different types of flashing have different qualities and costs. Most flashing is made of galvanized metal such as steel, aluminium or copper, although there are also less common types such as plastics and synthetic materials. Flashing can also be installed and secured in several ways — more labour-intensive installations will take longer and cost more.
Along with exterior materials, interior insulation is a vital part of any roof — and a big part of its cost. Insulation comes in many varieties, from the familiar pink fibreglass to blown insulation and sprayed foam. Every type of insulation has its own advantages and drawbacks, and you’ll need to consider them carefully when getting a new roof.
Along with the type of materials you use on your roof, the shape and size of your roof can also affect its cost. Larger roofs obviously cost more to repair or replace than smaller ones. Also, a steeper roof is more difficult to work on than a flat or shallow roof and thus costs more in time and labour. Different types of roofs also might require the use of higher-quality shingles, underlayment, or nails.
Unless you’re starting from scratch on a new home, you’ll also need to factor your existing roof into the price of a new one. Your roofing contractor will need to remove your old roof, and the amount of time and labour required can change the costs of this job. For instance, if you have a roof lined with heavy asphalted felt, it will take longer to replace than a roof lined with synthetic underlayment. Other factors come into play here too, such as the amount and type of access the contractor has to the roof and the condition of the roof deck under the other layers.
In the end, there are so many factors in roof construction that it’s impossible to estimate the cost of an “average” roof. Instead, you should work with a trustworthy and experienced contractor to get an estimate for a roof that fits your needs and your budget.