Cost to replace a roof
The average cost to replace a roof is $9,192
Replacing a roof is a big expense, no matter the size of your home. Across the nation, most homeowners spend between $5,841 and $12,835 — although some larger, higher-end roofs can carry a price tag closer to $46,000. We spoke with several roofing professionals across the country, who confirmed they often see an average of $6,000 to $8,000 for a typical home, but there are several factors that will be unique to each homeowner.
In general, the cost mostly depends on the size and shape of the roof and what material you choose to use. Keep reading to learn more about what impacts the cost of replacing a roof and how homeowners can save as much as possible on the service.
- Most homeowners pay between $5,841 and $12,835 for a new roof.
- The size and roof materials are the biggest factors impacting the cost.
- Asphalt roofs are the most affordable, while copper roofs are the most expensive.
What affects roof replacement costs?
Joel Pond, owner of Reign Roofing in Sugar Land, Texas, told us roofs are generally the most expensive regularly replaced item on your home, so it's important to educate yourself on required maintenance and the expected costs of homeownership.
When it comes time to replace your roof, know that roofs are not created equal. From the size and shape to the materials used, there are many factors that impact the total replacement cost.
It costs about $4.35 to $11 per square foot to replace a roof. That means a 2,000-square-foot roof will cost between $8,700 and $22,000.
It’s important to remember that the size of a roof not only refers to the square footage of your home but also the pitch of your roof. The higher the pitch, the more materials you’ll need to cover the area. When attempting to do the math on your own, use a roofing calculator or ask for a quote.
The steeper your roof pitch, the more expensive it’ll be to replace it. This is because a steep pitch requires more materials, more labor and more risk. The average roof pitch falls between 3:12 and 6:12; anything over that will likely incur higher costs.
Number of stories
Contractors will have to work harder to navigate a home with many stories, so your overall labor costs will increase alongside the number of stories you have — especially if it's over three stories. They’ll have to bring additional tools or machines to lift materials and use more ladders and laborers to get the job done, which quickly adds to the cost.
Your roof material is probably the biggest factor impacting the cost of replacement. Asphalt shingles — the most common and most affordable material — are less than half the cost of wood shake shingles. But you should consider other factors when choosing a material, like longevity, durability, look and maintenance, before settling on the cheapest option.
Labor makes up about 60% of your total cost, usually around $2 per square foot. This type of job requires a lot of skill, manpower and expertise to get the job done right, so it’s no wonder labor costs are so high.
For higher roof pitches or more stories, your labor costs will increase.
Most jurisdictions require certain permits for a new roof, usually between $100 to $1,000. Most of the time, your roofing contractor will handle the process for you and wrap the costs into your final bill.
In some cases, you may also have to work with your HOA for approval, though it usually doesn’t charge any additional fees.
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Roofing costs by material
Picking your roofing material shouldn’t just come down to the bottom line, although that’s a pretty big factor for most homeowners. You should also consider how long you plan to live in your home, what type of weather your roof should withstand and the overall look you’re trying to achieve.
“Some higher-end homes will have metal, tile, slate, cedar shake or newer composite versions of one of those,” Pond said. “These roofs will be significantly more expensive to repair or replace due to their higher initial cost and the need for a specialty technician to make the repair.”
Explore these common materials to find which may be right for your needs.
|Roofing material||Life span (years)||Average cost|
|Wood shake||30-40 years||$16,000-$27,000|
Another factor to consider is the cost of repairing it down the road. According to Pond, while asphalt roofs are cheaper upfront, they may be more expensive down the road.
“Asphalt shingles begin their life very flexible, and repairs are easier on a newer roof,” Pond said. “As the roof ages, the shingles lose their flexibility and become brittle and more difficult to repair without causing more damage to surrounding shingles. A brittle roof would be deemed nonrepairable and require replacement.“
- Easy to find
- Comes in a lot of colors
- Not super wind-resistant
- Shorter life span
- Fades easily
- Good ROI
- Complicated installation
- Not as widely available
- Varying prices based on metal type
- Very weather-resistant
- Extremely long-lasting
- More expensive material
- Requires more labor
- May require roof reinforcement
All those benefits mean they come at a higher price point — especially clay tiles, which can range in cost from $13,000 to $30,000, compared with $8,000 to $22,000 for concrete. And while they’re naturally fire- and wind-resistant, they are prone to cracking on impact (like with hail), so they’re best for hot and dry climates.
- Very long-lasting
- Unique design
- Regulates internal temperature
- More expensive
- May require specialized labor
Because they’re not fire-resistant and are prone to deterioration, most homeowners insurance companies won’t cover traditional wood shake roofs. They may cover synthetic wood shake roofs instead, although those usually cost over $30,000.
Wood shake pros
- Attractive look
- Easier installation
Wood shake cons
- Not fire-resistant
- May not be covered by insurance
Additional cost factors
In some cases, you may have a few extra fees added to your bottom line, like the removal of an old roof or having to make structural repairs.
Current roof removal
If you have solar panels installed, you’ll need to have your installer remove them before the roof can be replaced.
More likely than not, you have an existing roof that will have to be removed before a new one can be installed. Some roofs, like asphalt roofs, can be installed on top of old materials, which could save you about $1,000 to $1,500 for the removal.
If you do have to remove the old roof, expect to pay between $1 to $5 per square foot. The same cost factors apply above when calculating the cost of removal, like higher pitches and more stories.
Pond said having to replace your roof is usually due to normal wear and tear or mechanical damage. He defined mechanical damage as “the result of something making contact with the roof and causing a problem.”
If that’s the case, you may also have other types of structural repairs to make during the replacement process. These costs can vary greatly depending on the issue and severity. If your roof is older than 20 years, don’t be surprised if the roof inspection comes back with some structural issues that need to be addressed.
Chimneys and skylights
Installing shingles around skylights and chimneys requires more time and effort, meaning higher labor costs. They may also need other types of materials, like weatherstripping, that can add to the overall price.
Cleanup and disposal
Your contractor may charge you for the cost of renting a dumpster and the hours it takes to clean up after the project. Ask about any potential cleanup and disposal fees during the quote process to see how much this may cost you across the entire project.
Roof repair vs. replacement
According to Pond, the primary factor in deciding whether you should repair or replace your roof is how old it is. Most roofs last between 25 to 30 years, although, as we mentioned above, the material plays a big role in that. Another big factor is climate.
“For Texas, where we operate, our weather is quite harsh, so roofs need to be replaced every 15-17 years. So, if we are looking at a 16-year-old roof that needs repairs, it’s most likely time to replace that roof rather than spend the money to repair the roof.”
Another factor to consider is the brittleness of the material. Some materials, like asphalt, lose their flexibility over time and become more difficult to repair. If this is the case with your roof, replacement is inevitable.
That’s why routine maintenance and upkeep is so important with your roof. It allows you to catch issues sooner rather than later and potentially avoid a replacement until the last possible moment.
How long does it take to replace a roof?
You should expect a roof replacement to take an entire day, although it could take longer if they have to remove an old roof or if there are some structural issues to address. If it’s a small roof or just a small section, it could take just an afternoon. Your contractor should provide you with a timeline during the quote process.
Can I do a partial roof replacement?
If only part of your roof needs to be replaced, you can do a partial roof replacement. But this will lead to an uneven life span on your roof and more work in the long run.
Getting a roof replacement can be a stressful experience, even if it’s only half of the roof. But when you only replace half of it at a time, you’re setting yourself up for double the work over the lifetime of owning your home as you try to keep up with repairs and replacements.
Does homeowners insurance cover roof replacement?
Homeowners insurance usually covers the cost of replacing a roof if the service is required after what providers call “an act of God.” This means something that happens naturally in nature (like a hurricane) or a sudden accidental event (like a fire). Most policies don’t cover the cost if the service is due to normal wear and tear or deterioration.
Do home warranties cover roof replacement?
Some home warranties cover the cost of fixing a roof leak or something similar, but not the cost of a full replacement. That cost is often covered by a home insurance policy instead.
Be aware that most of the time, roof leak coverage is an optional add-on for an extra cost. Most warranty providers don’t offer it as a standard part of their warranty coverage.
» LEARN: Home warranty vs. home insurance
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