In the U.S., roof repairs cost an average of $842, with typical prices ranging from $350 to $1,365. A new roof installation, on the other hand, costs an average of $7,800, with rates ranging between $5,350 and $10,500.
That means roofing replacement can cost over 10 times more than repairs!
With that kind of money on the line, you’d want to make sure that your new roof will really give you the most bang for your buck. It’s also the main reason to ensure that you do need a replacement roof in the first place.
The big question now is how to tell if you need a new roof, and if you do need one, what should be your next steps?
That’s exactly what you’ll learn in this post, so be sure to keep reading!
1. Roof Repair vs Replacement
Not all balding or leaky roofs need an immediate replacement — many of them are still repairable. This is why you should first learn how to decide between roof repair and replacement. You can replace a few missing tiles or shingles or apply roof sealant on small cracks.
If the damage is too big, though, such as large sections of missing parts, you may already need a replacement roof. Especially in the case of long-term roof underlay membrane exposure. Exposure to the elements may have already compromised this layer of your roof.
The age of your roof is another way to answer the question “how often should you replace your roof?” This largely depends on the materials — if you have a slate roof, you may only have to replace it once in your lifetime! Such roofing materials, as well as copper and concrete, can last up to 50 years.
A roof made from asphalt shingles, on average, only lasts for 20 years, though. Fiber cement shingle roofs can last up to 25 years, while wood shake roofs have a life span of up to three decades.
That said, the two main ways on how to tell if you need a new roof is its age and the extent of the roof damage. If your roof is nearing its end of service life and you have serious cracks or leaks, it’s time for a replacement.
2. Find Out the Typical Costs of Replacing the Type of Roof You Have
Your location, the size of your roof, and the exact type of roof you want will dictate your roof replacement cost.
For instance, across the U.S., replacing a 120-square-feet slate roof can cost around $1,470 to $2,000. That includes labor, materials, supplies, and equipment allowance fees. If you need to tear off the existing roof and have project debris removed, expect the costs to go up to about $1,530 to $2,200.
Note that this is for a slate roof, which is one of the most expensive roofing materials out there. And as mentioned above, it’s also among the longest-lasting.
That said, consider it a red flag if you get a similar quote for an asphalt shingle roof. These roofs, although dependable, aren’t as strong or durable as slate. That makes them less expensive than their slate counterparts.
3. Know Your Roof Dimensions
As you’re looking up roof replacement estimates, you’ll find that most of them are on a “per square” basis. A roofing square is 100 square feet.
Let’s assume that the size of your home is comparable to the national average of 2,602 square feet. We could then say that your roof measures 26 squares.
You need to know your roof’s exact “square” size to ensure that you won’t pay more than what you have to. A square rate should also include the price of the materials, supplies, and labor. Dependable contractors may also include the cost of protective elements in the rate.
4. Go for the Gold
Whether you plan to live in the same home or sell it, invest in a top-of-the-line roof replacement. Something that will last you for a lifetime and that comes with a warranty and guarantee. Slate, copper, or concrete roof are your best choices.
This way, you won’t have to think about spending thousands of dollars again in the future. And, in case you sell your home, it’ll be one less thing off your list of must-repairs. Depending on the length of the roof warranty, you may even use it to negotiate a higher selling price.
5. Look for Contractors Offering Free Inspection and Written Estimates
When checking contractor websites, such as www.bartlettroofs.com, look for info about inspections. You’d want a free inspection, but you also need to confirm that it’s non-obligatory. This means you don’t have to hire them just because they inspected your roof.
Also, it’s vital to get a written, detailed estimate of your roof replacement project. It should include all the steps that the roofer will carry out, such as if they’ll have to tear out your old roof. It should list all the materials they’ll use and how many days they’ll take to complete each step.
6. Don’t Forget Recommendations and Ask Contractors for References
Ask your friendly neighbors who’ve had a recent roof replacement about their experience. Chances are, they’ll let you know how happy (or not) they are with the contractor and even share cost details. This could be helpful especially if you have a similar roof type and size.
When speaking with potential roofers, request for at least three references too. Call these homeowners and ask them not just how satisfied they are, but the current state of their roof too. This will give you an idea of the level of service you can expect from the roofer.
7. Check for Proper Licensure and Permits
States have varying permit and licensure laws that dictate who can carry roof work. In Idaho, for instance, roofing contractors should register with the state’s Contractors Board. And for them to be completely registered, they need to provide proof of insurance.
Moreover, Idaho contractors need to show complete business information. The Contractor’s Board will then countercheck these details to ensure legitimacy.
In other states, contractors need a license based on the value of the job they’ll perform. In California, for example, only licensed contractors can do jobs worth over $500.
What’s important is to ensure that you choose a roofer that abides by your law’s regulations. This protects you from potential shoddy work and in cases of contract breaches.
Schedule Your Roofing Replacement Now Before It Starts Raining Inside Your Home
There you have it, your ultimate guide on roofing replacement, when you need one, and how much it may cost you. Now that you know more about it, you can make the best choice while also ensuring that you don’t go beyond your budget.
What’s important is to schedule the new roof installation ASAP, before the snow comes in. This way, you can prevent your badly-damaged roof from leaking all the way into your home.
Ready for more nuggets of wisdom that’ll help you keep your home comfortable and in great shape? Then be sure to check out the rest of the posts we have under the Home Care section!