If you’re in your home for 15+ years, it’s bound to happen – A roof replacement. It’s a necessary expense that can cost a pretty penny. However, the upfront cost of a shingle roof replacement is much more affordable compared to other types of roofing, including metal roofing, slate, tile roofs or wood shakes. In this guide, we’ll drill down the factors involved in determining how much it will cost to replace your shingle roof.
Shingles are far and away the most popular residential roofing choice in the nation because of their affordability, availability and time-tested durability. Roofing contractors have more experience working with asphalt shingle roofs than any other type of roofing, so the quality of workmanship is typically high if you go with a reputable roofing contractor that has plenty of experience.
***One of the easiest ways to find out how much it will cost to re-roof your home is to use our handy Shingle Roof Replacement Costs tool to view recent roof replacement projects in your area along with average cost information.
What affects the cost of replacing a shingle roof?
There are many factors a roofing contractor weighs in determining a price quote for a job. Size of the roof is, of course, one of the major factors, but there are several other key factors influencing the cost of a reroof.
We’ll take a look at some of the biggest factors:
With any roof replacement, disposal costs are inevitable. For a full tear off and replacement of your existing shingle roof, the cost of a dumpster rental will be included in your written estimate. This cost can range between $200 and $600 depending upon the size of the dumpster.
Most roofing companies will simply roll this cost into the total bill. It makes it easier for everyone.
TIP: Ask your roofer if your old shingles can be recycled. Shingle recycling is catching on nationwide, and it’s a great way to go green and sometimes even save some green on disposal costs.
Size of roof
Roofers measure your roof in “squares”. One square is equal to 100 square feet. The average roof is around 20 square. Bigger roofs obviously cost more to replace due to increased labor and materials.
Most roofers will have a predetermined price-per-square for shingle roofs, but don’t take this figure as being set in stone. Save money by haggling the price-per-square figure down to a level both parties find comfortable.
In most towns across the U.S., there’s no shortage of competition between roofing companies, and that’s a big advantage for you, the customer.
Pitch and complexity of the roof
The pitch of a roof is its angle. Specifically, roof pitch is the number of inches the roof rises every 12 inches.
EXAMPLE: A roof which rises 5 inches every foot is said to have a “5-in-12 pitch” or simply “5/12”.
The steeper the pitch, the more difficult it is for the roofing crew. This, of course, means a higher price tag for the shingle replacement.
Low-slope roofs typically have less than a 4/12 pitch, while steep-slope roofs are classified as having higher than a 4/12 pitch.
The same is true for the complexity of the roof. If the home has a simple gable roof, it’s much less time-consuming and cheaper on materials than it would be to replace the shingles of a roof with a double gable and multiple dormers, for example.
You’ve heard, “You get what you pay for”. This idiom is definitely true in the roofing shingle business. You can find dirt cheap 3-tab asphalt shingles on the market, but don’t expect them to last more than 10 to12 years – let alone survive high winds, hailstorms or heavy snow.
A high-quality architectural shingle or composite shingle can last 20+ years with proper maintenance. There are even lifetime shingles available, although you should never buy a shingle based on its warranty alone. Warranties can be misunderstood.
It’s smart to have an idea about the type of shingles you want to go with before talking with a roofing contractor. Contractors can help narrow down your search and/or recommend one based on the company’s experience with a certain brand or type.
The average cost of roofing shingles is $100 per square (labor cost not included)
Trusted roofing shingle brands include CertainTeed, Tamko, Owens Corning and GAF. There are other brands out there, but sticking with the “big guys” in this case is best practice. This way you know they’ll be around 15+ years from now to honor a warranty or replace a certain type of shingle should you need a repair.
You don’t have to replace the wood decking/sheathing on your roof if it’s still in good shape. However, water-damaged boards must be replaced with new ones. It costs around $500 to re-sheath the average size roof. Replacing just a few boards is a minimal expense that won’t make a major impact on your final bill.
Gutters, fascia, drip edge, vents, etc.
If you’re able to reuse any of these "roofing accessories" it can save you $1,000 or more in the end. Gutters, in particular, can cost $1,000 or more to install on an average-size home.
Fascia boards cost about half that of installing gutters. Again, if your fascia is in good shape, this is an expense you won’t have to worry about.
Roof vents and flashing may need to be replaced in some circumstances during a shingle roof replacement but not always. Damaged flashing can cause roof leaks and water damage, so it’s best to have it replaced during the reroofing process.
Re-flashing a chimney can cost $200 or more. Installing new flashing in roof valleys and other areas typically runs $15 - $25 per linear foot installed.
There are two types of roofing warranties:
- Material warranty
- Labor (workmanship) warranty
Material warranties are offered by the manufacturer(s) of the materials installed on your roof (e.g., shingles), while labor warranties cover the workmanship of the roof replacement and our covered by the roofing company.
Workmanship warranties are not always included in the initial quote. Sometimes roofers will offer this option for an additional fee. Whether or not it’s worth it is totally discretionary.
If you do choose to pay extra for a warranty, read the fine print and know the details inside and out. You don’t want to be left in the dark a few years down the line in a situation not covered due to a tiny clause in your warranty.
EXAMPLE: ABC Roofing offers a 20-year workmanship warranty to a customer. The customer has a different company service the roof five years later to repair a few shingles that blew off in the wind. 10 years after that, the roof fails and is in need of major repairs. The customer calls up ABC Roofing to honor the original 20-year warranty but due to a clause in the contract stating only ABC Roofing may provide service to the roof over the entire 20-year warranty period, the warranty is now void. The customer is out of luck.
The moral of the story is to never pay for a warranty unless you know the fine print like the back of your hand and stick to the rules in the contract, such as the one in the example above, for the life of the warranty.
There's some more good information about roofing warranties written by Karen Warseck, president of Building Diagnostics Associates in Hollywood, Fla., over at Facilitiesnet.com.
Typical shingle roof replacement cost breakdown
- Tear off the old roofing shingles: $150 per square
- Shingle installation cost: $140 per square
- New gutter installation: $4.50 - $7.25 per linear foot
- Ice dam barrier installation: $2.70 - $4.50 per linear foot
- Other costs to consider include fascia, roof vents, flashing, waterproof membrane and debris removal.
These figures were derived from data collected by HometownRoofingContractors.com and Homewyse.com.
Shingle reroofing costs by city
Below are some examples of what it costs to re-shingle a roof in various cities. These are actual costs paid for by customers in these cities, so it can get you in the ballpark of what to expect when getting a quote from a roofing company.
All of the factors previously mentioned play a role in determining roofing prices, so your costs may be significantly more or less than the ones below. These prices represent removing 1-2 layers of old shingles and installing new, good-quality shingles.
- Dallas, TX: $8,000
- Knoxville, TN: $7,000 - $10,000
- Grand Rapids, MI: $4,470 - $9,500
- Gainesville, FL: $6,000 - $13,000
- Madison, WI: $5,000 - $8,000
- Stockton, CA: $13,000 - $20,000
- Salt Lake City, UT: $12,000 - $15,000
- Rochester, NY: $9,500
National Average for a shingle roof replacement: $8,251
These figures were derived from data collected by HometownRoofingContractors.com and are current as of 7/2014. Although these costs are based on actual roofing projects, the cost for your shingle reroofing project may vary.
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