What Factors Go Into the Cost of a New Roof
Replacing your roof may seem like a straightforward process, but countless factors affect the cost. Aside from the shingles, additional items like nails, ventilation, flashing and labor are all parts of the roof replacement cost. Follow along with us as we break down the average cost to replace a roof and help you understand why. By the end of this article you’ll know what you need and what you can do without to protect your roof, your home and your family.
How much does a new roof cost?
The average cost to replace a roof can vary quite a bit. According to HomeAdvisor, the typical range for roof replacement costs is between $5,100 and $10,000, but roof replacement can be as low as $1,200 or as high as $30,000. Many roofing companies will charge between $3.50 and $5.00 per square foot. The average roof size is about 1,700 square feet, but here in Des Moines a roof averages around 3,000 square feet. The cost depends on a variety of factors including square footage, material, damage to your roof and more.
On the lower end of this spectrum, you’ll be getting a roof with lower quality materials, and possibly lower quality work that cuts corners. Choosing to move forward with low quality work will result in needing your roof replaced sooner and could even void your warranty. Be sure to always ask a roofing company about their insurance and liability before hiring them, to make sure you are covered in case of an accident, as well.
Superstorm Restoration is fully licensed and insured to protect you in the event of an accident. When you call Superstorm Restoration, we will come out for a free evaluation and provide you with an estimate that factors in all code requirements, so you know from the very beginning what to expect.
Before we break down the cost of materials, let’s help you understand how roofers measure material. Roofers discuss the cost of material in “squares” - a ten foot by ten foot, or 100 square foot, roofing area. Instead of giving you estimates of the roofing cost in square feet, they will use this square measurement.
Cost to Replace Asphalt Three Tab Shingles
One of the biggest expenses which impacts the roof replacement cost is the material you select. Basic, three tab asphalt shingles, are the least expensive roofing material. A square of the material alone will typically range from $150 to $200. However, this material is very thin and susceptible to wind damage. Most local municipalities abide by 2012 or 2015 International Building Code IBC. Under these codes, there is a minimum 90 MPH wind requirement that most all 3-tabs do not meet, so be wary if a roofing company recommends this material.
Owens Corning three tab shingles, for example, are wind resistant up to 60 mph and include 10 year algae resistance. Most likely, this material would only be used for a DIY roof, as it does not meet code. With storm winds frequently coming in above 60 mph, upgrading to a higher material can save you money in the long run.
Cost to Replace Architectural Asphalt Shingles
The other common type of asphalt shingles are the 30 or 50 year architectural shingles or laminate shingles. These types of shingles are more durable and higher quality because they are thicker than three tab shingles. The cost to install 30 year architectural shingles is usually about $350 to $500 per square.
50 year architectural shingles are even stronger, and are considered premium. The cost of this type of shingle may range from $450 to $700+ per square.
Quality roofing companies should offer a more extensive warranty for a premium product like 50 year architectural shingles. Ask about the warranty before choosing your roofing material. Paid Manufactured warranties necessitate minimum “brand” required products which allow for extended warranties. Warranties ensure you have the top-of-the-line product offered by the manufacturer. This cost is typically $8 to $20 per square, plus the extra cost for the upgraded materials. Top contractors usually only offer high-quality products, so there may not be an additional cost depending on your contractor.
Laminated shingles from Owens Corning can withstand double that of the basic three tab shingles. Most of the Owens Corning laminated shingles are rated for 110 - 130 mph winds. Premium Owens Corning shingles also include SureNail Technology, designed to provide extra grip in the nailing area and WeatherGuard technology with maximum impact resistance to protect from storms.
In addition to shingles, there are a variety of other factors such as other materials and labor which factor into the overall price of a roof. So what else goes into roof replacement costs?
Other Elements to Consider When Calculating Roof Replacement Costs
Simple as it might seem, replacing a roof requires a lot of nails. In 2018 alone, the cost of a box of nails increased from $16 to $27, and a typical roof requires two boxes of nails. The cost of these nails will add up and factor into the overall roof replacement cost.
As an extra layer of protection against water damage, we recommend using a durable underlayment on your roof. In case of damage to your shingles, underlayment will keep your home safe from mold, leaks and other issues caused by water. Underlayment is a code requirement, so be sure your contractor plans to install it.
Ice & Water Barrier
A quality ice and water barrier will work with your roof. Certain formulations are designed to be flexible and adhere to your roof. The ice and water barrier provides an extra protection outside the shingles to keep water from seeping underneath. Storms, snow and freeze/thaw cycles are all ways water could creep into your home. We recommend 2 layers of ice & water barrier to keep your roof and home safe. Ice & water barrier is also a code requirement, and one of the most abused codes at that. Ask your contractor about their process for applying this to make sure your home will be protected.
Starter shingles are another piece of the roofing process necessary to keep your roof free from water. They go below the main shingle and protect the seams from water, directing water off the roof instead of letting it sit and enter your home. Starter shingles are required for all manufacturer warranty claims, but they are a common product cut by contractors when trying to save time and money.
Like all areas of your home, your roof needs ventilation for proper airflow. Without necessary ventilation, hot air has no way to leave your attic, resulting in issues with mold and rotting materials. Ventilation will prolong the life of your roof and help with energy efficiency in your home. Be aware many unscrupulous contractors will not replace these items to lower their estimates.
Roof flashing is a way to seal joints and other vulnerable areas so that water does not become trapped. Flashing is often used around the area where the shingles meet the chimney. Roof flashing is a common item not included in many estimates, as it often requires removal of some siding or cutting back current wood or cement board siding. This is an extremely important area to be aware of, so find out how your roofing company or contractor plans to handle your roof flashing.
Drip edge is the area of the roof that extends beyond the fascia. It is often overlooked by roofing companies, but when drip edge is left off, water will not properly flow into the gutters causing rotting. Not only does it improve the look of your home, but drip edge is important to keep water and insects out of your home as well.
Unforeseen Costs of Roof Replacement
If your roof estimate is higher than expected based on the materials you’ve chosen, it may be due to other damage on your roof. If you experienced a storm which caused roof damage, but you did not take action immediately, your roof may have plywood damage where shingles were ripped off.
You might think plywood will not add a huge expense to your roof, but hurricanes, severity of seasonal storms and simple inflation plus, forest fires two to three years ago are still impacting the availability of lumber for plywood.
While we’re on the subject of acting on roof damage, we recommend you check out this blog post about why it’s essential to take care of roof damage right away. This may save you from shelling out even more money.
Complex roof designs can complicate and increase the price of a new roof as well. Skylights are difficult to work around, so roofers will charge more to accommodate those types of features.
Other factors that roofing companies consider when estimating the cost of a new roof include the type of roof material you need removed, the slope of your roof and the accessibility to the roof.
Roof Replacement Labor
Now that you’ve added up the material costs and other considerations, it’s time to add in labor. Labor usually accounts for 60% of the cost of a new roof. If you are in talks with a roofing company that is charging very low prices, it is worth investigating. We recommend looking these companies up on the BBB and other review sites to see what others are saying.
Labor costs fluctuate because roofers go where they are needed. After big storms that cause damage such as hail storms, tornadoes or hurricanes, roofers will likely be in high demand. If you are in an unaffected area you may have a more difficult time finding a company for your roof.
Contact Superstorm About Roof Replacement Costs
If you need a new roof, the Des Moines roofing professionals at Superstorm Restoration can help. Our evaluations are always free, and our cutting-edge drone technology, yearly maintenance plans with “storm tracking” service and your own personal customer portal allows us to offer you a service second to none. We allow you to see areas of your property that other contractors simply can’t so we can provide you with roof repair that doesn't cut corners. We’re here to help you.