Worker installing new roof
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Replacing the roof is often one of the biggest expenses a homeowner can face. You can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $30,000, with the national average pegged at around $6,600.

The disparities in pricing can be attributed to the many different factors that play into the overall cost. Understanding these variables can help you gain a better understanding of what you’re likely to spend when the time comes for a new roof on your home.

Be sure to save money in an emergency fund so you’ll have some resources set aside in case you find yourself with a leaky roof that needs replacing.

Roof cost factors

The price tag for a new roof can be influenced by:

  • Geographic location (Costs can vary widely from one part of the country to another.)
  • Roof size
  • Roof pitch (Steep roofs often cost more.)
  • Roofing material
  • Number of layers
  • External components, such as skylights or chimneys
  • Local building code requirements
  • Manner of application

Homeowners also need to factor in the cost of removing the old roofing material. For example, you’ll typically pay about $1,000 to have shingles removed.

Roof size and pitch

Roofers typically charge per roofing square, which is why the roof’s size is one of the largest considerations in the overall price. Each roofing square is equivalent to a 10-by-10 foot area, or 100 square feet.

In addition, the pitch plays into the overall cost. A roof with a steep pitch can be difficult to replace, especially if it isn’t walkable. Usually, when a roof has a pitch with a 7:12 ratio (height to length) or higher, the workers are required to wear additional equipment, such as safety harnesses. Given the extra gear and the added risk, the crew will need to work more slowly, which can add to the overall price.

Roofing materials

The materials significantly affect the cost of a roof. Here are examples of various roofing materials and their corresponding prices:

  • Asphalt shingles: Asphalt is the most common type of roofing material, and also the most affordable. Professional installation of an asphalt roof can cost between $1,700 and $8,400 on a standard ranch-style home.
  • Metal shingles: Metal is a good choice for anyone who wants a sturdy roof built to last, but expect to pay more for this type of quality. Steel roofs can cost from $5,100 to $22,000; aluminum ranges from $12,000 to $24,000; and copper can fall anywhere between $25,500 and $40,000.
  • Wood shake: Some homeowners prefer wood because of its appearance, but it can require high maintenance. Natural wood shake can cost from $6,800 to $20,000, while a simulated wood made of rubber or plastic can cost from $12,600 to around $19,000.
  • Tile: Tile is long-lasting, and tiles are relatively easy to replace if damaged. A roof made of concrete tiles can cost anywhere from $7,650 to $21,000, while a ceramic tile roof averages around $12,000.
  • Slate: Slate provides a natural look and is quite durable, but it can get quite expensive. If you have a 2,000 square-foot home, a slate roof can range from $17,000 to $84,000.

Additional factors

A variety of unexpected issues can drive up the cost of a new roof. For instance, if your roofer finds rotted wood or water damage once the old shingles are removed, the price of the project can skyrocket. Other potentially expensive factors include roof accessibility — roofers need to be able to drive up to the house — and flashing replacement, among others.

While getting a new roof requires a substantial investment, most new roofs are expected to last at least 25 years (and often endure much longer). So, if you have to replace your roof, take comfort in knowing that you probably won’t have to do that more than once.

Your home might help pay for its new roof. If you have sufficient equity, you might tap that through either a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

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