August 24, 2017 in Personal Finance
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A well-maintained roof is critical for preserving the value of your home. Roofs protect home interiors from the elements, and when they start leaking, expensive repair bills aren’t far behind.

A well-made roof can last 30 to 50 years, but once it starts leaking or even just showing signs of age (like wrinkled shingles), it’s time to replace it.

So how much does it cost to replace a roof? Here’s a look at what contractors charge for roofing jobs and what to expect on the estimate sheet.

Size matters

The cost to replace a roof corresponds to the dimensions of the roof, which the roofer measures in 100-square-foot subsection called roofing squares.

For example, a 1,500-square-foot roof (15 roofing squares) costs less to replace than a 2,000-square-foot roof (20 roofing squares) with the same materials.

That’s because the larger roof requires more material and more labor to complete the project.

If you need a personal loan to pay for roof replacement or repairs, check out the rates at Bankrate.com.

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The cost of materials

The roofing material is a major factor in the cost of a roof replacement. Most homeowners choose between shingles made from asphalt or wood, tiles, or metal sheets. Each type of roofing material has its own set of price points.

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingle roofs remain common throughout the country because they are affordable, and in some cases handy homeowners can install them without assistance from a professional roofer.

The cost to install asphalt shingles varies depending on the quality of the shingles, with the average cost ranging from $2.75 to $7.50 per square foot. That means an average-sized roof of 1,750 square feet costs $4,000 to $13,000 to replace with asphalt shingles.

A metal roof

Homeowners who choose a metal roof appreciate the durability of the material. It holds up well against weather conditions that can damage other types of roofs.

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Steel roofs are the most affordable type of metal roof, costing $5,100 and $22,000 to install. On the other end of the spectrum, a copper roof ranges from $25,500 to $39,600 to install. In addition, lightweight aluminum costs $11,900 to $24,200.

Tile roofs

Popular on Mediterranean and Spanish colonial-style homes, a tile roof is a long-lasting alternative to asphalt shingles. Made from an array of materials ranging from concrete to slate, tile roofs withstand cold winters and sweltering summers, making them suitable for several climates.

Installing a tile roof starts at $7,650 and can cost more than $100,000, depending on the size of the roof and type of tile.

Wood shingles and shakes

Many homeowners avoid wood shingles and shakes because of their lack of durability and the amount of maintenance they require. But, these shingles are attractive and give the house a distinctive look.

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Wood shingles cost $4 to $7 per square foot to install. Wood shakes are more expensive, ranging from $6 to $9 per square foot. A natural wood roof needs treatment to prevent insect and animal infestation.

Roof pitch plays a part

Another important factor in determining the cost to replace a roof is the pitch of the roof. If the house has a steep slope (greater than a 7:12 ratio), the owner pays more for roof repair because it increases the roofer’s workload. They spend more time climbing up and down ladders if the slope is steep enough that they cannot store materials nearby or must use safety harnesses while working.

Style of the home can boost replacement cost

Like the pitch of the roof, the style influences the roof’s replacement cost. Ranch-style roofs have low pitches and few gables, making them easier to work on than the complex roofs on Victorian and Tudor-style homes with multiple steeply sloped gables.

Dormer windows, skylights and chimneys seen in colonial, contemporary and Cape Cod-style homes also increase the cost, especially if they have cracks or other damage that need repairs.

Additional costs

Before installing the new roof, the contractor must remove the existing one. Some contractors charge by the size of the roof, while others bill by the hour.

Removing the roof on a simple ranch-style house can cost as little as $500, but the price can go as high as $10,000 if the roof has significant damage, like rotting timbers or damaged support beams.

Conclusion

The cost of replacing a roof is impacted by many factors. The type of roof and size are the biggest cost elements. The pitch of the roof and the style of the home also play a role in how much it will cost to put in a new roof.

If you need to save money for a new roof, sign up for a savings account at Bankrate.com.

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