An expense that most homeowners don’t look forward to is replacing a roof. But the reality is, ignoring the need for a new roof will not only cause additional damage to your home but will decrease your home’s value.
How often you’ll need to replace your roof and what the estimated roof replacement cost will depend on factors like geographic location and shingle material. Though replacing a roof is not a small expense, we’ll share some tips on what you can do to make it more affordable.
Roof replacement cost breakdown
According to a 2019 study done by HomeAdvisor.com, most U.S. homeowners spend between $5,346 and $10,546 on roof replacement. Where you’ll fall in this range depends on things like geographic location, roof pitch, the way the current roof was installed, fascia or soffit damage, gutter damage, mold and more.
Roof replacement costs are broken down by an average of 40 percent materials and 60 percent labor.
Common material costs include:
- Underlayment is the water-resistant or waterproof barrier that’s installed onto the decking of your roof before shingles are installed.
- Shingles are the material on the roof you can see once the roof is complete.
- Drip edge is a strip of material (usually aluminum) installed at the edge of the roof that directs water off the roof and into the gutters instead of under the roof.
- Flashing is installed in areas where a drip edge isn’t feasible and redirects water.
Common labor costs include:
- Skilled professionals.
- Removal and disposal of the old roof.
- Installation of new roof.
How do you know you need to replace your roof?
Incurring the cost of a new roof isn’t something most of us are eager to do. However, there are some telltale signs that roof replacement is imminent and shouldn’t be delayed much longer:
- Loss of shingles.
- Cracked shingles.
- Curling of shingle edges.
- Water leaks.
- Pooling water on the roof.
- Damage to roof deck.
- Past scheduled roof replacement.
Ignoring these issues will result in damage to your home and a loss of property value. Water leaks into an attic, for example, often go undetected until the leak comes through to a ceiling in the home. In the meantime, your attic is being damaged by water. By the time the water leaks through to your ceiling, you’ve got attic damage as well as damage to your ceiling sheetrock and potentially even the flooring below the leak. This will present issues with the inspection if you try to sell the home.
Maybe you haven’t noticed any of the signs listed above, but you are beyond the scheduled roof replacement period. The recommended replacement time of your roof will depend on your roof shingle material.
RoofAdvisor.com suggests the following replacement schedule:
- Composition shingles: 12-20 years.
- Asphalt shingles: 15-30 years.
- Wood shingles: 20-25 years.
- Rubber roofs: 30-50 years.
- Metal roofs: 50-75 years.
Tips to reduce the cost of a roof replacement
1. Do your research on roofing materials
When it comes to roof replacement, shingle material selection is critical for many reasons. It will determine your material cost. It will determine your replacement schedule. It might even determine whether or not you’re eligible for an energy tax credit. It may also have an impact on your cell phone signal.
2. Plan for offseason discounts
If you’re able to plan your roof replacement in advance, wait until the slower season for roofers. Busy season for roofers is summer and fall, so consider scheduling your replacement for early/late winter or early/late spring.
3. Insurance claim
Depending on your homeowners insurance policy and the reason for your needed roof replacement, your roof replacement cost may be covered by insurance. We find it most helpful to speak with a roofer first to determine the extent and cause of the roof damage and their opinion on whether or not it may be a valid insurance claim. Then, speak with your insurance agent and initiate the claim if possible.
4. Get multiple quotes
Seek comparable quotes from at least three reputable roofers. Watch for things like unusually low bids. If two bidders quote $10,000 and one bidder quotes $5,000, this should raise a red flag. It may indicate that the roofer is low-balling to get the job and then will do sub-par work. Watch out for bidders who list their terms as payment required in advance. We do not recommend paying any part of the required payment in advance of the work performed.
5. Research roofers
Ask for recommendations from local friends. Look for neighbors who have had recent roof replacements and ask for referrals. Ask potential roofers for customer referrals and pictures of their comparable work. Always require proof of bonding, licensing and insurance and then validate those claims through your local government before any work commences or any payment is issued.
Roof replacement financing options
Personal loans are a good option for large projects like roof replacements. Loan terms are pretty flexible on personal loans and allow you to select a very short term or a longer one if necessary. Personal loans provide you with a lump sum payment and typically have fixed interest rates. This type of “unsecured” loan means you won’t have to put up collateral, like your home. There also may be origination or closing fees associated with this loan from your bank or lending institution.
Home equity loans
A home equity loan uses the equity in your home to borrow from while using the home as collateral. This is also referred to as a second mortgage and is often used for large expenditures, like replacing a roof. Payments and terms on a home equity loan are similar to that of any standard loan with a fixed interest rate.
Home equity line of credit
A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, allows you to borrow against the equity in your home while using the home as collateral. The biggest difference is the line of credit is open, or revolving, and is usually accompanied by a variable interest rate. With a line of credit, you can borrow against it for, say, your roof replacement, and pay it back, but the line of credit will remain open so that you can borrow against it again.
A home equity line of credit can be a nice solution for a large project like replacing a roof. However, since the full cost of a roof replacement is usually specified in advance we recommend considering a standard loan type with a fixed interest rate and scheduled payoff time, like a personal loan or home equity loan.