Worker installing new roof
Huntstock/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Replacing the roof is often one of the biggest expenses a homeowner can face.

You may need to replace your roof because it was damaged by weather, such as hail storms or a hurricane. Or perhaps your roof needs replacement because it’s suffered normal wear and tear over time. Maybe you’re considering a new roof to upgrade your home’s aesthetics, or to make it more energy efficient.

In any case, the cost to replace a roof varies widely, depending on the size of the home, the style of the roof, and the materials used. Costs can range from $5,000 for a basic replacement to upwards of $100,000 for high-end options. Whatever your reason for replacing your roof, you’re about to make a major investment, so it’s useful to know what factors might impact the costs involved.

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.

How big is your roof?

The biggest factor in determining how much it will cost to replace your roof is the size of your roof. The cost of roof replacement is calculated in terms of roofing squares; one roofing square is 10 feet by 10 feet, or 100 square feet.

Roofers will often quote prices in terms of roofing squares, so it is useful to know how many roofing squares you’ll need to replace when calculating costs.  The roof of an average residential home has between 22 and 34 roofing squares.

If you have sufficient equity in your, consider a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to help pay for your new roof.

Roof removal costs

Before roofers can install your new roof, they’ll first need to remove the existing one. The cost of roof removal can vary depending on the size of the roof and the existing materials.

You can expect to pay $100-150 per roofing square to remove a single layer of asphalt shingle roofing; $115-165 for a double layer; and $125-175 for a triple layer. Roofs made of heavier material, or ones that are particularly steep or water damaged, may result in higher costs.

Roof materials

The roofing material you choose will also impact the cost of your roof replacement. Asphalt shingles, the most common roofing material in the United States, are a popular low-cost option. How much you pay will vary based on where you live, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $120 and $400 per roofing square for an asphalt shingle roof.

Different styles for different roofs

The style and shape of your roof will also play a role in determining how much it will cost to replace it. The steeper the pitch (or slope) of the roof, the higher your costs are likely to be. That’s because steep roofs are difficult to walk on, and roofers will require extra safety equipment such as harnesses to perform the job. Many roofers will charge extra for roofs with a height-length ratio of 7:12 or greater.

Some building styles may accommodate a flat roof, which will be cheaper to install. However, flat roofs often need more regular maintenance, and may have to be replaced every 10 years, rather than every 30 to 50 years, as with other roof styles.

Roof features, such as chimneys or skylights, can also impact how much you’ll pay. Roofers will have to work around these features, which can slow their progress and raise costs.