Factors That Affect the Price of a Roofing Job

August 23, 2022

If you notice water damage in your ceiling, or it's been about 20-25 years since your roofing was last replaced, it may be time for a new roof.

Roofing jobs are a considerable expense, but real estate agents and real estate lawyers with experience will tell you they're worth it. A new roof has the potential to add value to your home, sell it faster and help you avoid a failed home inspection.

Keep reading to learn a little more about how roofing contracts are priced.

Square Footage/Surface Area of Your Roof

Your roof's surface area has a significant impact on the cost of a roofing job as it factors into the amount of materials needed and work involved for both removing your old roofing and installing the new one.

Factors that contribute to the surface area of your roof include:

  • The shape of your roof and the lengths of its dormers, eaves, valleys, hips, and ridges.
  • The 'rise' of your roof, or how steep it is.
  • The surface area taken up by your chimney, ventilation pipes and any other areas not covered by tiles.

Building Materials

The largest material expense will likely be the cost of the shingles needed to cover all of that surface area. Below are some of the most common types of shingles and the pros and cons of each:

  • Fiberglass Architectural asphalt shingles. Architecturally-engineered shingles are similar to standard shingles but are thicker and more durable – and therefore more expensive.
  • Metal roofing. Metal sheets and shingles are popular because of the wide selection of styles and looks available. They can also come with a lifetime guarantee. Metal roofing can get pricey, however, as it requires soundproofing and metal sheets and shingles will warp if they aren't properly installed.
  • Wood shake. Wood roofing can really make your home stand out and add to its curb appeal. They are also on the expensive side, however, and wood is vulnerable to water damage, mould, mildew and rot.
  • Clay tiles and slate roofing. These are premium materials you commonly see used in higher-end homes. Both clay and slate can withstand extreme temperatures. That said, cost is a deterrent to most homeowners choosing clay or slate tiles.

Keep in mind that the cost of your shingles will likely be increased 10-15% more than what's needed to cover your roof, as that's the approximate amount of wastage that will occur during a roofing re-tile.

Of course, there are other materials needed to complete a roof, such as:

  • Nails. Roofing jobs require potentially thousands of nails and/or screws. Shingle manufacturers usually recommend using 4-5 nails per shingle, depending on the row they are installed in and how windy it is in your climate.
  • Vents and flashing/boots for plumbing and other ventilation pipes.
  • Underlayment and ice and water shield to prevent water and ice from forming in your roof's valleys.
  • Decking. While inspecting your roof or after the old shingles are removed, damage to your roof's decking (the wood underneath the shingles) may be discovered, requiring repairs or replacement.

Other Factors 

Other costs that can factor into the cost of a new roof include the costs of disposing of your old roofing, material delivery and hiring a boom truck to lift the shingle packages and place them on the roof.

To protect you from an unexpected final bill, have the contractor you hire include the original written estimate in the contract for services. Doing so prevents the contractor from charging you more than a 10% increase above the total estimate cost.

JJ Sterling
As the co-founder of Urban Splatter and an architecture graduate from Chicago, I thrive on crafting a digital nexus where architectural innovation intersects with boundless digital opportunity. My academic roots in the Windy City's rich architectural tapestry inspire a unique vision for Urban Splatter's journey into the ever-evolving digital frontier of design. Join us as we navigate the exciting confluence of structure, style, and technology.

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