The Need-to-Know Costs of Roof Replacement

Shabby shingles and frequent leaks are two phrases that should never be used to describe your roof. Learn what it costs to replace your roof and get back to living with a safe roof over your head.

Your roof should always be two things: fully functional and aesthetically appealing. Roofing is meant to protect your home from the elements and coordinate with other exterior features for ultimate curb appeal. If your roofing isn't meeting these standards, it may be time for an upgrade. While replacing your roof is an investment, the benefits are worth the splurge.

Roof Installation Cost

Most homeowners will pay between $4,600 and $9,400 for a new roof installation. This range can vary significantly though, due to the large cost difference among various roofing materials. For example, asphalt shingles start at $70 a square, while slate starts at $600 a square. Another key factor in the pricing of roof installation is the area and complexity of the roof. Roofs with steeper slopes, odd angles, or multiple chimneys and skylights will likely be more expensive to replace.

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When to Consider Roof Replacement

Your roof's sagging shingles and lousy leaks are begging for some TLC, but should you simply repair the problems or go all-in with a replacement? To avoid wasting money on an unnecessary roof replacement or ignoring a serious problem, it's best to have a roofing contractor perform an inspection to help you decide on a plan of action. While a roof inspection will be your best indicator in the repair or replace debate, there are some instances where roof replacement is definitely the better option.

Old Roofing

Is your roof nearing the end of its projected lifespan? If so, it is probably best to replace it. Over time, the roof deteriorates and stops protecting your home as well as it should. While repairs can be a quick way to get your roof back in action, there comes a time when repairs may no longer provide the most bang for your buck. Instead, you'll want to consider replacing an old roof before it becomes hazardous. Your home will thank you!

Frequent Leaking

Consistent leaking is another sign your roof is due for a replacement. Even if your roof is fairly new, improper installation or significant damage from severe storms could harm your roof beyond repair, leaving room for frequent, damaging leaks.

Dull Curb Appeal

During its lifetime, your roof has probably seen one too many facelifts it wasn't a part of. From refreshing paint jobs to window upgrades to landscaping projects, your current roof might be dragging down the aesthetic of revamped exterior elements. A new roof could be the much-needed finishing touch for contemporary curb appeal.

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Roof Types

After budget considerations, style selection is your next big step in the roof installation process. Picking the right roof will guarantee great curb appeal and long-lasting protection for your home.

Asphalt

Asphalt roofing is the most common type of roofing, the least expensive, and the easiest to install. It typically lasts 20 to 25 years and will likely need regular maintenance to stay in top shape.

Metal

Metal roofing is becoming a popular choice because of its durability. While metal is more expensive than asphalt roofing, it does tend to be the longest-lasting option available. It comes in a variety of colors and styles, such as shingles and tiles.

Tile

Tile roofing is another alternative to the traditional asphalt roof. Tiles can come in either clay - the more expensive option - or concrete. Tile roofing is more expensive than both asphalt and metal roofing and requires extra framing due to its weight. This type of roofing can last 40 to 50 years and is typically seen on Mediterranean, Mission, and Spanish style homes.  

Slate

With high material costs and the need for extra framing to support its weight, slate is the most expensive roofing option available. While it may be a costly choice, slate is fire-resistant, can last more than 50 years, and has a distinctive, beautiful appearance. It is most commonly used on colonial, European, and French chateau style homes.

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What to Know for Roof Installation

Before having a new roof installed, you'll need to be aware of any building code requirements or permits that could influence what styles or materials you can use. Homeowner's associations or historic home regulations may also dictate your design choices.

Once you're aware of relevant building codes and regulations, you can begin your style selection process. You'll want to choose a roof that fits both the functional needs of protecting your home and the style requirements of complementing your home's exterior. Keep in mind that if you are considering switching to a heavier roofing material, such as tile or slate, you'll likely incur the additional expense of extra framing needed to support the new weight.

Roofing Terms

While working on your roof, it may be helpful to know a few roofing terms that can help clarify the work and the costs involved.

Roofing square and decking are two terms that will come in handy during the planning process of your roof installation. Roofing square is the unit of measurement used to calculate the amount of roofing material you'll need. One roofing square is 100 square feet, or a 10x10-foot square. The decking, otherwise known as roof deck, is the wood base of the roof where the roofing materials are fastened.

Underlayment and flashings are your go-to tools for waterproofing. Underlayment, or felt paper, is the first layer of waterproofing that goes on the roof deck. Flashings are the metal or plastic pieces that go around windows, vents, or chimneys to direct the water around the openings to keep it from getting into your roof.

Fascia and soffit boards are two finishing touches that help bring your new roof together. Fascia is the board that is mounted where the edge of the roof meets the exterior walls. This board supports the bottom row of roofing as well as the rain gutters. Under the fascia board are the soffit boards. Soffit boards are are placed parallel to the ground, between the edge of the roof overhang and the exterior walls. These boards cover the beams of the roof so they are not exposed to the elements.

Gutters and Flashes

When getting your roof replaced, you'll also want to consider replacing your gutters and flashes. Both gutters and flashes do the important job of protecting your roof's structural integrity from moisture. Flashes keep water from getting into the roof and gutters carry the water away. If these pieces aren't performing properly, you may find yourself in trouble with water damage, mold, and deterioration of your roof and home. Consult your contractor to decide if your gutters and flashes need to be replaced along with your roof.

Roofing Trends to Consider

Roofing is going green! Many homeowners are taking the leap to sustainable roofing that is better for the environment. One way to do this is with metal roofing, which is energy-efficient, long-lasting, and often made from recycled material. A bigger move toward sustainable roofing some homeowners are taking is installing solar panels or solar shingles on their roof to cut down on their energy usage.

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