When to Splurge or Save on Your New Roof

Raise your roof's curb appeal and decide how to budget your roof remodel.

If your roof is looking run-down and in need of an update, or if you're ready to  install a roof on your new addition, a new roof is an investment that can significantly boost the appearance of your home. Even more impressive is the return on investment that your roof can contribute if you ever plan on selling your home. Whether you're looking for a cost-effective repair or an upscale upgrade, it's important to know the factors to consider when shopping for a new roof.

Selecting the Shape of the Roof

Starting from scratch? Choosing a roof structure that complements the rest of your house can significantly enhance the look of your home. When considering the right structure for your home's roof, gable and hip roofs are the top choices, and each offer a unique set of benefits and costs.

Gable roofs are known for their classic appearance, with two sloped sides meeting at one peak at the top. Because of their steep slope, gable roofs are ideal for diffusing water, snow, and other debris. Gable roofing can also offer extra space at the peak, creating an opportunity for building a fun, functional attic space or having lofty ceilings. Hip roofs, on the other hand, have four sloped sides that meet at the top. Known for their endurance against strong winds and snow, hip roofs are one of the most durable options for a roofing structure.

When deciding between these two popular styles, gable roofs are generally less complex to design and build because there's less surface area. With its four sides, hip roofs typically require more building material, such as the wood framework, the roof covering material, and any additional details that may be necessary. Because of these factors, gable roofing is the preferred pick for a budget-friendly roofing solution, while hip roofs are the higher end option.

Build the Perfect Roof

Making the Most of Material

Once you've determined the structure of your roof, you'll need to decide which roofing material to use. Durability, quality of material, and maintenance needs are just a few important factors that play into the cost of your new roof. Metal, slate, and clay tile are amongst the higher-priced roofing materials, and for good reason. These materials are extremely durable, lasting for decades, and come with little maintenance. When choosing a roofing material, consider each option's costs and benefits.

Metal, for example, is very energy efficient and can even reduce air-conditioning costs during months with higher temperatures for homes in a warmer climate. This modern material does come at a price, though. Expect to pay up to $900 per roofing square for metal, depending on the type of metal you choose.

Slate—ranging anywhere from $1,100 to $2,000 per roofing square—is an all-time favorite material that adds a traditional touch. And with an assortment of custom slate options, it's never been easier to find the perfect match for your home's exterior walls.

Clay tiles, which range from $800 to $1,000 per roofing square, are made of all-natural substances that are designed to be long-lasting while adding a stylish flair. You won't have to worry about costly maintenance or replacement fees, either, as clay tiles are extremely low maintenance.

For budget-friendly roofing options that achieve the look you want for less, asphalt shingles and wood are excellent options. Asphalt shingles are much more budget-friendly in comparison to other roofing options, sitting at about $90 per roofing square. Although this may seem like an inexpensive investment, asphalt tends to require up to three or four costly replacements within its lifetime. Wood is also a prime choice at a price of about $300 to $450 per roofing square. One thing to keep in mind when installing wood, however, is that it requires regular maintenance, adding to your roofing cost over time.

Better Homes & Gardens Tip: Keep in mind that installing certain heavy roofing materials, like asphalt, typically requires the removal of old roofing material to prevent the roof from accumulating too much weight. Unless you're installing a brand-new roof, this removal process will likely come at an additional cost.

Get the Right Roof for You

Finalizing the Roof Remodel

Once your roofing style and material have been set, it's time to focus on the all-important details. For efficient ventilation and protection from the elements, soffits and fascia are essential components of your roof renovation.

For efficient ventilation in your home, consider having soffits installed along your roofing. Soffits do an exceptional job in keeping the attic space below your roof cooler, helping to make your home more energy-efficient. You can either install numerous individual soffit vents, costing about $3 per vent, or continuous soffit vents that provide even ventilation throughout the home, which can cost about $150 to $200. Finally, you'll also want to have fascia installed along your roof's edge. Fascia is a decorative border that protects the roofing beams. You'll want to be sure to leave money in your budget for this vital installation that protects your new roof.

If you're looking to save on your soffits and fascia, go for a vinyl or wood material. Vinyl is extremely durable and doesn't fade as quickly as other materials. Woods, such as cedar and redwood, are also a favored material for their durability against weather and insects, but often require a sealant to prevent water damage. For a splurge-worthy material, aluminum is great for enduring harsh sunlight and heat, and gives a clean look to the edge of your roof.

Get Those Last Additions


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