Cost Guide And Materials
Roofing Costs & Prices
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Questions to consider before calculating the cost of a new roof:
- How many stories does the house have?
- What is the approximate square footage of the ground floor?
- What is the garage size? (one-car, two-car, three-car)
- What is the roof type? (flat, gable, shed, hip, gambrel, mansard)
- What is the approximate roof pitch? (flat, slight, moderate, steep)
- What roofing materials do you want?
When calculating the cost of a roofing job, you will need to figure out two separate costs: materials and labor.
Roof Type Illustrations
Cost of Roofing Materials
The cost of materials can be calculated by finding the square footage of your roof, looking at the type of material you want to use and figuring out how much of that material you need. Most roofing contractors give their materials cost in terms of 10 ft. x 10 ft. squares (100 square feet). Most materials cost about $150 per square. This list will give a sense for the relative costs of materials.
- Membrane (modified bitumen): $50 per square
- Asphalt shingles: $125 per square
- Slate: $130 per square
- Wood shakes or shingles: $180 per square
- Clay tiles: $210 per square
- Metal: $500 per square
- Copper: $1100 per square
It should be noted that modified bitumen, a form of asphalt roll roofing, may only be used on flat roofs. All other roofing styles may be used on both flat and pitched roofs. Learn more about roofing materials here.
Additional materials and tools will be required to do roof repair. Chief among these will be a ladder, for which you want to err on the side of caution regarding the length. Long-time homeowners may already own a big ladder that they can use to get to the roof, but new homeowners may need to include a ladder investment in their estimate of roofing costs and prices if they plan on making it a DIY job. A new ladder can be anywhere from $200 to upwards of $500 depending on how high your roof is.
Other materials include fasteners and basic tools like a hammer or drill, protective sealant materials, ventilation materials, flashing, leak barriers and more. Costs of these materials vary widely, though they will generally be a fraction of the cost of the main roofing materials.
Measuring Roof Pitch
A good rule of thumb for measuring your roof's pitch is that the average cost of labor for roofing is generally equivalent to the cost of materials for that size of roof. This means that by doing a roofing project by yourself, you could save about half the money you would otherwise spend. On the other hand, you will have to spend about two to three times as much time as a professional contractor with roofing experience to do a job that might not be as good.
Contractor or DIY
Installing a roof is relatively forgiving work, especially if you're using inexpensive materials. "Forgiving" here means that if you make a mistake, you can usually repair it at little cost. However, if you don't take your time and make sure that there are no leaky spots, you might run the risk of permanent damage to your home. It is a job where you want to go slowly and steadily. In climates where weather is unpredictable, you may not have a good window of opportunity to work as slowly as you would like, which would be another reason to hire a contractor for the job.