How to Estimate the Cost of a New Roof

Apr 11, 2017

How to Estimate the Cost of a New Roof

Estimating the cost of a new roof rests upon several key factors involved in completing the project right. The costs will vary on the quality of the products being used, the man hours needed, the roof’s pitch, the home’s location, the inspection (if required), and the contractor’s legal and insurance status.

Location, Location, Location

The state, county, city, or town that your home resides in plays a major role in the final cost of putting a new roof up. Because different variables are at play from place to place when it comes to the roofing material’s availability, the local climate, and eligibility requirements for your contractor’s licensure and insurance, the cost of installing a new roof varies greatly from place to place.

Slate roofs, for instance, are expensive, but they’re more affordable to buy in places like Vermont or New York state where it’s naturally quarried.

A contractor’s eligibility for licensure will also vary from state to state as some laws can either apply on either the city or state level, depending on which state they’re in. Illinois has different conditions for roofing licensure from Michigan where laws apply statewide.

Material Costs

The cost of a roofing material is separate from the cost of installing it. From asphalt to metal, wood, slate and other materials, making the right choice can make the difference between a job well done and money poorly spent. What’s affordable isn’t always a bargain in the long run, and what’s expensive isn’t always necessary. Slate is arguably the best kind of shingle but it won’t necessarily recoup its value upon reselling your home if the total asking price is greater than that of neighboring houses by a large margin. Home buyers may pay a little more for a few design perks but they won’t all be ready to pay a larger fee just because the roof is of ceramic tiles. So, be reasonable about your choice of roofing material.

  Asphalt Shingles Cedar Shingles Metal Ceramic or Concrete Tiles Slate Roofing
Material Costs $120-$400 Per 100 Sq. Ft $400-$900 Per 100 Sq. Ft $500-$1,800 Per 100 Sq. Ft $600-$4,000 Per 100 Sq. Ft $800-$4,000 Per 100 Sq. Ft

Labor Costs

The costs that go into installing roof run between $680 and $40,000. Which depend on certain factors like whether the job is done by a professional; the quality of the roofing material used; whether an older roof needs to be removed; whether a repair or structural adjustment needs to be made prior to the new addition; the architectural complexity of the roof, and the man hours and square feet needed to get the job done.  

  Asphalt Shingles Cedar Shingles Metal Ceramic or Concrete Tiles Slate Roofing
Installation Costs

DIY: $680 – $3,700

Professional Installation: $1,700 – $8,400

Synthetic Wood: $2,700 – $3,500

Natural Wood: $6,800 - $20,000

Fireproof Wood Shake Simulating Recycled Rubber or Plastic: $12,600 - $18,900

Steel Roofs: $5,100 - $22,000.

Aluminum: $11,900 - $24,200.

Copper: $25,500 - $39,600.

Concrete Tiles: $7,650 - $21,000.

Ceramic Tiles: $11,900.

Customized Tiles: $17,000 - $60,000.

Slate for 2,000 Sq. Ft Home: $17,000 - $84,000.

3,000 Sq. Ft Home: $27,000 - $120,000.

Synthetic Slate for 2,000 Sq. Ft Home: $11,900 - $18,900.

3000 Sq. Ft Home: $21,000 - $27,000.
Roof Removal

Per Sq. Ft: $3 - $5

Per Hour: $40 - $80

Repair or Reinforcement $1,000 - $10,000

Roof Pitch

The slope of a roof determines its square footage as well as the right kind of shingle to go with. The flatter a roof is, the less effective shingles can be. This is because the underside of each shingle piece is more exposed to the elements as a result of a more leveled installation, increasing the chances of air penetration and shingles being flung off by strong winds.

A higher roof pitch means more square feet to cover, more man hours to finish the job, and a higher chance of accidents and falls. A near-flat or completely flat roof means an easier, quicker, safer and more affordable install due to its straightforward layout.


If you think the inspection is just a way of playing it safe, you’re right. But playing it safe is one of the main reasons homeowners avoid paying unexpected budget-threatening fees to finish the job. An inspector won’t just point out structural issues to fix before or during a roof’s installation, they’ll let you know whether you’ll need a building permit for the project to be legal. And similarly, if there are structural damages that need to be fixed before your new roof is put up, that’s priceless for maintaining your home’s structural integrity and new roof’s actual life.

You can either have your contractor perform the inspection and charge you as part of the total net cost, or hire a professional inspector of your own from another contractor. The latter is the better option if the inspection can be finished in a smaller amount of time when that’s the only task that needs to be done by a contractor with a tight schedule. However, if your project requires inspections be made parallel to the work, having the first-hand experience of the workers on the site together with inspectors from the same business can be the smoother option.

Companies which specialize in roof inspections can charge you anywhere between $200 to $400. If your project involves continuous inspection while in the works, expect the cost to increase by another $100 to $200.

Whatever the case may be, always make sure your inspector is going to provide you with a full report regarding all problems to do with your roof.

Licensed & Insured Margin of Difference

Licensed and insured contractors are usually 10 to 37 percent more expensive than unlicensed and uninsured contractors due to the high costs associated with attaining such liability coverage and certification. But nevertheless, having an insured roofer do the job protects you from compensating an injured worker and holds the insurance company responsible for such cases.

Having a licensed roofer doesn’t only guarantee that your roofer has the expertise to finish the job in practical terms, it ensures that your job stays protected under your state, county, city, or town laws. If your local government catches you working with an unlicensed roofer, the court will find you in violation of its local code and will charge you with a fine. What’s more, a licensed contractor means that they haven’t violated any laws at least up to the point of licensure, relieving you from worry if you have second thoughts about your contractor’s practice.

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