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Understanding Roof Replacement Costs: 7 Key Factors Explained

December , 2023 | 14 min. read

By Nicole Corson

white home with a metal roof replacement

A full roof replacement is a hefty project, and we know that discussing the cost can sometimes be a sensitive subject.

However, it doesn’t have to be taboo. Learning about your upcoming roof replacement project is the best way to get the most value for your investment, and also understand where exactly your money is going.

We get it.  RoofCrafters has been replacing roofs for families just like yours, one roof at a time, for 3 decades. We believe our professionalism and demonstrated integrity throughout the entire process will deliver what we like to call the “RoofCrafters Experience.” This is what separates us from all the other roofers in the industry. Now we want to share our roof replacement experience with you.

So, in this article, we'll share the 7 key factors that go into calculating the price of a new roof replacement. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of all the factors that impact the cost of a roof replacement. This way you'll be better prepared to make a great decision about your upcoming project.

Let’s dive right into the 7 key factors!

7 Key Factors Used to Calculate the Cost of a Roof Replacement


So you're thinking about replacing your roof and wondering how the cost is calculated? It's not as simple as just looking at the price of the materials, there are many factors to consider. 

RoofCrafters logo on a calculator with icons of money, location, and estimates around the calculator

Let's dive into the 7 key factors that can affect the final cost of your roof replacement. The 7 key factors will give you a better understanding of what affects the cost of your new roof.

  1. The size of your roof
  2. The type of materials you have selected for your new roof
  3. The complexity of the roof
  4. The level of workmanship warranty
  5. Dump and transportation fees
  6. The amount of decking, rafters, or facia boards replaced
  7. The overhead cost of the roofing company
The Complexity of Your Roof
 The Level of Workmanship Warranty
Dump and Transportation Fees
The Aamountof Decking, Rafters, or Fascia Boards Replaced
The Overhead Cost of the Roofing Company
1.  The Size of Your Roof

Read on to learn the details on each of the 7 key factors and get ready to budget for your new roof with confidence!

Evaluating Cost by Square Footage: How Roof Size Influences Price


The overall size or square footage of your roof will be precisely measured by your contractor. Your contractor will also need to measure all of the other parts separately to figure out the total cost of the materials that they'll need to complete your roof.  We also use satellite reports for these measurements when they're available. 

roof report generated from a satellite image

Measurements include:

  • Total square footage of roof area
  • Total linear feet of valleys
  • Total linear feet of hips and ridges
  • Total linear feet of fascia boards or edge of the roofline 
  • Total linear feet of flashings needed
  • Any additional items such as pipes and vent

    beautiful home with a new roof

As you can see, the measurements matter! So do the materials you select. Let's discuss some options for materials next.

Material Matters: Selecting Your Roof Type and Its Impact on Cost


The type of materials you choose will have the biggest impact on the price you pay for your new roof. Of the 7 most common types of materials installed on homes, the 3-tab asphalt shingles are the most economical choice. A standing seam metal or a Spanish tile roof will provide you with the most protection and add value to your home. 

image showing the 4 most common roofing material options, asphalt shingles, tile, metal, wood, slate 

Roofing materials come with different predetermined warranties set by each manufacturer. But keep in mind,  they're material warranties only. The roofing company you hire will cover labor warranties, sometimes called workmanship warranties. Workmanship warranties will protect and cover your home against any roof leaks

GAF 3-tab roof cut-out diagram

The materials you choose, along with the different roofing components needed will impact the cost of your new roof. A roof is a long-term investment. So it’s critical that you invest in quality, well-made materials over the cheaper options. 

GAF Woodlawn designer shingle roof on custom brick home

Let's say you're on a tight budget. If you don’t want to sacrifice the quality of the roofing materials that'll be installed on your home, look into a financing option.  A low-payment option may be right for you. Financing may help you afford to upgrade the quality of materials with a low monthly payment.

Complexity and Cost: How Roof Design Affects Your Budget


The complexity of your roof refers to the steepness or pitch of the roof. This could make the roof easier to do or make it more difficult. Think safety, nobody wants to have somebody get hurt working on their home.

Steep roof replacement in progress

Will your contractor be able to walk on the roof easily? The easier it is to walk on during the initial inspection the easier it'll be to tear the old roof off and install the new roof. This will reduce the labor cost.

roofer walking on an easy pitch roof

Or is the pitch of the roof very steep?  If the roof pitch is extremely steep, it may require extra safety equipment as well as slowing down the installation. This will impact the labor cost because it may take more time to install the roof safely.

steep 4 story roof replacement in progress

The safety of your contractor and crew is of the utmost importance. And to get a great installation on a steep and difficult roof, they must slow down. This will increase the labor cost. Another thing to be considered is if the crew will be able to get their equipment close enough to your property. If not, this could also potentially increase the cost of labor. 

Investing in Quality: The Price of Workmanship Warranties


Depending on which material you end up choosing and the manufacturer who makes those materials, each manufacturer provides their contractors with detailed installation instructions and guidelines that they are required to follow, along with all the state and local building codes. 


what is a roofing warranty and do i need one

This will impact some of the materials your contractor is required to use as well as their installation methods. For instance, to provide you with a 10-year workmanship warranty from a manufacturer requires less of a grade material and installation method. This would lower the cost, as opposed to what a 25-year workmanship warranty requires.

Materials and installation methods that may impact on the cost of your project include:

  • Underlayment or secondary waterproofing required to meet the manufacturer's warranty requirements
  • Type of metal flashing required
  • Number of fasteners needed 
  • Installation method and materials required around the penetrations (pipes, skylights, chimneys, dormers, roof-to-wall details, and all valleys)
  • Installation methods and materials are required along the edge of the roof or the perimeter of the roof.
  • Type of ventilation and installation method of the required ventilation.

GAf Master Flow Pipe Boot on a Timberline UHDZ shingle

The warranty you choose often comes down to the level of peace of mind and protection you want for your home and family.

Calculating Cleanup: Understanding Dump and Transportation Fees


To get a new roof, the old roof will need to be torn off. Most roofing materials torn off will need to be taken to special construction dumps that are designed to handle all of the different materials used in the roofing products, like the petroleum in asphalt shingles. The dump fees are calculated by the type of material and the weight being dumped. 

roof replacement by RoofCrafters

Depending on the type of materials that will be torn off, sometimes these materials can be recycled, which could reduce the cost of your new roof. Either way, to get rid of the old materials, they need to be handled by labor to be put into dump containers and then transported by a CDL class driver to a waste management provider. Because the dump process is such a labor-intensive part of the project, it'll impact the overall cost of the new roof.

Structural Repairs: The Cost of Replacing Decking, Rafters, and Fascia


Wood decking is the substrate that the new roof material will be fastened to. The rafters are the framing that supports the wood decking. The facia boards are the boards that are attached to the rafters that provide a nice finished look at the edge of the roof.

rotten wood on a roof-1

If there's any water damage, dry rotted wood, or any deteriorated wood in your roof, that wood will need to be replaced before installing the new roof system. The amount of wood needed will impact the cost of your new roof.

roof being torn off and one piece of plywood being replaced

Keep in mind that oftentimes the wood that'll need to be replaced can not be determined at the time of an onsite inspection. However, there are areas on roofs and some conditions that do not allow an estimator to see until the old roof has been removed.

torn up roof caused by a roof leak

In these cases, you can anticipate a change order to be applied to account for the extra wood materials and labor to have the deteriorated wood removed and the new wood installed to be added to the final cost.

Behind the Scenes: Overhead Costs of Roofing Companies


90% of roofing companies fail before their 5th year. The number one reason...They fail to factor in overhead or operating costs to jobs.  Every roofing company has overhead or operating costs. This is the overall cost that it takes to successfully operate the company.

RoofCrafters supervisor inspecting crews work

This is where going with the lowest bid can be a mistake in the long run.  The companies that charge the cheapest prices often go out of business. Unfortunately leaving homeowners stuck without a valid warranty. 

Overhead costs that may impact the cost of your roof include:

  • General liability insurance
  • Workers compensation insurance
  • Vehicles (maintenance, fuel, and insurance)
  • Office and shop
  • Employee payroll and taxes
  • Employee training (continued education) 
  • State and local licenses and bonds
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Federal and State taxes

No matter how large or small a roof repair or a new roof project may be. Operating cost is the fixed costs that a roofing company must factor into the price of the project. To operate their business successfully and stay in business so that their customers have a real warranty!

Image call to action, use the pricing calculator to estimate the cost of your roof replacement

Weighing the Pros and Cons: Should You DIY Your Roof Replacement?


Contemplating whether to tackle a roof replacement on your own is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. While the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach might seem like a cost-effective solution, it's important to consider the complexities and risks involved. Roofing isn't just about laying shingles; it's about creating a complete, functional roofing system.

You can research, learn, and estimate costs to replace your roof on your own, but getting in contact with a professional roofing company may be your best bet. They'll be able to catch all the details needed to complete an entire roofing system and give you an in-depth explanation.

When it comes down to how much a new roof will cost you, and if you can afford it, any reputable roofing company will offer you financing options so you can stay within your budget. Here at RoofCrafters, we believe that a quality roof that protects you and your family is not a luxury, but a right every homeowner deserves.

Image call to action, get financing for your roof replacement

We also recommend downloading our "Top 10 Checklist" where we share the top 10 things to check for and frequently ask questions along with the right answers to those questions so you can better prepare yourself when interviewing potential roofing partners. You'll know what should be expected of the roofing contractor you hire.

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Nicole Corson

At RoofCrafters, our mission is to provide job opportunities for others to thrive and grow while making a meaningful impact within our communities.