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Understanding the Costs of Roof Tear-Off and Replacement

December , 2023 | 22 min. read

By Joe Martinez

roof tear off and replacement
 Roof tear-offs and replacements can be a pain to deal with, plain and simple. When you're unsure of what a tear-off even is, how much it's going to cost you, and when you need one, it can be difficult to see the urgency or even importance of having one done. Do you always need a tear-off before a replacement? Can you just go over the old roof? Is this going to cost you an arm and a leg? Yeah, it's a lot.

Navigating the maze of roof tear-offs and replacements can feel like a daunting task. You might be wondering, what exactly is a tear-off, how much is it going to set you back, and whether it's even necessary.

Dealing with roof issues can feel like a chain reaction of problems. A leaky roof isn’t just a single issue; it often leads to a cascade of troubles – cracked ceilings, rotted wood, and mold. It's the kind of domino effect no homeowner enjoys.

Questions like, "Can we just layer over the old roof?" or "Is this going to drain my savings?" are common concerns many of our clients once faced. We get it.

Our family at RoofCrafters completely understands these challenges. With 30 years of experience under our belt, we’ve encountered every roofing scenario imaginable. We know life is hectic, and the last thing anyone needs is the disruption and expense of a roof replacement. But where do you begin in understanding and managing this essential home maintenance task?

That's where we come in. We've written this article to demystify the roof replacement process, including the costs involved. Consider this your roadmap to navigating the essentials of roof replacements. Ready to dive into the details? Let’s start unraveling the complexities together!


Evaluating the Need for Roof Tear-Off and Replacement


There are certain times when a roof repair simply isn’t enough, and you have to consider a replacement. While roof replacements are usually more expensive than repairs, there are some situations where you need to replace the roof to prevent further structural damage and eliminate safety risks. 

Image call to action, take the repair or replace quiz

If your existing roof has a useful life you may want to consider a repair. Take the quiz to help determine if a repair or replacement is best for your roof. 

Understanding the Lifespan of Your Roof: When to Replace


Like everything else on the planet, your roof also has a limited lifespan. Most roofs have an expected life of around 15 to 20 years, and with proper maintenance, you can even get a few more years of life from them. However, roofs face challenging weather conditions throughout their lives and wear out faster than other parts of the house. For this reason, you should replace even a seemingly perfect roof once it's reached the end of its expected life.

hand lifting loose shingles in valley during a roof inspection

Some premium materials, such as metal roofs, have a longer lifespan and can last from 50 to 75 years with proper maintenance. The most common material asphalt shingle roofs last 15–20 years. Most insurance companies offer limited or no coverage at all on roofs older than 20 years because they have a greater tendency to break down and leak.

man holding an insurance sign with a model home

Keeping track of your roof's age and condition is crucial. If your roof is approaching or has surpassed its expected lifespan, it may be time to plan for a replacement. This ensures the safety and integrity of your home. It also aligns with insurance standards and can prevent potential coverage issues in the future.

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When Frequent Repairs Signal the Need for a Roof Replacement


After a big storm, if you see a lot of damage to your roof, it's a good idea to call a roofing expert right away. When the damage is big and affects many parts of the roof, this often means there are problems all over the roof. In this case, taking off the old roof and putting on a new one is the best choice.

old roof with rotten plywood decking

If you find yourself fixing your roof a lot, this could mean there are bigger problems that can't be fixed by repairs. Having to repair your roof over and over is not only annoying but also costs a lot of money in the long run. Think about it: each repair might seem small, but when you add them all up, they can end up costing a lot.

torn up roof caused by a roof leak

Frequent repairs are frustrating to deal with and also become a money pit. Constant repairs could be for things like leaks that keep coming back, and shingles that need to be replaced often. The same part of the roof having problems again and again. These repeated issues usually mean your roof as a whole isn't doing well.

Roof leak causing interior insulation and sheetrock damage

A roof that always needs fixing is more than just a hassle. It's a big sign that the whole roof might be failing. When this happens, getting a new roof can save you money and worry. A new roof means you won't have to keep fixing it, and you can feel safe knowing your house is well-protected.

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Understanding the Roof Tear-Off Process


When you decide to get a new roof, your contractor will first conduct a roof tear-off. They will go over your roof and remove the shingles section-by-section to prepare for a new roof. Everything that gets replaced will be brand new.


roof work

Any rotted decking will be removed and replaced, leaks will be repaired, and new flashings will be installed. Not only will a tear-off job last you longer than a repair or roof overlay, but it will also add significant value to your home. We promise you'll be getting your money's worth. 

Key Factors to Consider When Selecting a New Roof


Choosing a new roof involves more than just picking a style or color. It's a significant decision that impacts your home's protection, appearance, and value. When contemplating a new roof, there are three essential factors to consider:

  1. Budget Compatibility: Your budget plays a crucial role in your choice of roofing.

  2. Longevity and Durability: How long do you expect your new roof to last? 

  3. Maintenance Requirements: Different roofing materials require different levels of upkeep.
Budget Compatibility: Your budget plays a crucial role in your choice of roofing.


1. Evaluating Material Costs for Your New Roof


The cost of roofing materials is a major factor in your budget. Prices vary widely based on the type of materials. From affordable asphalt shingles to more expensive options like metal or tile roofs. It's important to compare the initial costs against the longevity and durability they offer. 


how much does it cost to tear off and replace a roof

This can influence your long-term expenses and maintenance requirementsLet's discuss roof replacement prices for the 3 most popular materials used in residential homes. 

Cost-Effectiveness of Asphalt Shingles


4 different types of shingles side by side

Are you searching for the least expensive materials? Asphalt shingles are the most economically priced materials for any home or business. The ease of installation, combined with the 4 different grades of shingles make them appealing and a popular option for roofing any home or business.

You can expect the average price to range between $8,300 and 19,000 for a high-quality asphalt shingle roof.

Choosing Metal Standing Seam Roofs for Enhanced Durability


6 different types of metal

If you are searching for a longer-lasting roof. A material that provides more durability and protection against high winds and the grueling sun. Then a steel, aluminum, or galvalume metal roof may be a great option for your home. 

The average price for a standing seam or metal shingle roof is between $29,500 and $46,500.  

Evaluating the Expense of Spanish Tile Roofs


8 different colors for Spanish tile

A Spanish tile roof may be a better fit for your home if you are looking for a specific architectural design with high durability.  Tiles are often used in European, Mediterranean, and of course, Spanish-style homes. 

The average price for a Spanish tile roof is between $35,500  and $75,800.

2. Comparing Lifespans: Shingles, Metal, and Tile Roofs


The expected lifespan of roofing materials varies depending on the type of material and installation method. Questions to ask yourself before making your final decision:

How long do I plan on living in this home?

How will the new roof impact the resale value?

What roof style do I love the most? (Remember, you will be the one pulling up to your home)

 Let's start by discussing the lifespans of asphalt shingles.

Understanding the Durability of Different Asphalt Shingles


Asphalt shingles come with manufacturers' material warranties that are pre-determined by each of the manufacturers through research and studies. The expected lifespan provided above is based on the actual lifespans.

Up close of premium asphalt shingles on a steep hip roof

Lifespans we’ve seen over the past 30 years in the roofing industry:

3-Tab asphalt shingles can be expected to last 12 to 15 years
  • Three-tab shingles can be expected to last 12 to 17 years.
  • Architectural asphalt shingles can be expected to last 18 to 25 years
  • Upgraded architectural asphalt shingles can be expected to last 25 to 30 years
  • Designer asphalt shingles can be expected to last 30 to 40 years

Steel Roofing: Popular, Cost-Effective, and Versatile


Steel roofing is the most popular type of material used for metal roofing. Steel metal is galvanized steel that is hot dipped or coated in a zinc coating. Steel is less costly and can be as effective and efficient as other metal materials. That is if you are not close to saltwater environments. The steel commonly used for roofing comes in 24 gauge, 26 gauge, and 29 gauge.  24 gauge is the most popular thickness of standing seam panels used for roofing houses.

country home with a red metal roof

4 of the most widely installed steel roofing profiles installed on homes or businesses:

  • Standing seam metal panels (12”-18” wide panels)

  • Interlocking steel shingles (slate, tile, or shake look)

  • 5-V crimp metal roofing (2-foot wide screw-down panels)

  • Maxi-rib or multi-rib panels (3-foot wide screw-down panels)


blue-gray metal shingles on a 2-story hip and gable-style roof up close

Because steel is not a non-corrosive metal, these metal roofing materials require a painted finish. Warranties range from 20 years to 45 years depending on the thickness, type of panel, and the manufacturer of the materials.

Steel metal roofing is very cost-effective. It offers a wider range of prices. Depending on which profile you choose, the thickness of the metal, and the paint warranty the manufacturer offers.

Exploring Various Styles and Characteristics of Roof Tiles


Roof tiles are a wonderful way to customize your home to your taste. However, the different types of roofing tiles tend to vary in appearance, durability, weight, and even budget. Tile roofs can make your home stand out by giving you that Spanish-style look for those interested in historical architecture, or even providing a more modern flare for those of us who appreciate a more contemporary style.

tile roof with multiple valleys



The different types of roofing tiles available to you are:

Concrete Roof Tiles

Concrete roofing tiles are manufactured and processed by molding a mixture of sand, cement, and water under heat and high pressure. After the initial “baking”, an application of a paint-like material to the exposed surface gives it a finished, more polished look. Concrete? On a roof? If you’re thinking it may be heavy, almost too heavy, you’d be correct.


simple tile roof

Although concrete tiles have grown in popularity over the past few decades, and are one of the most sought-after roofing materials on the market due to their versatility in color and style options, their weight can make things tricky. If you’re interested in a concrete tile roof, it’s important to make sure that your home’s structure can bare the material, and has been reinforced if not. Concrete tile roofs can last over 50 years. 

Clay Roof Tiles

Clay tiles rank as one of the most popular roofing materials in the Southeast. Their durability and strength against the extreme heat and weather conditions prevalent in this region of the United States can’t be beaten. On top of these great qualities, clay roofing tiles are rot-resistant, so their lifespan is significantly longer than other roofing materials. 

Multi-colored clay tile roof

Clay roofing tiles have been around for centuries, so manufacturers have a knack for curating them to the highest quality. Just like concrete tiles, clay tiles are pretty heavy and are prone to breaking if not installed with skill and care. Your roof will need substantial reinforcement to support the extra weight of the clay, so be sure to keep these factors in mind when choosing the best tile roof for your home. Like concrete, clay tiles can last over 50 years.

 3. Keeping Your Roof in Top Shape with Routine Maintenance


Taking care of your roof is key to making it last longer. It's a good idea to check on your roof once or twice a year. This helps stop problems before they start. Simple things like cleaning off leaves and making sure the parts of your roof like pipes and flashings are sealed right can stop leaks.

red arrows pointing at leaf debris in valleys on a roof of a home

These easy steps are really important. They help stop the usual kinds of leaks and make your roof last longer. Having debris sit on the roof can cause the new materials to deteriorate faster. These simple roof maintenance items will prevent the most common roof leaks and prolong the life of the roof.

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Estimating the Cost of a Complete Roof Replacement


The cost of replacing your roof varies depending on the type of roof, the material used, and the coverage area. It is important to take into consideration that the steepness or complexity of your roof will increase the average cost, as well as the level of manufacturer warranty. Those are the main factors, however, there are many other factors needed for us to provide an exact price for a roof replacement. We'll provide you with the average price of a complete roof replacement below..

steep 4 story roof replacement in progress

The average cost to tear off and replace a roof using one of the 5 popular roofing materials.  These prices are for full roof replacements on average-size homes.(1500 to 2500 square foot houses) 

  1. The average cost for a 3-tab shingle roof replacement is $8,300  to $11,600
  2. The average cost for an architectural shingle roof replacement is $12,300 to $17,600
  3. The average cost for upgraded architectural shingle roof replacement is $13,100 to $19,000
  4. The average cost for a standing seam metal roof replacement is $29,500 to $46,500
  5. The average cost for a Spanish tile roof replacement is $35,500 to $75,800

You may be asking, "Why such a large price range?"  Keep in mind, several key factors will impact the final cost of your roof replacement. To get an exact price we'd need more specific information about your home. 

Understanding Insurance Coverage for Roof Tear-Off and Replacement Costs


If the price range for a tear-off paired with a new roof scares you, then you aren’t alone. Roof replacements are a major investment for all of us homeowners. You may be asking, "Will insurance cover the cost?" 

It's a valid question, The short answer is, if your property has sustained storm damage, your insurance company may be responsible for the damage caused by the storm. Which may mean a full roof replacement.  It could also mean a roof repair. It will depend on the type and severity of the roof damage.

wind damaged 3-tab roof with RoofCrafters truck

With insurance, your average cost can be as low as your deductible since most policies cover roof replacements. You are only responsible for the policy deductible if it has damages that qualify. Insurance companies may even discount your policy after replacing your roof, thereby saving you hundreds of dollars every year.

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Making Roof Tear-Off and Replacement Affordable


Worried about the cost of a roof tear-off and replacement? You're not alone. Thankfully, you now have a clearer picture of the costs involved and how insurance can help. Plus, remember, that most trustworthy roofing companies provide financing options to fit your budget.

For the most accurate information, it's best to consult with a local professional roofer. Our family at RoofCrafters has 3 decades of experience in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Located in one of our service areas? We're ready to guide you through this process. Schedule an inspection with us for a detailed evaluation of your roof and to understand your insurance coverage better.

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Meanwhile, feel free to explore our learning center for more insights. If you think you have storm damage, check out our article "Roof Tear-Off and Replacement: What Will My Insurance Cover?" to learn more about insurance queries.


Joe Martinez

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