What You Should Know About Roofing Replacement (2023)

Roof replacement is one of the most important of all major home repairs. You have many things to consider when replacing a roof, but you never want to let an old roof fail; water can destroy the inside of your home, from the attic insulation down through the painstakingly remodeled kitchen, right on through to the basement family room with a big-screen TV. Fewer home problems can be more disastrous than a failed roof.

Roof replacement is not something to take lightly, nor is it a repair you should delay.It's not too difficult to replace or repair a single shingle, but if one shingle fails, it's a good idea to inspect your roof to check the rest of its integrity.

You might also need a permit in your state or locality to repair a roof, depending on the size of the area and the type of repairs. A permit may also be required when reroofing. When you sense that your roof is nearing the end of its useful life, brush up on these basics before soliciting bids from roofing contractors.

Roof Replacement Cost

How much it costs to replace a roof in your state depends on your choice ofroofing materials (ranging from cheaper three-tab asphalt shingles to architectural shingles or slate). The roofing contractor you choose, the pitch (steepness or your roof), and the square footage of your roof are other factors that affect the cost.

Rock-bottom, a three-tab composite roof for a small home may cost as little as $6,000, according to Angi. Replacing a typical roof using architectural asphalt shingles costs between $3 and $6 per square foot nationally, including demolition, permit fees, waste disposal, and cleanup.Not everyone gets asphalt shingles; other materials vary. The national average for roof replacement ranges from$4 to $11 per square foot.

Typical average costs of different roofing options include:

MaterialAverage Cost
Three-tab asphalt shingles$6,000 to $13,000
30-year shingles$9,000 to $15,000
50-year shingles$11,000 to $20,000
EPDM rubber$8,000 to $14,000
TPO or PVC membrane$10,000 to $15,000
Wood shingles$14,000 to $25,000
Steel shingles$14,000 to $25,000
Aluminum shingles$15,000 to $28,000
Standing-seam steel roofing$23,000 to $30,000
Natural slate$25,000 to $50,000
Concrete tile$20,000 to $40,000
Clay tiles$25,000 to $50,000

The Basic Roofing Materials

Choosing roof replacement options often depends on your locality and your preference. For example, metal roofing is a standard selection in some regions due to its fire resistance. In contrast, the predominant home styles in other areas might call for a Spanish-influenced tile.Roof pitch (angle)also affectsthe roofing materials you can use. For example,wood shake shinglescan be used for steeper-pitched roofs but are unsuitable for flatter, low-pitched roofs.

The most common choices for residential roofing include:

  • Asphalt composition shingles: These are cheap and easily obtainable but less attractive than other options due to their flat appearance. This roofing type is by far the most popular roofing material.
  • Wood shakes or shingles:These are pricey but attractive shingles. They have excellent durabilitybut aren't a good choice in regions with fire danger.
  • Metal Roofing: Metal roofs made of steel or aluminum have become more prevalent in recent years due to their durability and fireproof durability. These expensive roofs require specialty contractors for installation, but they may be cost-effective over the long run due to their long life. Several types of metal roofing systems are available, including raised-seam panels and products that mimic the look of composite shingles.
  • Slate roofing:This is a desirable, high-end roofing option, but it is expensive and heavy. Slate roofs are extremely slippery to walk onand difficult to repair when damaged.
  • Composition slate:These synthetic tiles made from 95 percent recycled materials, including rubber, are gaining popularity. They closely resemble slate and other forms of stone tile but are much lighter and less susceptible to damage.
  • Clay or ceramic tile:Long the most predominant image in Southern California and Florida, the Spanish-style red tile roof is still common but gradually replaced by metal and composite materials that mimic the Spanish tile look. Other roofing materials that meetceramic tile's fireretardant ability are now available, with much less weight put on the roof. This type of shingle is called the "half-barrel" because it is essentially a cylinder cut in half length-wise, roughly 16 inches long.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, costlier slate, copper, and tile roofs lastover 50 years. Wood shake roofs endure about 30 years, fiber cement shingles have a life of nearly 25 years, and asphalt shingle composition roofs last about 20 years.

Tear Off or Second Layer?

It was once common to lay a new shingle roof over the preexisting layer at least once or sometimes even twice. This roofing practice is no longer allowed in some jurisdictions, where complete tear-off of the previous roofing is now required. Even where layering is allowed, applying a new layer of shingles over the old should be carefully considered based on its pros and cons:

  • Weight: The main argument against laying additional layers of asphalt shingles is that the roofing materials can get too heavy for the underlying roof framing. Excessive weight can cause structural problems, especially for older houses. A triple layer of asphalt shingles is often equal to a single layer of slate shingles—an exceedingly heavy material.
  • Telegraphing: Another problem with shingling over existing shingles is repeating some surface irregularities that may already be present. If you're contemplating putting on a new roof, there's probably a good chance you may have bubbles, bumps, and waves that should be remedied. Putting new shingles over existing problems can leave you with a rather unattractive new roof. One way to minimize this problem is to go over the old roof and correct as many issues as possible before re-roofing. It doesn't take much more than a hammer, some roofing nails and a handful of shingles to correct bumps, gaps, and protruding nails.
  • Work and waste reduction: The primary advantage of layering is that it reduces the work involved.Stripping off the existing layer and then laying down a new layer adds more work to the process. Time isn't a problem if roofing professionals tackle the job because they can strip most roofs in the morning. But if you're doing the job yourself, it can be a strong argument for roofing over the old roof.
  • Manufacturer's warranties: Some types of roofs and manufacturers require that roofs under warranty be stripped entirely to comply with the rules and restrictions of the warranty. If the roof is currently under warranty, check what the warranty requires.

Consider Off-Season Roofing Work

While in most parts of the United States, the optimal roofing season is from late spring to early fall, skilled crews can extend the work season, sometimes even roofing when snow flurries are threatening.

There is no reason not to hire a skilled crew to roof your home during off-season periods. You may get lower prices at these times since the labor demand is low. The trick behind getting your roof job shoehorned into the offseasonis having a large team of professional roofers who can knock out the work in hours instead of days, thus taking advantage of dry periods.

Understand the Roofing Process

If you understand the steps to replacing a roof and the jargon used in the roofing trade, you'll be able to make an informed decision when hiring a roofing crew. A moderately-sized, professionally-installed roofing job might take only three or four days.

Here's the usual process:

  1. Remove all existing shingles; deposit them in a roll-off dumpster: Damaged or old valley flashing and drip edging are also removed at this time. A good crew will use tarps to protect foundation plantings and shrubs during tear-off and will use magnetic tools to pick up nails and metal objects from the lawn.
  2. Make minor repairs on the roof if it is in good condition: If not, replace bad wood with new plywood sheathing or1 by 6 sheathing boards. Whichever applies to your type of roof.
  3. Install ice dam protectionin regions that require it: The ice guard membrane is a synthetic waterproof barrier material designed to prevent melting ice from backing up under the shingles and penetrating through the sheathing, where the moisture can cause severe damage.
  4. Lay down asphalt roofing paper over the roof sheathing: The layer of roofing paper creates an inner barrier against water penetrating the house. Rows of roofing paper are overlapped as they progress upward toward the peak and are normally tacked or stapled in place.
  5. Apply metal drip edging around the roof's edge, both the eave and gable sides: The metal drip edge is nailed over the roofing paper or ice guard.
  6. Where necessary, apply a new valley flashing along with areas where two roof planes meet: The valley flashing is typically nailed to the roofing deck and sealed with roofing caulk.
  7. Apply the tab shingles, starting at the eaves and working upward toward the peak: Where roof vents are being installed, tab shingles are installed starting from the bottom, moving upwards.
  8. Apply the flashing around all areas where leaks might come into the house—against the chimney, around skylights and stack vents, etc.: Flashing installation may happen as part of the roofing installation, occurring as the rows of shingles progress upward on the roof deck.
  9. Install the ridge vent: This continuous vent along the roof's peak will help the air circulation in the attic space and can be integral in exhausting hot air and preventing winter ice dams. Ridge vents may not be included on older roofs, but installing them is a good idea whenever a house is re-roofed. If ridge vents are not practical, other types of roof or gable vents should be installed to provide air circulation in the attic space.
  10. Complete the final cleanup and haul the debris away: Have a building inspector inspect and approve the installation.

The roofing business uses some special terminology when estimating materials for a roofing job.

  • The term "square," when used in the roofing business, is a unit of area. One square equals 100 square feet.
  • Shingles come in "bundles." Three or four bundles of shingles typically will cover a square of roofing area.

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.


What You Should Know About Roofing Replacement? ›

Value Report found that the average American homeowner spends $22,636 on a new asphalt shingle roof of midrange quality. That new roof will increase the home's value by $15,427, on average. That works out to 68 percent of the investment.

Is replacing a roof a good investment? ›

Value Report found that the average American homeowner spends $22,636 on a new asphalt shingle roof of midrange quality. That new roof will increase the home's value by $15,427, on average. That works out to 68 percent of the investment.

How much do most roofers charge per square? ›

Roofing Cost Per Square Foot

The cost of installing a new roof costs between $4 and $40 per square foot—or about $7 on average—including both labor and materials.

What are common roofing problems? ›

There are a handful of potential issues—old or torn shingles, worn-out flashing, clogged gutters, and more—that will degrade the roof. It's a gradual process—first a loose shingle or worn piece of flashing lets in a little water, then decay develops, and soon you have water ruining your house.

How long does a roof replacement last? ›

Slate, copper and tile roofs, which are on the upper end of the price spectrum, can last more than 50 years. Homeowners with wood shake roofs should expect them to last about 30 years, while fiber cement shingles last about 25 years and asphalt shingle/composition roofs last about 20 years, the NAHB found.

What is the best roof to increase home value? ›

Asphalt roof replacement

Replacing your roof with new asphalt shingles will increase your home's value by about $17,800, according to a 2023 cost vs. value report from Remodeling. This assumes you have a rectangular hip roof with two regular-size skylights and a vented ridge.

Is a new roof tax deductible? ›

Is a new roof tax deductible? It depends. A residential roof replacement is not tax deductible, because the federal government considers it to be a home improvement, which is not a tax deductible expense. However, installing a new roof on a commercial property or rental property is eligible for a tax deduction.

How often do you need to replace a roof? ›

If your roof was properly installed, your attic is adequately ventilated, and your roof is maintained, it will get as close as possible to the maximum lifespan. This means you shouldn't need a replacement for around 20 years or even up to around 50 years (or longer), depending on what kind of roofing material you have.

When should I replace my roof? ›

Age of Roof

In our experience, most old-style asphalt roofs start to fail after 14 years. If your roof is between 18 – 20 years of age then you have attained a good amount of life out of it. It is probably time to replace it. However, if your roof is 20 years old but shows no other signs of wear and tear, then good!

What is best to put under shingles? ›

However, I always recommend synthetic underlayment when getting asphalt shingles installed. The reason for this simply comes down to durability, functionality, and pricing. Let's dig deeper into these reasons, so you fully understand why synthetic underlayment is the best choice for asphalt shingles.

What is the biggest problem roofers face? ›

Roof leaks are among the most common problems that roofing contractors are faced with because more often than not, they're time sensitive. A roofer needs to fix the reported leak as soon as possible, or else the homeowner could be faced with much larger damages to their home and other valuables inside.

What is the number one cause of roof failure? ›

1. Improper roof installation. The first and most common cause of premature roof failure is improper roof installation. Improper roof installation is caused by a roofing contractor being lazy, using shortcuts to cut costs, or not caring about doing the job correctly.

What color roof adds value to home? ›

If you're someone who needs a more technical answer, this article explains that roofs with good resale value tend to be neutral-colored. This includes tan, brown, black, and gray.

What are the advantages of a new roof? ›

Top 10 Benefits of a Brand New Roof
  • 1) Newer Technology. ...
  • 2) Energy Efficiency. ...
  • 3) Curb Appeal. ...
  • 4) Manufacturer Warranty. ...
  • 5) Safety for Roof Cleaning. ...
  • 6) Property Value. ...
  • 7) Cost Effective Maintenance. ...
  • 8) Installing New Features.

Why should I change my roof? ›

It's Time To Replace

There are a variety of factors that can lead to your roof deteriorating sooner than it's lifespan warrants, including storm damage, ice dams, or mold, moss, and algae. If your shingles are visibly curling, or even falling off of your roof, it is time to replace your roof!

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