Roof Replacement Cost 2017: Materials & Labor Costs Updated!

With the winter fully settled in, and spring just around the corner, many homeowners will soon be scratching their heads trying to figure out how much they should pay to replace their old leaky roof that just barely made it through the previous, long, cold winter. After all, last year we’ve experienced some very low temperatures, along with heavy snowfall and many storm-damaged roofs across the US. And so far, this year has not been much different either. 😉

A beautiful cabin with combination roof

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So, if you are one of the many “lucky” homeowners whose roof has been battered by all the notoriously heavy accumulations of snow and ice last Winter and will soon require replacement, then read our just-updated 2016-2017 new roof pricing guide for homeowners.

To help you with your pricing research, our very own RoofingCalc’s Special Agent went on a secret mission to find the latest roofing materials and labor prices, so you don’t have to do all the legwork!

asphalt shingles costs breakdown and material specs

Straight Off the Bat, it needs to be stated that not all roofs are made the same, and not all roofers charge the same prices. Depending on the type of your roof, geographic location, and the company or weekend warrior you choose to hire, the total installed cost of a composition shingles roof could vary between $2.75 to $7.50 per square foot installed. — That’s anywhere from $275 for a low bid (such as a bid from a weekend warrior or storm chaser who works without any liability insurance and does not have any worker’s comp.) to $750 per square for a fully warrantied job completed by a high-end exterior remodeling company. A square is equal to 100 square feet. An average roof size is about 1,700 square feet.

Geographical Considerations: While most contractors will price their asphalt shingles roof replacement services within $4.00 to to $7.00 per square foot or $400 to $700 per square range, there will be significant geographic variations. For instance, roof prices in the deep South (think South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and most of Louisiana) will generally be significantly lower compared to prices charged in the North East.

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Asphalt Shingles Materials and Labor Costs

Many professional roofing companies employ a 40% materials / 60% labor as their costs-breakdown formula. Of course, this pricing structure is just a guideline not set in stone. Some contractors include their overhead in the cost of labor, while others calculate it separately. All roofers use “squares” to measure and estimate roofs. A square equals to 100 sq. ft. of roof the surface.

3-tab 25 Year Shingles

25 year shingles 3 tab display

The cost of materials for a basic 3-tab 25-year shingles could range anywhere from $150 to $200 per square for all the necessary materials. — In addition to composition shingles, materials may also include any necessary roofing felt/underlayment, ice-and-water shield, nails, ridge-vent, and roof flashing details such as valley, drip-edge, gable, and chimney flashing and caulk. In some cases, the cost of materials may also include tarp, plywood, wood planks/boards, permitting, trash bags and ordering a dumpster.

Ice and Water

Ice and Water on Display at Lowe’s

Ridge vent roll on display at Lowe's

Ridge vent roll on display at Lowe’s

With most professional — licensed & insured roofing contractors, the installation cost is usually about 60% of the total cost. Thus, a 3-tab composition shingle roof will cost an average of $400 to $500 per square to install.

The installation assumes a single story house such as ranch, cape, or colonial, with a hip and gable combination roof. Most ranch type houses in the US, measure an average of 15 to 20 squares in terms of their actual roof surface, which translates to $6,725 to $9,000 for the very basic composition shingles roof installed, based on the total installed cost of $450 per square, with a typical 5 years labor warranty.

25 year shingles 3 tab prices per bundle

Please note: The basic installation cost can actually be some $100 to $150 per square higher than the base cost, if there is a need to tear-off and remove the old roof (up to two layers), before a new roof can be installed. If new plywood needs to be installed over the old roof deck, or if there are many old, damaged or rotten planks/boards underneath the shingles that require replacement, the total cost will surely go up.

Roof deck prep and repair

Any skylight and chimney flashings will also likely increase the total cost. For instance, some contractors will charge an extra $200 per skylight or chimney flashing in addition to the rest of the work.

30-Year Architectural / Dimensional Shingles

oakridge dessert sand 30 year shingles

Keep in mind the 3-tab (25 year shingle) is the most basic and least expensive kind of roofing shingles. Expect to pay a bit more for a 30-year architectural (dimensional) shingles, which is a fair bit thicker (and hence longer lasting), and is more commonly installed by contractors who want to offer a better value to the homeowner. With, architectural shingles, it will probably cost $75 to $100 more per square to install compared to a 3-tab 25-year shingles. The increase in price is greater than the difference in cost of materials between a 3-tab and 30-year architectural shingles, because most contractors will put a greater mark-up on a higher-end product compared to an entry-level product. This is normally justified as a premium on the “higher quality of installation”. 😉

Thus, your total cost for a basic single-story hip and gable combination roof on a ranch-styled house could range anywhere from $7,850 to $11,000 depending on the actual size and complexity of your roof, the company you choose, quality of their installation, warranty details, geographic location, your negotiation skills, and other variables.

oakridge 30 year shingles prices per bundle

Premium Shingles:

Owens Corning Roofing Shingles Display

With the premium shingles, such as 50-year architectural shingles, your total cost will probably range from $600 to $700 per square installed, or anywhere from $9,000 to $14,000 depending on the company you choose. Part of the increase in your total installation cost will be reflected and offset by a longer labor warranty (the promise of quality) provided with the installation.

Estimated Roof Costs (1620 s.f.)
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Did you know?

One thing you should keep in mind as a homeowner, is that no asphalt shingle roof will really last as long as 50 or even 30 years. That’s just a simple marketing gimmick used by the asphalt shingles manufacturers to get homeowners to pay the big bucks for their products backed by the so-called pro-rated warranty that is not worth the paper it’s written on. Just imagine how much, or rather how little, money you will actually be able to get some fifteen or twenty years down the road for a roof that fails due to manufacturing defects? Not much! Never mind the fact that it will be extremely difficult to prove the cause of a roof leak is actually tied to material defects and not labor errors. Furthermore, the manufacturer would only be held responsible for replacing the materials that have actually failed, not the whole roof in its entirety. Not, only that, but the company responsible for the installation of your roof may no longer even be in business some 15 to 20 years down the road!

Viable Alternatives to Composition Shingle?


If you are in search of a long-lasting roofing system, consider a metal roof as an energy-efficient and long lasting alternative to asphalt.

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23 thoughts on “Roof Replacement Cost 2017: Materials & Labor Costs Updated!

  1. Katherine

    Well researched article! There is definitely a big difference in pricing from say the southern states to the northern states, especially when it comes to the cost of labor, even for your typical asphalt shingles. Prices can also fluctuate quite a bit, even within the same region, especially when there were some recent storms ravaging some areas, but not the others. For instance, some areas see great spikes in shingle pricing after a major hail or wind storm, where as a consequence, there are suddenly lots of roofs being replaced at the same time.

    Definitely sharing the article!

  2. Greg Riley

    The article is 100% on the money. Sure, $2.75 to $7.50 is a wide range, but most jobs will fall somewhere in between. You’ll always have some contractors willing to charge “bottom of the barrel” prices just so they can get work and get by. But, as the saying goes, sometimes (not always) you get what you pay for. There are also many older roofs that have several layers of asphalt shingles baked onto the roof deck. In extreme cases, the old shingles can take a number of days to remove! Ask any roofer worth their salt and they will tell you that some tear-offs, clean-ups, and deck repairs can be so tedious that you’ll lose money on the job. — You’ll be up on the roof scraping the old shingles and pulling out nails for days on end, only to expose the deck that needs some new plywood, or smaller boards replaced here and there, and whatnot. Needless to say, the more complexity and labor a roof requires the more it will cost. No two roofs are exactly the same and if you ever had to roof over the towers and transitions such as the once on Victorian houses, you will surely understand why some roofs will cost more to work on than others. Oftentimes, you have to put in that extra time and effort to get it right, and that’s the reason why there is such a wide range in prices. Just my two cents…

  3. Joe

    $750 a sq, that’s highway robbery. Actual roofing contractors, not the tear your head off type charge about $275 – $350 a sq total. You can get slate for $750 gees O Pete. Shingles and under-layment materials cost about $125 a sq, that’s a 10×10 area, labor is about $80 tops, so an honest business will make about a 40% margin. You do the math – wow $750 a sq, how does that guy sleep. A 30 sq roof would be $22,500. I will build you a garage for that and put a roof on your house!!!

    1. The Roof Guy Post author

      All great points Joe and thank you for sharing your thoughts on this!

      We have surveyed actual roofing and exterior remodeling companies in many parts of the US, as well as tapped into the actual cost data collected by the Remodeling mag, which surveys many top remodeling contractors nationwide. Our research shows that most contractors will price their asphalt shingles roof replacement services at $4.00 to to $7.00 per square foot or $400 to $700 per square (100 square feet). To your point, though, we definitely agree that charging $750 per square is excessive, but that’s what actually happens in some areas; think San Francisco, Washington DC, and other places with exuberant costs of living, and hence doing business. The location, obviously plays a major role, and when all is said and done, replacement contractors in expensive areas have to pay an arm and a leg for their workers’ comp. liability insurance, and whatever other overhead costs they may have to cover as part of their day-to-day operations; sales, office expenses, standing by their warranty, etc.

      As far as the bottom-line price for a job is concerned, many homeowners would rather pay a bit more for a quality product and exceptional labor/service rather than try to find the cheapest guy in town. We find that the “real world” prices pretty much reflect that at the end of the day, most people ultimately care about the product and workmanship quality and dealing with a company that will do the job the right way from start to finish. Based on my experience in the industry and many conversations with homeowners, people are happy to pay more for the overall higher quality of work and ultimately their peace of mind. Sure, getting a great deal is great, but only as long as the crew doing the job is not cutting any corners in order to make the ends meet, which is often the case with companies working on razor-thin margins i.e. under-bidding their jobs and competing on price alone.

      Also, as a homeowner, I have to understand that I may be held liable for anything that happens on my property during the installation. Therefore, I’d rather pay more for a quality product and trusted service. I want to deal with a company that employs a well-trained crew and provides workers’ comp. for their installers. — There are way too many contractors that run a shady operation, employing illegal workers with no rights and no workers compensation. Those are the companies that often tend to cut corners, do sloppy work, have low safety standards, and are no where to be found when the warranty claims start coming in.

      It’s who you hire first, which should be the major point of consideration. The price you pay for the job is just as important, of course. I’d encourage any homeowner to focus on finding an honest and conscientious company so they can do the installation right the first time. — This may well involve having the discipline and willingness to do some necessary, and often tedious work, such as replacing missing/rotten pieces of wood in the deck, and treating homeowner’s property with dignity and respect in all phases from tear-off/work/clean-up, even when no one is watching — incidentally, this is exactly where many fly-by-night roofers will cut corners. 😉

    2. Joe P

      I believe you are reading the article wrong, it’s $7.5 per sq. ft., and $750 per square, where a square is equal to 10×10 section.

    3. Jim

      Yeah, right. You can build a garage for $22,000. LMFAO. Out of leggos? Get the f**k out of here, if you have no clue what you are talking about.

    4. Carl R

      You are correct. My insurance estimated my roof at $9,100 for 30 squares or 3,000 square feet. I bought the shingles and all the materials for about $2,600 with my military discount at Lowe’s, and hired some roofers to do the work for $2,850 cash. So, the whole job was under $6k.

      1. The Roof Guy Post author

        Hi Carl, it sounds like you’ve got yourself a great deal indeed and thank you for your service! 🙂

        I do love the fact that Lowe’s, and I believe Home Depot, are giving a 10% discount on building materials and other home improvement products to the US military personnel. Not sure if the veterans also get the discount.

        The important issue I see here, though, is that you sort of acted as your own general contractor and the roofers you hired were basically contracted laborers. In other words, your total cost was significantly lower than it would have been normally, because you sort of took on the responsibility of managing the whole process, from the purchase of materials and supplies to delivery and installation.

        I’m guessing it was an unwarrantied, over-top installation, with no removal/disposal of the old roof.

        Also, not sure if the building permit for the installation of a new roof has been pulled or not, but in order for the house the be insurable under homeowner’s insurance, the roofing job must have had a proper permit issued for it, and in many states a registered installer must have put their company’s name on the permit. This is certainly the case in many states, but some places may have less stringent building permit requirements.

        My guess is also that the roof was probably a fairly basic one, so the job could be completed in a couple of days or so, with no warranty provided. Surely, not a written warranty for which the company will stand and be there to address any workmanship issues in five years from now or so.

        I’m also assuming that it was a 3-tab (low cost) shingles, not architectural shingles used on the job.

        Lastly, you are probably not living in a major coastal city, where getting such a deal would be next to impossible.

        The bottom-line is that it seems in your case, the overall low cost of the job is a direct result of you actively managing the project and having the crew you found install the least costly product in a least-costly (value-engineered) manner.

        This is of course, a viable option provided you can manage to find reliable installers who will do the job the right way, while perhaps cutting some corners (necessarily so) in terms of having insurance and workers’ comp requirements met for the installers and for the job.

        Obviously, such a job will not have a real warranty issued to back the installation/workmanship quality in a case there are any issues with the rood later on. But, the upfront cost-savings may well be worth the hassle, if you are willing to take the chance, and have the stamina (and time) to manage the delivery of the project.

        Thank you for sharing your experience!

    5. KB

      “A 30 sq roof would be $22,500. I will build you a garage for that and put a roof on your house!!!” REALLY?? You ain’t here yet? zip code: 47305

    6. David Vernon

      I happen to agree with Joe. I am a sales manager for a local roofing company and I try to get as close to $225/sq. as possible (Shreveport, LA).

      Price goes up for decking replacement, steep roofs and upgrades, but our roofers are much cheaper here than up north, and ours are very loyal and darn good!

      We are fully licensed and insured, but care more about long term clients, since we are a full service contractor, rather than making a quick buck.

      We would rather net $1,500 and have a customer for life that sends referrals rather than one that’s willing to shop around in the future. We are small and don’t have much overhead or advertising costs. We pound the pavement, put the work in and do a good job to maintain a good name…all depends on the company and their structure.

      Personally, I’d show the door to any contractor asking over $400/sq… That’s an insane cost for an average replacement!

      P.S. $15,000 quote here for a 20×20 garage rebuild, so $22,000 to include a roof is absolutely possible on a house around 1,500 sq. ft. Might even upgrade to Architectural shingles with ridge vent.

      1. The Roof Guy Post author

        Great, thank you for your comment David. It sounds like Joe has finally been vindicated! 😉

        So, I know you’ve mentioned you try to get as close to $225.00 per square ($2.25 per square foot) installed, as possible, including the warranty. — That’s for a three tab shingle roof, I assume.

        Now, what do you guys charge for a typical roof replacement per square in Louisiana for say; an average house requiring the removal and disposal of the old roof, some deck repair here and there, as needed, re-flashing chimneys/skylights, and installing architectural shingles over say deck armor underlayment, and ridge vent. — I imagine the storms are a real threat in Louisiana, so architectural shingles would be a preferred choice for a roof, since it will offer much better protection from the strong wind uplift. Thus, the new roof will probably last far longer than a 3-tab shingled roof.


        1. David Vernon

          That’s definitely for a 3-tab. I usually charge about $600-$700 for a 30 sq. upgrade to architectural shingles (30 yr). If a chimney flashing, etc. is needed and not covered through insurance, I try to just price it slightly over cost, as we try to make most of our profits on the roofing costs.

          My roofer charges me $0 extra for the tear off, so that is included. I’ll cover up to 2 sheets of deck sheathing, if needed. It’s $40 per sheet after that. $25 per 4 ft length of ridge vent, my roofer charges $0 to cut the ridge, but I usually pay him a little extra for the effort.

          Like I said, we’re a smaller setup. No large company with a big shop and overhead can afford to get away with those prices, so we often have the advantage if we get the business by walking an area, but we lose the advantage in advertising exposure, so it’s a toss up. Works for us though, 12 years strong!

          1. The Roof Guy Post author

            Thank you for sharing this David. I am sure a lot of homeowners in your area will find this helpful!

    7. Jay

      In Florida on the coast, a metal or tile roof can cost upwards of $1,500 a square, plus there must be a minimum of a 2 by 6 top chord on trusses and 5/8 ” ply for the tile install.

      Florida has the strictest roofing laws in the nation. Asphalt felt requires a button tab every 4 inches, staples are not allowed! In a lot of counties in Florida, you are only allowed to use synthetic felt. No California valleys or weaves in Florida either! There’s a plywood inspection, then there’s a felt and flashing inspection before any roofing material can be placed on! Then a final inspection. And yes, the inspector lifts up the shingles to make sure they are nailed correctly and the nails didn’t sink too deep, 6 nails a shingle, pap, pap pap, pap pap, pap!

      1. The Roof Guy Post author

        That makes a lot of sense, with the threat of storms and hurricanes hitting the Florida coastal lines, that roof must be installed right, which ain’t cheap. Thank you for sharing that Jay!

    8. Nelson

      What gutter do you live in? Our cost is high $200’s per square. — That’s just cost before any overhead or profit is taken into account.

    9. Scott Blake

      Slate is very labor intensive to install. Factors not mentioned are; insurance companies allow for additional height allowance if over single story, pitch allowance if over a 4/12 pitch

  4. Pingback: Types of Asphalt Roofing Shingles: 3-Tab, Architectural, Costs, DIY Options, and Pros and Cons - - Remodeling Image: Ideas, Tips, and Practical Advice

  5. Jumping Jack Flash

    I remember being a teenager hung over from a night of partying, and my Dad making me get up on the roof the next morning and help him re-roof the house and garage.

    Thanks Dad! I’ve just saved a bundle on my own roof, from what he taught me. Doing it myself.

  6. Ozzie Soderstrom

    I’m a 10 year-retired roofing and siding contractor who used to have 5 roofing crews working year-round in northern NJ. How we charged for a standard basic, roofing job was 3 times the total material cost to the nail, including a percentage for insurance. For example, if the total cost of materials was 125.00 per square w/ tax + 5% insurance workers’ compensation, then we would charge 3 times that per square of new roofing installed.

    Naturally, ripping off a roof, re-sheathing, etc. were extras. We basically still figure the same way. It was a fair and more competitive way of doing business. Everybody was happy. My sons now run the Company and still use the same system. We use a 4 times multiple system for the siding jobs.

    This works out fine. If you live in a million dollar home or a $300 thousands home, it doesn’t matter. Prices don’t change. We are a 4 generation company and are doing very well.

    1. The Roof Guy Post author

      Hi Ozzie,

      Thank you for sharing your experience. It is always good to hear from a professional contractor! The system 33% / 66% split you described is pretty similar to the 40% / 60% split many contractors employ, where 40% is the cost of materials and 60% is the cost of labor, overhead, and contractor’s profit.

      The problem I see with this seemingly straight-forward pricing approach, arises when you upgrade from a basic 3-tab shingles to a more pricey 30-year or 50-year architectural/dimensional shingles, or even premium shingles. With these upgrades your material costs could be as high as $200 to $300 per square or $2.00 to $3.00 per square foot for materials alone. When you multiply that number by a multiple of three, you are now in the $600 to $900 or $6.00 to 9.00 range.

      My point is that such an overly-simplistic pricing approach is a lot more beneficial for the contractor who basically has to do the same amount of labor to install a premium roof, as they would have to put into the installation of a basic roof, but now the installation of a premium roof is being paid for by a homeowner at a premium rate. From a homeowner’s perspective this is not the best deal by any stretch of imagination.

      What would make more sense for more premium roofing installations, is for the cost of labor to remain more-or-less the same for standard, basic roofs, regardless of what type of shingles a homeowner ends-up choosing. Granted premium shingles weigh more, but that is hardly enough to justify charging three times the cost of all materials including taxes and insurance for the entire job, when a homeowner wants to go with premium shingles.

      By the way, premium asphalt shingles cost around $50-55 per bundle at Home Depot and you may need as many as 5 bundles for every square of the roofing surface, which is the case with Home Depot’s premium shingles. Thus, premium shingles alone will cost you well over $250 per square before you factor the cost of nails, underlayment, taxes, insurance, and other materials-related expenses. Assuming an average-sized home with 20 squares of roofing surface, we are now talking $300 x 3 x 20 = $18,000, which is a lot of money. — Keep in mind, this a fairly realistic amount for some contractors with great reputation to charge for their services. This pricing also happens to be in line with the remodeling expenses referenced by the Remodeling Magazine. The only problem with that pricing model, is that you can probably get a brand new metal roof installed for the same amount of money! 🙂 The upside with that would be an increase in the value of your property and no need to worry about replacing your roof again.

      My point is that such a simplified model is only fair for a basic 3-tab installation, but once you upgrade from that bottom-of-the-barrel product to more premium shingles, all of a sudden that model is no longer beneficial for a homeowner, but it surely now benefits the contractor more.

      Of course, contractors have to make money to remain in business, so I understand it from the business point of view. I really do. As many contractors will probably tell you over beer, “You just gotta make money on some jobs to justify lower profits associated with less profitable jobs, or jobs that are more complex/difficult to complete, but were erroneously priced as basic jobs”.

      Hope this offers a bit more perspective and insight into the mechanics of roof pricing methods, and how and why in some cases a homeowner may really end-up paying a whole lot more than they probably should for a premium shingles roof. My two cents.

  7. Sharon O'Riely

    Is there a difference in replacement cost for manufactured home roofs vs. regular roofs?

    Severe wind damage took off about half of my roof. And the thing that goes over where the two parts of the house are seemed together, I am sure has been compromised.

    I am in Michigan, where you can wait for 5 minutes and the weather will change. So now, it snowed and I have 4 inches of snow sitting on my roof.

    Lots of questions. I just don’t know where to start.

    1. The Roof Guy Post author

      Hi Sharon,

      Is there some sort of a homeowner’s insurance coverage on this manufactured home? If so, the insurance will cover any storm damage related work including ridge repair and installation of the new roof.

      Cost-wise, you are looking at some carpentry costs to repair the damage to framing / ridge based on what you describe, before a new roof can be installed.

      As far as the difference in costs, there is no significant difference that I can think of. Your total cost will depend upon the system being installed and the amount of labor required.

      If this is an asphalt shingles roof, then you should replace it with 30 year shingles, as it will provide better protection from the wind uplift than the 3-tab shingles. I imagine your roof had 3-tab shingles prior to the wind damage your home has sustained.

      You should start out by getting a few estimates from reputable roofers in your area.


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