Are you one of the many homeowners scratching your head, as you are trying to figure out how much you should expect to pay to replace that scrappy old roof this Summer or Fall, before it fails? If so, then read our just-updated 2017 new roof pricing guide for homeowners.
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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!
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, choice of shingles, geographic location, and the contractor or weekend warrior you choose to hire, your total average cost for a composition shingles roof could range from $2.75 to $7.50 per square foot installed. — That’s anywhere from $275 to $750 per square. A square is equal to 100 square feet of roof surface. An average roof size is about 1,700 square feet.
Geographic Considerations: While most contractors will price their asphalt shingle roof replacement services within $4.00 to $5.00 per square foot or $400 to $500 per square range, there will be significant variations in quoted prices, depending on the contractor you choose to hire and your home’s location. For instance, roof prices in the deep South (think South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and most of Louisiana) will generally be significantly lower (as low as $2.50 to $3.00 per sq. ft. installed) compared to prices charged in the North East or on the West Coast (which can be as high as $5.00 to $7.00 per sq. ft.).
Did you know? A typical ranch style or four-square single family house in the US will have a roof area of about 15 to 20 squares. — On the low-end, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000 for a simple roof replacement job on a typical four-square or ranch style house, while on the high-end, your total cost could range from $9,000 to $14,000 (or even more in some cases) for a more difficult installation, premium materials, and comprehensive workmanship warranty.
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Why is there such a Wide Pricing Range?
On the low-end, you may have roofers underbidding their jobs because they are either desperate for work or they happen to work on volume with razor-thin margins. For example, a contractor that is just starting out may be more willing to complete a roofing job for less than a more established company would. There are also smaller companies with no office and little overhead that can afford to charge less for the job and still be profitable.
Note: A low bid for a roofing job (such as a bid that is significantly less than $2.50 per sq. ft. or $250 per square) can also come from the so called weekend warriors or storm chasers working without any liability insurance and no worker’s comp, which could be a liability for the homeowner.
On the high-end of the price range, you have bids for fully-warrantied jobs from reputable exterior remodeling companies. — Keep in mind that a high price doesn’t always mean quality, especially if the contractor you hire is using sub-contractors to do the actual work. Subcontractors normally don’t get paid much, so they work on volume, which means that sometimes they may have to cut corners. 😉
Asphalt Shingles Materials and Labor Costs
Many professional roofing contractors 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.
That being said, below is the breakdown of typical roofing costs you can expect for materials and professional installation:
3-tab 25 Year Shingles
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.
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 $350 to $450 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 average installed cost of $450 per square, with a typical 5 years labor warranty.
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.
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 cost for the rest of the work.
Did you know?
The 3-tab (25 year) shingle is the most basic and least expensive kind of roofing shingles, although in some ways, 3-tab shingles are more difficult to install (despite being lighter in weight) than architectural shingles. — The installer has to make sure that all the tabs, rows and columns, comprised of the 3-tab shingles align properly in order to have straight lines or a nice looking shingle pattern on the 3-tab shingle roof. — Proper alignment of shingles is not really a concern with architectural or dimensional shingles, which have a more random pattern, covered below.
30-Year Architectural / Dimensional Shingles
You can expect to pay a bit more for a 30-year architectural (dimensional) shingles, which are a fair bit thicker (and hence longer lasting) than 3-tab shingles, and are more commonly installed by contractors who want to offer a better value to the homeowner. With, architectural shingles, it will probably cost you $75 to $100 more per square to install compared to a 3-tab 25-year shingles. — This increase in price is greater than the difference in cost of materials between the 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”, but you can be the judge of that. 😉
Thus, your total cost for a basic single-story hip and gable combination roof on a ranch style house could range anywhere from $7,850 to $11,000 depending on the actual size and complexity of your roof, the company you choose to hire, quality of their installation, warranty details, geographic location, your negotiation skills, and other variables.
Premium Shingles — 50 Year Shingles
With premium shingles, such as 50-year architectural shingles, your total average cost will probably range from $450 to $700 per square installed, or anywhere from $9,000 to $14,000 depending on the company you choose to hire, roof access/difficulty, your home’s location, etc.
In terms of the cost of materials, some premium shingle profiles can cost as much as $50.00 per bundle, while requiring four or five bundles, depending on the profile, to cover a square of roofing surface. Thus, the cost of premium shingles alone can be as high as $200 to $250 per square, not including the cost of other necessary materials and supplies.
Did you know? A part of the increase in your total installation cost for premium shingles should be reflected and offset by a longer labor warranty (the promise of quality installation) provided with the installation. — A comprehensive 10-year workmanship warranty is what you should expect at this price point for the premium shingles installation.
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 prorated warranty that is often 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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