What Will it Cost to Replace the Roofing Shingles on my Home?
Here is the short version to that question; between $195 – $395 per sq per 100 square foot area, now we’ll go into more information on this is determined. Homeowners across the country often ask, “what is the cost range to replace my roof?” This is a great question as there are a variety of factors that need to be considered when determining the cost of a roof replacement.
In this post, I will do my best to provide answers to help you understand how determine approximately how much your roof replacement will or should cost Keep in mind that the answers and information provided reflect my direct and personal experiences as well as considerations for location of this experience as my company Texas Home Exteriors services the Southeast Texas, Houston Texas and East Texas metro areas.
During my time serving the greater Houston, southeast Texas metro areas, my company has observed an average roofing replacement cost at around $7,500 and ranging from around a low ball bid (estimate) $6,500 for a composition (asphalt) shingles on upward to over $30,000+ for high-end slate or metal roofing shingles.
Four Factors Included in Roof Replacement Cost:
1 – Size of Roofing Area
Roofing Companies and Contractors determine pricing cost for roofing on a per square measurement basis. A square is 100 square feet, which is referred to “1 square” in roofing terminology (or lingo), of roof surface area. For example, a 10′ x 10′ roof surface area equals a 100 sq. ft. thus the size would be one square (abbreviated as 1 sq.). This 100 square feet (sq. ft.) section of roof, in roofing terms, is equal to one roofing square (or 1 sq.). The measurement of your total roof surface area determines how many squares of roofing shingle area for the roof as well as the amount of roofing materials that will be needed to complete the job. It is important that each and every roofing slope of the roofing area be measured and calculated individually and added to your over total squares for a more accurate cost.
For instance, let’s say we are calculating a simple two slope gable roof. The front slope is measured at 25′ x 50′, by multiplying these two numbers we get the square footage of that section equaling 1,250 sq. ft.
Now let’s say the back slope is the same 25′ x 50′ section for another 1,250 sq. ft. We would then add these two numbers together, the front slope of the roof is 1,250 sq. ft. plus the back slope of the roof is 1,250 sq. ft. for a total of 2,500 sq. feet of roofing area for this particular roof example.
It is necessary then to add 15%-20% (depending on how simple or cut-up the roof is) to the 2,500 sq. ft. total for waste, starter and ridge (2,500 x 15% = 375). Now add those two numbers together, 375 sq. ft. + 2,500 = 2,875 sq. ft. for the grand total square footage of roofing area for this roof. I recommend rounding this number up to 2,900 sq. ft. then multiplying it by 100 to convert to a square for a total of 29 squares.
In the Houston Texas metro area, roofing companies and contractors will charge anywhere from $195 – $395 per square to replace most roofs (this is for a standard 1-2 story with a roof pitch of 5/12 or less). So, let’s say, with this 29 sq. roof, a contractor provides you with a bid of $275 per sq. ($275 X 29 = 7,975), the total roof replacement cost would be $7,975. Note that this price should include all that has been outlined in our Best Roofing Shingle Practices.
2 – How Many Layers of Roofing Shingles will Need to be Removed?
Understand that if your roof has only one layer of roofing on it, then the replacement cost will be lower per square than one with two or several layers of roofing. Typically for each additional layer, you can expect to pay an additional $25 per square for removal. So with one additional layer on your 29 square roof, expect to pay an extra $725 ($25 X 29 = $725) to remove one layer, note that this price includes haul off of the shingles to the landfill or recycling center (for two layers of roofing, you would multiply the $725 x 2 paying the $725 twice for an extra $1,450 on this 29 sq. ft. roof and so on with each layer).
3 – Pitch / Difficulty of the Roof
The pitch of any roof will determine the labor cost due to the difficulty, the steeper the roof, the more difficult thus more costly the replacement will be. Keep in mind , if the roof pitch is greater than 5/12, you can expect to pay an up-charge based on the steepness and difficulty of the specific roof. Why is this necessary might one ask?
You can expect to pay roofing contractors an up-charge on a roof with a greater pitch because the pitch of the roof is steeper. This makes the roof installation more difficult to work as it makes it more difficult to walk on thus a more dangerous job for the roofing crew as well as more difficult to control the materials from sliding off the roof during installation so more safety issues come into play for the workers as well as liability, these roofs require more skill as well as greater attention to detail.
With a higher pitched roof, the entire roofing process will take longer overall so expect an installation on a steeper roof to take a longer time to be completed. This is what you will find roofing contractors calling a labor difficulty up-charge. These types of roofs are also cut-up roofs that have more waste in materials and will increase the overall cost as well.
Notice the roof on the home in the image to the right, this roof displays GAF Timberline roofing shingles on what is referred to as a “cut-up and steep roof” in the roofing industry. On the other end of the spectrum is the small gable roof photo above, it has simple non-steep roof that is easy to walk on and is non cut-up. The cost on this simple roof would cost less to replace than the more difficult steep and cut-up roof.
4 – Shingle Material Choice Affects Roof Replacement Cost
The most common roofing material used in the United States is a shingle that is laminated composition (or asphalt shingles). These type of shingles are used on about 80% of homes across the country. The use of composition shingles is primarily due to the affordability and replacement cost of this type of roofing shingle. Composition asphalt roofing shingles are made from a fiberglass mat which is then coated with asphalt (tar) and colored mineral granules making the shingles waterproof. These shingles typically come with a 30-year warranty. And now shingles like GAF Timberline Lifetime Roofing Shingles provide a lifetime transferable warranty from the manufacturer.
There are a variety of other roofing materials to choose from like wood, metal, tile, composite and slate. When considering these types of roofing material, keep in mind they are much more costly options so the cost of your roof replacement can increase very quickly from double to even three times or more.
These types of roofing materials cost much more, so naturally the total price of the roofing project increases. Also, keep in mind that the installation of wood, metal, tile, composite and slate roofing material is more expensive and often require special tools and skill for installation. For even more information, you can read Bob Villa’s article on How To choose a Roof for Your Home.
Some of the more expensive roofs like metal come with a 50 year warranty which is often transferable to the next homeowner. Asphalt composition shingles like GAF come with a lifetime warranty option. There are many roofing shingle choices to choose from and to consider when requesting roofing estimates. Keep in mind that if you have HOA or POA (Homeowners Association HOA or Property Property Owners Association), who may require you get approval before installation of your new selection of roofing shingles and/or color, so be sure keep this in mind and check with them before proceeding with your roof installation.
Quick Review and Conclusion
In the greater Houston Texas metro area, the cost for a typical roof replacement can range anywhere from $195 – $395 per square for removal of one layer of shingles, replacement of rotted wood found under the shingles, installation of the tar paper, installation of new GAF laminate composition roofing shingles, flashings and a ridge vent. This is for a standard a 1-2 story home without a steep pitch (5/12 or less pitch). This is the guideline we use here at Texas Home Exteriors Inc.
Roofing Advice Downpayment and Storm Chasers
Over the years, I have heard numerous horror stories of homeowners giving a roofing contractor a down-payment only to never hear from them again. Please, do yourself a favor and do not give a deposit or any money up front to an individual or roofing company saying they will replace your roof and are needing money up front to buy roofing materials. Any good, reputable, local, established roofing company or contractor should not need any money upfront to purchase materials for your installation as they should have open lines of credit established at their local roofing supply yards, like ABC Supply.
One other thing you should be aware of and concerned about is hail-damage storm chasers scams, the BBB warns about the numerous amounts of complaints they receive every time a hail storm comes into town from roofing contractors. If you think that your roof has any kind of damage from hail or wind storms and you are wanting your homeowners insurance to inspect it and pay for the damages, we recommend using a local roofing contractor who can provide references. Be wary of door knocking storm chasers and any roofing companies from out of town. These guys may be willing to work with your insurance company to get them to pay for your new roofing replacement cost but you will be glad that you selected a local roofing contractor if there are any issues with your roof and you should need to call them to honor your warranty in the instance such as experiencing a leak sometime after the roof is installed and the crews are long gone.
Roof Replacement Cost Web Links
See the Angie’s List’s roof replacement cost article for more information as well. You will find the prices and opinions in their article similar and supportive although I have included additional information, recommendations and references not provided in their website article.
I hope that you have enjoyed and found this post informative in helping you to make an educated decision on your roof replacement for your Houston Texas metro area home.
If you are looking for estimates for replacement of a roof, please be sure to get a few estimates from at least three different roofing contractors to compare what they are offering as well as service and cost comparison which will help you evaluate which contractor will give you the best roofing installation for your money.
Keep in mind that a low bid (estimate) is often missing items that will affect your roof replacement cost and the overall quality of the roof. Please, stay away from the low bidder as this roofing contractor will cost you more money in the long run.
Greg Kapitan, “Kapitan The Siding Man”