A Quick Homeowner's Guide to Hiring a Roofer
Whether you are wanting a whole new roof, or simply needing a small roof repair, you likely have some questions. Standard pricing, and licensing you have probably already wondered about, but have you thought about what will happen to the old roof? We are going to cover this, and more, in a quick guide to helping you get a better roof over your head. We will start with the cost breakdowns that go into roofing work, then follow that with something both homeowners with full replacement needs and those wanting a repair can use.
How Much Does a New Roof Cost?
Now, of course, the cost is going to be highly dependent on your building and the materials used. Regardless of your personal situation, it will always help to have a rough estimate and understanding of the costs involved before you talk to a contractor. This avoids confusion and helps you in avoiding unnecessary costs.
You should estimate the costs for the material you desire and what you are willing to pay in labor costs before calling a contractor.
- Local Code and Legal Requirements
- Overall Size of the Roof
- Plumping, Decks, Chimneys, Skylights and other home features.
- Pitch of the Roof
- Materials Used
Each job may have its own quirks. Some contractors charge quite a bit for the removal of the old roof.A typical roof replacement can be expected to cost somewhere between $4,500 and $15,000.
Tear-Off and Replacing
If you are replacing your roof rather than repairing, you will have to pay for the labor and effort required in tearing off the old roof and removing the materials from your property. Hourly wages for this typically land in the $80 range. This number can vary greatly and sometimes comes as a single sum.
Quickly Estimate Your Costs
Whenever you ask for an estimate from a roofing company, you are likely going to get a price based on a “per square” or a ”roofing square” standard. A roofing square refers to a 10x10’ (100 square feet) zone. So if you had a 17,400 square foot roof, you should be estimating for 18 roofing squares.
The average home in the United States has a roof roughly sized to around 20-24 roofing squares.
A roofing square refers to a 10x10’ (100 square feet) zone.
By using this average, it allows us to compare the standard costs of materials as well. Asphalt shingles cost around $80-$100 per square while standing seam copper squares can reach $1,200 a square. Keep in mind the longevity of the materials. An asphalt shingle may last three decades, but metal and slate can last a lifetime.
When you get your quote, they will also usually include labor and supplies cost into that “per square” format. Labor costs per square can range $150 to $300. In the end, labor will be around 60% of what you are paying (given average material costs).
Now add in the cost to tear up and dispose of the old roof at around $120 a square you can start to put together the whole picture.
To replace a roof and put in asphalt tiles, at 18 squares, we can be expecting to pay something around $6,300 to a roofing company.
How Much Should a Roof Repair Cost?
The average on call cost for a roofing repair is just under $700. These jobs usually involve sealing leaks, replacing shingles and then sealing those shingles. Small jobs can be as little as $200. This, of course, is also highly dependent on the cost of the replacement materials. Medium to large repair jobs where a larger area is affected will begin to double and triple those costs.
Once a repair starts getting into the few thousand range, replacement is likely going to be your best option.
Same as the cost estimator section we just covered, you need to figure out the affected area and the costs of the material involved.
Other Pricing Factors to Consider
How Does Pitch or Slope Affect Price?
Complex or steep roof designs may require extra materials or safety measures. The labor costs will likely go up in these conditions as well. If possible find the slope of your roof and whether it is deemed to be in the safe/walkable category.
Your Geographical Area Matters More Than You’d Think
The local economy also has a significant effect on most housing costs. This remains the same for the roof. Your roofing costs can change by as much as 18% depending on where you live.
Make Sure You Ask The Contractor These Questions:
While your unique situations may require a host of questions these are some typical needs that people all too often forget to inquire about, often until it is too late.
Q: Are you Licensed?
Self-explanatory, but you have to ask it. Double check with your state and insurance licensing requirements.
Q: Do you have liability insurance? Workers compensation?
Low bid contracts often come from those who lack liability insurance. There is nothing worse than paying for unnecessary damages on an improvement job. This is worth asking even large companies since sub-contractors can vary significantly in quality. Make sure you understand exactly what you could be held liable for.
Q: Will you Remove the Old Roof? How?
Sometimes a roofing company will place new shingles over old roof without checking the wood underneath. You want them to remove the old material before putting anything new on the roof. This can avoid further damage down the road. You also want to be aware of how they will be piling up, and removing the refuse from your property. Also, be mindful of any other materials that will need to go over your patio or outdoor areas for safety. Question You Should Ask: Do you bring a container for refuse material