cost of new roof in California

How much does a new roof cost in California?

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What is the cost of a New Roof in California?

New roof costs vary across the USA according to many different factors but a countrywide average for a new roof is in the range of $8,000 to $15,000. Prices vary state to state so how can you work out the cost of a new roof for your home in California?

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A detailed look at the cost of a new roof in California

We have taken research and figures from across the state to come up with some pretty exact costs for a new roof in California including both overlays and tear off.

Roofing Material Cost per 100 sq foot
Asphalt shingle

standard quality roof overlayment

$280.35 ($214.14 - $346.55)
Asphalt shingle

Standard quality, tear off existing roof

$325.00 ($250.00 - $400.00)
Tile roof, standard quality, no tear off $1,293.31 ($994.85 - $1,591.76)
Wood Shake, standard quality, no tear off $805.83 ($696.40 - $915.26)
Metal roof standing seam, no tear off $1,140.77 ($988.22 - $1,293.31)
Slate roof without tear off $1,674.67 ($961.69 - $2,387.64)
Flat roof asphalt roll, no existing roof tear off $228.82 ($172.44 - $285.19)


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What are the biggest influencers of the cost of a new roof in California?

There are a lot of factors which can influence the cost of a new roof in California so here are some of the key drivers to think about when you are looking to cost your project-

  • Size – the square footage of the roof, if you don’t know this then you may need a roofer to measure up for you but an approximate formula to work to is that your roof area is usually around 1.5 times the square footage of your property. When you have the roof area, this is then divided into roof squares with each square equalling one hundred square feet. Roof squares are a handy unit of measurement when it comes to comparing the cost of roof materials. Each roof square can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000
  • Materials – roofing materials are the biggest influencer on the contractor’s estimate both up and down so if you are looking to save money then choosing a cheaper product can have a big impact on the total cost
  • Labor – labor is the other big factor on your bill and you would be surprised how much you can do to reduce labor costs if you are smart
  • Zip code – where you live can impact both materials and labor charges with cities and urban areas often more expensive than rural locations

How to reduce labor charges on the cost of a new roof in California?

There are lots of different factors which can push up the labor cost on a new roof in California, some you won’t be able to do anything about but some you can so it is worth running through these to see how you can maybe reduce the labor cost on your roofing estimate. As an average, labor is usually somewhere between$150 and $300 per roof square.

  • Access – make access to the property easy, that could involve taking down some trees. Trucks need to be able to pull up alongside the property for roof tear down and disposal and also to deliver new roof shingles directly onto the elevation. Poor access means the whole job will just take longer
  • Roofing materials – roofing materials are not just about the unit price or the price per roof square, some shingles and materials are easier to work with than others and so are quicker to install, a good example would be asphalt shingles which are lightweight and simple to manage. Choose a roofing material which doesn’t make your roofer frown when you suggest it – heavy materials are cumbersome and take longer to fit
  • Roof design – you may not have much choice in this but you could be purchasing a house that requires a re-roof or you could be opting for a different style. Complex roof designs take longer to install. What is a complex roof design? Anything with different pitches and elevations is going to be more complicated and take longer, steeper roofs are also harder to work than more gentle gradients. Don’t forget skylights, dormer windows and chimneys, all these roof features will add to your materials price and the labor time
  • Overlayment – overlayment can save time by leaving the old roof or roofs in place, it also avoids dumpster costs to get rid of the waste however, short term financial gain needs to be considered alongside the disadvantages of overlayment which are a shorter lifespan for your new roof and difficulty in accessing the structure for ongoing repairs and maintenance which could actually be a problem with the lower roof/s plus you will only obtain insurance for the top roof layer not the ones beneath
  • DIY – even for the keenest DIY enthusiast, saving labor time by stripping off the old roof is normally a bridge too far unless the property is single storey. Even with good roof access, it is easy to damage the roof frame if you don’t know what you are doing

What are the likely additional costs on a new roof in California?

It’s so easy to focus on the roofing materials and the labor element of your estimate but there are plenty of other potential charges which can attach to the cost of a new roof in California. Many of these will not appear on your roofer’s estimate and he may not even mention them so it is wise to do your research thoroughly beforehand if you want to cost your project out. Here are some other potential charges for a new roof – they won’t apply to everyone:-

  • Roof inspection – you might have to bite the bullet and have a paid roof inspection, not least because this will give you an accurate measurement of your roof so you can go away and do some of your own research and it will provide a steer on condition. A roof inspection will cost in the region of $300 in California so you might want to pick a company that you think you will go ahead and use as some firms deduct the fee from the estimate if you agree to use them for the work
  • Building permits
  • Scaffolding hire – some contractors will include this on their quote, others will provide a separate invoice from the scaffold company
  • Dump fees – the cost for disposing of the old roofing material
  • Roofing code upgrade – this is a legal requirement, the roofing code applicable in your state/area will stipulate roof structure based on the twin principles of safety and energy efficiency. It is possible that your old roof may not comply even with new roofing materials and may need to be brought up to specification – this is something your roofing contractor should be able to advise on
  • Repairs and restoration – even the most thorough roofing contractor can’t always guarantee the state of the roof deck until the tear down so you could find yourself with some unexpected costs once the old roofing material has been lifted
  • Structural uplift – this can be required if you have opted for heavier shingles or tiles
  • Bad weather delay – even with careful planning, this happens
  • Pests and mold – you might have unwelcome guests in your roof and this is not always apparent until the work starts, pests and mold have to be dealt with as a priority before work can continue and this will bring with it extra cost
  • Improved roof ventilation – sometimes, roofers can suggest upgrades and improvements and these are not always listed on the original estimate as sometimes, the need for them is not always apparent until the work starts. Your roofer may find as he works on the roof that there is a particular issue or feature which the new roof would benefit from, discuss this with him as some upgrades can be done at a later date which helps spread the cost
  • Leaks – you might think leaks are obvious and that you would notice tell-tale staining or marks in the upstairs rooms but some leaks are hidden and insidious and just cause quiet rot of roof timbers, unnoticed until the old roof shingles are lifted. There is no option but to repair these if you want the project to continue
  • Roof features – skylights, dormer windows, flashing around chimneys all adds onto the cost
  • Rainwater goods – it’s easy to overlook the cost of new guttering, soffits and eaves boards but they all add up

Always keep a reserve of 10%-15% of the overall estimate as a slush fund for unexpected costs. There are almost bound to be some and that is no reflection upon the integrity of your roofing contractor or how thorough he has been on his roof inspection. Always encourage roofers to lift tiles and be as detailed as they need to be on a roof inspection if they suspect that there is a possible area of damage.

Funding the cost of a new roof in California

If you don’t have savings or enough savings then finding the dollars for a new roof can be a bit of a stretch. Some homeowners approach their mortgage company to see if they can borrow extra money supported by equity in the property but you do need to be able to demonstrate affordability i.e. that you can repay the money. Monthly instalments are usually spread over the remainder of the mortgage term so are not as high as if you borrowed from the bank.

Some roofing contractors buddy up with financial companies and offer third party lending; this is generally the medium to larger sized companies. It is tempting to sign on the dotted line when you are faced with a big estimate and a leaking roof but do shop around as you may find a better rate elsewhere.

What about roof grants?

Read about roof prices in other states:

Grants towards the cost of a new roof

There may be roof grants available which could help you out so here are some key facts about grants for a new roof:-

  • Some grants are repair only and cannot be put towards the cost of a new roof
  • Grants are available at federal level and within the state even down to some very local schemes
  • Your roofing contractor will be the best place to start as they are usually au fait with what’s on offer as it can help persuade people to take up a quote however, grants come and go so information does need to be current
  • Some grants are aimed at low-income families who are struggling with a house that is not weatherproof, there may also be grants available for older people over age 60 in the same position so these grants are subject to a review of the personal circumstances of the applicant
  • There is a rich vein of roofing grants steered towards sustainability so it might be worth taking a look at this if you are interested in opting for a green roof – good for your energy costs as well as the planet
  • Read the fine print carefully as some grants contain restrictions about repayment if you sell your home with a certain period of time after the money has been applied, a quick scan reveals five years as a popular timespan

Roof grants won’t cover nearly the cost of a new roof but they can help. A strategic roof grant plus some hard negotiation with your contractor and a clever choice of roofing material can make all the difference to an unpleasant roofing quote.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I look after my new roof?

Whether your roof is brand new, mid-term or coming towards the end of its natural life, it is important to look after you roof as it can help prolong lifespan as well as minimise repair bills. An annual roof inspection from your trusted roofer can help spot problems not visible from street level or which haven’t yet left any tell-tale clues internally and deal with them before they become major and expensive issues.

How much does a roof inspection cost in California?

Typically, this is around $300 dollars for an average two-storey home.

Extra costs will include:-

  • Tear down and dump fees for the old roof material
  • Labor which is between $150 and $300 per house
  • Roof furniture so new or replacement skylights or dormers
  • Professional fees for an architect or surveyor if you are opting for roof re-modelling
  • Building permits
  • Building inspection fees

Read about roof prices in other states:


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