Working out the cost of a 1,200 square foot roof
The average cost of a new roof across the USA is $8,000 - $15,000 but there is such a geographical range and so many variables that this average can turn out to be virtually meaningless to your regular homeowner. However, it is possible to put together the calculations for your roof area by just following a few simple steps, so you have a ballpark figure for the cost of your 1,200 square foot roof before you start to look for quotes. The lowest cost of a 1,200 sq ft roof was $5,760 Let’s show you how we reached this figure below starting with how you measure your roof.
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Table of costs of a 1,200 sq ft roof
It’s quite easy to work out the area of your roof but when you come to look at materials, you will find that they are not sold in square feet but in roof squares.
A roof square is a handy measure that is used widely in the industry to make it easier to calculate and compare different roofing materials. One roof square = 100 square feet and armed with this knowledge, you should be able to make a sensible comparison of the cost of roofing materials including underlayment. Just remember that the cost of a 1,200 square foot roof at the roofing depot does not include labor which your roofer’s quote will and that there is always an element of wastage, so a roofing square is the amount of material needed to cover 100 square feet, possibly a bit more than the exact measurement. When you have done your calculation for a roof area of 1,200 square feet – that’s 12 roof squares by the way – then add on another 10% or 15% to cover wastage and unexpected problems.
The cost of a roof measuring 1,200 square foot
|Materials||Cost per roof square / 1200sqft room|
|Asphalt Shingles||$480 - total cost is $5,760|
|Metal roof covering||$1,500 - total cost is $18,000|
|Tiles and Slates||$4,000-$8,000 so $48,000 - $96,000|
|Labor||$150-$300 so $1,800 - $3,600|
These figures will help you to work out what type of roofing material will come within your budget – the roofing materials will account for around 60% of the overall spend and don’t forget to factor in rainwater goods and flashing for features like chimneys, skylights and dormers.
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What factors can influence the cost of a 1,200 square foot new roof?
There are lots of potential influencers on roofing costs, some of which are controllable and some not. Here are just some of the factors:-
Zip code – where you live can impact the cost of both materials and labor, expect city prices to be higher but some very remote areas also suffer increased costs due to transportation charges
- Roof size – obviously you are stuck with this unless you are planning a major new house re-model
- Roof codes – roof codes control the construction of buildings in your area and can vary from state to state but mostly they are concerned with carbon emissions and sustainability and safety. If you roof is quite old, then you may find that some structural changes need to be implemented before the roof can be renewed in order to bring the property into line with current regulations
- Condition – the roof may be in a poor state of repair which is why you are renewing the roof, but your roofer may uncover some damp or rot when he starts stripping off the old material
- Design – complex roofs with different planes and features like skylights, dormer or chimneys will always take longer to renew which increases labour costs than a straightforward plain ranch-style roof, plus there will be an increase on materials
- Roofing materials – the choice of roofing materials is one of the biggest influencers on the overall bill
- Access – properties with poor access will increase labor costs if materials have to be managed from ground to roof level and cannot be taken in at height from the back of a lorry, also it will make tearing down of the old roof more difficult as this all has to be carted away
Funding the cost of a new 1,200 square foot roof
So, you have worked your quote to be the most economical you can reach but even so, a new roof is still a big cost. Here are some funding ideas:-
- Approach your mortgage company, if you have equity in your home and can afford the repayments then you could consider adding to your borrowing – the ROI – Return on Investment – is good and you will be rewarded with a more energy-efficient and weatherproof home plus added curb appeal if you are thinking of selling
- Some of the larger roofing companies link up with finance organisations and can arrange third party loans but do shop around, you might find rates are higher than you would pay if went elsewhere
- Take a look at roof grants, there are federal and local roof grants available and your roofing contractor should be able to advise you on what is current in your area and whether you will be eligible as it encourages homeowners to take up a quote if they think they can apply for a grant. Some grants are for repair only not renewal and they can have conditions attached like repaying the money if you move within a specified period but it is certainly worth looking into
What are the forgotten costs on a 1,200 square foot roof?
There are some things which won’t appear on your roofer’s quote and its easy to get caught out when planning your budget.
Your roofer’s quote will include labour and materials, it may also include the hire of the scaffold so what could the extras be?
- Tear down cost of the old roof and dump fees
- Building permits
- Professional fees for an architect or surveyor if you are modifying the roof or add accommodation in the form of a conversion in the roof space
- Hidden defects which only come to light when the old roofing material has been removed like rotten decking
- Replacing rainwater goods and flashing around dormers and chimneys
How to find the right roofer
Ask friends, work colleagues or family for a recommendation. It always pays to have a roofer who is familiar with your particular locality as they can advise you on the best roofing material for your prevailing weather as well as whether there are any discounts on offer from roofing depots and grants available to help with the cost.
Social media platforms are another option although don’t treat this as a personal recommendation because lots of names will be put forward from people you don’t know who might just be trying to do a favour for a friend.
Always get three or four quotes so you can make a proper comparison, don’t assume the most expensive is the best and the cheapest is somehow second rate. Ask to speak to previous customers and if they are local, you might even be able to go and take a look at their new roof for yourself. Find and compare quotes for a new roof.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will a new roof be worth the cost?
Putting a new roof on your home is a good return on investment (ROI) and will uplift the value of the property as well as increase curb appeal when it comes to sale time. A new roof can also save you money by lowering your energy costs with better insulation. There are plenty of ‘green roof’ options and there are some grants specifically aimed at encouraging homeowners to invest in these roofing products for a sustainable roofing solution.
What is the biggest impact on the cost of a new roof?
More than likely, it will be your choice of roofing materials, this makes the biggest difference to a roof quote. You can lower the final bill by choosing a cheaper product but discuss this carefully with your roofer as you need a shingle that is going to work for your house and also the local climate.
What are the warranties and guarantees with a new roof?
Different materials will carry their own guarantee from the manufacturer although this can be voided if they are not properly and correctly installed. Your roofer should also provide a warranty for his own workmanship. Keep a careful file of all these paper records should you need to call on them or if you are selling, you will want to show them to a prospective buyer.
How long will my new roof last?
If you look after it, 15-20 years although this does depend to some degree on your choice of roofing material. Careful maintenance can really extend the life of a roof so it is worth discussing this with your roofer at the end of the project. Don’t be tempted by a roof overlay as this won’t last nearly as long and overlays can have real problems when it comes to defects in the base roof or issues which occur due to temperature problems between the two roofs. In simple terms, roof overlays do not last as long as a completely new roof.
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