new roof cost

How Much Does A New Roof Cost Per Square Foot?

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How Much Does A New Roof Cost Per Square Foot?

If you are contemplating a new roof then you will already be aware of just how much it is going to cost and if you are smart, you probably want to do your homework whilst you talk to different roofing contractors. But how much does a new roof cost per square foot? We've found that this can vary from $3 to $22 dollars per square foot depending on the type of roof. Find out more here at roofingpricing.com. 

If you're looking for a more accurate cost of a new roof per square foot, the best thing to do is speak to local roofers in your state or area and compare quotes. Fill out the form below and we'll put you in contact with roof experts in your local area. Time to complete: 30 seconds.

Table of costs - new roof cost per square foot?

If you know the square footage of your own roof then you will be even closer to working out how much you will need to spend. So, how much does a new roof cost per square foot?

Mostly this depends on what roofing materials you choose, there are other variables but this is the most important. Here are some guide prices for different materials on a square foot basis and the amount for 1,000 square feet of roof.

Roofing Material Cost per Square Foot Cost for 1,000 Square Foot
Asphalt $3.60 $3,600
Vinyl $4.40 $4,400
Rubber $6.00 $6,000
Wood Shake $8.00 $8,000
Metal $8.00 $8,000
Slate $14.80 $14,800
Concrete $15.00 $15,000
Clay $15.00 $15,000
Solar $21.85 $21,850


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What is the biggest influence on the cost of a new roof?

Averages are just that, averages, there are many different things which can influence the cost of a new roof and central amongst these is the choice of roofing material. Taking up around 50%-60% of the final spend, roofing material can make or break your quote. Here are some points to consider when you are figuring out which roofing material to go for:-

  • The more expensive roofing materials last much longer, some metal roofs go well in excess of half a century and natural slate longer still so essentially, the longer the roof will last the more it will cost, if you are not planning on staying in the property a hugely long time then a standard asphalt shingle will do the job just as well and give a lifespan of around 15-20 years
  • If you have fallen in love with a particular look but don’t have the pocket then why not see if your roofer can find a faux or synthetic alternative, these are usually a fraction of the price of the real deal and often easier to look after as well.
  • If you intend to push the boat out and go for a heavier clay or ceramic tile then you will also need to budget for the possibility of a potential roof deck upgrade – your current shingles may be much lighter and the roof frame has to be able to support the extra weight
  • Restyling or remodelling so if you radically change the roof might require building permits
  • Depending on where you live in the US, weather could be a major consideration. If you live in ‘Hail Alley’ then your best choice will be a hail resistant roofing material, talk to your roofer about the potential for weather related problems for your property, it is important to choose a roofing material which sits well with your climate whether that is high winds or very hot temperatures
  • Choosing a material which is a good roof insulator (and that is not asphalt roof shingles) will help your energy costs, keeping your house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer and allowing you to turn down the dial or heating and air-conditioning systems as well as reducing your carbon footprint
  • Sustainability is a buzzword these days and many homeowners are keen to choose the right materials for their home projects, which have an ethical provenance or which may also be recyclable at the end of their lives. A good example of this is hail-resistant roofing which can be made of nearly 100% recycled rubber
  • If you want to radically change the look of your roof - you choose metal and paint it blue – then just remember your neighbours may not like and it might not suit the surrounding properties
  • Think carefully about roof overlayment, there are lots of drawbacks to doing this, if you want to save money then it might be better to pay the tear off and dump fees and just choose a cheaper roofing shingle

What are the other factors which influence the cost of a new roof per square foot?

Here are some of the many other considerations which will affect your final estimate, not all of these will apply to your specific roofing project.

  • Roof size – sounds obvious but smaller roofs are usually cheaper, just factor in the added area for different roof planes if you have a small but complex design
  • Roof pitch – steep roofs especially ones that the roofer cannot walk on will take longer to re-roof and require specialist equipment
  • Roof design – complex roofs with different pitches and elevations will take longer to renew
  • Roof features – factor in the cost of the materials for skylights, chimneys or dormer windows and the extra time it takes to install them
  • Roof overlays – if you opt to avoid tear down costs and dump fees then a roof overlay can be much cheaper
  • Tear down costs and dump fees – these can mount up if you have two roofs to remove
  • Hidden problems – a good roofing contractor should make a thorough examination and inspection of the current roof before he quotes, even so, it is possible that some hidden defects may not come to light until the old roof is torn down. A slow leak which has been left untreated can cause damage and rot to roof lumbar which will need restoration or renewal before the new roof can be installed. Compare restoration and renewal costs and find out more about leaky roof repair costs.
  • Roof codes upgrades – some old properties with old roofs may require more work to fall in line with the local roof code in your area, your roofer should be able to advise you of this when he conducts the roof inspection
  • Zip code – the price of a new roof can vary across the USA by as much as 18% so where you live is important, even your location within a particular state can influence the cost of labor and materials

Apart from labor and roofing materials, what are the other costs?

Depending on the extent of your project, whether it is a straightforward roof removal or something more complicated like a new build property or an attic conversion, there are other costs which may attach to your project.

  • Professional fees for an architect, surveyor or structural engineer, these usually run into hundreds of dollars
  • Building permits which can also be expensive
  • Third party contractor costs like scaffolding hire, these are not always charged by your roofer and its easy to forget about them if they do not appear on the estimate
  • New rainwater goods – don’t forget the eaves boards, soffits and guttering

How to fund the cost of a new roof

Most homeowners plan ahead for this and use savings; if your roof is well looked after and you have regular roofing inspections then you should have plenty of notice about how much lifespan it has left.

No-one can plan for unforeseen weather events but damage to the roof in these situations is usually covered by a home insurance policy. Other sources of funding include your mortgage lender who might be prepared to advance cash against the equity in the property providing that they are satisfied with the affordability. The repayments are usually spread over the remaining term of the mortgage so can be quite affordable plus you have the benefit of an uplift in the value of the property and increased curb appeal if you are thinking about selling. If you are buying a new property and suspect that the roof may need renewal then ask a contractor or surveyor to inspect it and produce a report. Apart from the fact that you need to know the worst case scenario, this can be a good negotiating tool if you want to get a reduction in the asking price.

Can roof grants help with the cost of a new roof?

Some people may find that they satisfy the criteria for a roof grant. Roof grants are available for both roof repairs and renewals and come from either the federal government or more local schemes within your state or even your hometown. The two key drivers for roof grants are:-

  • Families on low incomes struggling to keep a property weatherproof and watertight, this also includes elderly people aged 60+
  • Green and sustainable roofing options to encourage people to better insulate their home and re-roof in line with green practises so using sustainable materials

It is not always possible to steer yourself within the first group of homeowners – these grants will be means tested – but it could be possible to think about different more eco-friendly roofing options in order to fall within the parameters of a green roof grant. Always read the terms and conditions of any grant really carefully before you sign on the dotted line. Some are for repair only not roof renewal and others require the money to be paid back should you sell the property within a specified period of time.

How to find out about roofing grants

  • Ask your roofing contractor
  • Go online and do some research yourself
  • Ask for information via social media community groups, you might just uncover smaller schemes in your neighbourhood or beyond which are not well publicised

Key ways to save money on the cost of a new roof

  • Make sure access to the site is easy so that dump trucks and delivery trucks can pull up alongside the house. If the access is difficult then this just slows the project down and will end up costing you more in terms of man hours and labor charges
  • Shop around for different roofing materials, take advantages of special offers or discounts, consider synthetic alternatives which give you the look that you want for your home but which can be dollars cheaper
  • Always get at least three roofing quotes even if it is a chore, you will be surprised at how much they can vary
  • Opt to renew your roof in the off season when roofing contractors are less busy, this can make a big impact on how you spend

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I work out the square foot area of my roof?

If the roof is complex then it can be difficult to calculate an accurate figure however, if you have a simple ranch style roof then you can use a formula based on the square footage of the property. Take the floor area and multiply it by 1.5 to get the area of your roof.

Why does my roofing contractor talk about roof squares rather than square feet?

If you want to calculate the roof squares then divide the roof area by 100. Roof squares are a unit of measurement used by roofing contractors and retailers to make it easier to cost up materials. Don’t try and get on the roof yourself to measure up as this is very dangerous and you could also damage the roof by walking on it in the incorrect way.

Are annual roof inspections beneficial for my property?

Whatever the age of your roof, it will pay you back to look after it. First of all, good roof care almost always increases longevity and durability and secondly, an annual check can spot minor defects or issues which can be resolved quickly before they turn into serious and more expensive problems. Not all leaks or faults can be seen from street level nor do they always present inside the property either with tell-tale signs like mold, damp patches or water marks. Your roofing contractor can also take a general look at how your roof is ageing so you can plan ahead in terms of renewal or upgrades.

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