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A Simple but Effective Guide to Getting a New Roof

Roof replacement calculator and tips included (updated for 2019 pricing)

new roof

Are you looking to get the cost of a new roof? If you know your property square footage, use our roof calculator below.

  1. Roofing Fundamentals and What to Expect
  2. The Signs You Need to Get a New Roof
  3. Roof Age and Damage
  4. Roof Damage From The Weather
  5. Roof Leak Repair
  6. Tearing Off a Roof
  7. Installing a Roof Overlay
  8. Roof Removal
  9. Roof Replacements: Types of Roofing Materials
    1. Asphalt Shingles
    2. Slate Roofing
    3. Wooden Shingles or Shakes
    4. Tile Roofing
    5. Metal Roofing
    6. Tar and Gravel
    7. Choosing a Color for Your New Roof
  10. Venting a New Roof
    1. Installing Skylights in a New Roof
  11. DIY Roofing Vs Hiring A Roofer
  12. How to Hire A Roofing Installer
  13. Cost of a New Roof

Roofing Fundamentals and What to Expect

Installing a new roof over yours and your family’s heads is one of the more daunting tasks for most homeowners and property owners, even the ones who are handy around the house and comfortable with various home repairs.

From determining the types of materials to use, the various components required, and working with roofing contractors to get an estimate and develop a plan for your new roof and the removal of the existing one (along with dealing with your insurance company if applicable), the new roof installation process is complicated.

This goes doubly so if you are getting your roof replaced after a major disaster or weather event when you may be displaced from your home and dealing with all of the other issues or problems caused by needing to fix or replace your roof as soon as possible – the least of which might be your insurance company and ensuring that you get the appropriate payout for the costs of your new roof.

There’s also something to be said about the value of replacing your roof – if you are planning on moving and selling your property in the near future, a new roof can add some significant worth to your home and give potential buyers an incentive to choose your property over other comparable options.

Moreover, the cost to replace a roof are always something to be considered.

How much does it cost to replace a roof on a 2500 square foot house?

A 1500 square foot house?

A 1200 square foot house?

Or any house that’s larger, smaller, or in between?

Like anything else, the price of a new roof depends on a range of factors, such as:

  • The age and condition of the roof that needs to be replaced
  • The size of the house or property that roof is covering
  • The demands of the climate and area that the property is located in
  • Whether you are tearing off the entire roof or getting a roof overlay
  • The type and style of the roofing materials you want to use
  • Any additions like new skylights or other architectural alterations

Of course, the variable costs of installing a new roof aren’t limited to these details, and there are definitely some essential questions that you should ensure that your roofing installation contractors answer before signing off on that estimate for your new roof.

Read on to learn about hiring roofing installation services, roof replacement costs, how to install a new roof, and more.

roof replacement

The Signs You Need to Get a New Roof

There are a lot of reasons to replace your roof, including the age of your roof, any potential damage from the weather like hailstorms or other outside forces, the amount of roof leaks that you’ve had to deal with and the associated repairs, and a variety of other factors including if you’ve decided to sell your house and want to make sure that the roof is not only up to par, but a value-add for the potential buyers.

Do you think you might need to get a new roof?

Here are some questions to ask:

  • Are the shingles buckling or curling up at the edges, or falling apart in general?
  • Are there missing shingles or roof valleys?
  • Is there damage to the flashing around the chimneys or vents?
  • Are there shingle granules or other significant amounts of debris in the gutters?
  • Do you notice daylight through the roof boards from the inside, or if you can (and want to) get up on the roof, do the shingles or other surfaces feel spongy, waterlogged, or otherwise not secure?
  • Perhaps most importantly, have you recently dealt with substantial storms, wind, rain, hail, or other weather issues?

All of these issues and more could be reasons to replace your roof.

Read on to learn more about the costs of replacing your roof, the reasons why you might need to replace your roof, repairing your roof, all the other choices you need to make when replacing or installing a new roof, hiring roofing contractors to replace your roof, and generally updating the current roof on your home or other property.

roof installation

Roof Age and Damage

One of the main reasons that you might be replacing your roof is because it is simply getting old.

Whether you are moving and you want to replace your older roof in order to increase the value of your home or property, or because your roof has simply seen better days and is more than ten years old, it is time to look into getting a roof replacement, or at least get a roof inspection from an experienced team in order to determine what your next steps should be.

The typical lifespan of a given roof is around 20 years, but this will of course vary depending on where you live, the type of roof you have, previous damage or roof leak repairs that have occurred, any serious weather occurrences that might affect the condition of your roof, and any other factors that may apply.

Another thing to keep in mind, if you are thinking of getting your roof replaced and live in an area prone to heavy rainstorms, thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other major weather events, then you need to be especially aware of the damage that can be caused to your roof from serious weather issues.

roof installers

Roof Damage From The Weather

A major storm (or a series of major storms) can cause your roof to become too damaged to repair.

Tornadoes, hurricanes, major thunderstorms and hailstorms, and other natural disasters can wreak havoc on your roof even if it is relatively new, so if you’ve recently dealt with of these catastrophes, then you should get a roof inspection even if you don’t think there is any problematic damage to your roof.

That said, while your roof may be harmed from the aforementioned weather issues, it may not need to be completely replaced, but you may need some significant roof leak repairs.

Your first thought after something as difficult as a tornado or hurricane (or even a considerable thunderstorm complete with hail) might not be replacing your roof, but it is something to consider, especially if the storm or other weather event caused leaks in your roof that need to be repaired as soon as possible.

roofing instalation

Roof Leak Repair

Sometimes you might not need to completely replace your entire roof, but just repair a leaking area.

A leak in your roof is not likely to be as costly as replacing your entire roof, of course, but it can be complicated and require professionals, particularly if you are not inclined towards DIY projects (no shame there) and you don’t want to risk further damaging your roof with repairs that haven’t been performed by a licensed roofing company.

Having said that, minor leaks can easily be fixed if you are handy, but you may want to look into getting contractors who will help you out with major roof leak repairs, or possibly even a new roof altogether.

new roof installation

Tearing Off a Roof

While tearing off and replacing a roof is generally something that we suggest be handled by a roof replacement contractor (even the phrase tearing off a roof certainly sounds like a major project), you as the property or homeowner should be fully informed about the entire roof installation process.

Overall, tearing off a roof is exactly what it sounds like – the roofing company or roofing contractors that you bring in tears off or removes your entire existing roof, and then installs a brand-new roof.

This new roof may be made up of the same materials as your previous roof, or a different color and style based on the needs, look, and feel that you desire for your new roof.

Tearing off a roof then installing an entirely new replacement is a complicated process and it requires a lot of work on the part of your roofing contractor but also, anyone else who lives in your home, since the yard will need to be cleared out along with the attic and perhaps even the upper floors of your home.

roof installing

Installing a Roof Overlay

When you get a roof overlay, your existing roof stays as is, while your roofing company lays new shingles on top of it.

Naturally, getting a roof overlay is less complicated than getting a whole new roof installed, because it doesn’t involve removing the whole roof from your house.

Instead, a roof overlay just involves laying a new roof over your existing roof.

A roof overlay can help solve some problems since it adds another layer to your roof and therefore another level of protection to your home or property, and it can be a great choice if there is only some weather damage and you want to improve the aesthetics of your property or add value to your home before you put it on the market.

You should always get your existing roof checked out to ascertain if the current shingles aren’t too damaged and there is no major mold, rot, or previously existing leaks that have since been repaired, if the decking is sound, there are no sidewalls where flashing is needed to join the roof to the building, and there are no other major issues, before you decide to go ahead with installing a roof overlay instead of a completely new roof.

However, a complete roof tear-off or roof removal does cost more, and in many cases, might be the better choice, especially if your roof has been fixed before.

If you’ve had roof leaks repaired or been through a major disaster that resulted in damage to your roof, then you will want to work with the new roof company or roof contractors that you’ve hired to help you decide if a roof overlay is really the way to go, or if you need to tear off your current roof and install a new one.

You should ask your roof installation company, or any contractors that you are thinking of hiring, for your new roof install for their assessment as to whether you should get a completely new roof (meaning removing the old roof and installing a completely new one) or a roof overlay.

roofing cost per square

Roof Removal

Removing your roof completely and replacing it with a new one is a relatively long-term project and a complicated task.

It will likely require you and your family to do the work of clearing out the relevant areas, including the top floors of your house as well as the backyard, front yard, and anywhere else that might be in the way of the contractors who are removing and replacing your roof.

If you’re getting your roof removed and a new roof put in place, you’ll need to move satellite dishes, grills, patio furniture, gazebos, and anything else you might have outside, and you may even need to have trees, bushes, or other foliage that surrounds your property that might get in the way of the roofing team professionally trimmed (or do the latter yourself if you’re handy with the hedge clippers).

Homeowners should know that parts of your home might be compromised while your roof is being replaced, so remove wall decorations, furniture, and any valuables from the top floors, attics, and any other areas that would be affected by having the roof removed and replaced.

You and your family also may need to temporarily stay somewhere else, along with any pets that would be affected by your roof replacement.

For instance, dogs won’t be able to be in the yard or anywhere near the work zone designated by your roofing company, so you might need to figure out a plan for walking, crating, or otherwise housing your pups.

Having the roof removed on your property and getting a new roof installed can be a great investment in your home’s overall value, so the effort needed during a roof removal and the roof installation cost could be prove to be very worthwhile if you are thinking of selling in the near future – or ever!

roof installation services

Roof Replacements: Types of Roofing Materials

There are a wide variety of roofing options, some of which may be more suited for your climate, the type of home or other property that you have, your aesthetic preferences, and plenty of other factors, including any requirements from your homeowners’ association, if you have a historic home or a particular type of property with a look that you want to maintain, and of course your budget.

Asphalt Shingles

How to install a roof
Heritage® Laminated Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular & favorable roofing materials in many areas in the United States.

They come in a variety of types and colors and they generally cost-effective for most budgets, and are durable against bad weather.

Slate Roofing

cost of new roof

Slate roofing is one of the more high-end options, and the cost of replacing a slate roof tends to be related to the square footage of the roof or upper floors of the building itself.

If your house or property already has slate roofing or if it would work for your place, your climate, and your budget, then you might want to consider it, despite the cost, especially because slate roofing can add significant value to your home.

how to do roofing
Onyx Black Slate Roof

Wooden Shingles or Shakes

new roof company

Shingles or shakes (or cedar shakes) tend to be popular in the Midwest and other areas with similar climates, and they can last for a while, but they do need to be replaced every 12 to 30 years because they can start to split, leak, or even rot due to water damage and related issues.

But they are beautiful and architects and homeowners – and prospective buyers – often enjoy the look of wooden shingles, particularly on certain types of homes.

However, they require more maintenance than other types of roofing materials, so keep that in mind if you are considering installing a new wooden shingle or shake roof.

Tile Roofing

installing a new roof

Clay or concrete roofing tiles can be a common choice for homes around the country, and they can be fairly inexpensive in terms of new roof costs.

Tile roofing can last for around fifteen to twenty years, and comes in a variety of colors and styles, some of which can mimic wood shingles or shakes if you are interested in that look for your new roof but like the cost and durability of tile roofing better.

roof replacement contractors
Boral Concrete Roof Tile

Metal Roofing

roofing installers

Metal roofing tend to cost less than slate, wood, or tile, but more than asphalt or tar and gravel.

However, metal roofing shingles can be more efficient for their heating and cooling capabilities so if energy efficiency is important to you, then metal roofing might be a great choice for your new roof, and your overall budget.

Tar and Gravel

new roofing

Looking for something that will last a long time and be relatively easy to replace? Tar and gravel roofing is considered to be a relatively simple option if you already have a home or property with a flat roof and often makes it easy to repair roof leaks yourself if you are relatively handy.

Choosing a Color for Your New Roof

a new roof

Selecting a color for your new roof can be almost as complicated as deciding what type of new roof you should get in the first place.

While the material that you choose for your roof replacement can affect your color decision (since after all, some materials are only available or even advantageous in particular colors), much of the color selection is up to you and any other decision-makers in your household.

We’ve got some advice on choosing a color for your new roof that might help you decide, and your roof installation contractors might have some ideas as well.

Even just driving around your neighborhood or browsing examples of similar styles of houses online so you can see what catches your eye can help you decide on a color and material when you are installing a new roof.

cost to replace a roof on a 2500 square foot house

Venting a New Roof

Ensuring that your new roof is properly vented is essential.

This is because an evenly ventilated roof allows for hot air to rise and escape, which keeps your upper floors, attic, and roof areas cooler.

On the contrary, poorly ventilated or unventilated roofs can not only lead to increased heating and cooling costs, the buildup of heat from a roof that isn’t properly vented can damage your roof and home from the inside out, particularly if you have wooden shingles or shakes.

But all types of roofing materials can be compromised by poor venting, so checking with your roofing contractors about their plans for venting your new roof is a good idea.

roofing installation contractor

Installing Skylights in A New Roof

If you had skylights before and want to replicate or alter that look, or if you want to add them to your replacement roof, it is paramount to work with a roof installation contractor or even an architect (and your roofing contractor can probably recommend one) when you are determining what you what you want from your new roof, including installing, adjusting, or replacing a skylight.

Keep in mind that skylights might not work in every scenario, but your roof installation team can work with you to help build in the skylights – and every other detail – that you’ve always wanted.

angies list roofers

DIY Roofing Vs Hiring a Roofer

Replacing a roof is obviously a difficult thing to do on your own, if not impossible unless you have a lot of roofing experience and a related construction or homebuilding background yourself.

And even with the right tools, some experience, and some handyman skills, you might still not be able to do the job properly, since knowing how to do roofing properly is a specialized skill and you might not want to cause problems – or further damage in the case of leaks or other major repairs – to the actual roof over your head.

Nevertheless – to all the avid DIYers reading this, we’re not doubting your talents – but not only is replacing a roof or building a new roof complicated, you’ll want to make sure that your roof replacement is covered by your insurance.

This includes the price of the new roof as well as the costs of having your roof repaired, if you are replacing a roof after major damage due to a hailstorm, tornado, hurricane, or other potentially catastrophic weather event.

Generally, if it is time to replace your roof, that means you are looking to hire a contractor or roof installer to do the job, and here’s how to hire the best roof installation services for your budget.

roof replacement cost

How to Hire a Roofing Installer

The roof over your head might be one of the most important aspects of your home – if not the most important aspect.

Therefore, finding the best possible roofing installer or roofing contractor might be one of the most vital decisions you will make as a property owner.

Generally, if it is time to replace your roof, that means you are likely prepared to make a major upgrade to your home, or you are just recovering from a major weather event or disaster – or both.

And either or both of these options require placing a lot of trust in your roofing contractor, since they are most likely upgrading one of your most valuable assets.

And while your first inclination might be to go with the top results on some of the popular review sites, Angie’s list roof installers might not always be the best choice.

In fact, your best bet is to ask your neighbors for referrals (chances are that some of them have replaced their roofs or gotten new roofing somewhat recently) and to actually call up the roofers at the top of the search results and ask them some questions.

And of course, there are some key questions that you should ask your roofing contractor before you sign on the dotted line, and some of them might be almost as crucial as finalizing or agreeing on the cost of your roof replacement.

For instance, you should ask:

  • If this particular reroofing company familiar with your neighborhood and your area and your unique climate.
  • If you can see some examples of their roof installation work and roof installation steps.
  • Whether or not they have references or testimonials from previous customers that they’ve installed new roofing for (chances are that a given roof installation company will, but it is fairly common that roofing contractors will solicit local homeowners after a major weather event so you’ll want to make sure everything checks out before you sign off on their estimate for installing a new roof).
  • Ask about a roof installation warranty – most reputable roofing companies stand behind their work.
  • If they can work with insurance companies and possibly public adjusters if they are replacing your roof in the case of a major leak or other disaster.
average cost to replace a roof with shingles

Cost of a New Roof

The cost of a new roof varies widely depending on the type of roof that you want, your location, any existing damage to your roof, and whether or the roof being installed is an overlay (meaning the roofing company doesn’t have to remove your existing roof) or a complete roof removal and replacement with a new roof.

Some examples of roofing costs with asphalt shingles include:

  • How much does it cost to replace a roof on a 2,500 square foot house $6,250 – $18,750
  • How much does it cost to replace a roof on a 1,200 square foot house $3,000 – $9,000
  • How much does a new roof cost for a 1,500 square foot house $3,750 – $11,250
  • Average cost to replace a roof with asphalt shingles 1,900 square foot $4,750 – $14,250

Looking for an Estimate on Roofing Costs?

Enter your square footage below in our roof replacement calculator for an estimated cost.

A roof replacement is a costly endeavor and probably one of the bigger decisions that you’ll make as a homeowner in general, so you’ll want to take the time to do it right and find a roof installation company or roof installation contractor who you feel comfortable with, who can answer all your questions to your satisfaction, and who can help you replace your old roof with one that fits your style, your needs, and adds significant value to your home or other property.

So how do you start installing a new roof?

Getting in touch with an experienced roofing contractor who can help you determine if you need to replace your roof, the costs of getting a new roof, advice as to the type of new roof that you should choose for your home or commercial property, and even providing estimates for your insurance.

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