Is it time to replace that scrappy old roof. Are you wondering how much it will cost to install a new roof on your home or garage? If so, check out our just-updated new roof pricing guide for homeowners. Atlantic Coast Consultants offers our Loudoun and Northern Virginia customers free estimates.
Straight off the bat: It needs to be stated that not all roofs are made the same and not all roofers charge the same prices. That said, on average, most contractors will charge between $3.50 and $5.50 per square foot or $350 to $550 per square (100 sq.ft.) to install or replace an asphalt shingle roof on a typical house.
Thus, at the mid point of the above price range, you can expect to pay about $4.50 per sq. ft. or $450 per square to replace an asphalt shingle roof on a typical single-family house.
A typical roof replacement quote will normally include the removal and disposal of up to two layers of old shingles. It should also include the installation of new underlayment such as the 30-pound roofing felt, chimney re-flashing, and ice-and-water shield at the eaves and valleys of the roof, as required by the local building code. The quote should also include a 5 or 10-year workmanship warranty.
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Note: For homeowners who live in large and expensive coastal cities like Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York City, Boston, and Washington DC, the average quoted residential roofing prices will range from $4.50 to $7.50 per square foot or $450 to $750 per square of asphalt shingles installed or replaced. The higher prices in coastal areas are due to the higher local cost of living, and hence the higher cost of doing business. Booming local real estate values also drive up the demand and prices for professional remodeling services.
Did you know? The average residential roof size in the US is about 1,700 square feet or 17 squares, although there are many larger homes with roofs that are twice as large.
All professional roofers use “squares” to measure and estimate roofs. A square is equal to 100 square feet of the 3-dimensional roof surface.
Project pricing examples: Based on the $350 to $550 per square pricing range, you can expect to pay between $6,000 and $9,350 for a typical 17 squares asphalt shingle roof replacement project.
For comparison, a 30 squares roof on a larger house will cost between $10,500 and $16,500 for a basic 30-year architectural asphalt shingle roof fully installed.
What About Prices for Other, Less-Common Roofing Systems?
While nearly 70 percent of all roofs in the US are covered with composition shingles (a composite of fiberglass mat, and asphalt and minerals/stone granules), there are many different roofing options for steep and low-slope roofs.
Below is a quick reference to help you compare average prices for the most common roofing systems based on a 17-squares residential roof:
Basic 3-Tab (25-year) shingles: $6,000 to $7,500
30-year architectural shingles: $7,000 to $9,500
50-year premium shingles: $8,500 to $12,750
G-90 steel shingles or stone-coated steel tiles: $11,900 to $17,000
Aluminum shingles: $12,750 to $18,700
Cedar shingles or shakes: $13,000 to $20,400
Standing seam: $14,450 to $20,400
Concrete tiles: $13,600 to $23,800 (roof-frame requires reinforcement)
Natural slate tiles: $15,300 to $30,600 (roof-frame requires reinforcement)
Synthetic shakes and slate tiles: $13,000 to $20,400
Clay tiles: $17,000 to $30,600 (roof-frame requires reinforcement)
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Note that every market is different, but even within the same market, different companies will charge different prices. That’s why it’s important to get at least a few quotes from reputable pros in your area.
All else being equal, professional roofers in expensive coastal areas (such as homes in Boston, New York City, Washington DC, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland OR, and Seattle WA) will charge more for their services compared to roofing contractors in the south, mid west, or rural areas.
Asphalt Shingles Materials and Installation Costs
Many professional roofing contractors employ a “40% materials / 60% labor” as their costs-breakdown formula. Of course, this pricing structure is just a guideline not set in stone. Some contractors include their overhead in the cost of labor, while others calculate it separately.
Below is the breakdown of typical costs you can expect for materials and professional installation:
The cost of materials for a basic 3-tab, 25-year shingles could range anywhere from $150 to $200 per square for all the necessary materials. — In addition to composition shingles, materials may also include any necessary roofing felt/underlayment, ice-and-water shield, nails, ridge-vent, and roof flashing details such as valley, drip-edge, gable, and chimney flashing and caulk.
In some cases, the cost of materials may also include the cost of plywood, wood planks/boards, permitting, trash bags, and ordering a dumpster.
Ice and Water on Display at Lowe’s
Ridge vent roll on display at Lowe’s
With most professional — licensed & insured roofing contractors, the installation cost is usually about 60% of the total cost. Thus, a 3-tab composition shingle roof will cost an average of $350 to $450 per square to install.
The installation assumes a single-story house such as ranch, cape, or colonial, with a hip and gable combination roof.
Most ranch type houses in the US, measure an average of 15 to 20 squares in terms of their actual roof surface, which translates to $6,725 to $9,000 for the very basic composition shingles roof installed, based on the average installed cost of $450 per square, with a typical 5-year workmanship warranty.
Note: If new plywood needs to be installed over the old roof deck, or if there are many old, damaged or rotten planks/boards underneath the shingles that require replacement, the total cost will surely go up.
Any extra skylight and chimney flashing requirements will also likely increase the total cost. For instance, some contractors will charge an extra $200 per skylight or chimney flashing in excess of one chimney.
Did you know? The 3-tab (25 year) shingle is the most basic and least expensive kind of roof shingles. Although, in some ways, 3-tab shingles are more difficult to install (despite being lighter in weight) than architectural shingles. — The installer has to make sure that all the tabs, rows and columns, comprised of the 3-tab shingles align properly in order to have straight lines and a nice looking shingle pattern on the 3-tab shingle roof.
Did you know? Proper alignment of shingles is not really a concern with architectural or dimensional shingles, which have a more random pattern.
You can expect to pay a bit more for a 30-year architectural aka dimensional shingles. These shingles are a fair bit thicker and hence longer lasting than the basic 3-tab shingles. Contractors wanting to offer better value to a homeowner will typically suggest installing architectural shingles.
Did you know? Architectural shingles will typically cost you $50 to $100 more per square to install than the basic 3-tab 25-year shingles. — The difference in price is actually greater than the difference in the cost of materials between the 3-tab and 30-year architectural shingles. Most contractors will put a greater mark-up on the higher-end product vs. the entry-level product. The pricing increase is normally justified as the premium on the “higher quality of installation”. We’ll let you be the judge.
Thus, your total cost for a basic, single-story hip and gable roof on a typical ranch-style house could range anywhere from $7,850 to $11,000, depending on the size and complexity of the roof, the company you choose to hire, quality of installation, warranty details, your home’s geographic location, your negotiation skills, and other variables.
With premium shingles, such as 50-year architectural shingles, your total average cost could range from $450 to $750 per square installed, or anywhere from $9,000 to $15,000, depending on the company you choose to hire, roof access/difficulty, your home’s location, etc.
Premium shingles — This profile will normally require 4 to 5 bundles of shingles per square, depending on the style and manufacturer.
Some premium shingle profiles can cost as much as $50.00 per bundle, while requiring four or five bundles, depending on the profile, to cover a square of roofing surface.
Thus, the cost of premium shingles alone can be as high as $200 to $250 per square, not including the cost of other necessary materials and supplies.
Did you know? A part of the increase in your total installation cost for premium shingles should be reflected and offset by a longer labor warranty (the promise of quality installation) provided with the installation. — A comprehensive 10-year workmanship warranty is what you should expect, at a minimum, at this price point.Estimated Roof Costs (1620 s.f.)Asphalt Shingles
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One thing you should keep in mind as a homeowner, is that almost NO asphalt shingle roof will EVER last for 50 years. If you can get 30 years of service life from an asphalt roof, you did well!
50-year material warranties on asphalt shingles are often nothing more than a marketing gimmick used by the manufacturers to get homeowners to pay the big bucks for their products that are backed by the so-called prorated warranty. This warranty is often not worth the paper it’s written on!
Just imagine how much, or rather how little, money you will actually be able to get back some ten or twenty years down the road for a roof that fails due to manufacturing defects? Not much! Never mind the fact that it will be extremely difficult to prove the cause of a roof leak is actually tied to the material defects and not labor errors.
Furthermore, the manufacturer will normally only be responsible for replacing the materials that have actually failed, not the whole roof in its entirety. Not, only that, but the company responsible for the installation of your roof may no longer even be in business some 15 to 20 years down the road.
That said, there are comprehensive workmanship and material warranties you can get when the entire roofing system is installed by a manufacturer certified contractor. For example, GAF Master Elite certified contractor installing a complete system from GAF can offer you the GAF Golden Pledge warranty. Needless to say, there is a premium that comes with a certified installation and/or extended warranty coverage.
Pro Tip: To avoid warranty claim denials, make sure your roof deck is in proper condition and the attic space is properly vented. These are keys to roof health – and they correct two common reasons for warranty denials.
Important Pricing Factors for Asphalt Shingle Replacements:
Depending on the type and overall complexity of the roof (number of floors/levels, number of skylights, chimneys, and dormers, ease of access, and overall roof difficulty), choice of shingles, your home’s geographic location, and the contractor or weekend warrior you choose to hire, your total average cost for a composition shingles roof could range from as low as $3.00 to as high as $7.50 per square foot or $300 to $750 per square installed.
There will always be significant variations in quoted prices, depending on the contractor you choose to hire and your home’s location. For instance, shingle replacement prices in the deep South (think South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and most of Louisiana) will generally be significantly lower (as low as $3.00 to $3.50 per sq. ft. installed) compared to prices charged in the North East or on the West Coast (which can be as high as $5.50 to $7.50 per sq. ft.).
Did you know? A typical ranch style or four-square single family house in the US will have a roof area of about 15 to 20 squares. — On the low-end, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000 for a simple asphalt roof replacement job on a typical four-square or ranch style house, while on the high-end your total cost could range from $9,000 to $15,000 (or even more in some cases) for a more difficult installation, premium materials, and comprehensive workmanship warranty.
Why is there such a Wide Pricing Range for Asphalt Shingles?
On the low-end, you may have some roofers underbidding their jobs because they are either desperate for work or they happen to work strictly on volume with razor-thin margins.
For example, a contractor that is just starting out may be more willing to complete a roofing job for less than a more established company would. There are also many smaller companies with no real office and little overhead, hence they can afford to charge less for a job and still be profitable.
Note: A low bid for a roofing job (such as a bid that is significantly less than $2.75 per sq. ft. or $275 per square of shingles) can also come from a so-called “weekend warrior” or “storm chaser” who works without any liability insurance and with no worker’s comp, which could be a liability for the homeowner.
On the high-end of the price range, you may have bids for fully-warrantied jobs from larger, highly-reputable exterior remodeling companies that only install high-end products from premium brands such as CertainTeed Landmark PRO or premium shingles from Malarkey, and have top certifications from their respective manufacturers.
There are many smaller roofing contractors that offer good quality products and quality workmanship at more affordable prices. If you are looking for value and quality, look for certified installers from manufacturers like GAF, Owens Corning, and smaller brands like Atlas, Tamko or IKO.
Pro Tip: Smaller companies and installers that run a tight ship and don’t have a big overhead (expensive office, etc.) can often offer the best value for the money. Look for conscientious contractors who take pride in their work, don’t use subcontractors, offer certified installations, have been in business for at least five years, and provide impeccable service as evidenced by their strong references from other homeowners in the area.
Here are some helpful questions you may want to ask when interviewing contractors:
Keep in mind that a higher price doesn’t always mean the best quality, especially if the contractor you hire is using sub-contractors to do the actual work. Subcontractors normally don’t get paid all that much, hence they often focus on volume, which means that sometimes they may have to cut corners.