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How Much Should a New Roof Cost?

If you are in the market for a new roof, then you already know that a new roof is a large investment. What you may not be aware of, is that the small choices you make regarding your new roof can dramatically impact your cost. In order to figure out how much a new roof should cost, here are some things to consider:

Roofing Materials

One of the biggest components of your cost is determined by the type of roofing material you choose. You will find the cost of different roofing materials vary dramatically. For example, asphalt shingles might cost you $75 a square foot, while slate could cost you as much as $2000 a square foot.

Other Materials

In addition to the roofing material itself, you also need materials associated with the job. The type and quality of underlayment, fasteners, flashing, starter strip, etc, will help determine the cost of your project. Be sure your contractor provides guidance on using the most cost effective materials, without sacrificing quality.

Complexity of the Project

Are you replacing an old roof? If that is the case, you can either tear away the old roof to make way for the new, or install the new roof over the old. When removing the old roof first, you can expect extra labor costs for the removal/demolition.

Additionally, consider the style and type of your roof. The more planes, cuts, and angles there are, the more you’ll have in labor costs. Additionally, if you need new ventilation, gutters, etc., your cost will reflect the extra work. These are all factors in the labor cost for your new roof. When you get bids, it’s a good idea to be sure that all of the project’s complexities are outlined thoroughly, and in plain English.


It pays to shop around when it comes to choosing a roofing contractor. With some research, you will find that labor costs can vary quite a bit from contractor to contractor. In general, you can expect to pay somewhere $60 to $100 per square foot for labor. While you should never use labor cost alone as the sole determining factor when choosing a contractor, you will need to weigh labor costs versus your trust of the contractor.

As you evaluate the costs of your roof replacement, you’ll find there are two different costs to consider. First, you have the initial cost of your new roof. Secondly, you must consider the lifetime cost of your roof. It’s not an exaggeration to say that a your choice of materials could make the difference between a 5 year roof and a 20 year roof. Obviously a little bit of savings in the short run can create a much higher lifetime cost for your roof.

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