What affects how much a roof costs?

Stephen Vernon
April 3, 2023

A popular question when people are considering getting a new roof is how much a new roof will cost.

This post will cover mainly shingle roofing. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all for this question.

If you were to call us today and ask for a ballpark on how much replacing your roof would cost, we’d tell you to schedule a free estimate so we could come out and give you accurate numbers.

Consider the following factors:

  • Slope or pitch of the roof
  • Materials
  • Accessibility

Slope or pitch of the roof

The cost of a new roof depends on many factors, such as the roof's slope or pitch. The steeper the roof, the more costly a new roof will become. The roof's pitch affects the crew's ability to remove and install the roof.

Steeper roofs are commonly found in areas with high rain and snow volume, as a steep roof will shed water and snow faster.

Not only does the pitch affect the walkability during installation, but it also affects the number of materials needed, such as more nails, roofing cement, and potentially even scaffolding to be able to install the roof. Typical roofs that would cost more would have mansard-style roofs.

Materials or lack of materials used.

If you want a roof done cheaply and poorly, you can. Say, for example, you have a shingled roof. Your barebones options could be just having new shingles applied right over the existing roof. Or tearing off the existing shingles and having new shingles applied without any ice, water, or synthetic paper. The bare minimum essentials.This, of course, nullifies the warranty from the shingle manufacturer, and if you sustain a leak in later years, you’ll have to cover the cost of repairs or, even worse, the cost of a replacement.

Many roofing contractors will follow the customer’s wishes if the customer wants just the minimum but may require a signature stating that if and when issues occur, the customer will take responsibility and not the roofing contractor.

On the flip side, getting the best of the best materials will increase the cost of a new roof replacement. Consider a roof like this. Ice and water shield is a material that is placed along the eaves of the roof and in the valleys.

The above house would require more rolls of ice and water than a typical two-sided ranch house. Not just ice and water, but more ridge cap, more flashing, and more time and labor to complete a roof like this.

Roof accessibility.

A one-level rancher has the best roof accessibility. Typically rancher-style homes have a pitch around 4/12 which is easily walkable.

A home like this would be considered readily accessible. The bird batch and feeders can be easily removed to allow easy access to the roof.

The roof is only one story high and has a walkable pitch. All these things would give this home a much lower cost to replace a roof than in the picture above.

These ranch-style homes are your typical low-end for a basic roof repair providing the decking and rafters are in good shape.

The more stories you go up, the less accessible the roof will be, resulting in a higher price for labor.

There is a lot to consider when determining what a new roof will cost.

Roofing tools

Check out calculating tools such as Roofing Calculator to get a general glimpse of what you might be paying for a new roof.These tools use AI technology to configure the number of squares your roof might be, along with a general cost of materials. If your home has trees over it, then the image of your house won’t compute the full size, and you won’t be able to give a quote that is close to being accurate. They’ll ask for the square footage of your home, what the roof slope is, what type of material you have on your roof, what material you want, how many layers your roof has, and things like dormers (Flashing), skylights, ridgevents, and the number of stories.

Other smaller factors

Other small factors that come into the price of your new roof are penetrations and the geographical area of your home. The location also makes a difference in the price of your new roof. If you’re familiar with the Virginia area, northern VA is known to be more expensive than southern VA. You can expect to pay more if you live where the cost of living is greater. Do you know how many pipe boots or vents your roof has? The greater number of penetrations will cause the price of your new roof to increase. Not necessarily because of the cost of the pipe flashing but because additional expenses add up!The next time you call a roofing company up, and you’re looking for a general price, remember these components if they’re not able to give you a price over the phone.Check out this other post about the price difference between shingles and metal roofing.

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