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11 Factors That Impact the Cost of Your New Roof

February 23rd, 2024 | 8 min. read

11 Factors That Impact the Cost of Your New Roof

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Getting a new roof isn’t a cheap project, which is why most people immediately get sticker shock after getting an estimate. Unfortunately, this makes it easier for bad roofers with cheap prices to take advantage of homeowners. 

I understand spending thousands of dollars on a roof replacement isn’t something anyone wants to do. However, there’s a reason a new roof costs so much. 

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners understand everything price-related in the roofing industry. Because of this, I’ll break down everything that impacts the cost of your new roof.

This article covers 11 roof cost factors and how they directly affect a new roof’s cost. 

1. The type of roofing material you choose

The biggest factor that impacts a new roof’s cost is the type of roofing material you choose. If you’re looking for affordability, architectural asphalt shingles are a great option. 

asphalt shingles, cedar shakes, and synthetic shingles

A standing seam metal roof is also popular among homeowners looking to upgrade to a longer-lasting, sharp-looking roof, but it is much more expensive. While asphalt and metal are the most commonly used roofing materials, there are also premium roof systems like synthetic shingles, cedar shake, slate, and tile. 

2. The rest of the roof system’s components 

While the roofing material makes up the bulk of your roof, other components and materials complete the puzzle. Every component and material installed on your new roof impacts the cost.

Including the main roofing material, the components that make up your roof system are: 

The above components and materials should be included in every roof replacement. If even just one is missing, you’ll be looking at problems down the road. 

3. The amount of decking that may need to be replaced

Decking is the wooden boards that make up the foundation for your roof system to be installed on. Any wooden boards that are rotten, broken, or compromised must be replaced before installation can begin. 

replacing rotten roof decking with new wooden boards during a roof replacement(Replacement decking)

The amount of roof decking that needs to be replaced will increase the cost of your new roof. Unfortunately, it's difficult to determine the condition of all the roof decking until your old roof has been torn off.

If they have an idea of how much needs to be replaced, it will be included in your initial roof estimate. On the other hand, replacement decking will be added to the final invoice if your roofer finds it after the tear-off process.

4. Protecting your property

A roofing contractor should do their best to protect your property while replacing your roof. To do this, they’ll use tarping or wooden boards to protect the things around the base of your roof line. 

property protection set up during roof replacement

Not only does buying new tarps and/or wooden boards (if needed) impact the cost, but so does the labor it takes to set up the protection. Just know that some roofing companies exclude this crucial piece of the roof replacement process to lower prices. 

5. Your roof’s accessibility

Your roofing contractor needs a clear roof access point for every part of the roof replacement project. The harder your roof is to access, the more it impacts the cost of your new roof. 

Things like the landscaping below the roof line, patio area, a fence, and how far away the materials and dump truck are a few examples of what makes a roof hard to access. 

6. The number of penetrations your roof has

A roof penetration is anything that pokes out of your roof like plumbing vents, gas vents, kitchen/bathroom vents, skylights, and chimneys. The more penetrations your roof has, the more time and manpower it adds to complete your roof installation.

Smaller pipes or vents won’t add that much to the cost, but bigger penetrations like skylights and chimneys take longer to flash and work around. 

7. Roof pitch

Roof pitch (also called roof slope) is simply your roof's steepness (angle). The steeper the roof pitch, the more it adds to the cost of your new roof. 

This is simply because a steep roof pitch doesn’t allow the installers to move around or access the materials as easily as they would on a walkable pitch. It also comes down to safety and taking the proper precautions during installation, like using harnesses and tying off.

8. The size and complexity of your roof

The square footage of your roof impacts the cost of your new roof because it determines the amount of materials used, labor, and time needed to complete the job. Size affecting a new roof’s cost is pretty obvious, but most homeowners don’t know their roof’s complexity also plays a huge role. 

complex roof being replaced(Very complex roof being replaced)

A roof cut up with multiple facets at different angles, hips, valleys, and a steep pitch is more difficult and takes much longer to roof than a simple ranch-style roof with only two or four roof facets. The number of stories also affects the cost because being higher off the ground means moving slower and more carefully for safety reasons.

9. Dump fees for getting rid of your old roofing materials

During the tear-off process, there will be debris that has to go somewhere once it comes off your roof. Once it’s torn off, all debris will be loaded into a dump truck or trailer to be taken to a dump of the contractor’s choice. 

dump trailer full of roofing debris from tear-off process of a roof replacement

The dumpsites charge significant fees for this service, which means disposing of your old roof impacts the cost of your new one. Like everything else, a labor cost is associated with the crew member who dumps your old roof.

10. The labor and time to complete your roof replacement

You’ve already seen this mentioned multiple times throughout, but labor and time are two of the main factors that impact the cost of a new roof. The appropriate labor costs are applied to each line item if anything takes time and manpower.

That means everything we’ve already covered will have labor costs wrapped into the pricing. These costs vary by roofing company, and each crew member has their own labor cost based on their skill level, experience, and how much they can get done in a day. 

11. The operating costs of the roofing company

Every roofing company has overhead costs that must be paid to keep the business running. These operating costs (plus the profit they need) will always factor into the cost of a new roof or any other roofing project. 

Some common operating costs are:

  • Building cost and utilities, shop, and truck yard
  • Advertising and promotions
  • Vehicles (fuel and insurance)
  • General liability insurance
  • Workers compensation insurance
  • Licenses and bonds
  • Training 
  • Payroll and payroll taxes
  • Taxes (Federal and local government)

These are just some of the fixed operating costs it takes to run a roofing company. Whether it’s simple repairs or replacing ten roofs, these are the costs that have to be paid every day. 

How much does a new roof actually cost?

You just learned the 11 factors that impact the cost of your roof and how they directly impact your roof replacement estimate. Every roofing company should consider these things when determining anything cost-related.

But knowing what impacts the cost is one thing. Aren’t you curious about how much a new roof actually costs?

Almost 100% of the time, this is the biggest question, decision-making factor, and concern homeowners have when getting a new roof. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about pricing. 

This is mainly due to websites or roofers providing cost numbers that only account for the main roofing material, making roofing look significantly cheaper than it is. I don’t like operating that way. 

That’s why I wrote another article breaking down how much a new roof costs per square foot as a whole, with everything from materials to labor costs included. 

Check out How Much Does a New Roof Cost to learn the average roof replacement cost and how much it’ll cost based on the specific roofing material you choose.

roof cost calculator

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