There’s a tendency for jaws to hit the floor when homeowners get their roof estimate. They don’t expect their new roof to be the price of a used or even a new car.
This is intimidating and overwhelming because a roof is a crucial part of your home. So, you can’t just push it aside and hope no costly problems appear.
Unfortunately, there’s no way around the fact that a new roof is an expensive purchase. But why does it cost so much?
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided honest roofing industry information to homeowners just like you. That’s why I want to help you understand what makes a roof replacement an expensive purchase.
In this article, you’ll learn the main reasons why a new roof costs so much in 2023.
The operating costs of your roofing contractor
The first reason a roof is expensive is because of the operating costs of the roofing contractor you hire. Every roofing contractor has operating expenses they must account for to keep their business running.
But not only do they have to make up this overhead, they also need to make a profit. These operating costs and the company’s profit margins are big reasons a new roof is expensive.
Some common operating costs of a roofing contractor are:
Building and utilities cost
Advertising and promotions
Vehicles (fuel and insurance)
General liability insurance
Workers compensation insurance
Licenses and bonds
Payroll and payroll taxes
Taxes (Federal and local government)
These are just some of the fixed operating costs that it takes to run a business. The size of the roofing company determines these costs and what they need to charge to keep the business running.
At the end of the day, a roofing company is a business. Because of this, operating costs and profit have a big impact on why a new roof costs so much.
The labor and time it takes to install your new roof
Installing a roof takes skill, takes time, and is labor-intensive. This makes labor and time two huge reasons why a new roof costs so much.
If anything takes time and labor during the project, it shows up in pricing. The labor cost for each crew member is based on their skill level, experience, and how much they can get done in a day.
Just like overhead and profit, labor cost varies from contractor to contractor. While labor is a big factor, so is time.
The more time a roofer spends on your roof and property, the more labor costs go up. For example, a complex and hard-to-access roof takes longer and more labor to complete than a standard up and over roof.
While the up and over roof will still be an investment, the more complex roof costs drastically more. From setting up to tearing off your old roof to cleaning up your property after the job is done, manpower and time are huge reasons a new roof is expensive.
Rise of prices in raw materials and scarcity of products
This is one of the biggest reasons a new roof costs so much, especially in 2023. The increased roofing prices come down to manufacturers raising their prices.
Manufacturers are charging more for their products because of the increasing cost of raw materials (like oil) that most roofing materials require during the manufacturing process. It’s not just roofing materials; building materials, like wood, metal, and others, are also getting more expensive.
Because a roof is a combination of roofing and building materials, this increases the price more. Another big reason prices are increasing is due to the scarcity of products.
It doesn't necessarily happen everywhere, but it has impacted most areas. This is due to the roofing industry still trying to recover from production shutdowns and shipping delays caused by Covid.
Another more unknown reason for these issues is the storms that have moved through the country so far this year. Because of roof damage from storms, demand for roofing materials has skyrocketed.
With the rise in demand, manufacturers and suppliers must keep up to ensure products are available. Unfortunately, combining all of this means roofing prices will continue going up, and there are no signs of it slowing down.
The roofing material you choose
The type of roofing material you choose has a big impact on the cost of your new roof. There are a variety of options that’ll fit your budget and the look you want.
The roofing material you end up choosing is a big reason why a new roof costs so much. This comes down to the simple fact that it makes up the bulk of your roof.
But how expensive your roof gets depends on the type of roofing material. If you’re looking for an affordable roof, an asphalt shingle roof might be right for you.
But if you’re looking to upgrade to a longer-lasting roof system, there’s the standing seam metal roof. Asphalt and metal are two of the most common roof types, but there are also premium roof systems.
These premium roof systems are synthetic shingles, cedar shakes, and slate tiles. Just know that premium roofing materials get expensive quickly and can be more than triple the cost of an asphalt shingle roof.
The rest of your roof system’s components
You just learned that the roofing material is a reason why a roof is so expensive. But your roof is made up of more than just the roofing material you see from the street.
A roof is a combination of different components that come together to form a complete roof system. Every single component has a price and helps make a new roof an expensive purchase.
The components that you’ll pay for when getting a new roof are:
All of these materials are crucial to ensure your roof stays leak-free. If even one of them is improperly installed or left off, you’ll have costly problems.
How much does a new roof cost?
Now you know the main reasons why a new roof costs so much. As I said, there’s no way around the fact that a new roof is an expensive purchase.
That’s why you need to know how you can expect to spend when it’s time for a roof replacement. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find resources with honest prices.
To help you even further, I wrote another article breaking down the average cost of a new roof and the price per square foot of the most common types of roofing materials.
Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided high-quality roof replacements to thousands of homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas. We take pride in everything we do and provide a lifetime craftsmanship guarantee to take care of your roof for years to come.