Installing or replacing a roof is a significant financial investment, one that the majority of homeowners will eventually have to face. For most people, the price tag of a new roof (which falls between $5,200 and $10,181 on average in the US) is intimidating, especially when the need for replacement is unplanned or unexpected. Using a roofing calculator before seeking quotes from roofing companies is a good idea and can help you prepare financially and determine how much you can spend on labor and materials. This article will: 1) walk you through how to calculate the size of your roof; 2) explain how to use a calculator tool to estimate the number of roofing squares you’ll need; 3) compare the cost of popular materials; 4) provide tips to save you money; and 5) offer a free estimate and inspection to get you started on the project!
Estimating Your Cost with a Roofing Calculator
To estimate the cost of a new roof, you first need to calculate the size of the roof. To do this, first use a tape measure and multiply the length and width of the roof to come up with the square footage. Rather than climb onto the roof to measure this, you can also use the area of a room below the roof to come up with a rough estimate. Next, you will need to calculate the pitch (the rise of the roof divided by the span) and slope (the rise over run) of the roof – the easiest way to do this is to use a “pitch card” that can be used from the ground. Finally, use the numbers you come up with and enter them into a roofing calculator tool to come up with the actual area and the number of “roofing squares” you’ll need to purchase. It’s important to note that roofing companies usually provide quotes based on a unique measurement called “roofing squares”, where one roofing square equals 100 square feet.
There are many roofing cost calculators available online with a quick Google search – a couple of user-friendly options to try out are HomeAdvisor.com and RoofingCalc.com. Once you have the estimated number of roofing squares you’ll need, it’s time to explore the different roofing materials that exist and compare costs.
Roofing Cost Estimates by Material
The biggest factor affecting the cost of your roofing project is likely which roofing material you select. However, it’s important to consider not only the cost of different materials when making your decision, but also their durability, style, long-term value, environmental impact and more. What may be a more expensive material up-front, can be more durable, weather-proof and long-lasting, saving you money and the headache of repair or replacement in the long-run. For example, asphalt shingles are far less expensive to purchase initially but generally last twenty years or more, while tile, slate or metal roofing costs more but lasts fifty years or more.
In 2019, the average price per roofing square for different materials (not including installation or labor costs) were as follows:
- Asphalt shingles: start at about $50 per roofing square
- Architectural shingles: start at about $60 to $80 per square
- Steel and aluminum: $100 to $300 per square
- Clay tile: $200 to $600 per square
- Slate: $300 to $600 per square for authentic, $200 to $300 for synthetic
- Wood shake: $100 to $200 per square
- Concrete tiles: $150 to $250 per square for standard weight, $350 to $500 for lightweight
How to Get the Best Bang for Your Buck
Once you have an idea of your budget and what roofing material you’re after, it’s a good idea to get at least three quotes from different roofing companies so you can compare costs, professional experience, and qualifications. Be sure to ask plenty of questions to make sure that you clearly understand all of the expected costs up front and trust them with the project. Keep in mind that it is pretty standard for quotes to break out to 40% for product/materials and 60% for labor. Also, be aware that the cost of labor will vary by geographic region.
In addition to shopping around, here are a few tips that can help save you money:
- Make sure to check if the roof is still under warranty.
- Look into whether your insurance will cover the roof repair or replacement in full or in part. This usually applies to damage that was not caused by usual wear or homeowner neglect, such as extreme weather.
- If damage is not significant, consider repairing the roof rather than replacing it in full.
- To get the best deal, consider completing the roofing project during the off-season (usually winter or spring), when many roofing companies offer discounted rates.
- Consider financing solutions, such as a loan or payment plan. Many roofing companies offer payment plans to help you space out the cost, so be sure to ask!
- Finally, don’t wait to get the job done. The longer you wait, the worse the damage will be, so get it done early to avoid long-term damage to the rest of your home.
Need a Denver Roofing Company?
If you’re looking for a Denver roofing company and want the help and guidance of highly-trained professionals, contact us to request a free estimate. We also offer free roof inspections and can help with every step of the project, including dealing with your insurance company to save you the hassle. We have experience working with a wide variety of materials and can help you choose what works best for your budget and your home. Whether you need a simple repair or a full roof replacement, your home will be in great hands!