For many Seattle homeowners, roof replacement is one of the most expensive and time-consuming renovations they can do. If you are considering replacing your roof in the near future, it is important to establish a budget ahead of time to make sure your project stays within budget and minimize unexpected costs that can break the bank.
Basic Factors That Affect the Cost of Roof Replacement
The standard roofing installation cost includes the removal of the old roof, the replacement roofing materials like asphalt shingles, the installation of the new roof, the acquisition of building permits and the disposal of refuse materials.
Here are the factors that will influence your project costs:
A basic consideration when it comes to determining the overall cost of a roof replacement is the dimension of the roof. In other words, the simpler the roof, the cheaper it is to replace. This involves the size and scope of the roof. A roofing system with greater slope has a larger surface area than a roof with less slope, making the former more difficult to tackle. This contributes to the final expense. Similarly, a roof with more hips, valleys and add-ons like dormers is more expensive to replace than a less complex roof.
When it comes to labor costs, you need to factor in the scope of the roofing project, the size of the roofing crew and their years of experience. However, it is not a smart idea to choose a contractor based on price alone. Place utmost importance on the quality of workmanship. A reputable roofing contractor will not only help you stick to your roofing budget, but also be able to foresee expenses that you may have glossed over.
Prices of roofing materials range from more affordable options, like three-tab and dimensional asphalt shingles, to high-end options, like cedar shakes and slate. As such, the cost of raw materials will affect the price of your roofing project. In addition to the roof covering, other building materials must also be considered in the calculation. This usually includes plywood, nails, caulk, flashing, sheathing and felt paper. An up-and-over asphalt roofing structure with no penetrations on a one-story home usually has the most basic price you can get.
While it is possible to install new asphalt shingles over existing ones, this re-roofing method is not exactly recommended as it can impact the performance of the roofing system as well as compromise the roof warranty. That being said, the cost of your roof replacement project likely entails the removal and disposal of your current roof. Shingles or tiles must be discarded properly, so do not forget to budget for a dumpster and other additional disposal costs.
Inspections and Permits
In order to determine the scope of your roof replacement, the contractor must perform an inspection of your current roof. Professional inspections are generally not free, but a roofing company may include its cost in the price of a repair or replacement project after being hired. Only after the inspection will the contractor be able to provide a fair and accurate estimate of the project and scope of work.
Furthermore, your contractor may also be required to secure permits before commencing the project. This ultimately depends on where you live. While your contractor oversees the permitting process, be prepared for its cost. A roof replacement permit may be a flat rate or it could be based on the size or value of your property.
Unexpected Factors That Affect the Cost of Roof Replacement
There are times when roofing contractors uncover issues during the actual construction, affecting the total cost of the roof replacement project. If you own an older home or building, it is especially important to be prepared for these typically unexpected costs.
Pests or Mold
In hot and humid regions of the country, mold and termite can cause significant damage and drive up the cost of roof replacement. Whether it is decay or pest infestation, these problems will need to be remedied before the new roof can be installed.
Leaks and Rotted Wood
Sometimes, roof leaks can go undetected until all the shingles are removed during roofing. These leaks can cause moisture damage, such as rot, to some parts of the roof like the rafters and other wooden structures. If extensive damage is already present, the costs of materials and labor needed to replace the affected wood can inflate your initial budget by hundreds of dollars.
Poor Roof Design
In a roofing system, areas that are prone to leaks due to runoff being directed too much to one location are called water traps. It is an issue that homeowners are often unaware of until a complete roof tear-off takes place. It can also cause the shingles and other structures like the wall cladding to deteriorate a lot faster than expected. In the event that your roofer uncovers this problem, you will need to mitigate it to prevent further damage. This effort will surely cause your budget to bloat.
Even though your roof was originally built to meet code standards during that time, those rules may no longer be applicable to roofs installed today. Bringing your roof up to code is necessary for the safety and sustainability of your home, but it is also an additional expense to keep in mind.
A new roof can increase the value of your property. In that vein, you may find that minor to major upgrades are also necessary during the roof replacement. Common examples include installing seamless gutters with gutter covers, adding insulation and ventilation, and opting for a durable and waterproof underlayment. Discuss how these upgrades can be incorporated into your project with your contractor as they can help you figure out how to maximize the value of your property while staying within your budget.
How to Keep Your Roof Replacement Project on Budget
Here are some tips for preparing your home before the roof replacement:
- Trim your lawn grass before roof installation begins. Shorter grass will make it easier for the installers to use a magnetic nail finder to recover any lost nails or staples during the roof replacement. After all, you do not want these sharp tools to cause accidents in the future.
- Cover the items in your attic using a tarp or plastic sheeting. Gaps in the roof decking can allow nails, shingles and other debris to fall onto the valuables stored in your attic.
- Move plants and outdoor furniture away from the jobsite. The same thing applies to vehicles in your driveway or any toys on your lawn. Temporarily relocating these items will minimize the chance of them sustaining damage while the roofing crew works on your roof.
Now that you have prepared your home for roof replacement, all you need to do is make sure you stick to your budget. Here are ways you can do just that:
- Complete the roof installation during off-season. Because the demand for roof repairs and replacements is greater in the warmer months, the cost of the project will likely be higher than when completed during the colder months. This is because services from roofing companies are in less demand during the colder seasons. However, it is crucial that you consider the recommendation of a roofing company regarding the best time to replace your roof.
- Allot at least 20% of extra funds in your budget. It is always better to be safe than sorry. This amount may seem like a huge buffer, but it will allow you to tackle any hidden issues in stride without compromising the quality of your roof replacement.