What to Know About Replacing a Roof

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty 91362

The Guide to Replacing a Roof on Your Home

Are there signs that your roof is failing and needs to be replaced?

The roof of your home is a significant replacement if it fails. After all, it prevents water from leaking into your property and doing considerable damage.

Fixing roofing problems isn’t something you can delay either. While you might only need to replace one shingle, leaving this will mean potential water damage inside your home.

Water then leads to mold, which will create additional problems.

If an entire roofing replacement is needed, the costs can be considerable, and you might also need a permit before the repair can begin.

Understanding what you need to think about before hiring contractors could save you money if you consider a roof replacement.

Let's go over everything you need to know about replacing a roof.

Choosing Roofing Materials

The type of roofing material used in replacement roofing might depend on your location, with some materials unsuitable for the roof's pitch or the home's style.

Some regions will require fire resistance, narrowing the options further.

Roofing choices could include:

  • Clay or ceramic tile. Red tile roofs are common in some areas, though they are beginning to be replaced by composite or metal materials.
  • Slate. This material will last a long time but is heavy and costly.
  • Composition slate. Synthetic alternatives to slate save weight and are less likely to be damaged.
  • Metal. Roofs constructed of steel or aluminum offer fire protection and last a long time. They can be expensive to install as specialist contractors are required.
  • Asphalt shingles. This is the most popular construction material due to its low cost.
  • Wood shingles. These are more expensive than asphalt, though they look more attractive and last a long time.

Slate and tile roofs can last more than 50 years before replacement. Wood shingles can last 30 years, but asphalt might need replacement in around 20 years.

Should You Add a New Roofing Layer?

While it was once customary to add a new layer of shingle on top of the old, often that is no longer allowed. But should you rip off the old roof or add a new shingle in areas where this is still an option?

Even if you have this choice available to you, the decision isn’t entirely straightforward:

  • The weight. Adding a new layer adds a lot more weight to the roof frame. This could lead to structural issues in older homes.
  • Magnifying problems. If the roof is uneven, these irregularities will transfer and increase in the new layer. There is a better chance of a level finish when tearing the old roof off.
  • Warranty. The manufacturer might offer a warranty on the roof, but only if the old roof is removed before the construction of the new one.
  • Reducing waste and construction time. If a new roof is added to the old one, there isn’t any need to deal with the waste produced when tearing off the roof. It will also take less time and reduce costs when replacing the roof. This might be less of a concern when hiring a contractor than if you are doing the work yourself.

Replacement Roofing Costs

How much your new roof will cost could be a significant consideration. Some roofing choices will cost a lot more than others, though, and they might last a lot longer as well.

The cheapest option is asphalt shingles, costing on average between $7,000 and $12,000 for the most cost-effective type, which is 3-tab.

Most people prefer architectural-grade shingles if their budget allows it. An architectural shingle has a layered look which is much more appealing to the eye.

Wood shingles that should last longer cost from $14,000 to $25,000. Slate roofs can cost between $25,000 and $50,000. While standing seam steel roofs cost from $23,000 and $30,000 to replace.

These are much more expensive options from putting them on new and when replacement is needed.

Hiring Roofing Replacement Contractors

While the best time for a roofing replacement usually is in the warmer and dryer months, you could choose the off-season for lower costs. A well-practiced team of roofing contractors could quickly install a new roof even when rain or snow is more likely.

As roofing contractors will be less in demand outside of the late spring to early fall period, their prices should be lower. With a large team of roofers, the roof replacement could be completed considerably faster than might be possible during their busy months.

When hiring contractors, you should get at least 3 estimates to ensure you get a good deal. Compare what the contractors are offering and ask about extra charges that could be added to the bill.

When You Are Selling, Roofing Issues Will Be Flagged

It is essential to note that when selling your house, any roofing issues will be flagged by the buyer's home inspector.

However, in many circumstances, you may be better off not replacing the roof when selling. It is unlikely you will get back the complete value of a roof replacement.

You could better negotiate a seller's concession with a home buyer. Doing so could save some money.

Final Thoughts on Roof Replacement

The roofs and foundations of our homes are the most vital components. They keep the rest of the property intact and thriving.

You must keep up with ongoing maintenance and replace the roof in a timely fashion when it becomes necessary.

When roofing replacement is overlooked, other parts of a home can become damaged, costing thousands of dollars worth of additional repairs.

Did you enjoy this advice on replacing a roof? See other real estate articles on Active Rain for more timely tips and advice. Bill often writes about general real estate, mortgages, finance, moving, and home improvement.

Posted by

Bill Gassett is a thirty-two year veteran to the real estate industry. He enjoys providing helpful information to buyers, sellers and fellow real estate agents to make sound decisions. His work has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, RESAAS, Credit Sesame and others.

Comments (4)

John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Bill Gassett very good detailed for about what to know what about replacing a roof.

Dec 03, 2022 05:33 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Bill - we just did a replacement of our roof.  Old roof was removed first.

Dec 04, 2022 04:44 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

The roof is definitely one part of the house that has got to be in tip-top shape. So much damage can occur if it's not.

Here in Montana we opted for a metal roof, so the snow will slide right off. It works great, but wow, it's noisy when it decides to slide!

Dec 04, 2022 05:12 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

As my husband was a former certified chimney sweep, he had a lot of experience with poorly installed roofs with reference to flashings.  More often than not, roofers would use mastic to seal the flashing around the chimney which invariably led to problems down the road.

Dec 04, 2022 09:01 AM