5 factors that influence the cost of a roof repair

Make sure you research a company before hiring them to make a roof repair. (Photo courtesy of Colin Kessler)

Make sure you research a company before hiring them to make a roof repair. (Photo courtesy of Colin Kessler)

Repairing a roof can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Don't let a contractor give you a quote without assessing the damage from both inside and outside of the home.

The following factors influence the cost of installing a new roof.

1. Roof types

The type of roof on your home greatly influences repair costs. Roofs can be flat or sloped, high or low pitch and metal or shingled. Material costs vary greatly between roof types, and some require more labor and materials than others.

The least expensive shingles are made of asphalt, and they run about $120 per 100 square feet, while slate shingles can cost between $800 and $1,000 per 100 square feet, and tile shingles can cost between $300 and $500 per 100 square feet. If you have a metal roof, you can expect materials to cost as much as $1,500 per 100 square feet.

See the average cost of roof repair for four different roof materials -- asphalt shingle, slate, tile and metal.

2. Permits for roofing repairs

The city or town where you live can affect the repair costs as well. The contractor may need to pull permits for repairs. The price of the permit may be a flat rate in your area, or it could be based on your home's size or value. In some coastal areas, there is a separate permit to protect your home from hurricanes and tropical storms. Hurricane bracing and straps, which may be required in these areas, can add several hundred dollars to the final cost. For example, a 1,350-square-foot roof repair permit can cost as much as $148 or $400 depending on where you live.

3. Scope of repairs

The size of the repair is one of the biggest factors that determines the price of the job. Roofing contractors generally determine a price by the square footage of the roof. In roofing terms, a square is a 10-foot-square area. Shingles are sold by the square, so you will be charged for a square even if your repair is smaller than 10-feet square. The contractor, however, should give you leftover materials in case your roof needs to be repaired again.

4. Existing water damage

Water can quickly damage the structure of your home. This type of damage may not be obvious until the roofer has removed the shingles and inspected the decking. Repairing water damage can be expensive and inflate your final cost. However, it shouldn't be overlooked because it can lead to a total roof replacement.

5. Chimneys and skylights

Chimneys and skylights can also raise the cost of a roofing job. They may need to be replaced at the same time, and you should ask your roofer to check them for damage while assessing the shingles. Even if they don't need to be replaced, the roofer will need to work around them, and this increases labor costs. If you need to fix the flashing seals your skylight to your roof, expect to pay an extra $300 to $500. And if you need to fix the flashing around your chimney, expect to pay between $200 and $500.

Get roof repair cost quotes from at least three roofers before you make a hiring decision. Estimates can vary greatly between roofing companies. Be cautious if an estimate seems exceptionally low because it could mean the roofer isn't operating legally.

This is an updated version of a story originally posted on Aug. 31, 2012.

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