The real cost of a new roof

Get at least three bids before hiring a roofing contractor. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Robert H. of Tallahassee, Fla.)

Get at least three bids before hiring a roofing contractor. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Robert H. of Tallahassee, Fla.)

Replacing your existing roof carries a significant cost, and it can't be put off once it becomes necessary. But the urgency of needing a new roof doesn't mean you should blindly hire the first roofing contractor you speak to.

How roofers charge

While it's possible to replace your own roof, it's not always a good idea - without the right tools and enough experience, there's a high likelihood you'll make a mistake, which could reduce the lifespan of your roof. A standard 2200-to-2600 square foot roof will cost homeowners between $1,000 and $4,000 to fully replace; professionals will charge $2,000 to $8,500. Roofers charge for their work using what are known as "squares." One ten foot-by-ten foot patch of roof makes a square, meaning the average roof has between 22 and 26 squares to be replaced.

The first cost roofers will charge is for removing your old roof. A one-story roof with a single shingle layer costs between $100 and $150 per square to remove; a double layer, $115 to $165, and triple layer, $125 to $175. If you have a particularly high roof, or one which is extremely steep, you will pay more per square.

Next is installation. The most common type of shingles are asphalt, which cost between $120 and $140 per square. Slate and clay tiles, wooden shakes and metal roofs are also options but come with higher prices - for example, metal costs between $350 and $1100 per square.

It's possible to keep costs down by shingling over an existing roof, rather than replacing it, but this typically lowers its lifespan by 20 percent. In addition to shingles, your roofer will supply an underlay - #15 felt is standard, but #30 felt, rubber, or synthetic membranes offer superior protection against water and ice damage. You'll also need to pay for flashing, trim, vent covers and gutters to complete the project.

Spotting a reliable roofer

While the costs listed above are the basics supplied by any roofing company, not all professionals deliver reliable performance. Finding a solid contractor means considering several factors. First, a true pro should be familiar with local building codes - how many layers can be on a roof before it needs to be fully replaced? Are there are rules about underlay or shingle type? In addition, contractors should be on the lookout for any existing damage to your home's wooden structure, either from fire or water. If this isn't dealt with before a roof is installed, it can necessitate frequent repairs.

Reliable roofers also offer substantive guarantees for their work. Standard for the industry is between five and 10 years on workmanship, which includes free repair of any defects due to improper installation. These typically cover leakage or total failure, but won't cover normal wear and tear, general maintenance, damage from weather such as hail or storms or bacterial and insect infestations. Some will offer 25-year warranties, but these usually apply to specific high-end roof products and require certain installation procedures. The cost of a new roof can easily run upwards of $5000 when using a professional roofing company. This price is often worth it, however, for the security of long-term warranty and the knowledge that a job is done correctly.

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

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Been roofing 35plus years pices vary according to level of expertise, experience, and contract verbiage

Typically All materials with tax is around 125.00 per sq and Labor is the same for a 1 layer 4/12 pitch tear off. Total base is usually $250.00 per square 20 sq roof =$5,000 Pitch change and number of layers can increase. A job like this is done in 2 days. Typically roofers can make $300-$1,000 bucks a day. I've done it for 15 years....

I had three estimates for tearing down and replacing a 39 square roof. The low bid was $10,932. This was also including 6 new skylights velux. GAF HD dimensional shingles. So shop and get at least three quotes.

There are three things that can make a dryer slow: clothes go in too wet (use faster spin cycle), air is not hot enough (use higher heat setting, check thermostat / burner are working properly), or not enough air flow (so wet air doesn't get removed fast enough). The third is the most likely. Check your lint filter, the hose to the outside (you can remove it from the back of the dryer), and the actual outlet (usually there is a flap that is opened by the air flow- did it get stuck?). Restricted air flow can lead to fires - not just long dryer cycles! You can get special long flexible brushes (Home Depot etc) to clean out hard to reach places - lint will really "cake" I your hoses and restrict the flow. A 10% change in diameter results in a 40% reduction in flow! Finally if the hose to the outside is quite long you may find a booster fan will make a world of difference - this gives the dryer more "oomph" to move the air through. I installed one myself (found online) and it solved my problem. And now that air moves faster I don't get so much lint buildup either.

Sounds like no hot air. Check settings plus open door after ten minutes operating and check if warm/hot inside. Not so? Heater wire broken or temperature selector switch open connection

The cost to do roofing comes down to how efficent you are. Some roofing brands do not cover a full square so you need more material at the end of the day. Dumpsters are inefficent due to the delivery lack of ability to clean up untill they are gone. etc. it was mentioned that you can roof over the existing shingles, this is not allowed by the NC building code since we are in a moderate hail area. The cost of not tearing off the shingles and inspecting the deck is far more expensive in the long run. I have found that the lowest price is not the least expensive. Just do it right or go home.

I agree with over 30 years in construction. Counting your pennies will cost you dollars in time.

A standard roof about 22-26 square, I think that's about right, but all tools and higher quality materials after tax to do the labor myself on 27 sq. was $4900, so I would like to know how you get as low as $1000. Also, a tear off starting at $100 per square? Roofers almost ALWAYS do tear offs these days. A tear-off consists of a $150 dumpster rental and about 3 hours with a shingle remover. It goes fast. $2600+ to do a quick scraping?

Are we really going to be that naive? Know how much compensation and general liability insurance costs are for a roofing company? What about OSHA fines? Payroll and matching deductions? Equipment maintenance? Insurance on 3 or 4 trucks and trailers? Medical? The cost to keep trained and experienced employees? I guarantee I'm forgetting a dozen more things but you get the point. When you hire a contractor he's not getting paid by the hour. He would never stay in business to be around when you need that workmanship warranted the most. Listen, here's a quick and dirty break down of a responsible estimate, for both the home owner and the contractor. One layer, one story, walk-able. Depending on squares, dumpster - $200-400, tear off -$100/sq, Install -$100/square, material -$160/square. New vents and flashings are extra. That's all she wrote.

No one can remove 2600 square feet of shingles in in 3 hours. It takes an hour to set up some kind of barrier on each side of the house to protect the walls from falling shingles , along with ground tarps for the shingles to land on so you can keep all of the nails from getting lost in the grass. It will take another hour to sweep and clean up the roof, around flashings and in the gutters after all of the shingles are off of the roof. And it will take at least another hour to pick everything up off of the ground and put it in this $150 dumpster that won't be large enough to hold 26 squares of shingle tear off. (26 squares of cheap shingles weigh about 3 tons) There are not many people that can move 3 tons anywhere in one hour. That doesn't even leave you any time to do the actual work of "quickly scraping" 2600 square feet of roof in 3 hours, including setting up any safety equipment.

26 squares long as the roof isn't 8;12 or higher with a good 5 man crew you can tear off.clean and paper easily in under 3 hours. You seem however some what knowledgable in roofing. How much does it cost to tear off a roof per square and we roofers don't use a dumpster we have trailers. I am part of a one man tear off crew and before that i worked for a roofing company. I just tore off a double layer 15 squares roof and got paid 350. Im curious too know how much the other guy made

My roofers had my entire 31-square roof cleaned off in about 2 hours. They basically had 4 guys on the roof scraping and one on the ground cleaning up. The cleanup guy was working all day collecting the shingles while the guys on the roof installed the new shingles.

Where can I sign up? Alternatively, I should get a quote and then subtract $2600, finish that part of the job myself on a Saturday morning an have professionals do the install. Thanks for the tip.

I agree, these numbers are very low. Almost 1/4th of the true costs.

1/4 of the actual cost? Are you saying tear off should be $10,400? That's a delusional price.

It takes me about 2 hours to dry a load of clothes. I have a Maytag dryer.

Check the hose behind the dryer. See if there is build up inside or if it needs replacing.

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