This homeowner question is so common it often autocompletes when you search on the internet: What are roof replacement costs? More important than getting some mystical number from a site like Cost vs. Value is knowing what affects the cost of a roof replacement. Don’t get us wrong — Cost vs. Value is a fine place to start an initial investigation. Still, for the nitty-gritty of roof replacement, you need the expertise of your local, reputable residential roofer. 

No One Size

Primary research is an excellent way to rid yourself of biases and misunderstandings about today’s roofing market and building costs. Yet, it does not provide nearly enough detail for you to make wise decisions about your next roof replacement. 

The reason is simple: no one-size roofing plan fits all customers. Every home’s roof has its quirks, its unusual weathering and wear patterns, and even its own microclimate. Many factors go into the estimate and Scope of Work from a reliable, neighborhood roofer. 

Big Six

Though many factors do affect the final estimate and cost of a Massachusetts or Rhode Island roof replacement, six issues stand out: 

  1. House height — Gravity is not a roofer’s friend; all roofers must have fall arrest equipment, which gets a bit more complicated as house height increases; it also takes significant energy and real muscle to wrangle bundles of shingles and other supplies up onto a roof, so every added story increases labor costs
  2. Roof square footage — Your home is not a good indicator of your roof’s total square footage; since nearly all residential roofs are pitched (angled), the roof takes up far more square footage than your flat living space, and additional square footage means additional costs
  3. Pitch — The steeper your home’s roof, the harder the reroofing job will be and the higher your costs will be; with increased pitch, roofers need special equipment like roofing jacks and roof brackets, plus fall arrest equipment, to work safely
  4. Materials — Your neighbor’s lovely and economical three-tab shingle may cost significantly less than your choice of a dramatic, deeply cut architectural shingle; a 20-year shingle costs less than a 30-year or lifetime shingle
  5. Roof removal — No residential home in Massachusetts or Rhode Island can have more than two roofs on it, so if your home already has two roofs, both will need to be torn off before a new roof can be installed; the number and quantity of old roofing to be removed affects the price
  6. Sheathing replacement — Once your old roof is torn off, the sheathing is exposed and can be assessed for soundness; new sheathing may be required either here and there or, in the worst case, over large areas of your roof; most estimates include a few sheets of sheathing in the price with an indication of an additional per-sheet cost

Consider, Too

While the six factors already discussed greatly affect the cost of your home’s roof replacement, other factors need to be considered, too. Is your home easily accessible to trucks and equipment? Can platform hoists and a boom truck get into your driveway, past trees, and deliver materials to the roof? 

Many homeowners never stop to consider how elaborate their home’s roof is. A Victorian charmer may have turrets, dormer windows, and many hips and ridges. A simple ranch house may only have two roof surfaces only one story off the ground. The roof’s complexity affects reroofing costs. 

Inside your attic, a roofer may also uncover more of your home’s story. Signs of water leaks, wood rot, insect infestation, or mold and mildew indicate the need for careful scrutiny of rafters, eaves, and sheathing. A reroofing project is the ideal time to strengthen and replace any weak structural members of your home’s roofing system.

Yeah, But

We hear you out there. You read all about what affects the cost of a roof replacement, but you still want to know how much your roof replacement will cost. The safest, surest way to get an accurate estimate you can use to compare with at least two other local, reputable roofers is to arrange a site visit. 

A representative of Couto Construction can come to your home, take measurements and photographs, and provide you with a detailed estimate and Scope of Work (a description of everything to be done in the roof replacement). 

If you get some sketchy roofer willing to quote a price sight unseen, hang up. If you get a roving roofer offering a “one day only deal,” a drive-by estimate, or “leftover” materials at a discount, walk away. You deserve better! Please contact us today at Couto Construction in Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and Rhode Island. We look forward to working with you to provide you with a lifetime of protection and guaranteed peace of mind with your home’s roof replacement.