How Your Roof Replacement Cost is Determined

A pair of dice has twelve sides and can show sums from two to 12. If you think your roofer’s estimate for your roof replacement cost was arrived at with a throw of the dice, we understand. Most homeowners have no idea what is included in roof replacement costs. Let’s find out!

The Taller, the Higher

The taller your house is, the higher the roof replacement cost will be. This is a function of physics. Your roofer’s crew will use more energy (human and machine) and more equipment to get from the ground to roof on a three-story home than on a ranch house.

Fortunately, many homes in places like La Crescenta and Pasadena are the wide, low homes enjoyed by many Californians. Do not be surprised, though, if your gorgeous, historic, Victorian home with two full stories, full attic, and a turret commands a higher price for roof replacement

Steep Pitch?

A roof’s pitch, or its angle, also influences the risk and challenge of roof replacement. Think of walking on a flat garden path. Comfortable, relaxing, and soothing. Now consider walking up or down a steep hiking trail. The steeper a roof is, the harder the roofing crew has to work to move around. Even the simplest task is riskier than with a low-slope roof. 

Some roofs, classified as steep-pitch roofs, are easy enough for a good crew to walk on with proper fall arrest equipment. The typical roof profile will fall in one of these categories:

  • “Flat roof” —anything from 2-in-12 (two inches rise for 12 inches of run) down to 1/4-in-12; never truly flat (0-in-12) because it would not drain
  • Low-slope roof — 2-in-12 to 4-in-12
  • Conventional “steep-slope” roof — 4-in-12 up to 9-in-12
  • High “steep-slope” roof — 9-in-12 to 20-in-12
  • Steepest “steep-slope” roof — anything from 20-in-12 to vertical

Most residential homes are from 4-in-12 up to about 12-in-12; beyond that, crews have to use many different strategies to stay safe, get work done, and move materials:

  • Guardrails
  • Toe boards
  • Fall arrest equipment
  • Safety nets

When a sales representative from your roofing contractor assesses your home’s roof, one of the qualities the representative will measure is the pitch. The steeper the pitch, the higher the roof replacement cost. 

Layers Upon Layers

Perhaps your Burbank home is one of those stately older homes with a roof with, shall we say, extensive work done. In the finest tradition of Hollywood stars of old, your roof may have had so much cosmetic work done that a roof replacement is really more like an archeological dig. 

A typical roof has sheathing, underlayment, some flashing, and the roofing material (shingles, tile, metal, and so on). An aging older home may have a second roof applied right on top of an existing one! This is an inexpensive way to reroof a house, but then when the time comes for a complete roof replacement, the current owner (that would be you) has to pay for twice the carting costs. 

You ask your roofer, “How much does roof replacement cost?” and, in all sincerity, your roofer asks, “Which roof? The top one or the one underneath?” Most homes can take the weight of two shingle roofs, or metal over a shingle roof.

Digging down, your roofer has to remove the finish roofing, underlayment, another finished roof, and its underlayment. Significant work may be needed on the flashing, and the water shield has to go down on the sheathing, not on some other layer. 

Look What We Found!

Some roofs are full of surprises. Digging down through the layers can reveal flaws in the sheathing, such as mold, mildew, rot, or splintering. Some decking could be rotted and will have to be replaced in the replacement job. Your home’s roof may require significantly more than one or two sheets of sheathing. Each sheet adds to the final price tag. 

Materials Matter

The final surface of your roof is your aesthetic and economic decision. You should know, though, that shingles tend to cost less than metal roofing, and metal often costs less than tile.

Even within the choice of the material, costs vary. A three-tab shingle is serviceable but not very pleasing to the eye. A boldly cut, deep profile architectural shingle is dramatic and more costly. 

No Dice

Your roofer is trying to provide you with a balance of accurate information (even though the roof may not reveal all), quality materials, and a realistic timeline. Though you may think the estimate is achieved using Vegas odds, no dice are involved. 

A good roofer, such as the trained professionals of Roof Repair Specialist, will be unafraid to answer questions, defend an honest estimate, and provide excellent customer service. Contact Roof Repair Specialist today to learn more.