How can there be thousands of dollars difference between contractor bids for similar home improvement projects on neighboring homes? And how can homeowners get an idea of what a new roof will cost?

In general, labor for a new roof should make up 60-65 percent of the cost and most of the remaining cost, 30-35 percent, should be the cost for materials. After labor and materials, the remaining costs, approximately 5-10 percent of the total, should consist of disposal for any building materials that need to be removed and any additional fees, like paying to have the shingles craned up to the roof or renting scaffolding for the job.

As for the specific dollar figure, there are many factors that go into a roofing bid. Here are the top four factors that can affect the cost of a new roof.

Size — The larger the house, the larger the roof, and the more shingles needed to cover it. According to industry standards, one square of shingles is the amount needed to cover 100 square feet of roof, and as a rule of thumb for most three-tab and laminated shingles, there are three shingle bundles in each square. To estimate the number of squares needed, divide the total square feet by 100.

Pitch — The pitch, or angle, of your roof can also affect the cost of re-roofing. A roof with a steep pitch can increase the final roof bid as contractors may build in additional costs for more safety equipment and a longer timetable to complete.

Roofing material — The type of roofing chosen will also affect the final cost. Three-tab asphalt shingles are some of the most economical options, but tend to have shorter warranties than the more popular laminated architectural shingles. And not all laminated shingles are created equal. Metal shingles carry a higher price tag as well, but also feature longer warranties and potential energy savings. Natural materials like wood shake and stone slate will raise the cost of the roof even more.

Type — Whether the roof is a “complete tear-off,” or a “layover” will also affect the final bid. If a contractor must remove all existing shingles before installing new shingles, the labor and disposal costs will increase. Doing a layover is more economical, although homeowners need to discuss with their contractor what local building codes require and implications for the manufacturer’s warranty.

— Brandpoint


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