In this third installment of “How Much Does a Roof Replacement Cost?” we focus on inexpensive ways to replace a roof, the average cost to remove and replace a roof, and the cost of other roof materials. For a comprehensive review of the topic, please review Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

What is the Cheapest Way to Replace a Roof?

The cheapest way to replace a roof is to get someone else to pay for it. Some ways you can cover roof replacement expenses are to file a claim for roof damage caused by inclement weather with your insurance company; claim warranty coverage from the roofing material manufacturer or contractor who installed the roof; or, file for a federal grant or charitable organization grant to cover the cost of replacing your roof.

If none of those methods work, you can do some of the work yourself (DIY), barter/trade series/goods with the roofing contractor, or negotiate a really good deal in the offseason with a discount or rebate on roofing materials. The last option should be doing an overlay or using cheaper materials. Both methods will shorten the life span of your roof and may cause you problems with your insurance company and/or limit the roofing material manufacturer’s warranty or contractor’s warranty.

Average Cost to Tear Off and Replace a Roof

The average cost of removing and replacing a roof will vary according to a number of factors. The most obvious factors are the characteristics of the roof (e.g., roof size, pitch, complexity), type of roofing material used, and waste disposal fees. Let’s look at the average cost of removing and replacing the roof of a 2,200 square foot home. The range of costs are:

Type of Roofing Material Roof Removal and Replacement Costs
Strip Shingles $8,500 – $12,500
Dimensional Shingles $9,500 – $16,500                      
Luxury Shingles $10,000 – $18,500                      
Clay Tiles $25,000 – $45,500                      
Concrete Tiles $25,000 – $40,500                      
Natural Slate $25,000 – $50,500                      
Aluminum Shingles $15,000 – $27,500                      
Steel Shingles $14,000 – $25,500                      
Wood Shingles $14,000  – $25,500                                          
Standing Seam $18,000 – $29,500                      
EPDM Rubber Membrane  $8,000 – $14,500                      
TPO or PVC Membrane $10,000 – $16,500                      

Cost of A New Roof by Material

There is an ever-growing supply of roofing material options in the USA. If cost is not an issue, you should select the roofing material that provides the most aesthetically pleasing appearance and pays for itself over time through energy savings, vouchers, acceptable maintenance, and the life span of the roof. Let’s review some other roofing material options.

Standing Seam

Standing seams are metal roofing with vertical panels and permanent seams running vertically upward towards the roof’s peak. It is used for ultra-modern homes, farmhouses, rustic cabins, and industrial buildings. Standing seams cost $7.00 to $13.00 per square foot. The installation costs are also quite high. 

If you are in an area where it snows, this roofing is ideal. The snow will slide down the vertical seams. Moreover, standing seams are rust-resistant and provide year-round energy savings. They reflect solar energy, keeping buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The reflected solar energy helps to melt snow on the seams and to prevent ice dams. Furthermore, they won’t crack or rot and are fire-resistant.

Aluminum panels are impervious to corrosion and moisture. Steel panels may rust if within one mile of the ocean because of the salt in the air. They can contract and expand with changing temperatures. Since the seams expand and contract, the homeowner must adjust the fasteners on the seams. The roof will last for at most 50 years if the fasteners and finish are properly maintained. In general, the warranty for the material is about 50 years.

Corrugated Metal Panels

Initially, they were used only for agricultural and industrial buildings. Now they are used for homes, log cabins, rustic homes, and modern and contemporary structures. Corrugated metal panels range from $4.00 to $5.00 per square foot. It is the most inexpensive metal roofing option. It’s durable in all kinds of weather and is perfect for any climate. In addition, it’s impervious to moisture, insects, and rot.

Bonus, the material is fire resistant too. The material’s Class A fire rating is the highest rating that a material can be given. The material’s reflection of heat significantly reduces energy costs, and the homeowner may qualify for tax credits from the government.

For maintenance, rinse the roof with water to clean off dirt and debris and check for damage to the roof on an annual basis. The material’s life span is more than 50 years, and the manufacturer’s warranty can range from 25 to 50 years.

Stone-Coated Steel

This inexpensive roofing material has a similar appearance to clay or slate tile. It will cost you $8.00 to $9.00 per square foot. It’s great for a variety of climates. Stone-Coated Steel can handle winds of up to 120 mph, rapid freeze and thaw episodes, and uplifting winds. Impervious to moisture, it also won’t warp, rot, crack, or split. Lastly, it has better energy efficiency than standard white asphalt.

Drawbacks, this material is relatively new to the market, and there is limited information about its life span and performance. The information about this product comes from lab testing. In addition, the panels do not interlock; they overlay each other. So, if the overlay is not properly done, moisture may penetrate the panels and cause problems. Lastly, since the product is so new, you may have difficulty finding an experienced contractor to install the roof. The problem is that if it’s installed poorly, there is a greater chance of the panels not being installed correctly and there being water damage from moisture getting underneath the panels.

For maintenance, wash it down with water to remove dirt and debris. Exposed fasteners must be regularly checked for rust and damage. Overall, it’s a low-maintenance roof, but some upkeep cannot be overlooked. There is a limited lifetime warranty from the product manufacturer. You should also look into getting some kind of warranty from the contractor.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

Wood shakes and shingles give your home a traditional appearance. They are often seen on bungalows, cottages, Cape Cod homes. This style can work well with other types of architecture too. Wood shingles and shakes are made of western red cedar, redwood, cypress, or pine. Wood shakes cost from $6.00 to $9.00 per square foot, and wood shingles cost $4.00 to $7.00 per square foot. Generally, wood shakes are 30% to 50% more expensive than wood shingles. 

They are quite fragile compared to other roofing materials. If the shingles and shakes are regularly treated, they will be resistant to water damage, mold, and insect infestation. Also, they do have higher energy efficiency ratings than traditional asphalt shingles. 

Manufacturers offer limited warranties for the product. The manufacturer’s warranty can last up to 50 years. Wood shingles and shakes can be expected to outlast traditional shingles by up to 30 years.

Thatched Roof

This rustic roof design is normally seen on cottages and homes in natural settings. The material costs between $8.60 and $13.50 per square foot. It is a flexible material that can be used in different climates. Its durability depends on the type of material used for the roof. Its natural insulation keeps homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

Drawbacks, it is a niche product that is not standardized. Also, the contractor installing it must be a skilled and specialized craftsman. Such craftsmen are difficult to find and expensive to work with. The installation of the roof will be labor-intensive so expect to spend a lot of money on it. Research the roofing contractor well because proper installation of this roof is the key to its longevity and has posed a challenge for some homeowners.

Maintenance is very important for this kind of roof. The ridge caps must be regularly inspected to maintain the integrity of the roof. Regular inspections are also important for preventing any fires since the material is combustible. Lastly, it must be regularly inspected for insect infestation and water damage. Water reeds have a life span of 65 years, and straw can last for up to 25 years.

EPDM Rubber

This roofing is a single-ply membrane and perfect for houses with flat roofs. It is budget-friendly and has been in use for over 40 years. It costs $5.50 to $6.50 per square foot. The durable membrane protects the roofing itself and the interior of your home from the elements. EPDM Rubber is resistant to heat, extreme weather, and is easy to walk on. In addition, the material is highly resistant to punctures, extreme weather, and impact from hail and other weather-related objects.

EPDM Rubber’s drawbacks are that the life span of this roofing material depends on the installer’s experience and skills and on how well it is maintained during its lifetime. As the homeowner, you must pay special attention to the adhesive used on the roof’s edges and seams, as it will wear out before the roofing material does. If the adhesive fails, moisture may penetrate the roofing material. Also, if the material is poorly installed, its life span will be shortened.

There is a good chance the contractor will poorly install the material because very few contractors are skilled in installing the material. Since the installation does not require special equipment, it is often installed by contractors with limited skills and experience. To avoid this problem, only hire a contractor who has experience installing this kind of roof, and carefully check the contractor’s references.

For maintenance, regularly inspect the roof’s adhesive (edges and seams). If it is damaged and worn thin, replace/repair the adhesive. EPDM rubber has a life span of 8 to 12 years. Its life span heavily depends upon the skill, experience, and workmanship of the contractor installing it. Homeowners can get a warranty for it from the material’s manufacturer. 

PVC Roofing 

PVC roofing is ideal for flat roofs. It is one of the most modern building materials available. It costs $6.50 to $7.50 per square foot. Its hot-air welded seams seal out moisture, are water-resistant, and are exceptionally U.V. resistant. This material is perfect for structures located in rainy or hot areas. It is eco-friendly and is even Energy Star rated. The material reflects up to 90% of solar energy back into the environment, so homeowners can expect up to 20% in energy savings. For the environmentally-conscious consumer, this is one of the few roofing materials that is recyclable. Most PVC roofing is composed of 25% recycled PVC roofing material.

The drawback, PVC roofing can only be installed with special equipment. Generally, only highly skilled and experienced contractors can install it. So, while the cost of the material may be budget-friendly, the installation cost may be quite high.

Homeowners can get warranties from the material’s manufacturer. The warranties will vary but are generally 25 years for commercial structures and lifetime warranties for residential buildings. 

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