Roofs don't last forever. Neither do other things in your home. That's part of the joy of home ownership. Things break, and you get work done. Roof replacement is a common thing for homeowners.
For roofing, the life expectancy of your roof depends on what it's made of. However, for most residential homes you can expect an average of 20 years before you need a replacement. When it's time to replace your home's roof you'll probably have a few questions. Here are a few answers.
How Much Will It Cost?
There are some things that factor into how much a new roof will run you. First, it depends on what type of roof you're going with. A basic asphalt shingled roof is probably one of the cheapest options.
Then, it depends on whether you're hiring a contractor or doing it yourself. DIY roofing can save you some money since you're not paying a labor bill, but it also takes more commitment from you.
While the national average for a new roof is over $6,000, you really need to look at the type of roof you have. It also depends on the size of your roof, the slant of it, and if you have any gables.
- Asphalt shingles will run a person from just under $1,000 to just over $3,000 to repair on your own. Expect to pay $2,000 to $8,000 if you're having the pros come in.
- Wood shake roofing is beautiful but take more upkeep than asphalt shingles. You'll spend more money to do the replacement, on your own or with a roofer. Anywhere from $7,000 to $18,000 would be your estimated costs for the wood shingles or the hiring prices for faux wood shingles that need less upkeep.
- Metal roofs last the longest of all, but they're not a cheap option. You have the option of steel, aluminum, or copper – and they range from $5,000 all the way up to $40,000.
- Slate roofing also lasts a long time. Pricing varies but can be lower than the cost of a metal roof. Depending on the size of your roof it will run you anywhere from $12,000 to $120,000.
- Tile roofs are the easiest to replace and repair when something goes wrong. They are also the best option if you want a custom roof. They will run you $7,500 up to $60,000, depending on how much customization you want.
Then, there's the cost of removing the old roof/shingles. If you're having things professionally done, it can average around $4 per square foot.
Can I Do Roof Replacement Myself?
DIY Roofing is often an option. If you have experience or have a family member that does, and there are no rules in your neighborhood against doing it yourself, go ahead. It can save you a ton of money. It can save you money, but you need to know what you're doing, or it could cost you more to get your mistakes fixed.
The larger your roof, and the more things (like gables) you need to work around, the harder the job is going to be. Also, if your roof is slanted, and not close to flat, you'll have more trouble doing it yourself. At this point, you'll save time, money, and stress hiring out.
Also, consider warranties on the roofing items. If they aren't professionally installed, the warranty may be voided.
Can I Roof Over the Existing Shingles?
If your existing shingles are completely flat, you can roof over them. It can save you some time and money not removing the pre-existing shingles, but if they are torn up, or a lot are missing, you could be leaving your home open to leaks.
Also consider the fact that, while asphalt shingles are light, they still add weight to the roof. The more layers of shingles and sealants on your roof, the heavier it gets. And when snow or ice pile up on your roof you potentially risk a cave in.
Do I Have to Replace the Whole Roof for One Leak?
If your roof is leaking, you might be able just to patch the leak area. You may not need to spring for an entire roof.
It depends on how big, and how bad the leak is. If it's huge, you may save money replacing the entire roof. If it's not very big, fixing that particular area should do the trick.
The age of your roof matters too. If it's already 20+ years old, you're going to be replacing it in a few years anyway. You'll get that leak fixed, and another one will spring up in no time. You're better off getting the whole job done when it comes to older roofs.
When In Doubt, Call a Contractor
Sure, you can find answers to all your questions online, but you'll find multiple answers. If you're not sure about something to do with your roof, call a professional. They're there to help.