Ask Angie: How much does it cost to replace a roof?

Angie's ListJuly 14, 2014 

Dear Angie: How much does it cost to replace a roof?

- Linda G., Yonkers, N.Y.

Dear Linda: Expect to pay at least $5,000. The precise amount could vary considerably because it depends on three main factors: Size, pitch and material type.

Other factors roofing contractors consider include extent of tear-off of existing material, amount of prep and detail work, and chosen ventilation options.

Last year, Angie's List members reported paying an average of $8,900 to replace an asphalt-shingle roof. Meanwhile, a top-rated California roofer told us his prices start at $5,000, can reach $25,000 or more, depending on size and material, and average $12,000. A top-rated Charlotte, N.C., roofer said his range is $4,000 for the lowest-end asphalt shingle project to $150,000 for a high-end slate roof.

Roofers charge by what they call a "square," which encompasses a 10-by-10-foot area totaling 100 square feet. For example, it would take 30 squares of material to cover a 3,000-square-foot roof.

A contractor will likely charge more to cover a steeply pitched roof for several reasons, including the fact that it's more difficult and dangerous for workers. In general, the more easily a contractor can access a roof, the less time and material it will take to do the job.

Top-rated pros say asphalt shingles are the most affordable roofing option, followed by wood, metal, tile and slate. Metal can cost about twice the price of asphalt shingles, while slate can be five times more expensive. However, asphalt shingles may last 20 to 30 years; tile, metal and slate can last 50 years or longer.

While price matters, don't make your hiring decision based on cost alone. Seek several bids from companies with a good reputation on a trusted online review site. Confirm that the company is appropriately licensed, insured and bonded. Include all important details in a written contract, including payment terms and schedule.

Each month, Angie's List collects more than 65,000 consumer reviews covering 720-plus home and health services. We welcome your questions at askangie@angieslist.com. For answers, Angie's List researchers condense the best advice from highly rated service pros.

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