Roofing Dilemma 101: To Hire or not to Hire

No matter how strong or sturdy you think your house is, there will come a time when you as a homeowner will need to make some major repairs, such as replacing a roof. There is no point putting it off, especially if the damage is quite obvious as it can pose danger to you and your family not to mention cause serious damage to your home. So you ask yourself what is the best thing to do? Are roofing services necessary and will you need to consult a roofing expert from start to finish with this project?

These are just some of the questions you might ask especially if you’re on a shoestring budget. The good thing is there are lots of advantages of hiring a professional roofer and he can even help you control the overall cost because you can ask for advice for alternatives on labor quality and the type of material you can use in fixing your roof. So here’s an overview of what to expect should you decide to push through with it.

Roofing Service
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Knowing the Basics

You’ll have to learn the overall cost of labor, shingles and all other roofing materials as they will be quoted by “squares”, each one of them being 100 square feet. In short, if you have a 10×10 foot patch on your roof, then you have one square. Roofs definitely vary as they come in different sizes and shapes, but an average roof in the United States is usually between 22-26 squares or 2200-2600 square feet.

Some DIY homeowners choose to install it in order to cut costs as prices may double when professional roofing services come into the picture. It is important to know beforehand though that you may not have the capability to replace your own roof and that it is really necessary to hire pros.

Taking the Old Roof Out

The first thing you need to prepare for when replacing your old roof is that it will burn a hole in your pocket. Depending on your roof’s height from the ground, size, material type, number of layers and steepness, it can cost $100 – $150 dollars to remove a single-layer one story roof per square while having the same height but double in layer could cost around $115 – $165 dollars per square. Having a triple layer could reach up to $125 – $175 dollars.

So basically the steeper the roof, the higher the cost. The kind of materials that need to be removed will also be taken into consideration. The least expensive to remove will be your asphalt shingles while wood, slate, and metal can cost more. Not to mention the debris that needs to be hauled away unless you plan to do it by yourself.

Is there any way this kind of cost can be avoided? Yes, if you simply put a new layer of roofing into the existing one and no longer replace the old roof. However, it comes with a disadvantage as this can violate the warranty of all your roofing materials. Additionally, you will have to know your city’s building code because it will tell you how many layers of roof you can have before replacing it. Thus, come one of the advantages of a professional roofer because they are familiar with these codes and can give you the proper advice that you need.

Choosing Your Materials

There’s a wide variety of roofing materials you can choose from. There are asphalt shingles that can go from $120 – $140 dollars per square, slate tiles from $125 – $145 per square, clay tiles at $170 – $260 per square, the wooden shakes that go from $150 – $350 per square, and the more expensive metal roofing that can go as high as 350 to over a thousand dollars per square.

Of course costs will vary depending on the kind of materials you choose the kind of labor needed for it to be installed. Know, however that more expensive materials are more durable and can save you more money in the long haul. Other costs must also be noted such as water damage that was evident upon removing your old roof, as you may have to replace the plywood decking beneath. Also, if you live in the northern area you may need to consider additional layers of ice protection.

Finally, make sure your roof has enough flashing so your vent pipes or chimneys will not be penetrated. This will require the help of the pros so scratch this out on your DIY list.

On Additional Expenses and Hidden Costs

With all these in mind, you can basically estimate the total cost of replacing your roof. Still, there are some hidden costs to consider such as the time you will have to put on this project. You need to be able to do this fast because leaving a half-finished roof at the element’s mercy can be dangerous. So you need to commit yourself to a good timetable and stick with it, no matter what.

Finally, the work has to be performed safely, something the seasoned pros are already known for. So if you plan to do it by yourself, make sure you have the right tools and your safety is your top priority.


Vasilie K. is a home design and home improvement contractor in Massachusetts. She is the owner of Major Home Improvements and she believes every home owner deserves the best services they could afford. Visit their website for more details!