Tips for Preparing a Roof Replacement Budget

Preparing your finances before a roof replacement is a smart decision.

Sun, rain, wind, snow, moss, birds, critters. Your roof puts up with a lot of abuse and serves as one of the first lines of defense against the elements. Wear and tear eventually leads to the point where you start to find your roof doesn’t keep water out like it used to, or it doesn’t hold heat during winter, and it’s time to prepare a roof replacement budget. According to Remodeling Magazine, the national average cost of a total roof replacement can run between $19,000and $35,000 and the average cost versus value is about 63%. Although a roof replacement is expensive, it is a necessary part of your home’s structure and can last between 13 to 50 years.

Outlining roofing costs can help you budget and save

If your roof is between 15 or 20 years old, you may need to think about replacing it. The good news is that you can plan out your budget in advance so that when the bill comes due you won’t scramble. Many factors go into determining your budget. These include anything from the materials you choose, the damage involved, the size of your home, the pitch of your roof, and the estimated duration of your project. If you are skilled in roofing yourself, then you may feel confident doing partial roofing fixes yourself. Whole roof replacements are generally best left to the experts. Professionals can receive better pricing, have training for unusual roofing problems, know how to problem solve, and understand roofing safety. Professional roofing companies often offer a warranty on both the installation and the product, giving you additional piece of mind. When meeting with a roofer, be sure he or she walks the entire permitter of the home and discusses all aspects of the project. There may be issues with your roof that you haven’t noticed. Getting an accurate bid or quote is the best way to start your budget discussion.

Materials affect the roofing budget

Roofs can be made from a wide range of materials, from the more common asphalt shingle to wood shakes, plastic polymers, concrete, or clay, to name a few. Each type has its short-term and long-term costs. Asphalt shingles are cheaper to purchase, but need to be replaced more frequently than metal. However, the look you desire may also determine what you roof your house with. Roofing is often sold by either square-foot or 100-square-foot increments. Some of what you buy will end up as waste, so be sure to account for that in your budget. Your roofing job may also require roofing felt and, if you have a flat roof, bitumen. Flat roofs often have multiple layers of roofing materials, so be sure to account for how many layers you will need in addition to the square footage. Along with bringing in new materials, your contractor may also need to dispose of the old shingles, felt, plywood, or other waste created by the work. If a disposal service is required, then this will increase your costs.

Preparing for the unexpected

From the outset, you would like to imagine that the project will go smoothly. However, it is best to be ready in case something doesn’t go according to plan. Very often roofers find issues with areas of the home: gutters may need replacing, the plywood under the roof may need replacing. Before work begins, discuss with your roofer all the potential issues that may affect your budget. Delays pop up for one reason or another or you find extra work needs to be done. If you can absorb an extra 20% in additional expenses, you should be in good shape.

Making a commitment

Finding the right pro is as simple as researching each one you consider to find the right blend of budget and professionalism. The roofing contractor you settle on should be skilled in replacing the type of roof you have, be able to work within the budget you agree on, and help you stay on track. Staying committed to your budget through regular communication will ensure the project runs seamlessly without breaking the bank.

Financing your roofing project

Very often roofing companies will offer financing for your project. All aspects of this financing agreement should be carefully read through and understood prior to signing. This may be a good idea for homeowner in need of a roof but lacking cash to complete the project.


Anne Reagan

Anne Reagan

With a background in furniture and antiques, Anne has spent the last several years writing about home improvement and interior design. An avid traveler, she loves to collect pieces that tell a story and in her off hours she can be found hunting for vintage furniture and textiles.



I have been looking at an old house in Braddock, PA. We got to visit the home and it was full of the cool things I love about old homes like pocket doors, amazing woodwork, hardwood floors and a trap door to the basement through a living room closet. BUT there are definitely issues like the whole roof, new electrical wiring. The great thing is it is gigantic but we could get it from 25-50K. When is a good time to let go of the dream?

Anne Reagan

Thanks, Aldrea, for your comment! Buying a home can be an overwhelming process, especially when you think that this home will require major work (and lots of money). It sounds like this is the perfect time to gather as much information as possible about what work will need to be done (such as the roof replacement, electrical) and what work you’d like to get done (such as new paint, new appliances). Some homeowners find that getting a consultation from a licensed professional (like a contractor) prior to buying the home will help you make a more informed decision. Have the contractor walk through the home and point out issues as well as their approximate costs. Even a ballpark figure will help you know if you are buying a bargain or a money pit. Good luck and we hope that you use Porch to find your next home improvement professional!

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