Replacing your roof can be a confusing process. Especially if your insurance company is involved. You need to handle several tasks to get a new roof, such as:get bids from 2-3 contractors, consider the lifespan and aesthetics you want, figure out your budget, and then choose the contractor you want to go with. Let’s take a simple approach and look at the most popular choice, asphalt shingles, and the cost for a roof on a 1700 square foot house. That’s about the average size of a house in Florida.
Your home’s roof is one of only two major components that are both essential and that you expect to need replacement at some point. The basic structure, for comparison, can be fine for many decades, as can windows and doors. The electrical and plumbing systems can keep on going without much updating for years, as well. Only the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system is comparable. Those components will all typically need updating after 10-20 years of service. But your roof, as part of the main structure of the home, receives the most abuse from the elements, and it’s crucial that your roof can do its job.
For that reason, we use only established, high-quality products from top manufacturers. You can count on GAF and CertainTeed for their shingles and other products, so we’ll look at the most popular architectural shingles from those two manufacturers.
Total Cost of Materials and Labor
CertainTeed’s top seller is called the Landmark Series and it’s a good shingle. You get a limited lifetime warranty and 10 years of algae protection that’s provided by copper-infused granules on the surface. Algae is what typically causes that unsightly black streaking on roof shingles, though people often blame mold and mildew. Copper has natural anti-algae properties, so can put the kibosh on algae growing on your new roof for a period of time. As far as aesthetics, CertainTeed doesn’t offer as many colors of the Landmark as GAF does with their top shingle, so take a look at both sites and see what you prefer.
GAF’s top seller is the Timberline Series, which is the best-selling shingle in North America, according to GAF. This series offers more options and colors than the Landmark Series. You can get up to a limited lifetime warranty, and some have a 25-year algae warranty.
These shingles will be pretty close to the same cost, in most cases. Your roofer will provide an estimate priced by the “square,” which means 100 square feet of roof surface. You’ll see shingles labeled that way, too. Across the country, the average cost of architectural shingles installed is $320–340 per square. The least-expensive three-tab shingles are going for about $260 per square, for comparison.
For a 1,700-square foot home with a typical 4:12 roof pitch, your contractor will probably specify 17 squares + 1 extra to be sure not to run out. So 18 squares comes out to $5760–$6120 for these very good quality shingles installed.
Is Tear Off Required?
You might need more work performed, though. Tearing off the old shingles is not always required, but it’s preferable. It’s possible to re-roof over your existing asphalt shingles one time, but your contractor will have to examine your existing roof and determine if the Florida building code requires removal and replacement. It your home already has a re-roofing job, then it all has to come off. That typically costs a bit more. Tearing off one layer will be around $60 per square, while tearing off two layers will be closer to $80 per square. That gives you a range of $1080–1440 on this example house for tear off.
A full tear off is so much better overall, though, for quite a few reasons. First, adding another layer of shingles increases the overall load on the home’s framing. That may not be a real problem, but it’s not positive. Second, tearing off the old shingles allows the crew to assess the condition of the roof decking. If there is existing rot, for example, they won’t see and repair it if you do a re-roof. Third, if there are existing leaks, they will probably continue even with another layer of shingles on top. Fourth, two layers of shingles will have double the mass of material that is heating up in the sun every day, which means more heat will be radiating into the attic space. And fifth, and most importantly, re-roofing will void the manufacturer’s warranty on the shingles.
Other Costs to Consider
Other costs you might be faced with include any repairs needed, as we mentioned above regarding the decking. But there’s more than just the roof decking. Facia boards should be kept in good repair, so they are solid and look good. Cost for those will be material by the foot to match the existing facia. If your roof has valleys, they should be replaced. That’s about $20 per lineal foot. Skylights and other substantial penetrations will probably require new flashing, with the price dependent on the size.
Solar panels are another matter. Your contractor will most likely have to work with a solar installer to remove the panels before the new roof can go on. When the panels are off, your contractor can install the new roof, and then the panels can go back on. Solar panels should last more than 30 years, and an asphalt shingle roof of good quality should last 20–25 years, so you can see a mismatch in timing here. But that’s the way it is.
Here’s a handy site for starting your research and getting an idea of material costs.
So What’s the Cost for A Roof On A 1700 Square-Foot House?
So for this house, you’re looking at $5,760–$6,120 for the new shingles installed, plus $1,080–1,440 for the tear off, and $400 for the dumpster. That gives you a rough estimate of $7,240–7,960.
This is a rough estimate, of course, but it can get you started. If there’s no major damage to repair we find quite a few standard gable-roof and hip-roof homes to be straightforward for bidding and for doing the work. We’re not building a nuclear reactor here.
As for getting the work done, choosing a contractor certified by the shingle manufacturer is always reliable. You can also tap your network of friends and family, and also pay attention to the companies doing work in your neighborhood. Check out their work and their crews with your own eyes. Finally, a contractor’s web site will tell you a lot. Do they have testimonials from real customers? Reputable contractors have satisfied customers and know the value of testimonials.
We’re Here When You Need Us
If you’d like to talk about replacing your roof, give us a call at 813-373-9088. Our team has more than 40 years of experience in roofing. You can also use this form and ask us, “What’s the cost for a roof on a 1700 square foot house?” and we will contact you.