What Does a New Roof Cost?

One of the biggest expenses homeowners face is replacing their roof. A roof is not only a functional part of your home, but also a visual one. It can make or break the appearance and value of your property. How do you know when it’s time to get a new roof? And more importantly, how much will it cost you?

There are many signs that indicate it’s time to contact a roofing contractor, such as:

  • Missing, curling, or cracked shingles
  • Sagging or uneven roof deck
  • Leaks, stains, or mold in your ceiling
  • Granules in your gutters or yard
  • Increased energy bills due to poor insulation

If you notice any of these signs, you should contact a professional roofer as soon as possible to inspect your roof and give you an estimate. However, before you do that, you should have a basic idea of what range of prices you can expect to pay.

To give you a general idea, the average cost of a new roof in the United States is in the range of $9,000. Of course, this is just a rough estimate based on a typical 2,000 square foot roof with asphalt shingles, which are the most common and affordable roofing material. Depending on what type of roof you want, you may pay more or less than this figure.

In this post, we are going to talk about all the factors that will affect your roof cost, like roof material, your location, labor cost, and more, so you can make a smart decision that fits your needs and budget.

Photo of a worker walking on roof

Replacing an Old Roof: How Much Does it Cost in Indianapolis?

The average cost of a roof replacement in Indiana ranges from $6,000 to $20,000, depending on the following factors:

The size and shape of your roof

The size of your roof is measured by the square footage or by the “square”, which is a unit of 100 square feet. The larger your roof is, the more materials and labor you will need to replace it, and therefore the more expensive it will be. For example, if your roof is 2,000 square feet, you will need 20 squares of roofing materials.

The shape of your roof – which depends on the design and layout of your house – is another factor, as it can add a layer of complexity to the roof installation process. A simple roof shape is one that has a single ridge line and two or four slopes or planes.

A complex one has multiple ridge lines and slopes or planes, as well as features such as valleys, hips, or gables. This kind of roof shape obviously requires more cutting, fitting, flashing, and sealing than a simple one, and therefore more labor and time. The cost of labor for a roof replacement depends on the skill level, experience, reputation, availability, and demand of the roofing contractor that you hire, but generally ranges from $200 to $550 per square.

The type of roofing materials

Different materials have different prices, so let’s break it down:

  • Asphalt shingles: These are usually the cheapest option, costing between $2.50 and $5 per square foot, but they also have a shorter lifespan (15 to 30 years) and require more repairs than other materials. 
  • Laminate shingles: Also known as dimensional or architectural shingles, these are made of two or more layers of asphalt and fiberglass that are bonded together to create a thicker and more textured shingle. Since these are more durable than asphalt shingles, they cost a bit more at $4.50 to $7 per square foot.
  • Metal: It is a durable and energy-efficient option that can last for 40 to 70 years. Depending on which metal you choose – steel, aluminum, copper, or zinc – the cost ranges from $8 to $16 per square foot.
  • Slate: Slate roofing is a natural, elegant option that can last for over 100 years, and this is reflected in the price. It can cost anywhere from $10 to $30 per square foot.
  • Tile: Another highly durable option, tile roofing can last for 50 to 100 years. It can be made of clay, concrete, or composite, and ranges from $8 to $25 per square foot.
  • Wood shingles or shakes: If you are looking for something rustic, you can go with wood shingles or shakes. Depending on the type of wood (cedar, redwood, or pine), it will cost you between $7 and $16 per square foot.
Photo of Types of Roofing Material

The slope and pitch of your roof

The slope and pitch of your roof refer to how steep or flat the roof is. The slope is the angle of the roof measured from the horizontal, while the pitch is the ratio of the rise (vertical height) over the run (horizontal length) of the roof. For example, a 6/12 roof pitch means that the roof rises 6 feet for every 12 feet of horizontal length (roof run).

The steeper and higher your roof is, the more difficult and dangerous it is to work on it. You can expect to pay more for labor and installation costs if you have a steep or high-pitched roof than if you have a low-sloped or flat roof. Some roofing contractors charge extra for special equipment, safety measures, or insurance coverage that are required for working on these types of roofs.

Also, some materials are not suitable for certain slopes or pitches, as they may not provide adequate drainage, ventilation, or protection from the elements. For instance, asphalt shingles are not recommended for roofs with a slope lower than 2/12, as they may not shed water properly and may cause leaks or mold. On the other hand, metal roofing is not recommended for roofs with a slope higher than 9/12, as they may be too slippery and dangerous to walk on.

Therefore, you may have to choose a different roofing material or modify your roof structure to accommodate your preferred material. In Indianapolis, the labor and installation costs for a roof replacement range from $1.50 to $3 per square foot – but these costs may increase by 10% to 25% if you have a steep or high-pitched roof.

The location of your home

If you live in a city like Indianapolis that is prone to snowfall, rain, wind, hailstorms, and extreme temperatures, you need to choose roofing material that can withstand these conditions, such as metal or slate. These are more durable and resistant to snow, ice, and water damage than asphalt shingles, but they are also more expensive and scarce in the local market. 

You may also need to pay more for permits and fees required by your local building codes and regulations. Plus, if you live in a remote or rural area that is far from the nearest roofing contractor or supplier, you may have to pay extra for transportation and delivery costs.

The labor and installation costs

As we mentioned earlier, the average cost of labor for installing a new roof (or replacing an old one) is between $1.50 and $3 per square foot. These costs rely heavily on the skill level, experience, and reputation of the roofing contractor you hire.

They also depend on the complexity and duration of the project, as well as any additional services or features that you request. If you want to add skylights, vents, gutters, insulation, flashing, or other accessories to your new roof, you will have to pay extra for their installation.

Addition of new features

If you want to add some bells and whistles to your new roof to enhance its appearance and functionality, it will increase the cost as well. In Indiana, some of the most common features homeowners ask for are:

  • Skylight: $900 to $2,500, depending on the size, type, and quality
  • Solar panels: $200 to $350 per panel
  • Chimney: $3,500 to $4,000 for a new chimney installation (replacement may cost more)
  • Dormer: $3,000 to $25,000
  • Gutters: $800 to $6,000, depending on the size of your roof

The condition of your old roof

If your old roof was rotting, sagging, or leaking, it may not be enough to simply replace the shingles. You may also need to fix or replace the underlying structure of your roof, including the rafters, decking, and insulation. This will add to the material and labor costs of your project, as well as the duration of the work.

Also, if the old roof has more than one layer of shingles, you may need to remove them all before installing the new roof. This can increase the difficulty involved in the tear-off process, as well as the disposal fees for the old shingles. Some local codes and regulations may also limit the number of layers of shingles that you can have on your roof, so you may not have a choice but to remove them all. Removing multiple layers of shingles can also reveal hidden damage that may require additional repairs.

Other Factors to Keep in Mind

In addition to the factors discussed above, there are some additional considerations you have to think about when determining the cost of your roofing project:

Roofing permits and inspections

Before you start your roof replacement, you will likely need to get permits from your local government. These permits are to make sure the work meets all the relevant safety standards and building codes. These permits can cost a few hundred dollars. You may also need to schedule inspections (usually $100 to $400 per inspection) throughout the construction process to ensure everything is going smoothly and up to code.

Roof deck repairs

Sometimes, the wood underneath your old roof (i.e., the roof deck) may need repairs or even a full replacement. If the deck is damaged or weakened, it won’t provide a solid foundation for your new roof. If you want your new roof to last a long time, you must address any issues with the deck before any work begins. A complete replacement can cost anywhere from $25 to $50 per square foot.

Jackson Contracting Rooftops

Underlayment, flashing, and ventilation

There is more to a roof than just the visible shingles or tiles. To keep your new roof watertight and well-ventilated, there are additional components you will need to consider. Underlayment ($0.75 to $4.00 per square foot) is a protective layer that goes beneath the shingles or tiles. Flashing ($200 to $500 per project area) helps to seal off areas like chimneys or vents to prevent leaks. Roof vents ($200 to $700 per vent) keep your attic cool and reduce moisture buildup. All these play a vital role in the longevity of your roof, so they are worth investing in.

Removal of old roofing materials

When replacing your roof, the old materials need to come off. This means removing and disposing of the old shingles, tiles, or whatever was up there before. It is not the most glamorous part of the process, but it’s necessary. This cost ranges from $1 to $5 per square foot, or $2,000 to $10,000 for a 2,000 square foot roof, depending on the size of the roof and your local disposal fees.

DIY vs Professional Roof Replacement Services

Taking on the responsibility of removing the old roof and installing the new one by yourself may seem appealing if you want to save money on labor costs. The important question you need to ask yourself is: will it be worth the risk? Sure, you will only need to pay for the roofing materials and tools, but:

  • You may make mistakes (with installation or ventilation) that can compromise the quality and safety of your roof.
  • You may injure yourself or damage your property while working on your roof.
  • You may void the warranty or insurance coverage of your roofing materials or your home, as most manufacturers and insurance providers require professional installation
  • You may actually end up spending more money on materials because you probably don’t have access to bulk discounts or special equipment that professional roofers have.

Rather than take these risks, you can hire a licensed and insured roofing contractor to handle the entire process of replacing your roof, from removing the old one to installing the new one. You won’t have to do any work or research by yourself, saving you an enormous amount of time. You will also benefit from the expertise and experience of professional roofers, who can provide you with accurate estimates, high-quality materials, and reliable warranties.

Professional roofers not only have the necessary skills, but all the tools they need to work on your roof. Roofing nail guns, hammer tacker stapler, roofing hatchets, air compressor, shingle cutters, tear-off tools, ladders, scaffoldings, safety equipment – all this equipment costs thousands of dollars. The other good news is you won’t have to buy any of it; your roofer already has it. Plus, they know how to adhere to the local building codes.

Replacing a roof is one of the most significant home improvement projects you will ever invest in, so why not leave it to people who know what they are doing and will do it right?

Get Expert Guidance and a Free Estimate from Jackson Contracting

If you want to get a more accurate and personalized estimate for your roofing project in Indianapolis, IN, feel free to reach out to us. At Jackson Contracting, Inc., we have been serving the Indianapolis community since 1986 with high-quality roofing installations, replacements and repairs. We not only offer top-of-the-line materials, but also warranties from GAF, the leading manufacturer of roofing products in North America.

You can call us at 317-214-8124 or fill out this online form to schedule a FREE, on-site consultation. We will visit your home, inspect your roof, check out its current condition, and let you know how much your new roof will cost. No strings attached.