Average Shingle Roof Cost Calculations
The average 2,000 square foot single story home will range from $9,000 to $11,000 or more depending on the type of shingle used. Additional factors that could lead to higher cost are how steep your roof's pitch is and the amount of dormers that have to be worked around.
Generally speaking, roof cost will be different between manufacturer type and grade of shingle. For example, architectural shingles are twice to three times as thick and will cost more than standard asphalt shingles, while GAF shingles will generally be more expensive than IKO shingles, with warranty coverage matching price. As a general rule of thumb, the more upfront investment in a roofing material, the longer the manufacturer warranty, with GAF offering up to a 50 year warranty for installations.
Gathering Measurements for Your Roof
If you are choosing to do a rough estimate of the cost of your roof replacement without calling a professional to estimate the cost for you, then you will have to learn how to measure square footage of your roof, as all labor and material cost is going to be based on the total amount of area to work with. This is standard practice across all roofing companies, as most of the time the actual price for replacement is systematized with the actual space of the area.
1. Getting a Rough Estimate of the Size of Your Roof
Your home buying documentation should have the exact size of your roof inside, however if you do not have this information, or another document that details the exact size of your roof (such as a prior estimate), then you're going to have to make the estimate yourself (if you aren't going to call a professional yet). While it may seem intimidating, the process isn't that difficult: you'll have to know the overall square footage of the ground floor, as well as the pitch (steepness) of your roof. If the roof has varying pitch sizes (for example, different roof sections with different heights) then each area with a different pitch will have to be separately measured and added all together in order to find the total roofing area.
2. Figure out the Overall Area of the Roof
The safest practice to start with is to measure the area of each section of your home, rather than trying to use a tape measure up on the roof. What you'll need to figure out is the length and width of each section of your house. It's generally going to be best practice to measure using landscaping tape and to go one section at a time, marking down the measurements as you go. Multiply the length and width together, which will give you the overall area of the roof. Then, divide that area by 100 in order to get the area in squares, rather than in square feet (squares are the industry norm for measurement in the roofing industry).
For example, if you have a home that is 50 feet by 30 feet in one section, with another section that is 20 feet times 10 feet, the 50x30 feet area would be 1,500 and the 20x10 area would be 200, giving you an overall area of 1,700 (1,500 + 200), which gives you 17 Squares (1,700/100).
3. Make the Calculations for Your Roof Pitch
A roof's pitch is it's slope. Lower pitch generally means an easier install, which means a lower price. Low pitches rise three inches every foot of roof length, while medium pitches rise 6 inches every foot and high pitches rise a foot for every foot of roofing.
In order to properly calculate the total pitch of your roof, you're going to need a ladder, a tape measure and a level. What you're going to want to do is measure up the roofline by one foot. Make sure to set the edge of your level at that spot (one foot up). With the level in place, tip it so that it's completely level from the spot you measured to out over the edge of the roof. From the end of the level, measure downwards to the bottom edge (so that your measurement goes to the bottom of the roof.
Whatever the total vertical distance is, is the overall pitch of your roof.
So to recap: the level should be one foot in total length or more. Use your measure to measure up your roof from the base (where the gutter is) up 12 inches.
Place the level at the 12 inch mark, outwards at a ninety degree angle. Measure downwards from the level to the roof baseline and you'll have the pitch. 3 Inches is considered a low pitch, about 6 inches a medium pitch and 12 inches a high pitch.
4. Find out the Area of Your Roof
Now that you have both the pitch and the ground area, you can get the actual area of your roof. If your roof has a small pitch, multiply the ground level by 1.06. Write the number down and multiply by 1.08 and write that number down. This is going to be your 'short pitch range.' Repeat the same procedure if you have a medium or high pitch, except do it with 1.12 to 1.25 on a medium pitch and 1.3 and 1.42 for a high pitch.
So for example, if our 1,700 square foot home has a small pitch, we're going to multiply by 1.06 to get 1,802 and by 1.08 to get 1,836. Convert that number into squares by dividing by 100.
Step 5: Calculating the Cost All Together
A roof estimate is going to include dumping costs (waste removal), labor costs (installation) and material costs, while permit costs will usually be an additional fee based on whatever the local city government charges for building permits (if any, as some local governments do not require building permits for roofing).
However, generally all of this is going to be included in a generic "squares" price by each roofing contractor who gives you an estimate, rather than by being line item by line item on materials, labor cost and waste removal. The only 'additional' charge item is generally going to be either an extended warranty or the building permit, both of which are typically what the manufacturer (warranty) or city (permit) charges.
Using our above example to calculate the average price of a shingle roof, if our total roof square footage with area and pitch calculated was 1,802 to 1,836, that means that our total squares are going to be 18 to 19 (always round all the way to the next number, as this is typically what a roofing company will do).
Now that you have the 18 to 19 square value, you can expect that the average roof per square cost is going to be between 450 to 550, and in some cases, 650 depending on material grade of the shingle and the amount of features you home has. The reason roofing companies will round up, unless the number is extremely close is that there is almost always material waste of an additional half square or more depending on the roof's complexity. This is an entirely normal practice.
*Note, the exact point where a roof contractor will round up depends on roof complexity. Sometimes it could be no rounding at all, sometimes a whole extra square, it all depends on how complex the architecture of the roof is going to be. This practice is in place to prevent surprise upcharges after the job has begun.
So your first estimate price would be: 18x450 = $8,100 , while your second price, 19x450 is $8,550.
Then add on an additional estimate price at 18x550 = $9,900 and 19x450 = $10,450. If you wish, you can also calculate in the $650 per square price. You now have a basic estimate on how much your roof will cost.
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