No matter how much money we have, everyone likes a bargain basement purchase. However, when we need a new roof, we should never choose the cheapest.
The roof is a vitally important protection, not only for the house itself but also for our belongings and ourselves. That’s why when we need a new roof we should pay a qualified and experienced roofing contractor to build one for us.
Obviously, the price to install a new roof will vary depending on style, size and materials. But, the average cost to replace the roof of a typical British house will vary from about £6,000 to £10,000.
Don’t forget, the roofer’s estimate will be for materials and labour. Sometimes, the contractor can remove tiles or slates without damaging them but it’s very unlikely that they’ll all remain intact. In fact, the slates or tiles might need replacing anyway. You’ll also have to pay out for things like scaffolding, new roof tiles, waterproof barriers and insulation.
If there’s something wrong with the structural parts of the roof, the project will take far longer and be more expensive as roof timbers will be replaced.
How to breakdown new roof estimates
In the last section, we assumed the new roof was for the house. This might not always be so. For example, you might have problems with the garage, shed, conservatory or greenhouse roof instead. So, you can see that every roof is unique. They use different materials, have varying heights, areas, pitches and access problems. For this reason, you won’t find a roofer who’ll give you a rough estimate over the phone. The price depends on all these factors and more.
By far, the commonest roofing jobs involve installing a new garage roof or repairing tiles on an existing house. Out of these two, there won’t be any prizes for guessing that the cost to re-roof a house will be much more than re-roofing a garage.
Shall we look at how a roofer sets out a typical roofing quote? Because there are so many different operations involved, each task will be specified along with its estimated price.
Roofers include scaffolding hire, new tiles, battens, roofing membrane, fascia and soffits. The best way to itemise each one is to estimate the area of the roof coverings in square metres (m2) and in linear metres (m) for fascia, batten and soffit.
The following table shows a breakdown of typical roofing tasks, including slate roofs and their average estimated cost.
||Average Price range||Usual quote|
|Fitting roof vent||£250 to £500||£250|
|Clean out gutters||£40 to £80||£50|
|Replace 1 ridge tile||£80 to £120||£100|
|Replace 6 ridge tiles||£150 to £260||£180|
|Fix up to 6 leaking roof tiles||£100 to £200||£150|
|Flash a chimney with lead||£300 to £500||£350|
|Install garage flat roof||£850 to £1,200||£950|
|Install 3m x 3m flat roof on conservatory||£850 to £1,200||£1,100|
|Replace fascias and soffits with uPVC on a 3-bed semi-detached bungalow||£1,300 to £2,300||£2,000|
|Renovating 2-bed bungalow tiled roof||£3,900 to £6,000||£4,500|
|Renovating 3-bed semi-detached house tiled roof||£4,600 to £7,100||£5,500|
|Renovating 4 bed detached house tiled roof||££5,500 to £8,900||£6,700|
|Renovating 2-bed bungalow slate roof||£4,000 to £6,000||£5,000|
|Renovating 3-bed semi-detached house slate roof||£5,000 to £8,000||£6,500|
|Renovating 4 bed detached house slate roof||£6,500 to £12,000||£8,500|
Typical rates for installing a new roof covering per square metre are as follows.
|Type of roof||Material cost £/m2||Labour £/m2|
|Welsh blue slate||£66||£90|
|Welsh blue ridge tiles||£28||£42|
|Concrete roof tiles||£13||£24|
|Concrete ridge tiles||£13||£22|
|Clay roof tiles||£18||£30|
|Clay ridge tiles||£16||£26|
Remember that all prices are estimates and don’t include VAT. You must also be aware that prices in London and the South East will be higher than elsewhere in the country.
Considerations for your roofing job
Roofers don’t only fit slates and tiles. New roof projects and repairs need other skills too. Typical jobs include:
- Replacing Rafters. Deteriorating rafters, ridge boards and other structural timbers often cause sagging roofs.
- Repointing. Chimneys often need mortar repointing, as do ridge tiles.
- Waste disposal. Renovating a roof produces a large amount of waste. You’ll need at least one large waste skip.
- Roofline replacement is an eaves protection system designed to divert rainwater into the guttering without causing damp problems to structural timber.
- Rainwater gutters. Over time, plastic guttering becomes brittle and cracks appear causing rainwater to leak into unwanted places. Replace these whenever needed.
- Fascia and soffits protect the eaves and roofspace from wind and animal pests. Replace old wooden boards with modern uPVC.
- Additional loft insulation is essential to save energy and money on your heating bills. The Building Regulations state that loft insulation in a new roof should be at least 270mm thick and have good thermal properties. Although the Regulations aren’t retrospective, if you renovate your roof and replace more than 50% of the covering, you must increase the insulation thickness.
How long does roof replacement work take?
The answer to this question, is similar to ‘how long is a piece of string?’. The true answer is that it depends on what needs to be done and the style and size of your roof.
However, that isn’t any real help to us here. So, if we show an example you’ll get an idea of timescales.
A roofer will need about 3 or 4 days to remove and replace medium-sized concrete tiles on a 3 bedroom detached house with a simple pitched roof. You’ll also need extra time, depending on what has to be done and how extensive the work becomes. Suggested extras include:
- Repairing or replacing rafters
- Adding breathable membrane
- Working with a hip and valley roof
- Lead flashing around a chimney
- Replacing guttering, fascia and soffits
- Adding to insulation cover
You’ll also have to include the time necessary for erecting and dismantling access scaffolding.
In fact, as stated earlier, every roof is different and you’ll only know the cost and duration if you choose a reliable and experienced roofing contractor to look at the job. Among other information, your quotation will state the approximate duration of the project. But, if you want the work finished sooner, expect a higher price and more roofers on the job.
What are the signs that your roof should be replaced?
It’s not always obvious when a roof needs replacing, and if you’re not careful, a small repair job can easily turn into a very expensive replacement. Because of this, it’s always worthwhile checking your roof regularly for signs of damage, especially after extreme weather.
The commonest telltale signs to look out for
Look for damp patches in bedroom ceilings. Even watermarks and mould growth can point to a potential leak. Remember, poor ventilation causes damp and mould too, but always assume the worst-case until it’s proved otherwise.
Moss and mould
Sometimes moss grows on top of the tiles and forces them apart. This produces a gap that lets in wind and rain. Look for tiles showing signs of moss and mould and deal with them as soon as you can.
Seeing light through your roof
Every now and again, climb into your loft and turn out the lights. Look for any signs of daylight coming through any gaps, cracks or holes. Check outside at these locations to see if any damage is visible.
Loose, damaged or missing tiles
Check your roof for anywhere that no longer has full tile coverage. Replace as necessary. If you have more than 5 or 6 damaged tiles then it’s probably a good idea to replace the entire roof.
Most roofs have objects poking through such as chimneys, ventilation ducts, and soil vent pipes. Flashing prevents the ingress of rainwater through the gaps between the objects and the roof. Over time flashing deteriorates and allows water through. Look for obvious damage outside and damp patches inside.
Full and overflowing gutters
Debris from your roof and nearby trees often accumulate in gutters. A small amount is normal and no cause for alarm. But, if you see pieces of tile or substantial amounts of sand, expect to find damaged tiles that need replacing. Leaves and twigs may cause blockages in your gutters, causing them to overflow into the eaves. The water will seep through fascia boards, joists and onto bedroom ceilings.
Faulty ridge tiles
At the top of the roof where two roof areas intersect, ridge tiles protect the gap ensuring no water can gain access. Sometimes, the mortar sealing the tiles will crumble causing holes and loose ridge tiles. Fix both of these urgently.
Not so common signs
The top of the roof should be a horizontal straight line. However, if the ridge curves, sags in the middle or looks odd in any way, it can be a sign of structural problems. Water exposure, faulty roofing materials and poor installation methods cause roof sagging. Therefore, get this fixed right away or your roof might collapse.
No matter how well a roof is installed, eventually, even the best roofing materials deteriorate to a point where they stop doing their jobs. Before this happens, completely replace the roof.
Rotting roofing underlay
The tiles keep the water out with the assistance of a waterproof membrane. Over time, the membrane deteriorates, cracks form, becomes torn and ends up permeable to water. If your roof is more than ten years old, you probably have bituminous roofing felt covering the rafters and below the tiles. You must regularly check its condition from inside the loft space.
Benefits of Re-roofing
Re-roofing your home is an investment for the future that will repay itself many times over. Yes, any roofing job costs money, but if you sort out the common problems, properly maintain the roof and re-roof when needed, you’ll have a safe and attractive home.
- Let’s assume that a new roof costs about £10,000, shall we? Well, that’s money well spent because it’ll probably increase the value of your home by at least that amount. Just ensure you have all the correct certificates issued by the roofing company and you can assure the purchaser that the roof has many years of a problem-free life.
- A new roof revitalises your home and gives it a new lease of life. Choose the roof covering wisely and your home will blend into the neighbourhood seamlessly.
- A big advantage of having a new roof is being able to take advantage of new roofing technology. Specifically, new technology provides energy-efficient materials and insulation. Furthermore, if you want to save money on your utility bills, install new photovoltaic solar panels.
I hope this article has shown you the advantages of having a new roof. You must learn to maintain your roof just like any other part of your home. Yes, it’s more difficult to climb up there and inspect the condition, but there are many signs you can look out for that will warn of upcoming repairs.
Even when the time comes to have a new roof, the large cost involved will almost certainly give a return on your investment when you decide to sell. In the meantime, your new roof will protect you, your family and your property from the ravages of extreme weather.