A roof is an essential part of a house. Unfortunately, it also has the most exposure to the weather while having the least maintenance until it’s too late.
In the UK, re-roofing and repair costs in 2023 can be costly, and the best way to save money is to ensure you keep roof maintenance up to date.
The cost of repairing a roof varies depending on the job and roof type. But, it ranges from £300-£1,200, with an average of around £700.
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A roof consists of many different parts and includes:
- Timber rafters or trusses
- Lead flashing
- Waterproof breather membrane
- Fascias and soffits
- Tiles, slates or shingles
When these become damaged and allow water to enter the house, more severe damage occurs, resulting in potential structural and electrical failure caused by rot, condensation and running water.
Furthermore, breaks in the property’s integrity allow various pests such as birds, wasps and rodents to enter, which causes even more damage.
The solution is to regularly inspect your roof and its components and fix any damage as soon as possible. Additionally, to minimise damage, check before and after winter, and after severe wind, snow and rain storms.
This guide explains an average roof’s problems, the typical repair cost, how to choose the correct tradesperson, and what legislation to follow.
How Much Does Roof Repair Cost?*
An understanding of roof repair prices is essential for the homeowner. But, each house is different, and so are their roofs. Therefore, the following table is only a guide to the approximate expenditure.
In practice, always consult a qualified and experienced roofing contractor who will provide a quotation based on your circumstances.
|Repair||Price Range||Average Cost|
|uPVC Gutter Replacement||£25-£40/m||£30/m|
|Replace 1 to 3 Ridge Tiles||£200-£260||£230|
|Replace 1 to 3 Roof Tiles/Slates||£100-£230||£200|
|Repair/Replace Lead Flashing||£200-£300/m2||£250/m2|
|Replace Soffits & Fascias||£1,250-£2,300||£1,500|
|Repair/Replace Flat Roof||£50-£100/m2||Depends on material|
|Sagging Roof - Insufficient Support||£1,000-£2,500||£1,500|
|Sagging Roof – Waterlogged structure||£5,000-£15,000||£10,000|
|Repair a Valley||£300-£400||£350 each|
These roof repair prices include labour costs and depend on various factors we’ll consider later in this guide.
*Disclaimer: We sourced the prices in this guide in August 2022, which are subject to change.
Let’s look at each repair in more detail. But, before we start, we must warn against asbestos slates or corrugated roofing panels.
When damaged, they release asbestos fibres into the air, which are highly dangerous and cause lung problems. Only registered asbestos removal contractors can remove asbestos roofs, costing between £2,000-£3,500.
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Gutters are an integral part of a roof, and with downpipes divert rainwater from roof level to the ground to prevent it from damaging brick and pointing, windows and foundations.
Problems with guttering are probably the easiest to diagnose and fix. The channel can easily clog with debris, allowing rainwater to overflow into the loft space.
Alternatively, gutters and their fixings deteriorate with age and, depending on the material, can rust or sag, causing more problems.
Cleaning debris from the gutter channel costs about £60 while replacing faulty gutters costs around £30/m for uPVC or £65/m for metal.
Leaks occur if there are problems with roof tiles or flashing, particularly around the chimney and vent pipes coming through the roof.
Usually, the price depends on the leak’s severity and the difficulty of repairing or replacing the damaged part. But, expect to pay about £200 to fit new roof tiles or £250/m for lead flashing.
Chimneys, whose pointing hasn’t been maintained, often cause leaks where the rain soaks into the porous cement surface rather than running off.
Repointing costs around £300 for a bungalow’s chimney, while a house can cost up to £1,000.
Replace Ridge Tiles
Ridge tiles look like an upside-down V and cover the gap between two roof planes. Usually, we find ridge tiles at the highest point of a roof and on roof hips where two planes join.
Ridge tiles become dislodged during storms when their cement mortar loses its adhesion. Just renew the mortar if the dislodged tile is still in one piece. Otherwise, replace the tile.
Most roofing contractors can quickly repair or replace these using a roof ladder and a bucket of cement.
If you need to replace 3 or 4 ridge tiles, it will take about 3 hours and cost around £230. Replacing 3 to 10 tiles takes about 4 to 8 hours and costs about £400. Finally, replacing the entire roof’s ridge tiles takes 1 to 2 days and costs around £550.
When replacing ridge tiles, install one or two ridge vent tiles to increase the ventilation in the roofspace and reduce the amount of condensation.
Replace Roof Tiles/Slates
Roof tiles tend to move slightly and rub against other tiles when buffeted by the wind.
Therefore over time, they wear away or crack, allowing rainwater to seep onto the waterproof membrane beneath. If the membrane is old and brittle, water seeps through into the roof space.
The size and quality of the roof covering reflect its lifespan and price. For example, good quality slate is the most expensive and durable of roof coverings and can last much longer when compared to clay or concrete tiles.
Replacing up to 3 tiles or slates takes around 3-4 hours and costs around £100-£200.
Repair/Replace Lead Flashing
Flashing protects joints between two surfaces that move or flex independently. In our case, these are the roof and brickwork, preventing water from seeping through the gap.
Common materials include cement, bitumen and lead. But, cement and bitumen often crack and need replacing with lead as soon as possible.
Traditionally, installing lead flashing was a plumber’s job, who sealed the joints with lead solder. But nowadays, roofing contractors also work with lead and seal joints with caulking.
Chimney flashing repairs cost around £250/m2 and take 8-12 hours depending on the repair size.
Soffits and Fascias
Fascias and soffits are parts of a roof that few people notice, and even fewer people know their purpose.
- Fascias are vertical boards that run below the lowest course of roof tiles. They prevent wasps, birds, rain and wind from finding their way into the roofspace and provide somewhere to fix gutter brackets and clips.
- Soffits are boards placed horizontally between fascias and the house wall. Their job is to close the open space into the roof entirely.
Before uPVC became popular, fascias and soffits used to be made from painted wood. And the condition of the boards and paint needed continuous monitoring.
Nowadays, uPVC provides a surface requiring no painting that won’t warp or crack.
Generally, the costs of installing uPVC fascias and soffits range around £100/m. Or from £1,200 for a small/medium semi-detached property to £3,000 for a larger detached house.
While changing fascias, it’s worthwhile replacing gutters, too. So, you can use the scaffolding already there. uPVC gutters cost around £30/m.
Repair/Replace Flat Roof
Home extensions, garages, sheds and other outbuildings typically have flat roofs (actually, they have a slope of around 2-3⁰ to allow water flow).
Generally, they’re cheaper to repair and replace. But, they’re easier to damage than a pitched roof and often form standing water puddles that seep through surface cracks.
Flat roof replacement costs vary depending on the construction materials.
Bitumen impregnated felt is the cheapest and easiest to replace at £50/m2. In contrast, more expensive flat roof materials such as fibreglass cost around £100/m2. Generally, a typical flat roof costs £1,000-£2,000.
Sagging Roof – Insufficient Support
Unless your home is ancient, roofs don’t usually suffer from insufficient support as a modern roof is calculated to withstand the weight of its covering and the forces from the ambient weather conditions.
However, if your roof initially used a lightweight covering such as shingles or thatch, and you changed the covering to something more heavyweight such as concrete tiles, your roof structure will require upgrading.
Therefore, a structural engineer must calculate the structural strength necessary to support the new roof covering and specify the configuration.
In practice, an upgraded roof structure requires additional rafters or braces to transfer the extra weight to the supporting walls. Depending on its scale, the job costs £1,000-£2,500, plus the engineer’s fees, and takes up to a week to complete.
Sagging Roof – Waterlogged Structure
The wooden structure sometimes becomes waterlogged if the roof has continuous water exposure. In extreme circumstances, the roof’s weight causes the structural rafters to bend because of the excess moisture, causing sagging.
Repairing a situation like this can take many weeks due to the amount of water contained within the wood, costing £5,000-£15,000. If this is the case, consider replacing the damaged roof with a new one.
Repair a Valley
Roof valleys waterproof the internal joints between roof planes and guides the rainwater to the gutters. Generally, they’re made from lead to provide an impervious, flexible surface, but sometimes from plastic or fibreglass.
Valleys must be constructed according to good building practice as they handle vast amounts of water and must prevent extreme weather from blowing rainwater under the tiles.
However, the waterproof surface can crack, weather, and leak over time. Then, it needs replacing or repair.
Repairing one length of existing valley flashing costs £350 and takes at least 4 hours. However, repairing two valleys takes 8-10 hours and costs around £500.
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Roof Repair Price Factors & Considerations
The repair and replacement prices listed so far only incorporate the cost of materials and labour. However, we should also consider additional charges and the variable factors affecting these.
Always use scaffolding to provide a safe working platform when working on roofs. Scaffold costs are extra and depend on the height, length and number of drops (storeys).
On average, the cost to hire a single scaffold up to 10m high is around £500/day. But, ask a qualified scaffolding contractor for an estimate because factors such as access, roof configuration, working location, and ground slope will all affect the price.
Typically, to give access to one roof plane or a chimney will cost at least £800-£1,000.
2. Waste Skip
When removing broken tiles, you need a waste skip for removal from the site. Prices depend on the size required and your location in the UK. Typically, a mini-skip costs £80-£150 to rent, while the next size up goes from £220-£290.
Consult your local skip hire company for accurate prices, and remember that a parked skip on a public road will need a permit, road signs, and must comply with various regulations.
The skip hire company will usually handle these requirements and charge you accordingly.
3. Roof Size
Large roofs cost more to replace or repair.
You must also consider the property’s height and how far from the ground you’ll be working, as these govern the amount of scaffolding you require and their prices.
4. Roof Shape and Style
Several roof types and styles affect the cost of repair. The following list compares some different styles.
- Semi-detached, hip roof – £4,200-£4,800 taking 4 days
- Detached house, hip roof – £5,200-£5,800 taking 5 days
- Semidetached, 2-valley hip roof – £5,500-£6,300 taking 6 days
- Detached, 2-valley hip roof – £6,700-£7,300 taking 7 days
- Gable roof – £3,200-£3,800 taking 3 days
- Gable roof, 2-valley – £4,700-£5,300 taking 5 days
There are many roof coverings to choose from when replacing a roof.
However, if you intend to change from lightweight to heavyweight material, hire a structural engineer to calculate the load on the existing roof structure.
You might need to install additional rafters.
These are durable and popular. However, clay tiles are expensive and aren’t easy to install.
These tiles are versatile, durable and fire resistant. However, they’re heavyweight, easily broken and don’t withstand weather well.
This roof covering needs less maintenance and can last up to 50 years.
Slates look good and are durable. They’re fire and water-resistant. But, they cost more than other roof coverings.
These are very affordable but don’t last long and damage easily.
Furthermore, it’s doubtful that a council planning department will allow these for a residential building. Instead, they approve them for agricultural structures and outbuildings.
Cedar contains natural preservatives that withstand weathering and the effects of pests. They are naturally insulated and improve your home’s heat efficiency.
These are increasingly popular for sidings on external walls to protect and insulate.
Labour costs vary depending on where you live. In London, they can be £4-£8/hr more than in other parts of the country.
Summer is the busiest time for roofing contractors, increasing their prices accordingly.
However, if you have a small job that takes less than a day or two, you might be lucky and find a roofer who is “between jobs”.
Conversely, roofers will charge less in the winter. But, be prepared for downtime if the weather turns bad.
Signs That Your Roof Needs Repairing
Here are signs to look out for when visually inspecting your roof. Many issues are simple to repair if you catch them early enough. So, be vigilant.
Generally, a well-maintained roof can last for 20 years or so. So, if you haven’t done any work on yours during this time, get an inspection done to prevent potential damage from causing problems in the rest of the house.
Most times, you’ll first know about a roof problem when you have water dripping through a ceiling. This will likely start as a brown stain on the plasterboard, but if you do nothing, it’ll turn into a bubble.
Generally, marks on the ceiling won’t indicate where the water is coming in. Water travels for many metres along rafters, joists, loft-boarding, electrical cables and pipes before finding its way downstairs.
The best way to find where the water is entering is to:
- Feel for dampness along the rafters. Probably, you’ll find a hole in the roofing felt.
- Look where the roof joins a wall or chimney. If you find dampness, there’s usually an issue with the flashing.
- Dampness at the eaves implies that you have water from the guttering causing rotten wooden fascias. This might be blocked gutters or loose guttering joints.
Granules in the Gutters
Granules come from roofing felt as the membrane ages.
Although not always the case, it might be a sign that the roofing felt is old, brittle, and liable to crack. If so, remove all the tiles and battens and install a new waterproof membrane before replacing the tiles.
However, before removing tiles, get the advice of a professional.
If you have wooden facias and soffits, check the paintwork for cracks and the wood for rot. The gutter brackets fix to the facias, and this is usually where water enters the wood.
If the facia is rotten, consider replacing it with uPVC, which is maintenance-free.
Over time, gutter brackets break and cause sagging in the guttering. Notice where gutter joints work loose and leak during rain.
Often, you can quickly fix issues like these by adding a new bracket or screws.
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What to Ask Your Roofer
Before you think of saving money by doing the work yourself, roofing and associated work are hazardous. Usually, the jobs are a long way from the ground. You probably won’t have safety equipment and will be working from a ladder.
This is when you should play safe and call a professional. But, which professional?
Is the Company Local?
By choosing a local roofing company, you can call them if you need further assistance.
Unfortunately, many roofers cold call and are just passing through the area. These people vanish once the job is done and don’t provide after-sales service.
Professional Trade Associations?
If you can, use a member of one of the roofing trade associations. The associations promote industry best practices and ensure their members are qualified and insured.
Look out for:
- The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC)
- The Confederation of Roofing Contractors (CORC)
Both these organisations provide a search database to find a qualified member near you.
Are They Roofing Specialists?
Many roofing contractors specialise in specific aspects of the trade. For example, choose a company that specialises in flat roofs if you have one of those.
You will also find that some roofers specialise in heritage buildings such as churches and listed buildings. If your house is one of these, choose someone with the appropriate qualifications and experience.
What’s Their Customer Feedback?
Ask the contractor for references from previous customers. If they have nothing to hide, they’ll be happy to provide contact details once the customer approves.
Many good-quality roofers get their work through word of mouth, so don’t be put off if you only have happy customers to check out.
Some contractors keep a portfolio of photographs of previous projects. So, use these as a research tool.
How Professional Are They?
Good quality roofers provide a free consultation and quotation. So, if they charge for these, beware. They’ll also know enough to talk you through your various options and won’t pressurise you into making a decision.
Professionalism generally indicates that the contractor is reliable and trustworthy. If they arrive on time, return your phone calls and know what they’re doing, then it’s a good sign of a professional.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need Planning Permission or a Building Control?
Generally, if you intend to repair an existing roof or replace one like-for-like, you probably won’t need planning permission unless there’s evidence of protected species like bats.
However, if you intend to alter the structural layout of your roof, the materials won’t perform in the same way during a fire as the current roof.
Therefore, if you intend any of the following, contact the planning department:
- The roof projects are higher than 150 mm from the existing roof plane
- You want to change the roofing material
- Installing a roof light or dormer window, which requires structural changes
- Removing integral insulation
Planning permission costs around £230, but check with your local council for the precise amount.
For more information, contact an architect, structural engineer, or your planning department, or look on the planning portal before considering any building work.
If you are repairing or replacing less than 25% of the existing roof, you won’t need to have a building regulations inspection.
However, if your project is more significant than this, you must have building control approval.
How Long Do Roof Repairs Take?
Roof repairs can be as quick as 2-3 hours or take up to two weeks, depending on the scale and type of repair.
In this guide, we’ve included typical durations for various repair work. They’re well worth a read.
Get Local Quotes
Roof repairs are not for the DIY enthusiast but should be done by qualified and experienced professionals with relevant training for working at height.
Also, your project needs careful planning to prevent exposing your home to the elements for long periods.
Therefore, get some local roof repair estimates if you want everything to go smoothly and to complete the job on time and within budget.
Complete the form on this page, and we’ll send your details to qualified contractors. You’ll then receive up to four quotes from local roofers who know what they’re doing.
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