• Brad Rigney

How Much Does A New Roof Cost?

What is the Purpose of this Article?

One of the most common questions that Louisville Roofing Contractors hear is “How Much Does A New Roof Cost”. It’s perfectly understandable. Most people know that residential roofing is expensive but they have no idea of the exact cost. While I cannot provide you with exact pricing (without seeing your home), I can give you price ranges that can be applied to your particular roofing project. The price ranges discussed below are based on my experience as a Roofing Contractor in Louisville, KY.

There are two types of roof installations: Roof Replacements and New Construction Roofing (Roof Installation). The cost to replace a roof is more than likely why you are reading this article. For this reason, we will discuss pricing for roof replacements only. Detailed information on installation methods and roofing materials will not be provided in this article. However, if you wish to learn about roof replacements in greater detail please download a PDF copy of our “Homeowner’s Guide to Roof Replacements” by clicking here.

For the purpose of this article, a roof replacement will include removal of the home’s existing roof and installation of a limited lifetime warranty, architectural style, asphalt shingle (ex. Owens Corning TruDef Duration Shingles). I never, under any circumstance, recommend roof overlays (installing new shingles on top of existing shingles). For the following reasons, pricing for roof overlay projects will not be provided in this article:

  • Most roofing companies in Louisville, KY offer no workmanship warranty for roof overlay projects. The reasons for this are listed below.

  • Roof overlays do not allow roofers to evaluate the roof sheathing underneath the existing shingles. Therefore rotted, cracked or otherwise damaged roof sheathing would not be replaced. This could lead to a weakened roof deck and nails that are not properly fastened to the roof sheathing.

  • Shingles installed directly onto an existing layer of shingles will not last as long as those installed onto a clean roof deck. The second layer of shingles will essentially “cook the new roof from the inside out”. This will reduce the life expectancy of the new roof.

What Should a Professional Roof Replacement Estimate Include?

To determine the cost of a new roof we must first look at how the new roof will be installed. A professional roofer’s estimate (for a roof replacement) should include the following:

  • Tear off of all existing shingles, underlayment and roof accessories (including flashing at all chimneys and exterior walls).

  • Replacement of all rotted, cracked or otherwise damaged roof sheathing. Wood replacement will not be included in your roof replacement estimate. Wood replacement is charged, in addition to the contract amount, by the linear foot for dimensional lumber (ex. 1” x 8” boards) or by the sheet for plywood (ex. 7/16” OSB Sheathing).

  • Installation of underlayment, such as traditional felt paper or synthetic felt paper, to dry in the roof deck.

  • Installation of ice guard to protect your home from leaks caused by ice damming. I suggest, at a minimum, installing ice guard in all valleys, around the base of all chimneys and at the base of all exterior walls.

  • Installation of aluminum drip edge. I recommend using a 1-½” face drip edge to ensure the backside of all gutters are covered. 1” drip edge will often leave a gap between the bottom of the drip edge and the backside of the gutter. This can allow water to get behind the gutter and fascia metal (rotting out fascia boards, wood soffits, etc.).

  • Installation of starter course shingles. I always recommend using starter course shingles made by the same shingle manufacturer of the architectural style shingles used. For example, Owens Corning Starter Strip Shingles or Starter Shingle Roll should be used for Owens Corning TruDef Duration shingles.

  • Installation of field shingles chosen by the customer. I suggest discussing your roofer’s “favorite” brand of shingles. As listed above, the roof replacement pricing listed in this article is based on the installation of a limited lifetime warranty, architectural style, asphalt shingle.

  • Installation of hip and ridge cap shingles. I suggest using hip and ridge cap shingles that are meant to be installed with a limited lifetime warranty, architectural style, asphalt shingle. For example, Owens Corning ProEdge, DuraRidge or DecoRidge should be used for Owens Corning TruDef Duration shingles.

  • Installation of new, aluminum step and counter flashing on all chimneys and exterior walls.

  • Installation of new lead boots on all plumbing vent stacks (PVC plumbing vents that protrude through the roof deck). Neoprene pipe flashings with plastic boot covers (ex. Cap Masters or Perma-Boots) are also acceptable.

  • Installation of new roof ventilation. There are many options for ventilation. Those options will be discussed below.

  • Installation of additional roof accessories (being replaced at the same time as the roof). Roof accessory options will be discussed in more detail below.

  • Clean up of all nails and other debris. Debris should be placed into a dumpster (I recommend always having plywood placed under the dumpster’s wheels to prevent damage to your driveway) or a hydraulic bed trailer. Both should always be provided by the roofing contractor and should be hauled away upon completion of the project.

At a minimum, a professional roof replacement estimate should include the above-listed items. While these items are staples of a solid roof replacement they are not the only factors that contribute to the price of a roof replacement project.

Additional Cost Considerations

There are many factors that can influence the cost of a roof replacement. These cost factors can vary greatly from roofer to roofer. For this reason, pricing for these items will not be discussed. Discussing pricing for these items would not benefit you, the reader, because of the large discrepancies found from one roofing company to another. The goal of this section is to simply illustrate why you may see differences in pricing from one roof replacement estimate to another (even though your estimates are all based on the same scope of work). Here are the most common differentiators in roof replacement pricing:

Labor/Installation Costs

While all roofers utilize similar installation methods, their costs to install a roof can vary dramatically. Some roofers utilize “Subcontracted Installation Crews” while others use “Employee-Based Installation Crews”. Labor/installation cost is also greatly affected by the properties of the roof itself. These properties include the number of shingle layers being removed, the pitch of the roof, the height of the roof (one-story, two-story, three-story, etc.) and ease of access to the roof.

Overhead Costs

All roofing companies have different overhead costs. For instance, larger roofing companies incur greater vehicle insurance and maintenance costs, compared to smaller roofing companies, because they have more vehicles being used on a daily basis. Other reoccurring monthly expenses (rent, computer software subscriptions, general liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, equipment purchases, etc.) also factor into roof replacement pricing.

Material Upgrades

There are many upgrade options for roof accessories that can increase the overall price of a roof replacement. The more common material upgrade options will be discussed below. These upgrades can increase the cost of a roof replacement by hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars so they must be discussed. Here are the most common material upgrades that can alter the price of a roof replacement:

Ice Guard Placement (Amount of Ice Guard Used)

Ice guard is an extremely important component of any roof replacement. However, based on your location, the amount of ice guard needed can vary greatly. Placement of ice guard can also vary greatly from roofer to roofer based on their experience (in that particular area). Here is my opinion on ice guard placement:

Roofs in colder climates (ex. Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit) should have ice guard installed at eaves, at all rake edges, around all roof penetrations (attic vents, chimneys, plumbing vents, etc), at all exterior walls and in all roof valleys.

Roofs in moderate climates (ex. Louisville, Nashville, Cincinnati) should have ice guard installed around all chimneys, at all exterior walls and in all roof valleys.

Attic Ventilation Products

There are four types of attic ventilation products (listed in order - from lowest to highest cost): static vents, moving vents, electric vents and solar vents. Each product type was made to accommodate different attic setups. Here is a brief rundown:

  1. Static Vents, such as “continuous ridge vent” and “box vents”, have no moving parts. They simply allow air to escape through spaces/holes cut into the roof deck. In order for static vents to be effective, the attic must also have intake ventilation such as “soffit vents” or “roof-mounted intake vents”.

  2. Moving Vents, such as “turbines”, do have some moving parts. They rely on wind to function properly. They pull hot air and moisture out of the attic but only when wind is present.

  3. Electric Vents, such as “Power Attic Vents” and “Power Gable Louvers”, are exhaust fans and must be connected to high-voltage electrical service. Electric Vents use fans to pull hot air and moisture from the attic area (they require no wind).

  4. Solar Vents are nearly identical to electric vents. However, as the name implies, solar vents include small, attached solar panels that allow them to operate without using high-voltage electrical service. That being said, the majority of solar vents also require a connection to high-voltage electrical service. This way they can continue to operate in faced with several “cloudy” days in a row.

Adding ventilation to your home’s attic can be expensive. The size of your home’s attic, and the type of ventilation being installed, will determine the cost to upgrade your attic ventilation.

Installation/Replacement of Other Exhaust Vents

Most roof replacements do not include replacement of bathroom exhaust vents, exhaust hood vents (kitchen), furnace exhaust vents and water heater exhaust vents. However, this should be done at the same time as your roof replacement. While replacing exhaust vents, the roofer can also inspect the ductwork (galvanized steel ducts or flexible ducts) connected to them. It is common to see ductwork detached from the existing exhaust vent or, as crazy as it sounds, no ductwork at all. If this is not inspected, you may never know that you have disconnected, potentially dangerous, ductwork venting directly into your attic. While new, individual, exhaust vents are not expensive, replacing several at the same time could lead to an expensive upgrade.

Skylight Installation/Replacement

Skylights, depending on their features, can be expensive upgrades (ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars). Manual Venting Skylights, Electric Venting Skylights and Skylights with Blinds-Between-The-Glass can easily cost over $1,000.00 per skylight (for materials alone). In addition, if you wish to install a skylight, where one does not currently exist, you can expect an additional $1,500.00+ charge.

You may or may not need any of the upgrades listed above, but if you do, expect the cost of your roof replacement to increase. As mentioned above, there are too many variables to provide pricing for all of the previously mentioned upgrades. However, you are now aware of the more common upgrades that homeowners are presented with when replacing their roof.

How Much Will It Cost to Replace Your Roof?

The time has come! I will now discuss typical price ranges for residential roof replacement projects. Please remember the following before proceeding:

  • The price ranges discussed below are based on my experience as a roofer in Louisville, KY. Price ranges may vary based on location.

  • Every roof is different. Your roof may require additional labor or material items not listed in this article. Please keep this in mind when reviewing your roof replacement estimates.

  • Every roofing company has different overhead costs and labor costs. Please keep this in mind when reviewing your roof replacement estimates.

  • I recommend discussing your estimate, in detail, with the roofer you plan to use, before signing a contract. Ask questions about anything you need clarification on. This is an expensive, long term home improvement and should be treated as such.

The price ranges below include homes between 1,000 and 5,000 sq. ft., one layer of shingles, a roof pitch of 3/12 - 12/12 and homes with up to three-stories. Price ranges must be used to incorporate these differentiators. Here is an example for a 1,000 sq. ft. home:

If your home is 1,000 sq. ft., has a lower roof pitch and is one-story then your estimate pricing will be on the lower end of the price range listed below (for 1,000 sq. ft. homes).

If your home is 1,000 sq. ft., has a steep roof pitch and is three-stories then your estimate pricing will be on the higher end of the price range listed below (for 1,000 sq. ft. homes).

Roof Replacement Price Ranges (By Size of Home)

1,000 Sq. Ft. Home: $3,700.00 - $6,700.00

1,500 Sq. Ft. Home: $5,200.00 - $9,800.00

2,000 Sq. Ft. Home: $7,000.00 - $12,800.00

2,500 Sq. Ft. Home: $8,500.00 - $15,800.00

3,000 Sq. Ft. Home: $10,000.00 - $19,000.00

3,500 Sq. Ft. Home: $11,700.00 - $22,000.00

4,000 Sq. Ft. Home: $13,300.00 - $25,000.00

4,500 Sq. Ft. Home: $15,000.00 - $28,000.00

5,000 Sq. Ft. Home: $16,500.00 - $31,000.00

We hope you‘ve found this article helpful. Majestic Roofing would be happy to provide you with a Free Roof Inspection or answer any questions you may have! You can reach us by calling (502) 921-3320 or emailing us at hello@majesticlouisville.com. You can also view Majestic Roofing online at www.majesticlouisville.com.

Brad Rigney is the owner of Majestic Roofing in Louisville, Kentucky. Brad has over 12 years of experience as a Residential Roofing Contractor.


(502) 921-3320

12700 Townepark Way
Louisville, KY 40243

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