How Are Roofing Costs Calculated?

Understanding Roof Pricing

If you are planning on replacing your old roof or are getting ready to install a roof on a new construction project, you may have noticed that roofing pricing can be listed in a couple of different ways. You will sometimes see roofing materials priced "per square foot," but the more common measurement is "per square." This can be confusing for home and business owners unfamiliar with roofing. What's the difference?

What Is a "Square" of Roofing?

A square is the industry standard for measuring and selling roofing materials. Most roofing materials are sold by the square, from the shingles to underlayment. A square refers to an area that measures 10 feet by 10 feet, totaling 100 square feet. For example, if it is 20 square, that means it is 2,000 square feet. Because roofs tend to be so large, it is easier to work in squares than in square feet.

Is the Square Footage of Your Roof the Same as Your Home?

We are often asked how the size of a roof is calculated and whether it is the same square footage as your home. For example, if you have a 1,500-square-foot home, is your roof also 1,500 sq ft? The short answer is no; they are not the same.

The square footage of your roof is often larger than that of your home due to many factors. First, the slope of your roof will usually add square footage to the total. Additionally, if you have porches, patios, or overhangs that are roofed, that square footage is not included in the square footage of your home. The number of stories your home has and whether a garage is included in your roofing or square footage measurements will also affect how your roof measurement compares to your home's interior square footage.

With so many variables, you should be wary of any roofer that gives you a quote based on the sware footage of your home without measuring your roof.

Factoring in Labor & Materials Costs

It is not just the size that will affect the cost of your roof. You will also have to pay for materials and installation. First, we will look at materials. Not all roofing materials cost the same, and in fact, the material you choose can have a significant impact on the overall cost. For example, a slate roof is significantly more costly than asphalt shingles. Secondly, we will consider the labor to install your roof.

Conditions that may affect labor costs include:

  • The size of your roof
  • The slope of your roof
  • The time it takes to install
  • Any hazardous conditions
  • Material disposal costs
  • Whether the roof decking also needs repair or replacement

Materials may also impact the cost of labor as some materials may be more difficult or take longer to install.

The Least and Most Expensive Roofing Materials

The least expensive type of roofing is typically asphalt roofing. Not only are the materials less expensive than, say, a clay tile roof, asphalt roofing is also relatively quick to install. It is the most popular type of roofing in the U.S., and performs very well on Arizona homes.

The most expensive type of roofing is slate. While slate roofing is incredibly expensive, the flip side is that it is also the most durable and will last for over a century. In fact, many historic homes in the U.S. and Europe feature slate roofs. Similarly, clay tile roofing is also one of the most costly roofing materials but, like slate, can last upwards of 100 years.

Other factors that may affect the cost of your roof include:

  • The brand of roofing materials you choose
  • Supply chain or manufacturing issues
  • A scarcity of your selected materials

Avoid Choosing Your Roofing Solely on Cost

While your budget is incredibly important, you want to take a more holistic approach when selecting your roofing materials. You should consider your home's unique needs and what will protect it best, as well as how long you plan to be in the house, whether you're planning to sell your property any time soon, and what you want your home to look like.

How to Estimate Roofing Costs

While there are many roofing cost calculators online (many of which can be very helpful), the best way to get an accurate estimate of the cost of a new roof is to speak with an experienced roofer like Lyons Roofing. To ensure that an estimate is correct and close to your true final costs, the size of your roof must be accurately measured, and the most up-to-date materials and labor costs factored in. There is no way to do this without the help of a professional roofing specialist.

Are you ready to get started on a new roofing project? Lyons Roofing can help you select the best roofing materials for your needs and budget. Send us a message online.