At some point, repairs and patch ups just won’t cut it for your roof. It is time to take the leap and buy a new one. It is one of the more involved, and costly, home improvements, and for this reason, you want to proceed carefully. It is a good idea to educate yourself about the process, and choose your contractor carefully. Here are just a few things to know about buying a new roof.

Unit of Measurement

Roofers don’t measure in square feet, but rather in ‘squares.’ One square is 100 square feet in area, with the average 2,000 square foot house containing a bit under 1,500 square feet of area. This would equal 15 squares. You can estimate costs by multiplying the length and width of each section of the roof, and then add 10 percent for waste. Divide this totally by 100 and you’ll know how many squares you’ll need. Labor costs can run anywhere from 3,500 to 10,000 dollars. You will also want to buy an extra bundle to keep handy for minor repairs.

What To Know About Buying A New Roof


Some aspects of cost were just discussed above. Several factors go into determining the cost of your new roof. Clearly, the materials will be a major factor, and the prices can vary significantly. The condition of the existing roof will also factor in, such as having to repair any supporting structure or removing materials. Other considerations include roof shape, the presence of chimneys, how many intersecting rooflines, whether you have turrets or skylights, and other individual elements of your roof. When hiring a roofing contractor, it is important you have a full understanding of the price being quoted. Do not make any assumptions, and do not hesitate to ask questions if something is unclear.


Roofing materials come in a variety of forms, and not every kind is appropriate for every roof. For example, heavy materials like slate and tile are not appropriate for many houses.

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used material due to ease of installation and low-cost. They are made from fiberglass mixed with asphalt. You can get them in standard and laminated, with the latter being more expensive but giving a nicer, textured appearance.

Wood is not as popular a choice these days, and may not even be allowed according to local fire codes, but remains a good option. Shingles are typically made of redwood, cedar or southern pine.

Metal roofing surfaces are highly durable, but one of the more expensive options. Some varieties are installed as shingles while others consist of vertical lengths of metal joined together with solder.

Tile and cement are very durable, expensive options as well. Because they are heavy, they are not suitable for many types of houses.