THINKING OF REPLACING YOUR ROOF? SOME INFORMATION YOU MAY FIND HELPFUL
Before we talk materials, let's talk terminology. Roofers don't usually use the measure "square feet," rather they talk in squares. A square is their basic unit of measurement-one square is 100 square feet in area, the equivalent of a 10-foot by 10-foot square. The roof of a typical two-story, 2,000-square-foot ho...use with a gable roof will consist of less than 1,500 square feet of roofing area, or about fifteen squares.
A number of considerations will affect the cost of a new roof. The price of the material is the starting point, but other factors also must be considered. One is the condition of the existing roof if you are remodeling a house-if old materials must be stripped off and if the supporting structure needs repair, that will all cost money. The shape of the roof is another contributing factor. A gable roof with few or no breaks in its planes (like chimneys, vent pipes, or dormers) makes for a simple roofing job. A house with multiple chimneys, intersecting rooflines (the points of intersection are called valleys), turrets, skylights, or other elements will cost significantly more to roof.
Not every roofing material can be used on every roof. A flat roof or one with a low slope may demand a surface different from one with a steeper pitch. Materials like slate and tile are very heavy, so the structure of many homes is inadequate to carry the load. Consider the following options, then talk with your roofer and get estimates for the job. (see previous blog for tips on questions to ask when interviewing a roofer)
* Asphalt Shingle. This is the most commonly used of all roof
materials. It's made of a fiberglass medium that's been impregnated with asphalt and then given a surface of sand-like granules. Two basic configurations are sold: the standard single-thickness variety and thicker, laminated products. The standard type costs roughly half as much, but laminated shingles have an appealing textured appearance and last roughly half as long (typically 25 years or more, versus 15 years plus).
Prices begin at about $50 a square, but depending upon the type of shingle chosen and the installation, can cost many times that.
* Wood. Wood was the main choice for centuries, and it's still a good option, though in some areas fire codes forbid its use. Usually made of cedar, redwood, or southern pine, shingles are sawn or split. They have a life expectancy in the 25-year range (like asphalt shingles) but cost an average of twice as much.
* Metal. Aluminum, steel, copper, copper-and-asphalt, and lead areall durable-and expensive-roofing surfaces. Lead and the copper/asphalt varieties are typically installed as shingles, but others are manufactured for seamed roofs consisting of vertical lengths of metal that are joined with solder. These roofs start at about $250 per square but often cost two
or three times that.