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8 Ways to Save Money on a New Roof

  • 4 min read

Roof replacement is often one of the most expensive renovations a homeowner will face. 15 to 20 years of battling rain, snow, tree debris, birds, squirrels, etc. is about all a roof can take. In areas with exceptionally bad weather, the roof may need to be replaced even earlier.

Costs vary substantially depending on the location, materials, roof size/dimensions, and contractor chosen. Average costs, however, typically fall in the $7,000 to $20,000 range. Don’t worry though, there are several simple ways to save money on a new roof! Check out some common ways below.

1. Choose roofing materials that are less expensive, on sale, or offer rebates.

It’s important to do your homework on roofing materials prior to hiring a professional. This is because costs can differ quite a bit. For example, the cost of an asphalt shingle is typically $3.50 to $5 per square foot installed. Metal, tile, and slate shingles, on the other hand, cost anywhere from $9 to $15 per square foot. That’s three times as much!

Shingles are just one of the materials typically required for a roof installation. There is also underlayment, drip edging, flashing, protective coatings, etc. Each one comes with multiple options so knowing which is most cost effective is essential. A roofing professional can help with this, but we recommend doing your own research first since their profit margins vary based on the materials used so they have an incentive to recommend certain materials.

Regardless of which materials you choose, be sure to check for sales or rebates. Roofing material retailers often offer sales just like any other retailer and these savings can add up. Manufacturers also offer rebates from time to time on certain materials so don’t forget to check with them as well.

2. Chose a time when contractors are less busy.

It should be no surprise that roofers are busiest when the weather is the best. This is typically late spring, summer, and fall. By having the work done in winter or early spring when business is slower, you’re likely to get significantly lower bids.

Climate varies by location so some areas may differ slightly in their peak times. Some materials, such as asphalt shingles, sealers, and coatings, may require warmer temperatures for installation so be sure to consult your roofer about this if considering a winter replacement.

3. File an insurance claim for damage prior to roof replacement.

Homeowner’s insurance often covers roof damage that is outside of your control. A common scenario is a fallen tree that requires a full or partial roof replacement. If even a small portion of your roof is damaged by trees, limbs, etc. then be sure to contact your insurance agent to see if it may be covered.

Severe weather may result in damage beyond fallen trees, however. Think tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. that result in wind or hail damage. It’s important to do an inspection after such events even if there isn’t obvious damage since even some loose shingles may be covered by your insurance.

4. Ask your insurance provider for a discount after roof replacement.

This is different than filing an insurance claim for existing damage to your roof, which we discussed previously. After you’ve already replaced your roof, you should inform your insurer of the upgrade and ask for a discount on your premiums as a result. 

A new roof substantially decreases the likelihood of expensive problems in the future that your homeowner’s insurance would be on the hook for. Even beyond the roof itself, think about water damage from leaks, etc. A new roof makes you less of a risk to your insurer. Less risk equals lower premiums! 

5. Do all or a portion of the work yourself.

This one is often easier said than done as replacing a roof is tough work! Nevertheless, it certainly can be done. Since labor costs are among the most expensive part of replacing a roof, eliminating or reducing this cost can save you a lot of cash!

The most likely scenario would be doing just part of the work yourself. For example, removing the old roofing before the installer arrives and disposing of those materials yourself would save quite a bit. Make sure your chosen contractor approves of this first, however, or you may have to find another contractor.

6. Replace earlier than absolutely necessary.

Waiting until you have leaks or other major issues to have your roof replaced could cost you substantially more in the long run. This is because there’s almost certainly deterioration below the surface that isn’t visible until it’s too late. 

Since it will cost more to replace a roof with substantial damage than one in better shape, it makes sense to consider a replacement at the first sign of problems. These include curling or cracked shingles, bald spots, and attic leaks. 

If selling your home in the near future, don’t put off a roof replacement for the next homeowner. This is because roof problems often scare away buyers and lenders alike. Replacing now would not only increase the home value, but also help you avoid headaches in the selling process.

7. Add an overlay instead of a completely new roof.

This is generally not recommended, but we’re including it anyway since it can substantially reduce costs. An overlay involves laying new shingles on top of existing ones. The old roofing stays in place so the labor costs of removing and disposing of the materials is eliminated. 

Be cautious with overlays as they may void or reduce the manufacturer warranty on the materials used. Overlays will also increase future replacement costs since multiple layers will need to be removed next time. 

8. Get quotes from multiple contractors.

This one goes for all types of home renovations. It always makes sense to get multiple quotes and to let the contractors know that you’re getting multiple quotes! This forces competition on the bid and will result in more savings for you.

It’s also important to check reviews and references prior to hiring a contractor. Confirm that they offer a warranty on materials and installation and check with your local building department or state consumer protection agency to make sure they’re licensed and insured. This will save you money in the long run by avoiding subpar work that may require more repairs in the future.



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