Avoiding Expensive Cost of Roofing Repairs Via Proactive Maintenance Program

seattle roofing costs

Roofs are major and long-term investments for houses especially for large buildings. Homeowners and building managers must find solutions to minor issues to prevent bigger long-term problems in the future. A minor leak today could become a major leak tomorrow if left unattended.

Cost of roofing repair or replacement can soar up when building managers and homeowners neglect to address issues right away. Hence, the importance of strictly observing proper maintenance programs designed to prevent premature degradation of roofs cannot be overemphasized.

Roof manufacturers in fact recommend proactive roof maintenance. The more proactive maintenance there is and less reactive, the longer the lifespan of the roofs will be.

Below are proven methods that can save homeowners and building managers considerable costs from otherwise-preventable roof repairs:

Advance Planning

The average commercial roof lasts around 17 years. With proactive preventive maintenance, you can extend the period up to 20 or 30 years by fixing minor problems before they become major headaches.

All roofing systems ultimately wear out regardless of the durability of the materials installed. A regular proactive maintenance program immediately spots isolated problems and allows building managers and homeowners to implement low-cost solution to extend the roof’s life.

Using Thicker Membrane

Membranes are installed on roofs to prevent water leaks and damage to structures. While a 60-mil sheet is more expensive than a 45-mil sheet, the difference in price does not exceed 5 per cent of the total roofing cost.

Thin membranes are weaker than thick membranes because they have lower resistance to hail, puncture and tear. Hence, thinner membranes tend to wear out faster. While some roof manufacturers and contractors give warranty to thinner membranes to be more competitive, using thinner membranes is not a good idea because the homeowners will eventually suffer if the membrane – and roof – degrade faster.

Maintenance Checklist

Keep a maintenance checklist that should be looked at a minimum of twice a year preferably after the summer and winter months. The checklist will help you monitor any potential problems before they arise. Adopting a proactive attitude in maintaining your roof means checking the seams, rafters, gutters and other areas that pose potential problems in the future. Since you do not normally see the roof on a daily basis, minor issues could slip through unless you follow a maintenance checklist where these could be detected early on. Keep in mind that a simple roof leak may actually hide a bigger problem underneath.

Types of Shingles and Shingle Costs

shingles costs

One of the most common types of roofing materials are shingles. While shingles are generally associated with asphalt shingles, they actually embrace a wider range of materials.

Shingles include almost every roof cover type that does not involve a single material capping the entire roof. Hence, shingles could be made from different materials such as the common asphalt, wood, clay, tile and even metal.

Each type of shingle has its corresponding costs in labor and materials. The costlier versions are the so-called impact-resistant shingles since they provide defense against leaks, create roof deck protection, improve the physical appeal of the house and enhance energy efficiency.

To help you prepare your budget before embarking on a roofing project, we provide an estimate of the costs involved in the installation of the different types of shingles:

Asphalt Shingles

The most common type of shingles used for roofing because they cost less than other materials and are relatively easier to install, which make them perfect for DIY practitioners. They are lighter than other shingle types, and therefore, more convenient to use.

The cost of DIY asphalt shingles on a normal ranch-style house would range from $680 to $3,700. The cost variation depends on the design, material quality and roof size. Hiring a professional costs from $1,700 to $8,400.


Metals provide the longest roof lifespan because they are durable and not affected by issues faced by other shingles. Its high cost but long life make metal suited for people intending to stay in their homes for a long time.

Metal roofs cost from $5,100 to $22,000. Aluminum has a higher price range—$11,900 to $24,200. The cost of copper roofs range from around $25,500 to $39,600.


Its natural look and durability make slate a favorite among homeowners. Indeed, larger houses usually have slate for their roofs.

Costs vary from $17,000 to $84,000 for a 2,000 square-foot home. A 3,000 square-foot home will cost from $27,000 to $120,000 depending on location and design.


People love tiles because they can be formed into different colors and shapes. They are also easy to replace if they are damaged.

The cost of concrete tiles runs from $7,650 to $21,000. Ceramic tiles will cost around $11,900. If you want to customize the tiles, you will shell out a higher amount from $17,000 to $60,000.

Wood Shake

Wood shakes have more aesthetic appeal but require more maintenance because they deteriorate faster than other materials and are fire-prone. Insects and molds are other issues affecting wood shake shingles.

The costs vary from $6,800 to $20,000. Synthetic or simulated wood shakes made from rubber or plastic, which provide better fire protection, cost around $12,600 to $18,900.

Roof Estimate for Shingles

shingles roof estimate

Roofs are expected to last a long time, for decades in fact. However, no roof is warranted to last forever. A time comes when you have to replace your roof with a new one. Roof installation does not come cheap. Homeowners are therefore advised to estimate the cost and prepare their budget before undertaking any project.

Expect every roof estimate to vary because material prices differ as well as labor costs. The location of your house and roof type also make a difference. A rough estimate of installing new shingles roof would vary from $2.75 to $7.50 per square foot. That would translate to about $275 for a basic bid to $750 for a high-end and full warranty work per square. A square equals 100 square feet.

Contractors could charge around $4 to $7 per square foot or $400 to $700 per square range for asphalt shingles replacement services. Locations, as we stated above, affect prices with cities in the North East being significantly higher than those in the Deep South.

A general rule in construction is assigning a 60% to 40% labor to material cost breakdown. This is not set in stone but a mere guideline in computing costs.

Asphalt Shingles

A basic 3-tab 25-year shingle costs from $150 to $200 per square, which includes the necessary materials. These may include underlayment, ice and water shield, nails and ridge-vent. The material cost may also include trash bags, plywood, planks and dumpster.

Installation estimates assume the house is single story with a roof surface of 15 to 20 meters and a hip and gable roof. Labor cost is around $400 to $500 per square with the total amounting to a range of $6,725 to $9,000 under a 5-year warranty on labor.

Architectural/Dimensional Shingles

Architectural shingles cost more to install than the basic 3-tab shingles. Expect to pay around $75 to $100 more per square. The added cost is justified by contractors as a premium on higher installation quality for the more durable and longer-lasting shingles.

For a single-story house with hip and gable combination roof, the cost could add up to $7,850 to $11,000. The amount varies depending on the contractor, quality of installation, size and complexity of the roof, location of the house and other factors.

Premium Shingles

Premium shingles such as the 50-year architectural shingles cost more than the other roof shingles. Installation cost will run somewhere around $600 to $700 per square or a total of $9,000 to $14,000 for the entire roof. As stated above, the cost will vary depending on the variables, including the company that you contracted with. A longer labor warranty is a component of the increased installation cost.

Useful Roofing Cost Calculators for Owners and Contractors

roofing cost calculator

Roof installation and repair do not come cheap. Homeowners should have an estimate of the roofing costs to be incurred before undertaking any work. Blindly going ahead could result to overshooting the budget and spending more than what was originally planned.

Under these circumstances, roofing cost calculators come in handy. They will give you an idea on how much you will spend for your roof repair or installation and prepare you for the coming expenses on materials and labor. This way, you are sure to have the kind of roof that you want without scrimping later on materials and design because you underestimated the expense.

To help roofers and homeowners with the planning, we listed some of the widely-used roof calculator apps today.

Roof Calculator Pro

This is not a free app and can be used only by contractors. The app’s functionality, however, is impressive. The user can input practically all details about the roof including skylight flashings, chimney, tear off, type of installed membrane, number of floors and type of shingles. The app will give out detailed info on material costs and total costs.

Roof Gauge Tool

A great app that accurately measures the pitch of your roof. You only have to use a camera and the accelerometer in your phone to come up with the result. For those who are not inclined to climb up the ladder and step on the roof, this is an ideal app. To get more accurate measurement of your roof’s slope, place your phone with the app on top of shingles or a sloped rafter.

House Gosu Free Roof Calculator

This is a very easy-to-use app. The user need only put in data such as kind of material, roof pitch and roof dimensions and the app will flash a price on the screen. Gosu is a Korean word for a highly skilled individual. It can refer to professionals in the construction industry, video gaming and other fields.

Roofing Calculator Free

A free app that can be used by both contractors and homeowners. It estimates the roof area and costs based on information supplied by the user. The user can input the roof slope, shingles type, and ground dimensions, which will be used by the app to come up with the results. Aside from coming up with information on the size of the roof, the app will also give 3 price quotes for the roof materials.

How to Keep Yourself Updated with Roofing Costs

roof repair georgia

Roof repair and replacement are some of the costliest investments you will make to your home. You cannot put them off because of the importance that roof plays on your comfort and safety.

You can make substantial savings from unnecessary charges by knowing the roofing costs and being updated on the expenses associated with roof repair and replacement. To keep yourself updated with roofing costs, you must first know the different expenses associated with roofing jobs.

Labor Costs

Roofers charge for their work based on “squares.” One “square” equals one 10 x 10-foot area of the roof that forms a square. The average residential house has around 22 to 26 of these squares on the roof.

For roof replacement, note that you have to remove the old roof first before you can install a new roof. Contractors will charge you for their services in removing the old roof. Of course, you have the option to lay a new roof over the old one, but the new roof’s lifespan will be shorter.

The pitch of the roof affects labor cost. The steeper the roof, the more expensive contractors’ services will be. Roofers have to use safety harness and equipment for pitched roof. Their work is also slower because they cannot walk on a steeped roof nor put construction materials on top.

Material Costs

Each type of roofing material is priced differently. Asphalt shingle is the most common type of roof material. It costs less than metal roofs, clay tiles and wooden shakes. Metal roofs could cost up to ten times more than asphalt shingles.

Aside from the material used for the roof itself, you also have to buy related parts, including vent covers, gutters, flashing and downspout. These items add to the total cost of roof repair.

Local Rules

Know what the local rules and regulations are affecting roof construction and repair. Your contractor should be familiar with the local codes. Roofing could prove costly if you are required to revise the work later to comply with local laws.

Other Cost Factors

Water damage to the roof could increase the cost of repair. This damage is often noticed only after the outer layer is removed. Working around skylights and chimneys also adds to labor and material costs.

Once you categorized and itemized the different factors affecting roofing costs, you can easily update yourself with the current prices. Go to your local material suppliers and ask for a quotation. You can also do online search for prices of materials. Large manufacturers maintain websites with useful information on prices. The same goes for legitimate contractors and roofers. You can now competently negotiate with contractors because you are aware of the expense components and updated on the current construction material prices.

How to Shop Around for the Best Cost of Window Replacement

cost of window replacement

Replacing old windows do not come cheap. Unlike buying single unit improvements at home, you have to multiply the cost of each window by the number of windows you have in the house.

Before replacing existing windows, check first the condition of the window frames. If they are still sound and in good condition, then you can install replacement windows. However, if the frames are already rotten or out of shape, you have to replace them before installing new windows. The cost could increase up to 50% to 100%.

If you really must install new sets, here are useful tips to save you money:

1. Less is More

Remember that installing multiple windows at once will cost you less per window than installing just one window.

2. Getting Familiar

Check out the websites of large windows manufacturers to help you decide the best cost of window replacement for your home. They will help you identify the architectural style of your home and the window styles that suit it.

3. Windows Rating

Contractor-grade windows are priced lower than architectural grade ones. If you want to save money, get the contractor grade types.

4. Shop Around

Look for different sellers and never confine yourself to buying products offered by one authorized dealer. The store usually carries only one brand, which considerably limits your choices for other brands with cheaper prices.

5. Buy Standard Windows

Windows bought off-the-shelf cost less than windows customized to your needs such as upgrades, custom sizes, non-standard colors and glass types and hardware.

6. Extra Features Mean Extra Cost

If you do not need those extra features, then do not buy windows with these add-ons. They shoot up the price for things that you might not really need in the first place.

7. Big Names Big Prices

Well-known and big-name brands carry higher prices. You can buy the same type of windows at lower prices if you opt for lesser-known brand names.

8. Style Costs Money

Use common-styled windows such as fixed, sliders and double hung. They are cheap compared to stylish windows with circles, curves or hexagons.

9. Windows Material

Vinyl windows are widely available and by far the cheapest type there is. Fiberglass costs more than vinyl but is priced lower than wood windows. If the design of your house can accommodate vinyl windows, consider buying this instead of insisting on wood windows that are not only more expensive but may not harmonize with the overall design of your house.

10. Negotiate

There is always room for price negotiation. Never accept the first price quotation given by sellers. Always ask for discounts and make counter-offers of at least 20% less than the selling price. There are a lot of sellers and dealers willing to negotiate for the right price.