reroof of a damaged roomThe roof is one of the biggest investments you will make in your home; however, when done right, it also yields the biggest return on your investment. In fact, reports show that a new roof yields more than 80% of its original cost upon resale. Meanwhile, more than 30% of real estate agents accredited roof restorations for their quick sales. So if your roof needs replacement, don’t put it off.

However, when it comes to restoring the roof, the big question is, should you re-roof or undergo a complete roof replacement? Well, to find out the best option for you, let’s take a look at both.

What Does Re-Roofing Involve?

Re-roofing is the quickest and least costly way to restore your roof’s appearance.

During re-roofing, a new shingle overlay is placed over your worn shingles to restore the look of your roof as well as provide a protective layer to help prevent leaks from getting inside your home.

Provided you have just one layer of shingles on your roof you are a candidate for re-roofing. Otherwise, roofs that already have two layers of shingles installed are prohibited by building codes from installing a third layer, in which case you will need a full roof replacement.

The Pros of Re-Roofing

  • Since re-roofing does not require extensive time, labor, or materials, it is a cheaper option to repair your roof.
  • Re-roofing does not require replacing the entire roof; therefore, it is also the fastest way to restore your roof.

The Cons of Re-Roofing

  • If you have two layers of shingles on your roof, you are prohibited in many areas from adding a third layer.
  • Re-roofing may not last as long as completely replacing the roof.
  • If you have metal roofing, re-roofing is not recommended.
  • Because you are not lifting the current shingles, there is no way to know if any damage exists underneath, such as rot or sagging, which means laying a new layer of shingles over the existing shingles will not fix any major issues.

What is Involved in a Roof Replacement?

When your roof is fully replaced, the old shingles are stripped from the roof, exposing the deck. An underlayment or felt paper is then applied to the deck to help protect it from water and other elements. The new shingles are then installed on top of the underlayment or felt paper for a new roof that lasts for 20 years or more.

If the deck is severely damaged, it will need to be repaired to prevent further damage, which can eventually cause a hole underneath.

The Pros of Completely Replacing the Roof

  • Completely replacing the roof lasts longer than re-roofing.
  • It can be done no matter how many layers of shingles are on the roof.
  • Unlike, re-roofing that may cover up any issues with the deck, such as rot, which can eventually cause the roof to give out, a fully revamped roof addresses all issues for a safe and sturdier roof.
  • Saves more money over the long haul because it enables you to identify early signs of rot and sagging caused by water damage to the deck, which can eventually permit water to leak and drip down inside the walls where it can damage the drywall and flooring and lead to costly repairs.

The Cons of Completely Replacing the Roof

  • Entirely renovating the roof requires more materials, time, and labor than re-roofing; therefore, it is a more costly project.

Re-Roofing Cost and Cost to Replace Roof

Re-roofing costs vary based on materials, labor, job size, and where you live. If you require special equipment, such as roof jacks, it will also affect your cost.

The story and slope of your home will also affect your re-roofing costs. For instance, a house with two stories and a steep slope will require more labor and time for the contractors to get up and down the roof than a single-story home with a low slope. Hence, the lower the slope of the house, the lower the costs, and vice versa.

The materials you use during your re-roofing will also affect the cost. For instance, asphalt shingles are easy to re-roof, and they are also available at low cost. Whereas, a metal roof costs more for materials, and they often require specialty services, which will also add to the price.

However, because metal roofs offer more energy savings than traditional asphalt roofs, they are a cost-effective choice. They also last longer and are durable enough to withstand rough weather conditions as opposed to asphalt shingles, which are more vulnerable to wind damage and falling debris, which means they made need to be replaced more often.

On the other hand, replacing the roof entirely requires extensive labor to remove the old shingles, prepare the deck for the new installation, and install the new shingles, which is more costly. However, just like re-roofing, costs vary depending on where you live.

The size of the roof and its slope characteristics are the biggest cost factors when it comes to fully renovating the roof. Roofers often charge per roofing square. For instance, a 2,000 square foot roof equals 20 squares. Therefore, the larger the roof, the more it will cost to replace it.

However, a basic asphalt shingle roof, which is the most common type of roofing material, on average costs about $5,000, whereas more high-end roofing materials, such as architectural roof shingles, can run as high at $12,000 or more to install.

Roofs with steep slopes or complex designs will also increase the cost as it requires special requirements, such as additional equipment and safety harnesses for the workers to walk on the roof. If your roof has extensive water damage, it can also affect the cost because it will have to be repaired before the new roof can be installed.

The accessibility to the roof will also impact the cost. For instance, if it is difficult to get the truck to the house, the materials will have to be carried from the truck to the house, which will require more time and labor, which will increase the cost.

If your home has additional features, such as skylights or a chimney, the workers will have to work around them, which will cause the price to increase. If the flashing around the skylights or the chimney also requires repair, it will also add to your cost.

Some roofers may also charge a fee to haul away and dispose of old materials and debris.

How to Decide Between Re-Roofing and Fully Replacing the Roof

If you are a homeowner with minor issues or leaks, which typically occur as the roof reaches the end of its lifespan, but the roof is in overall good shape, re-roofing may be for you.

If you only have one layer of asphalt shingles on your roof, you may also be a good candidate for re-roofing. However, if only a portion of the roof needs to be repaired, you may not want to forego re-roofing because only doing one section of the roof may cause it to be uneven in some areas, which will be noticeable.

If the roof already has at least two layers of shingles, both layers of shingles will need to be removed prior to partial re-roofing, which can increase labor costs as well as the cost for disposal. It also costs more for partial re-roofing because roofers typically charge per 10′ x 10′ square.

On the other hand, if your deck shows signs of major water damage, is sagging, or has large amounts of mildew or mold growth, then the deck will need to be repaired, which means you will need a complete roof overhaul.

A full roof overhaul may also be a great option for those who just want to rest soundly knowing your deck and your shingles are in pristine condition. Once the old materials are fully removed from your roof, the roofer will inspect for any signs of damage and repair any defects for a strong and sturdy roof that gives you peace of mind, as opposed to simply not knowing until it is too late, which is the risk you often take with re-roofing.

In the end, if cost is a consideration, it is still possible to receive a quality roof with re-roofing, provided there is no damage to the deck; however, the key is to select quality roof shingles, which can last for 10 years or more.

You may also reconsider restoring the roof yourself to help cut costs as roofers are aware of the various building codes and underlay requirements and can ensure the roof is installed according to standards. They are also licensed to acquire the proper permits if needed. Many roofers also guarantee their work for up to 10 years or more, which means you are covered should the roof experiences leaking, or if there is a total failure of the roof for peace of mind.