We just bought a home and it needs a new roof before we can move.
We’ve had a few contractors come out but even for the cheapest shingles… it’s so much out of pocket! (And, I want to choose something better than the cheapest option but wow…even our lowest bid was around $10k!)
I’m genuinely curious…why ARE roofs so expensive??
Lauren from Hazelton, Pennsylvania
Great question- I bet a lot of people think the same when they start looking at roofing bids. And facing this cost just after buying the house? I’m sure it seems overwhelming.
First, I’m glad to hear you didn’t just jump at the lowest bid. And the reason why is, funny enough, the answer to your question.
Why are roofs so expensive?
They actually…aren’t. It can look that way upfront but the reality is that a good quality roof is the best investment you can make in your home.
(By the way- before we get too far: here’s a resource that might help you while you’re looking through roofing bids. )
Let’s say you choose a good quality asphalt shingle roof, something solid like locally manufactured GAF shingles. You have it installed right by a reputable contractor. That new roof of yours is going to last at least 30 years- if not longer!
What does this mean for you?
How Roofs Increase Your Home’s Value
You might be thinking…
“Vern, I’m not going to be in this house in 30 years…why spend any more than I have to on a roof?”
If you plan on moving in the next 5-7 years, you’ll have a huge market advantage when you go to sell. Not only will you be able to recap somewhere between 60-70% of your investment in your selling price but homes with recently replaced roofs sell faster than those with aging alternatives.
Plus, did you know you can offer to transfer your roof’s warranty to the new buyer? Offering to help them do this is a huge listing advantage.
Here are three tips if anticipate selling in the next few years, think about these things:
#1. Don’t Layer Shingles: Lauren, it sounds like you’re looking into an asphalt shingle roof for your new home- rather than something like metal or a historical material. Since that’s the case, I recommend you choose a bid that includes a full tear off.
Layering shingles can cover up bigger problems, trap heat and moisture, and shorten the lifespan of your roof. Inspectors know this- and a double layer roof won’t give you a good ROI when you go to sell.
#2. Choose a Midrange Material: Your best dollar-for-dollar return is in midrange material. Buyers will value a quality roof and will pay a little more for your home, but that doesn’t always scale to luxury roofing.
#3. Document Any Maintenance: We get some strong storms here in Pennsylvania- even new roofs can be damaged by a stray tree branch or hail. Check on your roof as part of your Spring Maintenance (more on that here) and keep receipts for any repairs. Buyers will value knowing you’ve kept up on this important asset.
How Roofs Provide Value to Lifetime Homeowners
Not selling anytime soon? That five-figure investment is even more valuable to you as a lifetime homeowner.
When you break down the price over decades and consider all the protections and peace of mind a solid roof is going to provide for you- you’ll find your roof really puts in the work for the cost.
I imagine you’ve already thought about future updates or additions you’d love to make to personalize your space. While a roof isn’t the most glamorous project to spend money on, you can’t invest in the rest of your home until you know your improvements will be protected from storm damage.
People love getting excited about interior updates, but your curb appeal is the first thing your neighbors see.
My advice? Make it something you’re proud of! Even if it’s a little more out of pocket right now, you (ideally) are going to make this investment once. Don’t just jump at the lowest bid, take some time to consider how you want to develop your home’s exterior personality, look at those architectural shingles, and think long term.
Hopefully this helps you get a little more excited about your new roof. Best wishes- and let us know if you need anything!