What do you need to consider when planning to have a new roof installed onto your property?
A roof can cost anywhere from around £2,000 up to £40,000 and beyond. On average a new roof on a private house is more likely to cost between £3,000 – £8,000.
Why do the amounts vary so widely and how do you know how much your roof should cost? Well there are many factors that influence the cost, a number of which you cannot influence, and some you can:
What You Can’t Change
- Size – obviously the greater the roof area the more materials, labour and scaffold will be required.
- Then there is the design of your roof, the greater the complexity, the higher the cost. This is simply due to the fact that complexity means your roofer will take longer to install the roof and require a higher proportion of specialist fittings. Elements that add complexity include dormers, roof lights, valleys and hips. The cheapest roof design is a simple duo pitch (up and over) with nothing breaking up the roof slope.
- Where you are located and what’s around your property; the height of the building, the position or proximity of adjacent properties and local topography can all impact on cost. More exposed locations will require a greater amount of fixings to individual tiles and slate, which increases labour and material costs. What’s around your building can have an influence on the cost of erecting the necessary scaffold and gaining access for materials to be delivered – all of which must to be done in accordance with health and safety regulations.
- When your old roof covering is removed there are additional factors that come into play. In cases where torching or spray foam insulation has been used on the back of the original tiles, the cost of stripping them off can increase significantly. Alternatively, you may find that a proportion of your tiles or slates can be reused on the new roof, or sold to a reclaimed merchant, which will reduce the overall cost. Finding value in your roof like this only usually applies to clay tiles and natural slates due to their durability and colour-fast nature.
- The elements that surround your roof such as facias, soffits, bargeboards and gutters can all add to the cost if they need replacing or repairing. For items that are near the end of their life it might be tempting to put off dealing with them now, and try to eek out a few more years of use. However, be aware that while the scaffolding is up, it is far more cost effective to do the work at the same time as the roof covering instead of having to return in a couple of years, or whenever these elements fail.
The costs you can influence – Material Choice
What you can influence is what products you use on your roof.
You may simply be seeking the cheapest solution regardless of aesthetics, or you may be looking reduce the cost of the traditional materials requested by the planning authority. You might be interested in a certain look and want to find the most cost-effective tile to achieve that look, or you could be concerned about how the roof will look in ten years time when you come to sell the house.
Your chosen roof materials will make up around one third of the total cost of a new roof. Not only that, the type of tile or slate you choose will also have a significant influence on the labour cost of installing the roof, something that will vary widely depending on what product you choose. It therefore pays to have your say and not leave it to your roofer, or to the planners.
Most Cost Effective Roof Tile – with no planning restrictions
There is no question that the most cost effective roof tile available is the large format concrete tile. There are numerous shapes on the market from flat to profiled shapes. Whilst all the leading styles of large format concrete tiles are usually the same price, the best choice has to be a profiled tile, such as a double roman. A tile that has a curved cross section, is ultimately stronger than a flat one and more efficient at shedding water off the roof.
Available from – all leading roof tile manufacturers.
Most Affordable Premium Roof Covering
If you are interested in using natural materials and value how your roof will look five to ten years in the future, then consider the next step up. New large format clay tiles are now available, for a small premium over the cheapest concrete tiles. The new large format clay tiles will cost around 30% more in terms of th actual roof finish, but when taken as a percentage of the whole job i.e. the cost of labour, scaffold and associated materials (such as underlay and battens), which cost the same whatever tile is installed, this will reduce to around 10%. The benefit of using such tiles is the benefit that makes all natural materials so popular, colour. The rich colour of natural clay will not fade over time and will mean your roof will maintain its looks for its lifetime.
Available from – Sandtoft, Imerys.
Most Affordable Plain Tile Solution
Traditional Plain tiles are popular due to their small size and shape, together with the wide variety of attractive colours and finishes they come in. A particular plain tile is often chosen for its colour, and how that colour works in relation to the rest of the building, or the surrounding buildings. However, if affordability is key then people often consider concrete plain tiles, which cost slightly less than clay plain tiles. This will make a small saving on the materials, all other costs such as labour, scaffold, underlay and battens will remain the same. A bigger saving can be achieved by using an interlocking clay plain tile this will reduce costs by over 30%. The reason for this saving is that the design of an interlocking plain tile reduces the amount of labour and materials required compared to plain tiles. If there are planning restrictions that cover the roof you will need to seek approval for using an interlocking plain tile. Planners will often look favourably on the use of an interlocking plain tile if it is made from clay rather than concrete. If you live in a conservation area or subject to any listed building status then you will probably have to use traditional clay plain tiles, of a style that was originally used on the building.
Most Affordable Slate Solution
There are many choices when it comes to finding a roof covering that falls into the category of ‘slate’. There are many products that look like slate but are made of different materials. Then of course there is the real thing, which in terms of looks and durability is hard to beat, and comes in many different grades and sizes. If you are looking for the most affordable option and have no strict planning requirements, then the most cost effective option is the large format flat concrete tile, in a slate colour. Please note that this will not give you the true look of natural slate, as the tiles are much thicker and have a leading edge that is clearly made from concrete. If there are no planning restrictions then instead of flat large format concrete tile, consider a profiled option, as this offers better value for money. Whilst not offering a slate appearance, a double roman or double pantile shape will give greater strength and offer a superior ability to shed water safely down the roof.
Most Affordable Slate Solution – with planning restrictions
Planners today, are increasingly pushing for the use of natural materials due to their looks, which do not fade over time. One of the finest roof coverings available is a natural slate roof, notably a Welsh slate roof. However for those seeking more affordable options there are cheaper alternatives. If you cannot afford Welsh Slate then there are imported options at a variety of price points from Spain, Canada, China and Brazil. It’s worth speaking to your contractor or one of our Roofing Advice Centres to talk through the options, as it is not always advisable to go for the cheapest. Quality from these overseas sources varies and can lead to quality problems if you not deal with a reputable supplier.