It’s the news every homeowner dreads. A property’s roof needs replacing or serious repair work. Gulp. According to most roofing experts, a standard roof has an average lifespan of between 20–25, depending on the type of covering used and the quality of workmanship during the original installation.
When you consider the role a roof plays – it protects a home from all the elements after all – it’s not surprising that replacing one can come with a hefty price tag. The UK national average new roof cost is around £5,500 but this a ballpark figure. Before your anxiety goes through the metaphorical roof, we will set out the process and costs associated with this major investment.
On top of the financial aspect of replacing or repairing a roof, it’s essential that you hire professional and skilled tradespeople to undertake the work. We can take that worry away at Find a Craftsman. One simple click here gives you access to a choice of trustworthy roofing contractors and other key tradespeople local to you.
Some property issues are non-urgent but structural problems such as a damaged roof need action immediately. If any of the following apply to your property, it’s time to call in the professionals:
This is perhaps the most obvious giveaway; a growing stain on ceilings or sliding damp marks down interior walls. If you can access the loft, see if you can locate where the leak originates and temporarily use a bucket to catch the water.
Light streaming into the attic
Broken or missing roof tiles could be the culprits here.
Structural sagging can be easily visible from the outside, along with sunken or missing tiles.
Roof flashing is the thin layer of metal protection installed to direct water away from vulnerable areas, such as chimneys, walls and any roof valleys. Aluminium, steel or copper are the most common types of flashing and in some cases, can be reused if a new roof is needed.
Extreme moss growth
While moss is natural, it acts like a sponge, holding rainwater that will eventually dislodge tiles or shingles and infiltrate the inner structure of the roof. It’s an area often overlooked but it can greatly reduce a roof’s lifespan.
This is a sure sign that the roof is no longer watertight.
The size and shape of the roof will determine exact costs, plus the type of materials used, for example, a basic flat roof replacement cost will be significantly lower than a complex Mansard roof replacement (common on terraced Victorian and Georgian properties). The table below gives a rough starting point for a new roof cost.
Gable (two sloping roof planes meet at the ridge)
Hip (four sides, sloping towards the ridge)
Mansard (common on terraced Victorian and Georgian properties)
The figures above are a basic guide and there may be additional expenses to consider. Professionals you select from Find a Craftsman will be able to give you a full quote, highlighting these, which may include:
Removal of existing roof (inc. skip hire)
New roof frame
Tiled roof (inc. membrane)
New soffits and fascias (the boards that cover between the edge of the roof and the top of the exterior walls)
There’s a wide range of choices available for a new roof’s outer shell. Below we outline some options, along with their pros and cons to help your decision-making.
• 150 year+ lifespan
• Easy match with most properties
• Rot resistant
• Time-consuming installation
• 50-year lifespan
• Prone to weather damage, particularly high winds and freezing temperatures
• 50–150-year lifespan
• Inexpensive to buy and install
• Not fire resistant
• Distinct ‘rubber’ smell
• Low water absorbency
• Wide range of colours
• Aesthetically pleasing
• Wind resistant, non-fading
• Tricky to install
• Brittle/prone to cracking if stood on
Unless you have serious DIY skills, this is not a renovation you should try to tackle yourself. However, there are some initial steps you can take to help rein in the budget.
And now for the good news. The initial outlay may make you smart, but there are some strong benefits, including:
Increased property value
If you’re thinking of putting the property on the market, a new roof can boost the asking price considerably. In fact, some estimates suggest that in combination with other money-saving benefits (some listed below), resale can contribute to an impressive 60–70% ROI (return on investment). A smart roof also ups kerb-side appeal.
Lower energy bills
In the current climate, we’re all looking at ways to cut outgoings. By law, if you have more than 50% repairs to the roof, you must increase loft insulation to a minimum of 270mm thick – this will naturally keep more warm air in and reduce energy bills. Plump for a dark coloured roof in cold climates as it has stronger heat absorption properties.
Roofers today use much better materials, including fire-proofing techniques not available previously. Legal requirements for new roofs include easily accessible escape routes, such as skylights, and fire-retardant materials slow down the spread of a fire.
Solar panel installation
If you’ve been mulling over whether to add solar panels to your home, a newly built roof has the strength capacity to support the weight of these environmental energy generators. The investment can take up to 10 years to break even, but according to energysage.com, a 30-panel system can produce more than enough electricity annually to power your property.
As our blog has highlighted, the cost of a roof replacement represents a major investment and one that should be carefully considered. As the UK’s most established trade association, The Guild of Master Craftsmen has been proudly representing tradespeople and artisans who have skill, integrity and expertise for over 40 years. At Find a Craftsman, hundreds of reliable, trustworthy and experienced contractors all over the UK are at your fingertips. Simply select two or three tradespeople, compare quotes, experience and testimonials, and banish that leaky, troublesome roof forever.