It’s not always easy to know how much you should pay for roof repairs or a whole new roof. If you’ve reached the point where such work is necessary, you want to make your life as simple and cost-effective as possible. This is what this guide is here to help with.
Good research on the subject not only prepares you for a range of things that need organising. Especially in term of the new roof cost, it also ensures you don’t spend more than necessary – easily done considering how much your budget will need to cover.
You may also be tempted to invest in cool upgrades – materials, features, a new roof shape. Keep reading and you’ll find detailed lists of the many options available to choose from, which, of course, come at different prices. The complexity of the overall project can also increase as more and more elements are added.
- Do your research
- What is re-roofing?
- What is roof restoration?
- Best time for roofing
- Roofing regulations
- Covering advice
- Ventilation advice
- Insulation advice
- Weight and wind load advice
- Health and safety
- Home Insurance
- Pros and cons of popular UK roof types
- Set a budget
- How much does a new roof cost?
- Roofing materials
- Additional features
- Calculate extra expenses
- Labour costs
Do your research
There are several elements of a roofing project that it’s vital you know about, from regulations to roof types and price ranges. Learning everything you can about each of these areas makes it easier to avoid mistakes and ensure you get great, fast results. How well you prepare yourself has a major effect on the value and safety of your investment, let alone the tradespeople who’ll be making it a reality.
What is re-roofing?
When the roof reaches a state where the only solution is a complete revamp or if you simply want to change its appearance, re-roofing is the answer. Re-roofing involves stripping the existing roof and installing a new one with all the upgrades you want or need. It’s an expensive project, but your home insurance could cover all or part of the new roof cost if it’s due to damages. Even these cases are liable to very specific conditions, so make sure to read up on your provider’s policies regarding re-roofing.
Re-roofing reasons and benefits
The first and foremost reason why anyone would want their roof renovated is to repair it. Some common roofing problems include damage from rain or hail, broken tiles, flashings or chimneys. As soon as you notice such issues, it’s best to deal with them, especially before winter comes around. A well-built, insulated and ventilated home means less stress, inconvenience and maintenance hassle for you.
Dedicating part of the new roof cost into minimising heat loss will also benefit your pocket. Since lofts are often responsible for wasting over a quarter of your home’s generated energy, proper insulation will make a big difference to your bills. So, learning all you can about different materials and methods that can help with this issue is important to your re-roofing plans.
An extra incentive to sprucing up your roof is the instant increase to the property’s appeal. If you have any intention of putting it on the market one day, giving it a brand-new roof – that also ticks off all home insurance boxes – can boost its value by 7-13%. Living in a safe and warm house you know will eventually pay you back is a highly satisfying feeling.
What is roof restoration?
If you keep a close eye on the condition of your roof – inside and out – you can deal with individual problems faster and cheaper than having to resort to a complete replacement. Roof restoration simply restores parts that are compromising the effectiveness of your property’s covering. Problems and their causes vary, as do costs and available financial assistance. All these topics are covered below.
Roof restoration reasons and benefits
Wondering about what kinds of problems you should look out for? Anything from age to weather or vandalism can cause damage that should be repaired sooner rather than later. Make a habit of inspecting your roof’s interior and exterior for the following issues:
- Visible light through cracks in the roof
- Sagging sections
- Damp, mouldy or rotten spots
- Damage to the valley, chimney, gutter, pipes, tiles or shingles
A key reason why restoration is preferable to re-roofing is the cost. Upgrading the roof with a better structure and materials may be more beneficial in the long run, but patching up problems as they occur will generally be much cheaper.
It also helps your home stay in prime condition for longer. Taking care of the roof means it’s ready to withstand whatever the unpredictable UK weather throws at it. Consider making individual upgrades as you go along to better insulate and secure the structure without paying for an actual re-roofing.
However, when several minor problems start emerging on a regular basis, that’s a clear sign that restoration is no longer enough and likely to cost you even more than re-roofing. Before you take the plunge, have an expert inspect the roof so you’re sure to make the right decision and don’t exceed the necessary new roof cost.
Best time for roofing
While making repairs to the roof as soon as possible is important, there are times when it’s not actually ideal or even possible. Winter, for example, is the worst season for problems to appear because the cold alone makes it difficult to work outside and for materials to properly seal. Also, factor in how freezing or hot temperatures affect building materials. Roofing tradespeople will generally advise you to wait for better weather conditions before starting any works to the house.
Late summer is only slightly more convenient. Since the UK is warming up, you need to keep in mind how uncomfortable labouring in the heat can be. On top of conditions that limit working hours, this is the time many homeowners can tackle household chores, so don’t expect to immediately find an available roofer.
The second-best time to minimise the cost of installing a new roof is spring to early summer. Temperatures have improved, prices are reasonably low and great deals more likely to find. On the other hand, shifts between warm and rainy weather makes planning and building uncertain during these seasons. Be prepared for delays and problems with your roofing projects.
Autumn is the least unpredictable time to put your roofing plans into action. Your tradespeople can work comfortably, while mild temperatures allow proper handling and sealing of building materials. Your project should be completed smoothly and within the expected timeframe.
As logical as all this sounds, don’t rely on the predictability of the weather when making roofing plans. Set down as precise a schedule as possible using up to date information on the UK climate, as well as the home improvement market. But always be prepared for the occasional setback, both mentally and financially.
While less demanding than other home improvement projects, roofing jobs come with demands of their own. For starters, unless the repairing or re-roofing work involves less than 25% of the existing roof, you’ll need to submit a building regulations application.
Approval is especially necessary for:
- Structural changes
- Changes to the performance of the new covering in the event of a fire
- Extensive re-roofing that would in turn require changes to the thermal insulation
Your plans for the new roof should take some key specifications into account. However it’s designed, the roof must be insulated, ventilated, fitted with drainage and able to withstand all sorts of bad weather. It also needs be able to support quite a lot of weight and resist fire from adjacent properties.
When choosing materials for the new roof’s covering, why not have a checklist of everything it’s supposed to do? While most regulations involve things you’d think of anyway, you don’t want anything to slip your mind through the stressful process. For example, using materials that won’t slide off a slate roof is just as important as them being fire and weather resistant. Safety is actually more important that aesthetics when it comes to calculating the new roof cost.
Air has to be able to enter the roof and travel all the way to the other end. Depending on the insulation or roof system you choose – warm or cold – ventilation may or may not be required.
The cold roof system involves setting insulation between the house’s rafters, leaving the empty space above as it is. This method requires ventilation, unlike the warm roof system – this insulates above the roof’s joists or rafters. There are exceptions, however, so check with the tradesperson working on the new roof what the best strategy is for your home.
Building regulations require a roof to have a maximum U-value of 0.15W/m2K. This refers to how insulating it or any part of the house is. A lower value means a higher resistance to different temperatures. Other useful terms to know about is the K-value and R-value. The first measures a material’s thermal productivity, the second its thermal resistance. A high R-value means better insulation.
Want to know more about the range of insulation methods available to cover this and other requirements? Let’s look at each in further detail as they’d be applied to different roof types. Learning as much as you can about every part of the planning process gives you a better idea of how and why the average cost of new roofs vary.
Many factors affect how this kind of roof should be insulated. It’s not just about its slant and structure, but also if the loft space is going to be used. The cheapest option is the cold roof system. Under this method, insulation is installed between the rafters or joists to keep the temperatures of the space below well-regulated and comfortable. The downside is that it can leave the loft exposed and unused – another reason to remember to ventilate.
A warm roof system is more effective and allows access to the loft. As already mentioned, the insulation goes right under the roof covering, battening and tiles, making it a better thermal solution. It reduces heat loss and keeps the whole house’s temperatures more stable. The challenge is deciding whether you need ventilation between the roof and the insulation, as well as what materials to use. A wide range is available.
These are rolled-up lengths of mineral wool that comes from spinning liquid volcanic rock into yarn. Manufacturers then add resin and oil to bind it. The flexible battens are designed to fit perfectly between the roof’s rafters. They’re fire and water resistant, not to mention porous – a great breathable solution to keeping rot and mould away.
Rock wool is a specialised insulation material, with an approximate cost ranging between £25 and £45. Something to keep in mind is that rock wool is an irritant, so whoever installs it should wear adequate protective clothing.
This material has a similar form and production process to rock wool. Manufacturers heat a mixture of glass and sand. They spin it at high speed and then add resin. The resulting product has many impressive properties. Apart from providing quality insulation, it enhances your home’s acoustics and resistance to fire and insects. It’s also the cheapest type of insulation, with prices starting at around £15.
A major downside to glass wool products, especially for UK homes, is that they’re not water resistant. This alone reduces their value for money. If you do choose this method anyway, cover hands and arms to prevent skin irritation.
There are two popular polystyrene products to consider, all sharing the material’s rigid foam shape and great thermal performance. Total costs depend on size and number of boards, but they can reach over £150.
- Expanded polystyrene (EPS): light, permeable, highly durable and with a thermal conductivity of 0.032W/m2K
- Extruded polystyrene (XPS): denser, more resilient closed-cell composition and higher conductivity of 0.038W/m2K
Also called spray polyurethane foam, this material is the most versatile. It quickly turns from liquid into a solid but porous layer of insulation. A popular choice among tradespeople and homeowners, but one that can significantly increase the new roof cost. On average, expect a quote of £20-£50/m2.
Spray foam comes in two forms:
- Closed cell: better insulator due to pockets of gas that trap heat, but it needs good ventilation
- Open cell: less dense and needs a thicker layer to insulate well, but has less need of ventilation
Both warm and cold roof insulation is suitable for flat roofs, but applications differ because of their shape. Be aware that when it comes to a cold roof system, a space of around 50mm between the insulation and roof covering is essential for proper ventilation. A vapour membrane is another feature you may want to include.
A warm system and its total cost are adapted to the needs of the flat roof. Typically, the insulation goes between the joists and the roof’s ply boards and covering. The materials used and the amount of insulation depend on how high you want the thermal abilities of your roof to be. And what your budget can afford.
Finally, a flat roof also has the option of the inverted system. In this case, insulation goes over the covering instead of the other way around and is topped with gravel or something similar. The accessibility of this roof also makes repairs easier to do than with a pitched style.
Weight and wind load advice
Part of the cost to install a new roof involves making it as strong as possible. It has to be able to take the load of all its materials – tiles, rafters, covers and so on – as well as the occasional weight of a tradesperson trying to repair it. The UK weather won’t be kind to it either, so its construction needs to take wind, rain, snow and worse conditions under consideration.
To be precise, the roof must be tied down to the building so that strong winds won’t lift it off. For this, you’ll need to secure 1.2m-long straps to the wall plate and inner skin. Consult the roofing service or tradesperson for a description of what it all involves and how much of the overall cost it’ll take up.
Another concern to keep in mind as your re-roofing plans take form is ensuring you don’t let the rafters of a pitched roof spread apart. That’s what joists are there to do, so make sure not to compromise them while working. If you want to remove them, whether permanently or temporarily, you need to take measures so the roof stays upright. Consult a dependable expert about the best and most economic course of action.
Health and safety
While the re-roofing works are underway, there’s always a risk of accidents. This could involve someone hurting a finger or even, as already mentioned, the roof shifting and causing far more serious injuries. Provide ladders, gloves and any other safety precaution you can think of to help complete the project with minimal drama.
Be aware that tradespeople in the roofing business will usually have insurance already set up. A public liability cover like this cares for companies or independent professionals, their customers and the public. When bodily injuries or property damages happen, a roofers’ insurance could provide over £1 million in compensation. It’s important to check that any tradespeople you work with have appropriate public liability insurance. This is where Quotatis can help, as we verify that every pro on our network has appropriate insurance.
When it comes to your own insurance, it’s affected by what kind of roof your property has. For example, a flat roof may be more prone to water damage or burglary, so some insurers won’t include it in their cover. Thatched roofs, apart from being considered non-standard, are a fire hazard and in need of frequent maintenance.
Cover approval also depends on the extent of work required and the cause of the damage. Repairs to new properties or cases of home emergencies – fire, storms, falling trees – are more likely to be supported, although not fully. And complete roof replacements are extremely rare.
Approach your home insurance provider with all the details of your situation and repair costs. Then you can find out how much of your project they’ll be able to cover. It’s not unlikely that alternative funding will be needed for a portion of the roofing works, as well as surprise expenses. Save up what you can and explore your options.
Pros and cons of popular UK roof types
Each roof style has its own appeal, challenges and requirements when it comes to roofing. Whether you’re looking to restore or re-roof, focus your research and improvement plans on your exact type. Your chosen repair methods, such as insulation system and materials, determine the total cost of the project.
There are several reasons why this is becoming a very popular choice for modern homes:
- Its construction requires less costly materials than a pitched roof
- Allows more stable interior temperatures
- Gives the house a more compact, sleek look
- Allows the creation of a nice outdoor space
But flat roofs have certain demands. Also remember that some home insurance providers aren’t fond of them, so make sure yours is as efficient as possible before approaching a service.
A minimum slant of 1cm per 60 cm in width is advised to prevent rain from pooling and damaging it. Water should then be directed towards the guttering and drains, essential parts to keeping a flat roof dry and safe from rot. The main risks you want to keep at bay – for the sake of keeping your insurance company happy as much as your comfort – are burglaries, weather and fire damage. Anything that increases their likelihood is not ideal, which can include vegetation from a green roof, for example, compromising the roof’s covering or drainage features.
This is a common style encountered on most UK homes. Also known as gabled or peaked, it’s at an angle with a ridge in the centre or on the side. Different heights and constructions allow various home design opportunities that are otherwise lost with flat roofs, like loft rooms, a flat ceiling or simply sturdier structure. Other benefits include:
- Good for shedding water and snow
- Easy and cheap construction for simple designs
- Aesthetically pleasing
To get the actual pitch or steepness of the roof you divide its height by its span. 20o is the minimum recommended angle, but it’s mainly the type of tiles and slates that determine this choice. Today, available materials, like interlocking clay pantile, allow a pitch as low as 12.5o.
What matters about the selected design is that water will slide off the roof and not pool on or penetrate it. Take particular care with this structure in stormy areas. Without the right support and materials, strong winds can cause serious damage or even cause it to collapse. A lower pitch is best for such locations.
As long as you take sufficient measures to make the roof watertight, well insulated and ventilated, there are four pitched roof styles to choose from:
- Front: a simple design where the gable runs from the front to the back of the house
- Box: similar to the front gable but with triangular extensions on either end
- Cross: this design is made up of at least two intersecting pitched rooflines
- Dutch: this places a pitched roof on top of a hip roof
A similar but more stable construction to a box pitched roof. Four sides come together over a strong internal structure, perfect for weather beaten areas. Its benefits are not much different to all other angled structures:
- Water, snow and wind resistant
- Very stable and durable
- Gives extra living space
There are some facts to keep in mind, however. A pitch of 18.5°-26.5° is advised to protect against high winds. Also, because of its complex design, construction may be more costly than simple roofs. This style is best reserved for difficult weather and a hefty budget.
This style is double-pitched, meaning that its four sides make up a low-angled ridge over a steeper layer. As one of the more complicated constructions on the market, expect a high price alongside significant benefits:
- Lots of extra space
- Very elegant design
- Highly expandable and versatile
- Windows along the steep slope add ample natural light
- Comes in a straight-angle, convex or concave shape
Unfortunately, its appeal comes at a high price in terms of installation, maintenance and repairs. As opposed to the straight slope of regular pitched designs, a mansard roof isn’t effective against bad weather conditions. Leaks and roof damage are frequent problems.
Basically, a mansard roof but with two sides instead of four. It’s also referred to as a barn roof because it’s often used on buildings like cabins and farmhouses. But this doesn’t mean it won’t make an attractive feature on a normal family home, for example. Its advantages include:
- Less complex and expensive than a mansard roof
- While still allowing plenty of room to build an extra living space
- High aesthetic appeal
- Easily adaptable for future extensions
In terms of disadvantages, the same apply to the gambrel roof as to its cousin, the mansard. It needs regular maintenance, strong framework and insulation, especially if located in stormy areas. Despite the cheaper installation, subsequent restoration needs may drag out the overall new roof cost.
Skillion or shed roof
Shed or lean-to are the less technical names for this roofing style. It involves a single slope against a very tall wall, another increasingly popular modern design. This may be the most beneficial construction for your home for the following reasons:
- Cheap and easy to assemble
- Great resistance to water and snow accumulation
- Allows extra and interesting space for either additional rooms or windows
- Unique and pleasing aesthetics
The roof’s slant poses the main problem. Firstly, high winds are a risk to tiles and covering, so this is not a structure suited for such environments. Secondly, the slope affects the interior structure, such as the height of the ceiling, and how comfortable a loft would be to live in.
Set a budget
It can’t be emphasised enough how wise it is to know the market and have a suitable budget in mind before you start building anything. This will help you focus your research into the price of different materials, roofing styles, services and any extras you’ll need. You don’t want to run out of money before it’s all completed or invest too much for your finances to cope.
How much does a new roof cost?
It’s best to get a range of roofing quotes as prices can vary, depending on the design, season, company and more. There really are lots of reasons why prices can be high or low – every business has different overheads. But if a quote seems extremely steep or too good to be true, and the company can’t explain why their price is so different, it’s probably best to avoid them.
We’ve put together a table to show you the approximate cost of re-roofing and restoration projects. Make a note of these to have around as you explore your home improvement options.
|£40 – £250||
£840 – £2000
|£40 – £250||
£3,250 – £5,250
|£40 – £250||
£4,250 – £7,250
|£40 – £250||
|£40 – £250||
|£40 – £250||
£4,000 – £7,700
Fascias and soffits
£1,200 – £3,000
£300 – £800
The manufacturing of tiles has improved in leaps and bounds. Most of the most popular materials are sturdy and adaptable, key reasons why UK homeowners depend on them to make their roofs solid and safe. Here are several more specifics on why your project should stick with tile roofing:
- Resilient to decay, bad weather and fire – some tile types are better than others
- Extremely long-lasting – some manufacturers offer 50-year warranties
- Low maintenance
- Energy efficient
- Huge range of options
Let’s look more closely at what materials are available, including their pros, cons and average cost.
|Tile material||Advantages||Disadvantages||Average starting price / tile|
£0.32 – £0.98
£0.87 – £1.27
£0.72 – £1.68
£0.43 – £2.77
£5.62 – £6.75
£2.03 – £7.93
As far as roofing materials go, bituminous felt has improved its performance considerably. Its common composition involving tar, for example, made the felt liable to damage and decay. Today, you can find the roofing material in many new, more durable forms, like atactic polypropylene (APP) and styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS). Flat roofing is where it’s applied the most.
|Advantages||Disadvantages||Average cost / m2|
£40 – £50
This stands for ethylene propylene diene terpolymer. Essentially, it’s a roofing membrane made of synthetic rubber that comes in a wide and very durable range of options. One sheet is enough for a whole regular-sized flat roof and the cost is relative to the company and residential areas.
|Advantages||Disadvantages||Average cost / m2|
£45 – £80
The actual name for this material is glass reinforced plastic. The process has two elements: a liquid polyester resin mixture and glass fibre laminates. Installation can take a few days and is subject to weather conditions. But flat roofing makes good use of GRP fibreglass because of how light, tough and adaptable it is.
|Advantages||Disadvantages||Average cost / m2|
The final option you should know about is polyvinyl chloride roofing membrane. Similar to EPDM, it involves covering the top of a building with a lightweight and efficient material. Specially designed to deal with common roofing issues, PVC is often used on commercial properties as well as domestic.
|Advantages||Disadvantages||Average cost / m2|
£45 – £70
These are found on the edges of a property’s rafters. They provide support for the roof’s features and keeps them from affecting the house. Thanks to them, for example, the water in the guttering doesn’t spill onto the roof and cause damage. Fascias serve as overall protection from the elements, as well as a visually pleasing way of holding the structure together. Repairs typically cost around £100/m, but also tend to be included in several home restoration jobs.
A part of the roof that normally accompanies fascias. Their purpose is to hold the rafters in place and have been improved over the years to perform that job more efficiently and with the least amount of wear and tear. That’s why uPVC and aluminium soffits are now used far more often than wooden ones. Their contribution to the new roof cost is usually in the same £100 range.
This is both a functional and aesthetic part of the roof within the same price range of fascias and soffits. Specifically, it’s the gables that benefit from a bargeboard. It strengthens the structure and protects it from outside influences, like wind and rain. They’re manufactured from a range of materials, including timber, plastic, metal and uPVC.
Each corner of a roof has to link all the above features together and keep them stable. That’s where the boxend comes in, designed to exactly match the measurements and demands of the other parts. When planning to repair or replace your roof, you may need to account for such minor but vital parts of the building’s structure. If they are to be adjusted, this will push your budget higher.
Calculate extra expenses
The best way to prepare for all additional details you’ll need to pay for is to hire a reliable expert to survey your property. They should be able to spot everything that will become a part of the process, whether for simple repairs or an entire re-roofing. They can also advise you on the best strategies, materials and even tradespeople for your plans and roof needs. This would set a sound foundation for your budget.
Then try to roughly calculate how much each material and feature will cost. As you’ve seen, there’s a considerable difference between types of tile and roofing membrane. Size is also important, so take careful measurements before starting with all the maths.
Finally, think about who’ll be doing the work. If your aim is a big DIY job you can do with hardworking friends, the average cost of the new roof could be reduced quite a bit, but you’ll need to ensure the safety of yourself and others with plenty of research and proper equipment – scaffolding, ladders, gloves and clothing.
Hiring someone with years’ worth of roofing experience is your safest bet. The right service will complete the work faster, safer and with better results.
One of the first things you should do when preparing for a home improvement of any scale is check labour cost rates. One or several quote requests to services or tradespeople you’re thinking of hiring will give you an idea of what to expect and the best new roof deal possible. The scale, popularity and location of the business are factors that often affect the overall price.
In 2020, a day’s work will generally amount somewhere between £150 and £250. This accounts for workers, scaffolding, materials and waste, as well as the required repairs or installations. They’d be responsible for anything involved in the roofing process, from insulation and roofing to alterations necessary for the project to be completed. Labour costs is a key reason why you need to be careful when booking for roofing work. Tradespeople could charge you for any extra effort bad weather or a busy season will cause.
Hopefully, this guide has given you plenty of information and ideas to play with while planning your home’s upgrade. If things are still unclear or you want to take the next step in your roofing project, we’re here to help with advice, resources and tradespeople – fully licensed and insured. They have ratings and reviews for you to browse so you can make an informed decision about whether they’re right for the job.
If you’re ready to get quotes for your roofing project, simply fill in the form below.