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Many people starting the journey of figuring out what a new roof can cost can become very frustrated. We are here to take some of that mystery out of a project that you may only do once in your life.

Shingle roofs are an asphalt-based roofing material with a fiberglass sheet and granular ceramic coated granules to give your roof color and protection from the UV rays of the sun. Asphalt shingles come on many different configurations, styles and thickness. Shingles are only on part of the process of installing a new roof.

Some of these granules are copper based to help with the discoloration of your roof from mold caused by the water from rain.

The configuration of your roof is very important as well. The amount of roofing material needed can vary greatly from one model of a house to another. You need to take into consideration if the roof has a lot of valleys and peaks, If it is a high pitched roof, ease or difficulty of access, penetrations like vents, gas exhausts, chimneys, solar panels, solar fans, plumbing stacks, skylights, or a rear flat roof that connects to a sloped roof. All transitions and components can add to the cost of your new roof.


Pre Project Planning

Before your project is even started a lot has to go into the planning of your project, Permitting, material ordering, scheduling around the threat of any potential weather can be some of the things the contractor is preparing for. In south Florida there are 5 inspections on a roof, some parts of the country don’t even have an inspection, or maybe just one at final. It would be safe to say that a shingle roof in Montana would not be the same cost as a shingle roof in South Florida.

The Beginning of Your Project

The day has come that your project will start, how is your contractor going to protect your home? Will he cover your driveway? Will he use a dumpster, dump trailer or dump trucks? Will he have a pre-construction meeting to discuss any possible issues and to protect that planting or item that you cherish? Most people do not know what to expect. Will it be noisy or messy? Will they clean up when they are done? Will there be someone on site to answer any questions or concerns you may have?

Taking the Old Roof Off

The crew is now on your roof, A good roofer will look and see if your gutters are going through the drip edge, if so by code he must remove the old ones in order to install new drip edge. He should recommend installing new ones after the roof is installed as it is almost impossible to take old ones off without bending or denting them since they were installed through the drip edge. This is the opportunity to also make sure the new gutters are installed correctly and below the drip edge so there are no penetrations through your new metal drip edge. Fascia Board or the wood behind the gutters sometimes is deteriorated from the age of the roof or leaking behind the gutters. This wood cannot be replaced with the gutters on, in our opinion it is always good to remove the gutters to make sure all the wood is good before installing a new roof. It is ten times harder and more expensive to replace fascia after the new roof is installed. The next step would be to remove the shingles and all underlayments down to the original wood deck and inspecting all the wood. Any and all bad or rotted wood decking needs to be replaced for a new roof to be installed. This can run anywhere from $9.50 to $12.50 a square foot depending on the pitch, access and damage plus any rotted wood trusses may need to be repaired. That is why in Florida it is always good to hire a general contractor-Roofing contractor so all these repairs can be done.


Roofing straps for insurance:

This would be a great time to add hurricane straps if you do not have them. Single wraps versus double wraps are also an option to re-strap your house for better protection and saving money on your homeowner’s insurance. Re-strapping of the truss to wall connections can sometimes save significant money on your insurance policy. The reason this is a good time to do this is because the Contractor can take off plywood around the trusses and re-strap from above saving time and money. This is an added expense that could potentially far exceed the costs to savings over the life of the roof because it can be recovered with lower insurance. Each home is different on pricing.


Re-nailing the deck:

South Florida codes require the plywood decking to be re-nailed into the trusses for added uplift protection. Smooth nails are no longer allowed in Florida for roofing. All decks need to be nailed with Ring-Shank nails to prevent uplift. These need to be nailed at 6” on center in the field part of the roof and 4” on center on the edges of the roof.

Roof Components all need to be replaced, every plumbing stack, every vent and every penetration of your roof should be new. Skylights need to be Florida Product or Miami Dade approved in South Florida. These items can be costly depending on their function.

Underlayments and Flashings- The part you don’t see

Underlayments under the shingles vary in cost and quality. 15# tar paper or 30# tar paper are two of these, synthetic underlayments can be an upgrade and they don’t degrade as quickly. Manufacturers warranties can be affected by what materials you use under the shingles. If the pitch of your roof is 4/12 or less, it also requires double felt. This is where some contractors skip on cost and install double 15# felt instead of 2 rolls of 30# felt.

Vertical wall flashings and transitional flashings should be replaced or inspected for deterioration. These are generally metal and sometimes can be behind stucco. If this is the case and they need to be replaced, you could be looking upwards of $25.00 a foot.
The top roofing warranties from the manufacturers require and additional layer of peel and stick waterproofing membrane to be added to the valleys, penetrations and edges to maximize the warranty coverage. This is highly recommended as these are the most vulnerable areas of the roof where leaks can pop up in the future and this extra step helps eliminate that for the life of the roof.


Shingle roofs are the warmest roofs in South Florida. The number one reason roofs fail in south Florida are from inadequate ventilation. The heat buildup in an attic can create what is known as thermal shock and can essentially cook the roof from underneath accelerating the deterioration rate. Adequate ventilation is required by roofing manufacturers to maintain the basic warranties. Solar Venting, Ridge Vents and Gable vents can be options. There is a price variation on the types of venting options. Ridge vents can start at $25.00 a foot to solar vents that can run anywhere from $450.00 for something that has lower venting capability to $3000.00 for a high-end high efficiency solar roof vent. It is important to know the cubic air that is moved by each ventilating system and this is where it makes sense to upgrade to a better system to help ensure the roof will out last its warranty. This can also help reduce the electric bill for cooling costs as illustrated below.


Solar Vents versus traditional turbine vents

This next photo illustrates the amount of cubic air that is moved through a solar vent versus traditional vent. The biggest difference is that the traditional vent requires the attic to become hot and hot air rises and is forced out through the vent versus the solar attic fan starts moving air the minute the sun comes up until it goes down, keeping the attic much cooler.


Shingles the Part You Can See

A Good Shingle 

A base shingle called a 3 Tab shingle is one layer and the most budget conscience shingle available. CertainTeed XT-25 is a good example of a 3-tab shingle. The wind warranty on this shingle is only 60 MPH from the manufacturer. Most people do not purchase this shingle in South Florida based on the wind resistance also the warranties from the manufacturer are not as good as the upgraded versions. The pricing can be between $4.50 a square foot to $6.50 a square foot depending on upgrades and option.
A Better Shingle
The second most popular shingle is a laminated (2 ply) shingle, also known as an architectural shingle. This gives the look of a simulated shake type shingle and even these shingles can have many variations and construction qualities. The base landmark shingles can vary in price from $5.50 a square foot to $10.50 a square foot depending on the style and thickness, granular composition and additional upgrades like solar resistance.
The Best Shingle
The upgraded shingles with multiple laminated layers CertainTeed Grand Manor or Carriage House, President Tri Laminate shingles are a great example of high-end asphalt-based shingles. These are very detailed and have very high definition. Also, some of these high-end shingles are hand assembled for the best quality in the factory. The pricing for these can be upwards of $11.00 per square foot or more.
How much is a new shingle roof?
It depends on your home, your roof configuration, your roof components, access to your property, roof pitch and several other factors.
Make sure your contractor is credentialed with the shingle manufacturer and can offer the upgraded warranties.
Next, you should learn about your states minimum insurance coverages required by a contractor, licensing requirements, workers compensation requirements and verifying your contractor has all the updated coverages.
Roofing Consultant: Dan Wilson
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